The Canfield Wrestling Club qualified seven wrestlers to the Ohio Youth Wrestling Association State Tournament to be held at Firestone High School in Akron on Sunday. Ninteen members of the club competed this past weekend at the District Tournament at Fitch High School to earn a trip to state. To qualify for state, the wrestlers needed to finish in the top four in their weight class.
Those seven state qualifiers are: Christian Wayt, 52 pound, third at districts; Dominic Gelonese, 70 pound, fourth; Georgio Poullas, 95 pound, second; David Labra, 110 pound, third; Paul Whitehead, 120 pound, third; Jaret Bunch, 145 pound, third; and Jacob Esarco, 180 pound, district champion. This is the most wrestlers the CWC has ever qualified to the state meet.
The week before, CWC qualified 19 wrestlers to the district tournament, another team high. These wrestlers placed at the sectional tournament to qualify for the district meet included, Wayt, 52 pound, sectional champion; Paris Bumgardner, 60 pound, fifth; Dominic Gelonese, 70 pound, second; Carter Myers, 70 pound, third; Andy Garr, 73 pound, fourth; Nathan Buttle, 76 pound, second; Anthony D’Alesio, 76 pound, third; Nathan Whitehead, 79 pound, fourth; Nick Crawford, 79 pound, third; Will Dawson, 82 pound, sectional champion; Daniel Kapalko, 86 pound, third; David Crawford, 86 pound, second; Poullas, 95 pound, second; Dominic Cooper, 102 pound, second; Zach Bernat, 110 pound, fifth; Labra, 110 pound, sectional champion; Whitehead, 120 pound, sectional champion; Bunch, 145 pound, third; and Esarco, 180 pound, sectional champion.
“The boys worked real hard before the season going to open mat and open tournaments. Then continued to improve throughout our league schedule, and it all paid off come time for the year-end tournaments,” commented head coach Dave Crawford. He added, “Our club has a great group of coaches and super support from our parents and that is what ultimately leads to success.”
The CWC competes in a league with eight other clubs from Alliance, Beaver Local, Boardman, Salem, South Range, United, West Branch and Wellsville. Each team has wrestlers in the sixth grade and under and they wrestle two matches every week against other wrestlers of similar age, weight and experience.
“Our goal is to provide a positive experience for all the athletes competing and help them develop a knowledge and love for the sport of wrestling,” said Crawford.
OYWA is an instructional league intended to help youngsters, sixth grade and younger learn about wrestling and sportsmanship. The association supports 14 sites throughout northeastern Ohio, and involves approximately 130 teams and 3,000 wrestlers.
For more information on the OYWA go to www.ohioyouth.com. For more information on the Canfield Wrestling Club go to www.canfieldwrestling.org and click "Youth."