The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

March 20, 2012

County squad shows area’s excellence

With more than 70 area wrestlers in three divisions qualifying for district tournaments, it’s safe to say the 2011-12 season was a great one.

Grand Valley senior Matt Zaller placed sixth at 195 pounds in the Division III state tournament and is the Star Beacon Ashtabula County Wrestler of the Year.

He was joined in Columbus by teammates Sean Szitas and Glenn Zaller to form the first trio of Mustangs to compete in Columbus together since Bobby Jones, Darrell Lancaster and Paul Pawlowski did so in 1983.

The Mustangs were runners-up at the Beachwood section and finished 10-2 in dual meets under coach Steve Paratto, who is the Coach of the Year.

Joining Matt Zaller, a senior, and Paratto on the All-Ashtabula County Team are fellow Mustangs Szitas (152 pounds, senior) and Glenn Zaller (170, sophomore).

Fellow state qualifiers, Zach Campbell (Pymatuning Valley, D-III, 132, junior), Alex Cash (Jefferson, D-II, 152, senior) and Chuck Morgan (Lakeside, heavyweight, junior) are also on the team.

Joey Baitt (Jefferson, 120), Travis Dickey (Edgewood, 126), Ricker Maple (Jefferson, 113), Gage Severino (Jefferson, heavyweight) and Alesha Zappitella (Conneaut, 106) join Szitas and Matt Zaller as second-time members of the team.

Garnering first-time honors are Zach Benedict (PV, 132), Kyle Conel (Lakeside, 195), Cody Ellis (PV, 182), Chris Hunt (Geneva, 195), Justin MacCartney (GV, 106) and Jimmy Wilson (Edgewood, 220).                   

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

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