The Suburbanite
  • Manchester wrestlers busy on the mats in 2013

  • The Manchester high school wrestlers have been busy on the mats after competing in a pair of tournaments to start the year.

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  • The Manchester high school wrestlers have been busy on the mats after competing in a pair of tournaments to start the year.
    The Panthers took part in the 51st annual JC Gorman tournament in Mansfield High School on Jan. 4-5 and participated in the Falcon Invitational at Fairless High School on Jan. 12.
    At the Gorman tourney, Manchester went up against a strong contingent of schools and finished 17th out of 23 teams with 58 points. Lexington won the the event with 233.50 points, while Norwalk took runners-up honors with 120.
    Junior Jacob Hanzel (285 pounds) was the Panthers’ top finisher, taking second place with a 3-1 mark. Freshman Joey Bowen (106) was fifth going 3-2 and junior Bobby Bowen (120) was 6th at 4-3.
    “This tournament was a necessary eye-opener for our young team,” said head coach James Easterling. “This truly was the first tough test for the team, and we did not respond well. Our guys need to learn to be more aggressive.
    “We did have some bright spots at times, but (there was) no consistency throughout the two-day tournament. While I am not happy with our overall performance, I do believe this can be used in a positive way. We have a good group of young men who have responded to each challenge we have faced so far this year, and I am confident they will do the same now.”
    The Panthers fared much better at the Falcon Invitational with a 4th-place showing in the 10-team field. Massillon Perry's (Gold) won the tourney.
    Manchester sophomore Drew Braisel (145 pounds) and Jacob Hanzel (285) were crowned individual champions. Brasiel won all five of his matches, while Hanzel had a 4-0 mark.
    Second-place finishers were Joey Bowen (106) with a 3-1 record and Bobby Bowen (120) at 4-1.
    Also placing for the red and black were sophomores Dylan Rediger (126) and Brett Thomas (152) and freshmen Paul Dies (152) and Trevor Ulman.
    “I felt our team responded well to the challenge of wrestling more aggressively than we did a week ago in Mansfield,” Easterling said. “Drew (Brasiel) and Jake (Hanzel) both had excellent tournaments.
    “On the other end of the spectrum, I was very proud of some of our younger wrestlers: Tim Clark and Brett Thomas, who is getting better each week. Tim came out of the gate and pinned the No. 1 seed in his weight class, and Brett not only recorded his first two wins of his career, but also placed for the first time.”
    The Panthers will close January with tourney dates at the Bill Dies Memorial at Akron Firestone High School on Jan. 18-19 and the West Holmes Invitational on Jan. 26.