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High school, middle school wrestlers had stellar winter

Staff Report Published: April 16, 2017 12:00 AM
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The Tallmadge City School District's wrestling program recently completed its 2016-2017 season.

It was the most successful season for the wrestling program in district history.

The Tallmadge Middle School wrestling team, led by coaches Dave Blankenship and Dan Amato, earned its highest finish in school history at the Ohio Athletic Committee Middle School Tournament.

Eighth-grade students Austin Pownall and Nate Amato finished in first and third place at the tournament.

The Tallmadge High School wrestling team finished 7-3. The Blue Devils placed second in the Suburban League, the highest in district history. Sophomores Richie Eyre, Jake Potok and Ed Suber earned first team All-Suburban League American Conference honors and sophomore Connor Franks received second-team honors.

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Additionally, the team was named runner-up at the American's Best Value Inn Tournament in St. Clairsville.

"I attribute the team's success this season to their hard work, dedication and passion," Tallmadge High School head wrestling coach Jason Shaw said. "It's an honor to lead such a talented group of young men."

Other members of the high school coaching staff include Gary Kanaga, Gus Fortseras, Ed Suber, Chris Rege, Jessie Johnson and Ben Ewing.

At a Division II sectional tournament, the team earned its first team title in 45 years, beating out 10 other schools.

Franks, Potok and Suber each won a sectional title. Nine wrestlers advanced to the district tournament, including seniors Dimitri Fortseras, Dan Hepler and Devon Manning, junior J.T. Teets, sophomore Richie Eyre and freshman Jesse Kanatzar.

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Suber and Potok both took third place at the district competition and qualified for the state tournament. At the state tournament, Suber earned All-Ohio honors, placing seventh overall.

"I can speak for the entire Tallmadge community when I say that we are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our boys wrestling program," Tallmadge Superintendent Jeff Ferguson said. "We look forward to rooting for the team as they continue their success next season."

For more information about the Tallmadge City School District, visit www.tallmadgeschools.org.

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