Knight wrestling scores three titles at North Coast

By Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

Nordonia wrestling coach Audie Atienza says he's not focused on wins and losses at this point.

He carried that attitude into the North Coast Classic Dec. 7 and 8 at Independence.

"I'm more focused on how they wrestled and I'm very happy with how they wrestled," Atienza said. "If we wrestle well, the results will take care of themselves."

They certainly did at the Classic.

Nordonia finished just a few points shy of winning the tournament with 705 points, besting Solon (642) in the process.

Pennsylvania powerhouse Greensburg Salem won the tournament with 709 points.

"We were one match away from winning," Atienza said. "We came up a little short, but they left it all out on the mat."

Nordonia claimed three individual titles at the Classic. None was more impressive than the performance of junior 220-pounder Alex Woicehovich.

"Wojo" completely dominated his bracket, pinning all eight of this opponents on the weekend -- six of which came in the first period.

In the bracket on Dec. 8, Woicehovich pinned Benedictine's Allen Viancourt in 1:46, Mentor's Tyler Sullens in 2:44 and North Royalton's Garrett Snyder in 3:50 to claim the title.

"He was on his game and he took care of the job," Atienza said.

The DeCesare brothers also claimed the titles in their respective weight classes.

Wrestling at 106, Tony DeCesare scored a 10-0 win over Mayfield's Harry Feuer and a 5-2 win over Hawken's Louis DeMarco to reach the final. In the final, DeCesare was pushed to overtime by Brunswick's Josh Heil, but he pulled out a 3-2 decision to claim the first high school tournament of his career.

"106 is a very loaded weight class anywhere you go," Atienza said. "He beat a lot of good wrestlers. It's really heavy with a lot of talented underclassmen. A lot of those underclassmen have more wrestling experience than some of the guys in the upperweights."

Not to be outdone by his little brother, junior 138-pounder Mike DeCesare claimed the title as well.

DeCesare opened with a 15-0 technical fall over Trinity's Justin Ritter, then got a 12-6 win over Zach Mattuci of Greensburg Salem.

In the final, DeCesare was in command throughout, as he scored a 9-4 win over Graham Montague of Independence.

"The first week at Solon he dealt with probably the deepest weight class in the tournament," Atienza said. "He looked really good this weekend."

Nordonia had one more finalist at the Classic, as 195-pounder Eric Claren had to settle for second place for the second straight week.

"Going into the finals, he had five pins and an injury default, so he had maximum points for us heading into the final," Atienza said. "He just ran into a buzzsaw."

Indeed, in the bracket, Claren won by injury default over Madison's Ricky Simcic and pinned Padua's Nick Dzurnak in 2:40.

However, the "buzzsaw" Atienza mentioned was Greensburg Salem's Anthony Cable. Cable scored a 12-3 win to take the title.

"He's seen some good competition," Atienza said. "These tournaments are good for him."

Elsewhere at the Classic, 120-pounder Nick Collica took third place, avenging his lone loss in the tournament in the third-place match. He defeated Mentor's Treyvon Smith 6-3 in the third-place match after getting pinned by him in the quarterfinal.

Nordonia also got a pair of fourth-place finishes from 132-pounder Heath Phillibert and heavyweight Nick Bina.

The Knights also had 113-pounder Andrew Coghill finish fifth, 126-pounder Trevon Berry take sixth, 160-pounder Ryan Taylor take seventh and 145 pounder Jake Urich take ninth.

"We're definitely going in the right direction," Atienza said. "The kids are buying into our philosophy. We're working them hard and it's paying off."

Nordonia is set to open Suburban League action Dec. 13 at Wadsworth. The Knights will not face the Grizzlies on this night, but will do battle with Cloverleaf and Medina Highland. First match is set for 6 p.m.

E-mail:mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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