NORTH CANTON — Once a wrestler gets that taste, it drives them to new heights.
Medina’s Jared Dressler (106 pounds) knows it. Brunswick’s Logan Heil (120) does as well.
Blue Devils senior Tomas Castaneda (138) hopes he’ll get it in a few days.
Last season, Dressler and Heil made it down to state, but tasted defeat twice in the first day and had the unfortunate feeling of wondering, “What if?”
Friday was about returning to Columbus out of the Hoover Division I District.
While each still needs to win one more match to punch a ticket to state, all took a big step by reaching the semifinals.
“Last year was about getting down there and knowing I was one of the top-notch kids,” Heil said. “This year, it’s about placing.
“The drive back home was about respect. Last year, I had no respect for anyone and I kind of regret it. It’s respect every match, respect every coach, respect everyone.”
Unless, that is, they’re in your way of moving forward. Nordonia’s Jim Brenneman and Austintown Fitch’s Gus Sutton found that out the hard way in convincing wins by Heil.
It brings Tyson Long of Shaker Heights in the semifinals, which begin today at approximately 11 a.m.
“The taste I have right now is just going at it and getting whatever I can,” Heil said.
Dressler knew that taste after going two-and-out in Columbus. It’s why he didn’t take Ellet’s Craig Schramm for granted in the first round Friday and then came from behind in the quarterfinals to knock off St. Ignatius’ Johnny Novack.
He’ll face Aurora’s Kyle Peterson in the semifinals and will do it with the expectation of making noise next weekend.
“It drove me all summer to get toward the goal of placing at state,” Dressler said. “The experience was great to be there with the other top 15 in the state.
“The drive home felt a little empty, but the goal was to make it there. This year’s goal is to be on the podium. The more drive you have pushes you harder. Getting down in that match (against Novack) motivated me more to come back and win.”
Castaneda has a different drive altogether. While he has yet to reach the state level, the senior knows it’s his last chance and is taking nothing for granted.
Heading down to Value City Arena last season and watching his teammates as well as his fellow opponents wrestle wasn’t exactly ideal. It was nice to see the Brunswick blue win, but it wasn’t fun watching kids he knew he was better than advance.
“Since I’m a senior, I definitely want to go because it’s such a fun thing to go to,” Castaneda said. “I was so jealous when I was there. Ever since I was there, I want to go back. It drives me because I knew I could beat half those kids. I need to prove it and show it.”
Also advancing in the top half from Medina County were, Michael North (Wadsworth, 126), Matt Fields (Brunswick resident, Walsh Jesuit, 126), Luke Baughman (Wadsworth, 132), Zain Tittle (Wadsworth, 138), Brady Chrisman (Medina, 152), Nick Kiussis (Brunswick, 160), Joey Baughman (Wadsworth, 170), Alex Jones (Wadsworth, 182), Aaron Naples (Brunswick, 195), Clay McComas (Wadsworth, 220) and Jordan Earnest (Wadsworth, 285).
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
NORTH CANTON — Semifinal pairings for the Hoover Division I District:
Semifinal pairings: 106: Kyle Peterson (Aur) vs. Jared Dressler (Med); Nick Nastasi (Ken) vs. Julian Tagg (Bre); 113: Kyle Gruber (Per) vs. Joey Hirsch (Sol); Gannon Petrullo (Dov) vs. Gabe Tagg (Bre); 120 —Jack Gorman (Aur) vs. Andrew Perelka (Bre); Josh Heil (Bru) vs. Tyson Long (SH); 126: Jordin James (Bed) vs. Chase Summers (Lak); Michael North (Wad) vs. Matt Fields (Wal); 132: Luke Baughman (Wad) vs. Marco Regalbuto (Bre); Skyler Decatur (Ell) vs. Jarrod Brezovec (Aur); 138: Jakee Frazier (SH) vs. Zain Tittle (Wad); Tomas Castaneda (Bru) vs. Andrew Fairbanks (CF); 145: Andrew Murphy (Dov) vs. Farouq Muhammed (SH); Malachi Strickland (Per) vs. Jason Bronstrup (Bre); 152: Brady Chrisman (Med) vs. Braxton Freeman (Jac); David Carr (Per) vs. Will McGhee (Aur); 160: Joe Koplow (Ken) vs. Nick Kiussis (Bru); Joe Koontz (Per) vs. Joey Andrassy (Sto); 170: Colin McNamara (Aur) vs. Gary Wokajance (Bar); Emil Soehnlen (Per) vs. Joey Baughman (Wad); 182: Victor Marcelli (Jac) vs. Kyle Minor (Hud); Kaden Russell (SI) vs. Alex Jones (Wad); 195: Anthony Perrine (Nor) vs. Jimmy Leonard (Lou); Aaron Naples (Bru) vs. Michael Drobnick (SI); 220: Adam Luster (Per) vs. Aidan Gill (SI); Clay McComas (Wad) vs. Dillon Smith (Hoo); 285: Matt Carrick (Per) vs. Zach D’Anna (Bre); Michael Mather (Lak) vs. Jordan Earnest (Wad).