The 19th annual Walsh Jesuit Ironman Tournament starts today with another impressive field of wrestlers and teams.
Tournament organizers Bob Preusse, Ken Dies, Bob Conley and John Mascio are excited for this year’s event, which features wrestlers from 80 schools from around the United States.
“We were named this year by InterMat as the No. 1 in-season high school wrestling tournament in America,” said Preusse, a Buchtel High School graduate. “I expect that we still have that kind of field. The last 10 years we have really had great fields.”
Dies and Conley also run the Bill Dies Memorial Wrestling Tournament every year in January at Firestone High School.
Wrestling starts at 1 p.m. today with 14 weight classes competing on mats that cover two gymnasiums. Saturday features the quarterfinals at 10 a.m., the semifinals at about noon and the finals scheduled for 6 p.m. in Walsh’s main gym, “The Dome.”
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy senior Nathan Tomasello, who signed last month to wrestle on scholarship at Ohio State, is a wrestler to watch as he will be trying to win his third consecutive Ironman title. Tomasello, a three-time state champion, is the No. 1 seed in the Ironman at 120 pounds this season.
“There is no mystery about Nathan, he is such a hard worker,” CVCA coach Dave Bergen said. “In my 18-and-a-half years of coaching at CVCA, he is absolutely the hardest worker I have ever seen. He pays attention to detail, he pays attention to technique, he is a bulldog and he loves competition. While a lot of kids love to just be part of this event, he craves the competition and expects to win.”
Blair Academy (N.J.), Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) and Lakewood St. Edward headline the list of teams who will compete. Blair Academy and Wyoming Seminary are ranked Nos. 1 and 2 nationally in the InterMat and Amateur Wrestling News polls. St. Edward is ranked No. 3 according to InterMat and No. 4 by Amateur Wrestling News.
Perry senior JoJo Tayse is a No. 2 seed at 220 after winning a state title last season.
Perry is the only local team to have a full roster of 14 wrestlers.
Sophomore Jose Rodriguez (106) and juniors David Bavery (120), Stefano Millin (285) and Isaac Bast (138) are also seeded for the Panthers. Bavery earned a state title last season.
Other area teams that will be represented are Archbishop Hoban, Highland, Massillon, Revere, Rootstown, St. Vincent-St. Mary and host Walsh.
CVCA has three other seeded wrestlers: seniors Nick Havener (120), Josh Decatur (132) and Matt Dobben (152).
Massillon, Rootstown and St. V-M each have two seeded wrestlers.
The Tigers feature senior Ivan McClay (126) and freshman Jake Donahue (106). The Rovers have senior Jake Moore (285) and junior Travis Linton (182), and the Fighting Irish are led by sophomore Dre’k Brumley (285) and junior Ryan Skonieczny (138).
Skonieczny’s older brothers Chase and Nate won state titles as Walsh wrestlers, and Linton’s older brother, Garrett, won a state championship at Rootstown.
Other area seeded wrestlers are: Highland senior Adam Kluk (195), Walsh junior Mike Kostandaras (132), Hoban senior Jolewis Washington (220) and Revere senior Stephen Suglio (182).
Tickets will be available at the door for every session but the finals, which will be a sellout. For more information on participating teams, wrestlers and brackets visit www.walshironman.com. … Preusse said former Walsh coach and Ironman creator Bill Barger is expected to be in attendance to cheer on the Warriors and coach Fred Daugherty. … St. Edward senior Dean Heil returns to the tournament as the defending Most Valuable Wrestler after placing first at 126. He is the No. 1 seed this year at 132.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.