On Friday, January 26th and Saturday, January 27th, high caliber teams from Northeast Ohio and across the State made the wintry trek north to Austintown Fitch High School where the North Royalton Bears Wrestling Team would put together one of their best team performances in over decade. The Bears brought an impressive seven wrestlers into the Championship rounds of the 26th Annual Josh Hephner Memorial Wrestling Tournament.
152 lb senior standout Paul Twarog once again out-matched his oppenents, eight in total on the weekend, to take home the bracket. Lazar Gasic, returning to action after recovering from injury, eased back into wrestling action to bring home an impressive Bronze medal at 220lbs.
Wrestling Friday commenced in pools, for five matches of round-robin competition, and wrestling to qualify for the championship rounds on Saturday.
Seniors Paul Twarog and Matt Casey, Juniors Bradey Humble, Hunter Kupneiwski, and Lazar Gasic, Sophomore David Miller, and Freshman Dominic Mudry all fought through the talented field of 28 teams to earn a spot atop the podium.
As the last major wrestling tournament before post-season, wrestlers aspire to be at or near peak physical, mental, and tactical condition. They work through weight maintenance, academic challenges, injury and fatigue, often battling illness and maintaining a strict diet to reach the postseason not only in one piece, but in top physical shape. Yearly, this grueling challenge starts in November and continues on through the cold winter months. The Josh Hephner Memorial is a good barometer to measure where teams and individuals stand before the gate of post-season wrestling. The Bears are standing tall and looking to the horizon for more good things to come!
- 152 lbs. Paul Twarog 1st Place
- 220 lbs. Lazar Gasic 3rd Place
- 113 lbs. Dominic Mudry 6th Place
- 138 lbs. David Miller 6th Place
- 160 lbs. Hunter Kupneiwski 6th Place
- 120 lbs. Bradey Humble 7th Place
- 170 lbs. Matthew Casey 8th Place
Teams: Top 10 of 28
- Canfield 286
- Austintown-Fitch 256.5
- Rootstown 245.5
- North Royalton 185
- Uniontown-Lake 181
- Louisville 180
- Massillon-Jackson 167
- Marlington 159
- Copley 154.5
- Medina 154.5