Jeremy George’s Top five on the Mat:
#1. St. Edward – In 2012-2013. St. Edward High School won the wrestling team state championship along with the dual team state championship. Last year, the Eagles only had four senior starters, leaving the possibility of ten returning starters in the 2014-2015 season. With a more experienced roster, look for St. Edward to rebound back to the success the team had last season.
December 6 – The Eagles went 2-1 against teams from West Virginia, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. St. Ed’s will be wrestling at the Ironman Tournament this weekend at Walsh Jesuit High School.
#2. Massillon Perry – After a dominating 2013-2014 season, which featured the Panthers winning the Division I team dual state championship title with a score of 48-9 over Brecksville and the individual state tournament title with a 94.5 point lead over second-place Perrysburg. The Panthers will look to refuel behind senior Jake Newhouse, after graduating eight of their 14 starters in 2014.
The Panthers will be heading to Walsh Jesuit to kick off their season at the Ironman Tournament on December 12-13.
#3. Brecksville – Last season, the Bees took second, losing to Massillon Perry in the team dual state championship and took fifth in the individual team state championship. Brecksville was a younger team last year, as the majority of its roster will be returning, which includes four state placers. Look for Senior Austin Assad, three-time state placer and 2014 junior Freestyle National Champion, to continue his dominance as he leads the Bees to another success season.
December 6 – The Bees started off the season with a dominating victory over Claymont, 46-7. Brecksville will also be heading to the Ironman Tournament this weekend.
#4. Elyria – The Pioneers have many returning wrestlers who have proven that they deserve to be looked at for a state ranking and a possible run at a state title. Some of those wrestlers are junior Nico O’Dor, junior Ben Darmstadt, and sophomore Kevin Vough. With a strong lineup, look for Elyria not only to win the Northeast Ohio Conference but make a run for a team state title.
December 6 – O’dor, Darmstadt, and Vough all went undefeated on Saturday starting their season 4-0, as they led Elyria to a Moeller Duals runner-up finish. Elyria will be in action this weekend at the Ironman Tournament.
#5. Wadsworth – Wadsworth finished 11th at the individual state tournament last year, but look for junior Noah Baughman to help lead the team to another state run this year. Wadsworth is looking to find itself on the top of the podium for the first time since 2011 at the state tournament.
December 6 – The Grizzlies kicked off their season at the Lexington Quad, going 3-0 as a team. Leading the way was Baughman, who started his season off undefeated, going 3-0.
Notable mentions in no specific order- Avon, Brunswick, Perrysburg, and St. Vincent St. Mary.