Cleveland Heights Wrestling Earns Split
Tigers' maturation process continues with win over Lincoln West, loss to Lakewood
For a veteran wrestling team, Friday night could have been somewhat painful. For a Heights wrestling team that continues to develop and grow as the season goes on, it’s all part of the process.
“We have a lot of raw talent, we’re a young team. Lots of juniors and seniors that are wrestling for the first time,” said Cleveland Heights head wrestling coach Willie Newton after his team went 1-1 in matches with both Lincoln West and Lakewood Friday night at Lakewood High School’s East Gymnasium.
Several Tigers had good nights, despite the disappointing outcome for the team.
Newton highlighted freshman Daniel Sullivan, who was thrown into the lineup and won his first varsity match with a pin at 160 pounds to contribute 6 points to the 54-12 win over Lincoln West. Sullivan was pinned in a tough matchup with a likely state qualifier, Lakewood’s Roberto Sclimenti. Heights went on to lose 60-18 to Lakewood. The team’s record dropped to 1-3.
Newton also mentioned senior Javon Jackson, wrestling at 140, as an up-and-comer he was particularly proud of Friday night. Jackson had little difficulty in dispatching his opponent from Lincoln West on points, 21-11. Jackson was then pinned by Lakewood senior Nick Ramsey, another potential state qualifier.
Tony Spooner, assistant coach with the Tigers, was quick to point out that senior Justin Turner, wrestling at 125, displayed, “the best heart we saw all night," despite losing twice.
“I can see him continuing to develop as a wrestler, and the way he fought back tonight was impressive. He didn’t just lay down,” said Spooner.
Continued growth seems to be what Spooner and Newton are looking for from Turner and the rest of their grapplers. And on Friday night, they got it.
“We’ll take away from tonight our development as a team and as individual wrestlers. I’d like our guys to take away the difference between learning a move and knowing a move," said Spooner after the meet. "You saw with some of Lakewood’s guys that they were already doing that, doing the same move in each match because they knew the move."
Winners for the Tigers:
103 – Alec Radivoyevitch, sophomore – won by forfeit versus Lincoln West
140 – Javon Jackson, senior – won by points versus Lincoln West, 21-11
145 – Marcel Dear, senior – won by points versus Lincoln West, 20-6
160 – Daniel Sullivan, freshman – won with a pin versus Lincoln West, despite wrestling a weight class up from his normal weight of 152.
189 – Jiton Martinez, senior – won with a pin versus Lincoln West
215 – Brandon McNeal, junior – won with a pin versus Lincoln West