Wednesday, May 18

    Blue Devils show progress at North Coast Classic

    - Advertisment -

    Independence’s wrestling team showed improvement during the first day of the North Coast Classic on Friday at the Independence Fieldhouse.

    Nine out of 10 Blue Devils won at least one match during the preliminary rounds.

    “I thought the team competed well on Friday,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “Everyone showed progress.”

    Freshman Charlie Puklavec opened his high school career with a win at the Hawken Invitational Tournament last weekend. On Friday, he won four of six matches at 132 pounds.

    He suffered his first loss of the season in the first round of pool wrestling but bounced back with a 40-second pin in the second. After suffering his second loss of the season in the third round, he finished the night with three straight wins including a 32-second pin, a 10-5 decision, and a forfeit.

    Rory Corrigan closed out the first night with a 3-1 record at 215 pounds.

    He found himself in a precarious position in his tournament-opener when Berea-Midpark’s Isaiah Simmons threw him to his back for an early 5-0 lead. Corrigan later trailed 10-3 before flattening Simmons in four minutes, 21 seconds.

    Corrigan finished the night with three pins.

    “I was super impressed with Rory,” DeAngelis said. “He just keeps wrestling hard and is never out of a match. He fought back from a deficit in several matches and set himself up to be in the gold bracket on Saturday.”

    Vinnie Kubicki went 2-1 at 113 pounds with a pair of pins.

    Jack Valenti finished 2-3 at 132 pounds and Charlie Meyer (120), Jonah Valenti (138), Joe Botzman (138), Chase Manelski (150), and Connor Korinek (175) all won a match for the Blue Devils.


    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

    Most Read

    Independence adds three to Hall of Fame

    Independence on Friday will announce the three most recent additions to its Athletics Hall of Fame.