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    Independence tops Kirtland in dramatic fashion to win Cardinal Double Dual


    MIDDLEFIELD—Most people will look at Paul Deely as the hero of Independence’s 36-34 win over Kirtland in the championship match of the Cardinal Double Dual on Friday and that’s a good place to start. But, there were other heroes for the Blue Devils.

    Freshman Nick Mroczysnki scored a 1-0 decision over Kirtland’s Chris Brown at 145 points that snapped a string of five straight matches won by the Hornets and classmate Josh Stasek pinned Micky Tutolo in 3 minutes, 27 seconds at 220 to put the Blue Devils in position to win the match.

    “We knew how tough Kirtland is,” said Independence head coach Ken DeAngelis. “They’re one of the top teams in our region. They’re the No. 1 seed in their region in the state duals this week, so we knew how tough they were. We knew we had to weather the storm in some cases and we had to step up. It’s time for kids in this time of the year to step up and turn the corner and win that big match. That’s what you saw in Nick Mroczynski today. That’s what you saw in Josh Stasek today and even a Luke Swauger at 120 for us, just stepping up and losing a match in overtime but that’s big time points there.”

    Independence led 33-28 heading into the heavyweight bout. The Hornets were due to receive a forfeit at 106, the final bout of the evening, so Deely was in a must-win situation against Kirtland’s Dylan Diemer.

    Deely broke a scoreless tie with an escape early in the second period but Diemer responded with a quick spin around on a Deely takedown attempt to take a 2-1 lead.

    “There’s so little wiggle room at heavyweight and it’s so tough,” DeAngelis said. “I don’t mind that mistake because it was aggressive. He’s going after takedowns. Those big boys, they gets sweaty and it’s like a slip and slide. He went for a takedown and he missed it and gave up two but Paul is never out of a match. He’s got the heart of a lion and he’s never going to back down.”

    Deely would escape to tie the match and Diemer later went ahead, 3-2, on a third period takedown.

    Diemer’s upset bid ended when he was hit for stalling for the second time with just eight seconds remaining in the match. Deely took advantage of the penalty point by scoring a takedown early in the overtime period.

    “It doesn’t get better than a Friday night in Ohio in a gym with four quality wrestling teams just going toe to toe,” DeAngelis said. “It was exciting. You work hard all year. You’re in the practice room beating each other up, going at it just for moments like tonight. It was exciting.”

    Also winning for the Blue Devils were Jacob Spino, who won by fall at 152, Kevin Clymer and Nick Sia, who won by forfeit at 170 and 182, respectively, and A.J. Senick, who pinned his opponent at 195.

    Brendan Williamson (106) and Mike Petterson (113) both recorded forfeits for the Hornets. Daniel Jahnke beat Swauger, 11-6 in overtime, at 120 and Blake Andonian scored a 14-5 major decision over Independence’s Matt Mroczynski at 126.

    At 132, Kirtland’s Gus Mormino pulled off a big 4-3 win that pushed Kirtland’s lead to 17-0 and Evan Francis pinned Drew Benos in 3 minutes, 40 seconds to make it 23-0.

    That’s when Nick Mroczynski snapped Kirtland’s run of wins at 145 and Spino won by pin at 152 for the Blue Devils.

    Kirtland’s Clayton Davidson pinned Tanner Hadick in 1 minute, 31 seconds but that was the last match the Hornets would win until the forfeit at 106 that ended the match.

    “That was very exciting with Diemer’s match, especially against a kid as good as Deely is,” said Kirtland coach Scott Francis. “I liked what he did and I liked what our 152 did against Spino. He’s another good wrestler. The two good wrestlers, we gave them good matches out there. I was happy with that.”

    Independence defeated Cardinal, 55-18, and Kirtland topped Harvey, 41-30, in the first round. Harvey edged Cardinal, 30-28, for third place.

    “We wrestled really flat against Independence and they wrestled really well and came after us,” said Cardinal coach Jeff Zeigler. “The second dual against Harvey we wrestled much better and had opportunities to win at numerous times and got pinned over and over again. When you’ve got four forfeits in the lineup you can’t give up pins and win a dual.”

    Trent Mast (113), Brandon Neikirk (132) and Bryn Havel (182) went 2-0 for the Huskies. Neikirk pinned both his opponents while Mast scored a major decision and a forfeit and Havel pinned his Harvey opponent and took a fofreit against Independence.

