With its first-ever team championship at the 56th annual Brecksville Holiday Tournament, the Elyria High wrestling team showed that it is serious about making a run at the 2017 OHSAA Div. I state championship.
Coach Erik Burnett’s crew placed a record eight individuals and crowned two individual champions in J.T. Brown (182 pounds) and Kevin Vough (285).
The effort brought the Pioneers a title at the toughest post-Christmas tournament in the state. They beat runner-up Mechanicsburg by four points in the 47-team field and also topped some recognized powers like host Brecksville and Cincinnati school LaSalle and Elder.
The Pioneers had a strong showing through the line-up with Dylan Shawver (runner-up at 113), Mick Burnett (fifth at 106), Josh Breeding (fifth at 126), Cam King (seventh at 195), Matt Zuckerman (eighth at 120) and Drew Butera (eighth at 152) all taking awards.
And even though Elyria will have to stay healthy as they target St. Edward this season, the Pioneers won Brecksville without state champion Brendon Fenton, state qualifier Brendan Price and state alternate Tristan Brady in the lineup.
Before the finals, the National Wrestling Coaches Association honored Elyria’s Chris Chidlaw with the Midwest regional and state assistant coach of the year awards.