Conference championship tournaments rule this weekend

MORNING JOURNAL/SAM GREENE Chase Griffith, top, and Western Reserve hope to bring home a Firelands Conference Championship this weekend in New London.

It’s that time of the year again. The regular season is coming to an end, and most local teams have been eliminated from the first-ever state team tournament — with the exception of Bay, Western Reserve and Keystone, that is — which means it’s time for conference tournaments.

This weekend most conference tournaments will take place in the area, with another, the West Shore Conference, taking place next weekend. Here’s a quick look at a few of those taking place this weekend, and some of the wrestlers to watch for.

Patriot Athletic Conference

Where: Wellington

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

It’s been a down year for the PAC, but they still have some wrestlers who could make some noise when the state individual tournament begins. Expect Lutheran West and Brookside to have solid tournaments, both are undefeated so far in conference duals.

It will also be interesting to see if Wednesday’s victories over Beachwood and Clearview to advance to the regional championship will affect the Wildcats preparation for PAC tournament. Either way, expect a strong showing from sophomore Jacob Worthington (195).

The 120-pound weight class should also be one to watch as it’s likely to come down to Black River’sw Mike Hozan and Tim Mecklenburg, of Lutheran West. Both are looking to return to state and are ranked in the top 15 according to Yappi.com.

Firelands Conference

Where: New London

When: Saturday, 10 a.m.

It would be hard to go against Western Reserve this weekend, as the Roughriders have dominated just about every tournament they’ve taken part in this year.

Like Keystone, though, Western Reserve advanced to the regional championship in the state team tournament this past Wednesday and the extra work could be a factor.

Still, the Roughriders are stacked, with four wrestlers ranked in the top 16 of their weight classes in Division III. Expect Chase Griffith (126), Mason Robson (132), Cody Ramage (160) and Ian Ramos (285) to have be part of the mix when the conference titles are decided.

St. Paul junior Jesse Gross should win the 138-pound championship. Gross is ranked seventh in the state by Yappi, and fifth by Ohio Wrestling Rankings.

Sandusky Bay Conference

Where: Edison

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

The Sandusky Bay Conference championship will feature a number of state ranked wrestlers and should offer some great matches.

Edison sophomore Evan Cheek is ranked third in Division II at 106 by Ohio Wrestling Rankings and should win the conference crown in that weight class.

Fellow Chargers Jude Michel (113) and Dalton Howard (120), both seniors, could very well give Edison a sweep of the first three weight classes.

In the middleweights Perkins looks solid. Nathan Salmon (138), Byron Logan (145), Michael Snyder (152), Tony Didion (160), Dylan Hermes (182) and John Workman (195) are all ranked in the top 15 in Divison II and should be on the podium at the end of the tournament.

Oak Harbor and Clyde will also be major factors in the SBC.

Southwestern Conference

Where: Olmsted Falls

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

While Brecksville will probably run away with the tournament in a number of weight classes, Amherst, Avon Lake, and Westlake all have wrestlers that should be on the podium, if not crowned champion.

For Amherst, Bryce and Austin Williams, Mike Wearsch, Alex Funderburg and Mike Sliman should all be factors. Logan Paul, of Westlake has his sights set on returning to state and should wrestle for the conference title at 170. With Nick Mayer out for the season,

Avon Lake’s hopes of a champion may rest on the shoulders of freshman Joey Bernosky.

Lake Erie League

Where: Lorain

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.

Devione Edwards, Luther Washington and Eli Garcia, as they have been all year, will be the Lorain’s best shot at champions.



@MJ_smahoney

Last Updated: 1/31/2013 11:08:03 PM EST

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