All of the weight loss, the daily battles with teammates, the weekly tournaments have led area wrestlers to one path — the one that leads to glory or heartbreak.
Area grapplers will begin their yearly battle to reach the state tournament in Columbus later today with sectional tournaments.
In Division I, Lakeside will be the first area team on the mat when the Austintown-Fitch sectional begins at 3:45 p.m. Riverside and Madison, also in Division I but wrestling at the South sectional, will begin at 5 p.m.
Edgewood, Conneaut, Jefferson, Geneva and Perry will get going in the Division II sectional at Lake Catholic at 5 p.m.
Pymatuning Valley and Grand Valley will be at the Division III sectional at Beachwood and will be the last teams to get going with a 6:30 p.m. start.
Madison fell to Mentor when the teams met in a dual match early in the season. The Blue Streaks could gain a measure of revenge at South.
At 138 and 145 pounds respectively, Nick Montgomery and Bo Ransom will spearhead the Madison assault. Ryan Montgomery (126) and Jarrad Lasko (132) and Aaron Sweeney (152) won’t be far behind as the Blue Streaks’ middle weights should make quite a statement. Tim Streisel (170), Drew Schiemann (182) and Joe Bashore (220) should also find spots in the top four.
Riverside, the area’s other team at the South sectional, boasts one of the state’s most formidable wrestlers in Evan Rosborough (195). Rosborough is being forecast as a state runner up.
Joining Rosborough in the top four of one of the weaker sectional tournaments could be Nick Boggs (138), Conner Rigsby (152) and Jake Denman (160).
The Dragons have a two-headed monster in heavyweight Chuck Morgan and 195-pounder Kyle Conel. The pair spent the majority of the season unbeaten and Morgan, at one point, was the top-rated big man in the state. It should be child’s play for the duo to reach the Mentor district.
Tyler Vines (113), Keith Griffin (132), and Otis Conel (182) could be on their way to the district, as well.