Nordonia wrestling shreds foes

By Michael Leonard | Sports Editor Published:

During its first two Suburban League double-dual meets, the Nordonia wrestling team has subjected to a classic case of "Anything you can do, I can do better."

The Knights have dominated their first four league opponents, including a pair of wins over Tallmadge (60-18) and Revere (36-24) at home Dec. 20.

However, perennial Suburban League champion Wadsworth also was in the gym at Nordonia Dec. 20. The Grizzlies defeated Tallmadge 80-0 and Revere 61-6.

Likewise, on Dec. 13, Nordonia opened its Suburban League dual meet season with a pair of dominant wins at Wadsworth.

Nordonia smashed Cloverleaf 55-15 and then blasted Highland 52-19.

But Wadsworth beat Highland 61-9 and Cloverleaf 66-3 Dec. 13.

Thus, the Knights and Grizzlies each are 4-0 in the Suburban League heading into the new year -- and have had good looks at each other twice.

By the way, the Knights and Grizzlies will do battle Jan. 17 at Nordonia.

After the Dec. 20 matches, Nordonia coach Audie Atienza was generally positive about his team's effort.

"Considering the holes we had in our lineup, if I had to grade our performance, I'd give it about a 'B,'" Atienza said. "Not great, but we still took care of business. You have to give credit. Revere came at us hard. They wanted to win the match."

Atienza also acknowledged Tallmadge was nowhere near full strength, given injuries and other issues.

Atienza said it was imperative for his lightweights to get a good start, as 220-pounder Alex Woicehovich was held out of the lineup due to injury.

Nordonia did just that, winning seven of the first eight matches to take a 27-6 lead.

Filling in for Woicehovich at 220, Sophomore Nick Bina clinched the match with a forfeit win and also scored a pin against Tallmadge.

Plenty of Knights came home with two wins including: 106-pounder Tony DeCesare (pin, forfeit), 113-pounder Andrew Coghill (decision, pin), 126-pounder Nick Collica (decision, pin), 132-pounder Heath Phillibert (major decision, pin), 138-pounder Mike DeCesare (two pins), 145-pounder Jake Urich (technical fall, decision) and 160-pounder Ryan Taylor (decision, technical fall).

Regarding the matches with Cloverleaf and Highland, Atienza said his team was on.

"To be honest with you, I thought we'd have a little bit tighter match with Highland," Atienza said. "They were missing a couple of guys due to injury. Our kids took care of business, so I'm not going to worry."

The Knights weren't at full strength, either, against the Hornets and Colts with Woicehovich out of the lineup.

It didn't matter, as Bina stepped in at 220 pounds and scored two pins.

Nordonia also got two wins from Tony DeCesare (pin, forfeit), Collica (two decisions), 126-pounder Trevon Berry (two decisions), Mike DeCesare (two pins), Jake Urich (two decisions) and 170-pounder Tyler McCann (decision, pin).

The Knights were set to host the Nordonia Duals Dec. 22, but results were not available at press time.

Up next, Nordonia faces its toughest test of the regular season, as the Knights will participate in the 52nd annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament Dec. 28 and 29. First match Dec. 28 is set for 10 a.m.

E-mail:mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone:330-541-9442

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