The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

December 2, 2012

Taking it to the mat

Grapplers getting into 2012-13 season

A year ago, several area wrestling teams took steps toward being elite programs. Expect more of the same in 2012-13 with Madison and Perry having returned to dominance, Edgewood and Pymatuning Valley sustaining a high level of competition and Grand Valley joining the elite last season, several programs are poised to take those same steps this season.

Riverside and Conneaut are poised to join that group with Jefferson and Lakeside hot on their heels and Geneva taking the next steps toward rebuilding a winner.

New coaches will make their debuts in Ashtabula and Saybrook Townships with Wes Cleveland taking over for Greg Stolfer, who had led the Edgewood program for 27 seasons and Jerry Brady taking the helm from Pat Ryan at Lakeside.

Here’s a team-by-team look at the just-started season:

Conneaut

The Spartans will be senior heavy with eight on the roster, six who are returning letterwinners. Three of those seniors qualified for the district tournament and a fourth was an alternate.

Alesha Zappitella (106 pounds), Billy Post (220) and Austin Sherman (152) were the district qualifiers and Russell Wanda (182) was an alternate. Myles Kapen (170) and David West (182) also lettered a year ago. Hoping to get in the mix this year will be Matt Blood (195) and Jay Rusk (195).

“Our strengths are that we have a large senior class and some underclassmen that have shown a lot of potential so far in practice,” coach Matt Bidwell said. We have three returning district qualifiers in Austin, Alesha and Billy and Russell was an alternate.

“I expect those four to go far in the second season and to be joined by a few others. Once we have everyone to their weights, we should also have a very competitive dual-meet team.”

Juniors R.J. Nelson (160) and C.J. Rice also lettered a season ago.

Looking to break through this season are juniors Layth Alama (182), Matt Barrickman (195) and Rodney Hennessey (132) and freshmen Isaiah Ngiraingas (113) and Cole Walker (132).

Bidwell has challeged his kids with an interesting schedule.

“We have a very busy month of December,” he said. “We will be at the Riverside Rumble, which is usually very competitive, the Laker Shaker and the Girard Holiday Duals, to name a few,” he said. “In January, we have some tough duals, tris and quads, as well as the Northeast (Pa.) Tournament.

“Our schedule schedule picks back up in February with a home dual and a quad at Orange before heading to sectionals.”

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Sports
  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NAC
    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    FRIDAY, APRIL 18
    Baseball

    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Softball
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Tennis
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
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AP Video