Manchester defended its home floor at the Panther Invitational Wrestling Tournament pinning down top honors on Dec. 30 at the high school gymnasium.
The Panthers, who were scheduled to participate at the Woodmore Classic Tournament this past weekend, racked up 310 points to out-distance rival Coventry, which finished with 290 points. Rounding out the top five were Canton McKinley (243 points), Akron Ellet 225, and Rootstown 205.
Individual champions for the black and red were sophomore John Morrison (112 pounds), sophomore Chris Cantrell (119), junior Shane Brown (130), and senior Kyle Kelly (285). Sophomore Kyle Ferguson (103) took runners-up honors, while senior Josh Kapper (125), and junior Tanner Murat (145) placed third.
For the Comets, Jesse Gunter (103 pounds) placed first, while Rusty Lockhart (160), and Derek Bauer (215) were second, and Garrett Hughes (112), Shay Sharp (119), Zach Cropper (140), Jake Neptune (152), and Dillon Headryck (171) were third.
"All and all we wrestled well, but not spectacular," said Manchester Head Coach Greg Brown. "We did what we had to do to win. We were able to get a lot of pins, which helped our score out."
"We got some nice efforts from Shane (Brown), John (Morrison), Chris (Cantrell), and Kyle (Kelly), who finished first. Josh (Kapper) also did a nice job winning all his matches in his pool, finishing third."
Coventry coach Keith Shinn said he used some of his younger wresters in the tournament, holding back a few seniors (Beau Cross, Colton may, Randy Henline and David Bulgrin).
“I was very impressed that my young guys stepped up and had such a great tournament,” Shinn said. “We had 11 placers out of 14 weight classes. It’s nice to see that the future is bright in Coventry.”
Manchester and Coventry will both be back in action this upcoming weekend at the Bill Dies Memorial Tournament at Akron Firestone High School on Jan 20-21. The event gets underway Friday afternoon.
1) Manchester 310 2) Coventry 290 3) Canton Mckinley 243
4) Akron Ellet 225 5) Rootstown 205
103 Jesse Gunter (Coventry) default Kyle Ferguson (Manchester).
112 John Morrison (Manchester) pin Jordan Payton (Meadowbrook) 5:10.
119 Chris Cantrell (Manchester) dec. Anthony Reese (Ellet) 7-1.
125 Maurice Miller (McKinley) tech. fall Brian Beckett (Newcomerstown).
130 Shane Brown(Manchester) pin David Chacon( Ellet) :52.
135 Mike Oesterle (North) dec. Johnathon Smith (Meadowbrook) 9-5.
140 Mareus Mardis (Newcomerstown) pin Brett Snyder (Rootstown) :54.
145 Adam Hayhurst (Ellet) pin Ryan Harmon (Mogadore) 1:26.
152 Arsenio Solomon (McKinley) dec.Kegan O'Neil (Ellet) 10-4.
160 Bryson Hall (Chippewa) dec.Rusty Lockhart (Coventry) 15-2.
171 Garrot Lenton (Rootstown) pin Anthony Confalone (McKinley) 3:15.
189 Kyle Feemster (McKinley) pin Zach Galagola (Mogadore) 2:57.
215 Justin Schafrath (Chippewa) pin Derek Bauer (Coventry) 2:40.
285 Kyle Kelly (Manchester) pin Justin Croasman (Rootstown) 1:59.
Page 2 of 2 - 103 Darian Veal (North) dec. Brandon Miller (McKinley) 9-7.
112 Garrett Hughes (Coventry) pin Matt Nolfi (Mogadore) :32.
119 Shay Sharp (Coventry) pin Kyle Taylor (Rootstown) 4:30.
125 Josh Kapper (Manchester) pin Ben Easterling (Chippewa) 3:30.
130 Will Smith (McKinley) tech. fall Gary Taylor (Meadowbrook) 19-4.
135 Josh Paulus (Rootstown) dec. Ken Facemire (Manchester) 5-0.
140 Zach Crooper (Coventry) dec. Riley Miller (Manchester) 6-1.
145 Tanner Murat (Manchester) dec. Eyan Norton (Coventry) 10-7.
152 Jake Neptune (Coventry) pin Jon Minich (Coventry) 4:38
160 Adonis Hernandez (Ellet) pin Garrett Payne (McKinley) :53.
171 Dillion Headryck (Coventry) pin Matt Shook (Chippewa) 1:57.
189 Tyler Williams (Rootstown) dec. Shawn Banner Coventry) 9-6.
215 Justin Bisdoff (Ellet) dec. Chad Hamilton (Rootstown) 8-6.
285 Dillon Tribble (Ellet) dec.Dezmen Boss (North) 6-5.