by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
It probably wasn't the start to the season Jason Shaw was looking for.
The Tallmadge head wrestling coach took his team to the Paulie McGhee Invitational, which concluded Dec. 1 at Aurora looking to get a jump on the season.
However, with at least five starters unable to compete at Aurora, the Blue Devils had a bit of a rough weekend. Tallmadge placed 13th at the McGhee Invitational with 58 points. Parma won the team race with 241.5 points.
Shaw noted his team was beset by issues prior to the tournament as weight fluctuations and issues with skin infections kept a large portion of his team on the sideline.
Given those exclusions, Shaw said the tournament went about as well as he expected.
"I thought we did exactly what I thought we would do," Shaw said. "We've got a lot of new guys out there wrestling their first tournament. There have been quite a few guys who aren't where they should be right now."
No Blue Devil reached the title match at Aurora, but senior 106-pounder Dallas Testa led the charge.
Given the top seed at 106, Testa opened with a 9-1 win over South Range's Steven Derr, but then lost a 6-2 decision to Mayfield's Harry Feuer.
Testa rebounded with a pin in 2 minutes, 42 seconds over Geneva's William Distler. In the third-place match, however, Testa dropped a tight 4-2 decision to Streetsboro's Sean Kuklisin.
Tallmadge had two other podium finishes, one of which came from freshman 132-pounder Josh Potok. After getting pinned in his opening match by Cardinal's Casey Johns, Potok pinned Rootstown's Jason Sadler in 2:48.
After a 10-1 loss to Chesterland West Geauga's Anthony Venturri, Potok pinned by Streetsboro's Chris Dynowski (4:22) in the fifth-place match.
Sophomore 182-pounder Jacob Lahtonen also took sixth place as he was pinned in 2:28 in the fifth-place match by Stow-Munroe Falls' Joe Kollar.
Tallmadge was set to participate in a quad meet at Ravenna with Norton and Cleveland Collinwood, but results were not available at press time.
Shaw said he was hopeful he would have his full squad available in time for his team's Suburban League opener.
"I think we'll be fine for Green and Copley," Shaw said.
Tallmadge is scheduled to host a tri-meet with the Bulldogs and Indians Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. The Blue Devils are set to compete at the Canfield Holiday Duals Dec. 15. The first match is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.