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    Spino, Senick lead Independence to second place finish at Jim Solomon Memorial Tournament


    Jacob Spino won the 145 pound championship and A.J. Senick claimed the 182 pound title to lead Independence to a second place finish at the 2015 Jim Solomon Memorial Tournament at Firelands High School on Saturday.

    Maple Heights, who also had two champions, edged the Blue Devils, 160 ½ – 138, for the team championship.

    “It was a good day,” said Independence coach Ken DeAngelis. “It was a smaller tournament but you still have to go out there and wrestle who they put in front of you and our guys did a good job.”

    Spino finished 3-0 with 14 takedowns and all eight points he allowed in the tournament came when he released his opponent following a takedown. He scored a 14-5 major decision over Elyria’s Mike Dolan in the finals.

    “He just wrestled technically flawless,” DeAngelis said. “The Elyria kid he wrestled in the finals was a senior and you could tell he’s been around the block and wrestled lot of matches. Jake did nice job to impose his will.”

    Senick defeated Maple Heights’ Arys Kenner, 9-1, in the championship match to finish unbeaten on the day.

    “This was the second tournament in a row he was in the finals,” DeAngelis said. “He finished second last week at Plymouth but this time he beat a Maple Heights kid in the finals. Anytime you’re wrestling a Milkovich trained Maple Heights kid you know it’s going to be a tough kid. His goal was to go out and dictate tempo on his feet and I think he had four double leg takedowns in the match. He just took control of the match.”

    After winning the Plymouth tournament last week at 132 pounds, Matt Mroczysnki finished second at 126 pounds after losing to Maple’s Andre Stowers in the finals.

    “He dropped to 126 and he really has kind of found his weight class and turned the corner,” DeAngelis said. “He caught a tough kid in the finals this week but he’s starting to figure out how to win.”

    Heavyweight Paul Deely also finished second. Larenz Robinson, who is ranked in Division I, stuck Deely with less than 30 seconds to go in the first period.

    “He got caught wrestling a kid from Maple Heights,” DeAngelis said. “He was jamming in an underhook and got caught on a barrel roll. When a heavyweight gets a kid on his back sometimes it’s hard to get up. Paul has taken all of his setbacks and gotten better because of them. I’m sure he’ll do the same with this one.”

    Drew Benos (132), Nick Mroczysnki (138), Tanner Hadick (152) and Kevin Clymer (160) all finished third for the Blue Devils. Josh Stasek (220) was fourth.

    “All of our wrestlers on the day just competed,” DeAngelis said. “We were in every match. A couple matches we were winning and got caught but we just competed. We’re starting to get into a good flow and the stuff we’re drilling in practice we’re seeing on the mat. They’re starting to put things together.”

    DeAngelis was particularly pleased with Stasek, a freshman, and sophomore Luke Swauger, who did not place at 113.

    “They don’t have a ton of wrestling experience but they just battled on the day,” DeAngelis said. “Josh lost a close match for third and he was in the match until the end. Luke was winning his match to place and got caught and pinned. Both kids have shown a lot of improvement this year.”

    Independence travels to Cardinal on Friday for a quadrangular with the host Huskies, Kirtland and Harvey.

    2015 Jim Solomon Tournament Team Scores:

    1. Maple Heights 160.5
    2. Independence 138
    3. Brecksville 136
    4. Olmsted Falls 128.5
    5. Firelands 117
    6. Berea-Midpark 108.5
    7. Elyria 87
    8. Midview 5

    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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