By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
Fresh off their appearances at the Ohio State Wrestling Championships, Lakeside’s Kyle Conel and Chuck Morgan will battle it out one final time on their home mats at the Star Beacon-Mike Scully Senior Classic tonight.
Wrestling begins at 6 p.m. Entry is $5 per person, $4 for senior citizens.
“It would mean a lot to us to have a big crowd,” Conneaut senior Billy Post said. “We just love the roar of the crowd. The fans get us going. It gets the adrenaline pumping and the heart racing. That feels great.”
State qualifiers Post, Sean Szitas of Grand Valley, Nick Montgomery of Madison, Evan Nichols of Perry, Jake Denman and Evan Rosborough of Riverside will also be in action.
“It means a lot to take to the mat one last time,” Post said. “I know a lot of people couldn’t make the journey down. It’s one last shot to wrestle in front of my friends and family, especially my mom and dad.”
Competitors will also include Alesha Zappitella, Russell Wanda, and Austin Sherman of Conneaut; Dakota Brininger of Geneva; Travis Pelles and Heath Martin of Grand Valley; Ricker Maple, Jerry Scott, Rocky Tripodi, Blake Perry, Joey Babic, Troy Stitt and Caleb Harris of Jefferson; Aaron Sweeney and Tim Streisel of Madison; Drew Jones, Ryan Sill and Cory Gramberg of Perry; Zach Campbell, Kris Leonard, David Baker and Cody Ellis of PV; and Dalton Anderson of Riverside.
“It means a lot to me to see these guys wrestle one last time,” Conneaut coach Matt Bidwell, who will coach one of the teams, said. “For the most part, they were dominant for the last four years. Alesha will go on and wrestle in college and Billy might be a two-sport guy with football and wrestling, but for the rest of them, this will probably be their last match.
“I hope a lot of the area’s fans show up show up for it.”
Pairings will be announced tonight.
Coaches for the match will be Bidwell and Steve Paratto of Grand Valley. The official will be Scott Morgan and Nathan Jernigan, 4, the son of Luke and Katie Jernigan, will sing the national anthem.
“It will mean a lot to wrestle one last time for Coach Bidwell,” Post said. “We were his first class that was here four years. That’s something special. That four-year journey has been fun. It’s also going ot be fun to go out with the other seniors.”
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.