Saturday, May 27

    Independence sends five to district tournament

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    INDEPENDENCE—Five Independence wrestlers extended their season by at least one more week by placing among the top four at the Division III Independence Sectional Tournament on Saturday.

    Vinnie Kubicki and Rory Corrigan both placed second while Jack Valenti and Charlie Puklavec finished third. Charlie Meyer was fourth.

    Kubicki drew a first-round bye at 113 pounds and then used a 19-2 technical fall over Columbia’s David Oleksiak to reach the championship bout. Mogadore’s Brady Funk ended Kubicki’s tournament run with a second-period pin.

    Kubicki, who is 23-11 on the year, will wrestle Akron Manchester’s Trevor Kusmits in the first round of the Garfield Heights District Tournament on Friday.

    Corrigan used two pins and a major decision to reach the 190-pound final. Mogadore’s Tyler Knight recorded a first-period pin in the championship bout.

    With a record of 28-13, Corrigan will open the district tournament against Manchester’s Jackson Dougherty.

    Valenti drew a bye and recorded a pin before falling to eventual champion Antonio Chieffallo of Cuyahoga Heights in the 126-pound semifinals, 5-4.

    He won his consolation semifinals bout, 10-7, and then cruised to a 6-0 win over Fairview’s Jacob Szucs in the third-place bout.

    Valenti (21-18) will wrestle Grand Valley’s Cheyenne Dockery in the first round of the district tournament.

    Puklavec used two pins to reach the 132-pound semifinals but lost by pin to eventual champion Jeremiah McKee of Wellington. He bounced back with two more pins in the consolation bracket to place third.

    Now, with a record of 18-11, Puklavec will prepare for Waynedale’s Jake Sundberg in the first round of the district tournament.

    Meyer drew a first-round bye and then recorded a pin to reach the 120-pound semifinals. He suffered a 10-6 loss in the semis but bounced back with a pin in the blood round to earn his district berth. He was pinned in the third-place bout.

    Meyer (25-15) will wrestle Mapleton’s Brock Durbin in the first round at the district tournament.


    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.

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