The blizzard that dumped over a foot of snow on Northeast Ohio pushed District wrestling action back a day, but Westlake coach Mike Antonyzyn was all smiles about having to make a return trip on Sunday to Lorain High School.
That's because the Demons' Sheldon Stuckart had perhaps the biggest upset of the tournament when he downed Medina High School's Teddy Hammer during first day action. Not only did he win his match, but he did so in stunning fashion via fall in 1:06 after catching Hammer with a hunter hook.
"I was almost really surprised over it," Stuckart said with a huge smile on his face. "I didn't' know what I would do in that match. I had watched how he wrestled and knew his tendencies, so I was able to fend them off. I then used a hook and said it was now or never and got him down."
The win not only put Stuckart in the championship bracket, but also provided him the momentum he needed heading into the finale. Although he fell to St. Edward High School's Mark Martin in the championship, his ticket was already punched to state and he gave it his all.
"I had nothing to lose, he beat me before in sectional, and he majored me there," Stuckart said. "I was able to actually to keep things close for a period. I accomplished my goal for the week to get to state, so I just tried to do my best. Now I have feel I have a good chance of placing at state because I was able to get out of this meatgrinder."
What makes Stuckart's trip to state even more special is the fact that he injured his shoulder last year and couldn't wrestle in district action.
Also having a nice District tournament for the Demons was Andrew Spreng (112 pounds.) After losing his first match to Mansfield's Michael Evans, he came back with a tough fought 10-9 win over Southview's Bruce Iberra 10-9, then downed a familiar foe, North Olmsted's Dominic Armstrong 6-2 in overtime. Spreng didn't fare as well during Sunday's action, falling in his lone match to Olmsted Falls Chase Dupratt. He finished the year with a 32-16 slate.
The OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, one of the largest in the country, will be held March 3-5 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.