Nordonia wrestles to third at Solon Comet Classic

By Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

Solon -- Nordonia wrestling didn't have a perfect weekend at the Solon Comet Classic Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

"We had a good Saturday morning and horrible Saturday night," said Nordonia coach Audie Atienza.

Perhaps so, but the Knights' overall performance at Solon should open a lot of eyes.

Nordonia finished in third place in a loaded field at Solon with 161.5 points. Solon won the team title with 182 points.

So why is Atienza a bit sour? Nordonia went 0-for-4 in placement matches during the Saturday night session, including 0-for-3 in title matches. Those struggles allowed West Virginia powerhouse Parkersburg to leapfrog the Knights into second place (164.5 points).

"We set our bar pretty high for them," Atienza said. "A lot of them are used to having high-pressure matches. We wanted to be able to finish those matches.

Still, third place at a tournament as loaded as the Solon Comet Classic represents a strong start for the Knights.

"We're really happy with how the boys wrestled," Atienza said. "The results take care of themselves if you wrestle the right way. It was a whole team attitude of stepping up their game. They did that."

As expected, junior Alex Woicehovich was one of the wrestlers going for the title for Nordonia at 220 pounds.

After a bye, Woicehovich pinned Crestwood's James Testa in 1:52 and beat Parkerburg's Tyler Riddle 13-5 to reach the final.

In the final, however, Woicehovich was pinned himself in 1:06 by All-Ohioan Evan Rosborough of Painesville Riverside.

The brothers DeCesare each solid weekends as well.

Freshman 106-pounder Tony DeCesare showed he could be a force in his first high school tournament.

DeCesare opened with a 16-0 technical fall over North Olmsted's David Brummer and then rode out Strongsville's Garrett Lambert to claim a 3-2 win.

In the semifinal, DeCesare scored a convincing 8-2 win over Eastlake North's Kenny Hoberney to reach the final.

In the final, DeCesare faced another freshman phenom: Walsh Jesuit's Alex Mackall. It was a tight one, but Mackall scored a 3-0 win to take the title.

Junior Mike DeCesare gave a good account of himself in perhaps the toughest bracket in the tournament at 138 pounds.

After losing a tight 8-4 decision to Parkersburg's Skyler Terrell in the semifinals, the elder DeCesare rebounded with a 12-8 win over Mentor's Austin Tomolentz.

In the third-place match, however, DeCesare fell 13-8 to St. Vincent-St. Mary's Ryan "Popeye" Skonieczny.

Nordonia's third finalist was junior 195-pounder Eric Claren, who opened with a pin in 49 seconds over Crestwood's Stephen Cox, followed by an 8-4 win over Parkersburg's Adam Lindamond and a 5-1 win over Solon's Chad Morris to reach the final.

However, Claren was pinned in 3:45 in the final by Lake Catholic's Jim Szep.

Nordonia also got fifth-place finishes from 170-pounder Tyler McCann and heavyweight Nick Bina and a sixth-place finish from junior 113-pounder Andrew Coghill.

Sophomore 120-pounder Nick Collica and junior 132-pounder Heath Phillibert each took seventh.

Nordonia returns to tournament action this week at the North Coast Classic at Independence Dec. 7 and 8. First match Dec. 7 is at 4 p.m.

E-mail:mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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