After their final match, each Barberton wrestler walks off the mat into another area of the gym and runs sprints while they’re already tired. One by one, as the Magics wrestlers finished the tournament in their respective weight classes, they would run back and forth for 10 minutes while their opponents were already dressed and on their way out the door.
During Saturday night’s championship rounds of the Bill Dies Memorial Wrestling Tournament at Firestone High School, a couple of Magics got to do their running fresh off a No. 1 finish, and as a team, the Magics placed second (146 points) behind Brecksville-Broadview Heights (255 points).
Barberton senior Sonny Shump was the first to get his running in — Shump pinned Archbishop Hoban sophomore Kevin Swaney (20-5) in the second period of the finals in the 132-pound weight class. A quick handshake with the opposing coaches and then to his own, and off he went — sprinting back and forth in the wrestling room of Firestone High.
“It’s called our second wind,” said Shump, now 18-1 this season. “Win the first match, get out here and run and win the second match. It’ll only make you better for the next tournament.”
Shump saw an opening early in the second period and pounced on Swaney, similar to a linebacker driving a running back backward.
“I felt a weakness and I was able to take advantage of it,” said Shump, who had taken second place at the Bill Dies three years in a row.
Later, Barberton recorded a second victory behind senior Vernon Rowe (31-2), who beat Norton sophomore Sean Rutherford (22-2) with a strong third period. Rowe and Shump talked about Barberton’s strong senior class, the heart of the team that’s carried them all season.
“It feels pretty good that all the hard work pays off,” Rowe said. “We’ve been together for four years, and most of us have been together since we were 4 or 5 years old. Coming up and being successful as seniors feels really good.”
Barberton’s third senior in the finals, Aaron Tschantz (31-2), lost to Highland senior Adam Kluk (29-5) by decision at 195 pounds. Kluk, who placed fifth at the Iron Man Tournament earlier this year, put a barrel-roll on Tschantz and scored five points within the first 15 seconds. Tschantz made up some ground but could never recover.
“It felt good to go out there and execute right away,” Kluk said. “I’m normally lower than the taller guys, so I’m physical.”
The Moore brothers from Norwayne had another successful tournament, but for the first time this season, they weren’t perfect.
The younger Moore, Kollin, a sophomore, improved to 29-0 this season and placed first with a technically sound win at 152 pounds.
“I felt in control the whole match,” he said. “I had some good takedowns. He [Garfield Heights’ David Delinski] was a strength wrestler, so all I had to do was work on that.”
As Moore walked off the mat, elder brother Kurt (28-1) made it to the finals in the 160-pound weight class but lost for the first time this season, to Ryan Harris of Beachwood by a point. Harris, also undefeated, is one of the favorites in Division III for the state title this year. Norwayne coach Brent Murray saw some positives in Moore’s match.
“It’s a loss, but hopefully we’ll learn from it,” Murray said. “A loss doesn’t always hurt. It can tell you where you’re at.”
At 182 pounds, Revere senior Stephen Suglio (29-2) pinned Kent Roosevelt junior John Spurney (27-4) after turning Spurney around and locking him in.
Brunswick took third place in the team standings with 136½ points. Cuyahoga Falls was fourth with 113 points. Revere took seventh place (105½) and Norton took eighth (100½).
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.