    “Brandon Neikirk came to wrestle tonight. Brandon, that’s the best I’ve seen him out of the box. I’ve been on him lately because the last couple of weeks he’s wrestled really flat the first match. It takes him a little while to get him going but he came out of the box swinging tonight in both matches,” Zeigler said. “We bumped Trent up to 120 and he did a really nice job against Harvey. He looked really crisp tonight even giving up the weight. He’s not a real big 113.”



    First Place: Independence 36, Kirtland 34

    106: Brendan Williamson (K) won by forfeit; 113: Mike Petterson (K) won by forfeit; 120: Daniel Jahnke (K) dec. Luke Swauger, 11-6ot; 126: Blake Andonian (K) maj. dec. Matt Mroczysnki, 14-5; 132: Gus Mormino (K) dec. Alex Nelson, 4-3; 138: Evan Francis (K) pinned Drew Benos, 3:40; 145: Nick Mroczysnki (I) dec. Chris Brown, 1-0; 152: Jacob Spino (I) pinned Chris Sakenes, 1:25; 160: Clayton Davidson (K) pinned Tanner Hadick, 1:31; 170: Kevin Clymer (I) won by forfeit; 182: Nick Sia (I) won by forfeit; 195: A.J. Senick (I) pinned Anthony Porter, 1:33; 220: Josh Stasek (I) pinned Micky Tutolo, 3:27; 285: Paul Deely (I) dec. Dylan Diemer, 5-3ot.

    Third Place: Harvey 30, Cardinal 28

    106: double forfeit; 113: Trent Mast (C) maj. dec. Elijah Brown, 120: double forfeit; 126: Ian Mast (C) won by forfeit; 132: Brandon Neikirk pinned Nathan Webster, 0:40; 138: Deondre Rouer (H) pinned Craig Shanower, 2:15; 145: double forfeit; 152: double forfeit; 160: Ben Brown pinned Andrew Bolton, 1:05; 170: Robert Sicker (H) pinned Khaleel Samir, 0:33; 182: Bryn Havel (C) pinned Jose Sanchez, 1:12; 195: Dimitrus Mitchell (H) pinned Donovan Drebus, 1:10; 220: Derrick McGarvey (H) won by forfeit; 285: Lester Troyer (C) pinned Williams, 1:09.

    First Round:

    Independence 55, Cardinal 18
    106: double forfeit; 113: Trent Mast (C) won by forfeit; 120: Luke Swauger (I) won by forfeit; 126: Matt Mroczynski (I) dec. Ian Mast, 6-4; 132: Brandon Neikirk (C) pinned Alex Nelson; 138: Drew Benos (I) pinned Craig Shanower; 145: Nick Mroczynski (I) won by forfeit; 152: Erik Liebal (I) won by forfeit; 160: Jacob Spino (I) maj. dec. Khaleel Samir; 170: Tanner Hadick (I) pinned Andrew Bolton; 182: Bryn Havel (C) won by forfeit; 195: A.J. Senick (I) pinned Donovan Drebus; 220: Josh Stasek (I) won by forfeit; 285: Paul Deely (I) pinned Lester Troyer.

    Kirtland 41, Harvey 30
    106: Brendan Williamson (K) won by forfeit; 113: Mike Petterson (K) won by forfeit; 120: Elijah Brown (H) dec. Daniel Jahnke, 5-3; 126: Blake Andonian (K) won by forfeit; 132: William McClain (H) pinned Gus Mormino, 1:46; 138: Evan Francis (K) pinned Nathan Webster, :51; 145: Deondre Rouer (H) dec. Chris Brown, 11-10; 152: double forfeit; 160: Ben Brown (H) pinned Chris Sakenes, 1:28; 170: Clayton Davidson (K) pinned DiPiero, 1:24; 182: Robert Sicker (H) won by forfeit; 195: Anthony Porter (K) won by tech. fall over Jose Sanchez, 17-2; 220: Dimitrus Mitchell (H) pinned Micky Tutolo, 0:21; 285: Dylan Diemer (K) pinned Derrick McGarvey, 5:45.

    Independence 55, Cardinal 18

    Independence 36, Kirtland 34


    Steve Hare
    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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