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DIVISION I WRESTLING Canfield, Fitch eye state berths

By John Butera

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The Falcons were in seventh place after the first round to lead area teams.
MASSILLON -- After the first two rounds of the Division I district wrestling tournament Friday at Perry High, host Perry led with 78.5 points. Wadsworth was second with 60.5 and Mayfield was third with 51. Fitch is in seventh place with 32.
Senior Steve DiMaiolo of Canfield (31-6, 112 pounds) won a pair of matches and earned a berth in today's semifinals. He decisioned Nick Kelly of Euclid, 9-3, and Corey Smith of Lake, 6-3.
"I thought I had a really good draw and a lot of people didn't know about me," said DiMaiolo.
"[Today's] match with the kid from Mayfield [Brett Thomas] should be close, but I think I can pull it out," he said.
Chris Pankewicz (22-3) of the Cardinals won a major decision over Kyle Gresovich of Cuyahoga Falls, 15-4, and decisioned Chad Franklin of New Philadelphia, 3-2, to advance to the semis, as did Jim Hendrickson, 171.
Moving on
Fitch sophomore Nick Bodnar, 130 pounds, reached today's semifinals as he decisioned Phil Carnibuci of Brecksville, 6-2, in a first-round match. He then decisioned Mike Abruzzi of Canton GlenOak, 6-3, in second-round competition.
"I was expecting to have a tough second match because that kid [Phil Carnibuci of Brecksville] was very strong," Bodnar said.
Bodnar thinks the Falcons, who had the most athletes (13) in district competition, more than any of the 41 schools participating, are quality wrestlers. Many have a good chance of advancing to the top four spots for next week's state meet, he said.
Fred Weidenthal of the Falcons also won twice to reach the semis. He decisioned Tyler Warner of New Philadelphia, 5-4, and Brett Gladan of Mentor, 15-10.
"I was surprised that I won twice," said Weidenthal, "but tomorrow it will get a lot tougher. I think I have a good chance at going on."
Looking ahead
Eric Chine (189) of the Falcons won a match, then lost and is working his way through consolations, as was R.J. Donadee (135) and Kyle Gabrick (140).
The Falcons' Brian Leskovec (103), Brian Weidenthal (112), Jim Driscoll (125), Ross Leskovec (145) and Mark Nodlay (152) all lost twice and were eliminated.
Boardman's Jake Powell won once at 215 pounds and then lost, while teammate Adam Chizmar, 119, lost twice to bow out of the tournament.
Jarek Esarco (32-7) of Canfield decisioned Brian Hines of Riverside, 11-5, and Jason Rion of Brecksville, 5-2, to advance to the semis.
Jim Hendricks of the Cardinals was eliminated at 171 pounds as he lost twice. Alec Roman (215), after losing a first-round match, came back to win in consolations and was continuing today.