Blue Devils win DIII Classic team title

Independence Wrestling

The flu bug hit the Independence wrestling team over the weekend but that didn’t stop the Blue Devils from winning the team championship at the 2017 Division III Classic at Waterloo High School in Atwater on Saturday.

The Blue Devils suited up just seven wrestlers but six of them finished among the top four in their respective weight classes.

“Our focus all week was on hand fighting and pace and I thought we did a good job with both of those throughout the tournament,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “We’re not yet at full strength, in fact, we lost two starters to the flu and one to swimming for this tournament, so considering we were only wrestling with seven varsity guys, this was an amazing outcome. My six guys who placed got a lot of bonus points and that paid off.”

Independence finished with 121 team points while Newbury was second with 111 ½ and Ashland Crestview was third with 100.

Both Nick Rossi and Alex Nelson won their respective weight classes.

Rossi was 2-0 with two pins at 160 pounds during Friday’s pool wrestling then added two pins and a forfeit in the championship bracket on Saturday.

Nelson won the 182-pound title.

“I was very pleased with my performance and it was a very fun tournament,” Nelson said. “I was focusing on being physical and setting up my offense.”

Nelson dominated Friday’s pool wrestling as he finished 4-0 with four pins, including two of 24 and 19 seconds.

He was 3-0 in the championship bracket with a pin and a major decision.

“It makes me believe that all the hard work I am doing is paying off and I will try to continue my success,” Nelson said.

Michael Kucera, Nick Mroczynski, and Luke Clymer all finished second.

Kucera finished 5-1 with five pins at 126 while Mroczynski was 6-1 at 170. He recorded five pins in the tournament.

Clymer finished 5-1 with four pins at 195.

Josh Stasek finished fourth for the Blue Devils at 285.

He finished 6-2 with five pins.

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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.