Brecksville Invitational Holiday Tournament: Good Finish For Good Guys
Busy Brecksville wrestlers place third in 50th holiday tournament.
Good sports and good hosts, but not quite good enough on the mats.
That was the Brecksville-Broadview Heights wrestling team on Thursday.
The Bees finished third in the 50th annual Brecksville Invitational Holiday Tournament. They led early on Wednesday, slipped to third place, battled back to second, and finished with 141 points.
Bedford Chanel, second a year ago, won the title with 191 points, upsetting defending Ohio Division I state champion Wadsworth. The Grizzlies, seeking a third straight crown at the BITH, totaled 167 points.
Cincinnati Elder was fourth with 125 points, one more than Parma Padua.
The Bees had five wrestlers place in the top eight in their respective weight classes, led by Dylan Good's second-place finish at 135 pounds. Kyle Roddy finished third at 160 and Mitch Baran wrestled his way back through the consolation stages to place fourth at 130.
"It's a great event and the guys are proud of what we have done," said Baran. "It was a grueling two days, but we're used to it. The past three weeks, we wrestled at probably the three toughest tournaments in the country. We wouldn't want it any other way."
Baran would like the score of his final match to have been different. The junior lost to top-seeded Johnny Matacic of Jackson-Milton, 4-2. It was his second loss in the tournament to Matacic, who also beat Baran in last year's state tournament, 1-0.
Baran began action Wednesday with two quick wins before falling to Matacic, 8-4. That put him in the consolation stage and Baran just kept winning – barely. On Thursday, he slipped past Ryan Skonieczny of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, 4-3, then outlasted Noah Forrider 3-1 in triple overtime before getting past third-seeded Alfredo Gray of Wadsworth, 2-1.
"I had lost six times through the years to Gray, so I guess I'm making progress," Baran reasoned.
"Right now, I'm really tired and not happy that I didn't win, but already I have to admit I'm looking forward to the rest of the season and state tournament."
Good won four straight matches to wrestle for the title against top-seeded Hunter Stieber, the defending state champ at 135 pounds from Monroeville. Stieber pinned the Bees' junior in 3:30.
Roddy, seeded second, was unhappy not to get to the finals. Third-seed Cody Walters of Chanel won his weight class. Roddy had won three times on Wednesday before falling to Walters, 7-5, in overtime on Thursday.
Roddy then came back to rout Vinnie Bradberry of Lakota West, 10-1, and beat James Gerken of Keystone 6-2 for third.
"The intensity of wrestling in front of the home crowd is really an experience in this tournament," Roddy said.
He said it overwhelmed what he experienced the previous week in the tournament known as the "Beast of the East" in Delaware, where 102 teams participated.
"The competition there is strong, but there are so many teams from so many areas that fans don't recognize wrestlers," Roddy said. "Only half the stands there were full. Here, they were packed. There were very few oohs and aahs there, because even if you put a good move, people didn't know who you were."
Fans at this tournament sure got to know Roddy, Good, Baran and the rest of coach Todd Haverdill's squad. When not out on the mats, team members were among volunteers making sure everything in the nation's longest-running holiday event went smoothly.
And for that, they each deserve a gold medal.