Raiders finish 3rd in Miller Duals
by B.B. BRANTON Contributing Writer
Dec 15, 2013 | 742 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELAND’S KORAN KENNEDY defeated his Pope High School opponent 5-3 in overtime Saturday at the Cleveland Duals. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
CLEVELAND’S KORAN KENNEDY defeated his Pope High School opponent 5-3 in overtime Saturday at the Cleveland Duals. Banner photo, SARALYN NORKUS
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Undefeated Archer High School (Ga.) showed why it is No. 23 in the nation as the Tigers went 5-0 to win the Al Miller-Cleveland Duals Saturday.

The Tigers (15-0) defeated Heritage (Ga.) 71-9, McCallie, 61-15 and Christian Brothers 62-14 in pool play followed by a 50-21 triumph against Father Ryan in the semis and Baylor (47-20) in the finals

"We had a good day and this tournament is a good test for us," said Archer coach Tom Beuglas.

Host Cleveland defeated Father Ryan, 37-31, in the third-place match as Blue Raider 285-pounder John Gaither registered a pin to claim the team victory in the final match.

"I am proud of our guys as we stepped it up in the Ryan match and found a way to win," said Cleveland coach Jake Yost.

It's tough to beat a real good team two times in two days.

Yost pointed to the 220 match as Koran Kennedy won Saturday, after losing Friday.

"That was a huge win for us, as Koran lost on Friday but turned it around today."

Cleveland's Chris DeBien (126), Austin Stevison (132) and Ethan West (195) went 5-0 on the day.

BLUE RAIDERS 31,

FATHER RYAN IRISH 29

Highlighted by pins from Austin Stevison (132), Aaron Oliver (160) and John Gaither (285), the top-ranked Cleveland wrestlers rallied to beat No. 2 Father Ryan, 31-29, Friday night at the Jones Wrestling Arena.

Trailing by seven (25-18) with four matches remaining, the Blue Raiders gained 10 points from state champs via a major decision (Chris DeBien, 126) and a fall (Stevison) for a 28-25 advantage and another three on a regular decision (7-2) by Ezra Taylor (138) to lead 31-25.

In the final match of the night at 145, Ryan’s Marcelo Morrice posted a 10-1 major decision, but the Purple Irish needed a fall to tie and go to criteria.

“In a dual match with two evenly matched teams, pins are so important and Cleveland had three to our two and that was the difference,” said Ryan coach Pat Simpson. “It’s good to go against one of the best in the state and see where you are in mid-December.”

Starting at 152, Ryan opened the match at 152 with a first period fall by James Simpson, but that 6-0 lead was quickly countered at 160 as Oliver turned a 2-2 match into a second period pin (3:20) and a 6-6 tie for the host team.

The two teams split the next four weights with Ryan leading 13-12.

Gaither's pin gave Cleveland an 18-13 lead at the halfway mark, only to see Ryan win the next three for 12 points for a 25-18 lead.

The hosts only gave up the one pin by Raymond Eason (106) before posting three in a row themselves – a major, fall and decision – for 13 points and a 31-25 lead.

“We found a way to get bonus points, including Aaron Oliver’s huge win at 160 (pin), Austin Stevison’s pin at 132 and the in the final match Will Haas fought hard and got off his back in the second period (lost by a major decision) as Ryan picked up four points and not six to win by two points,” said Cleveland coach Jake Yost.

In memoriam: Prior to the match, former Cleveland coach Duane Shriver honored two deceased Blue Raider wrestlers. The Cleveland wrestling program lost two of its own in the last 12 months. State champion and state Outstanding Wrestler Jeff Howard was killed in an automobile accident this time last year as he and his father were on the way to the Cleveland-Father Ryan match. A couple of months later, Howard’s 1977 teammate Mike Shealy passed away. They were co-captains and part of Cleveland’s first district and region championship teams. Howard was a state champ and All-American, Shealy was a district and region champ.

Banners recognizing Howard and Shealy were unveiled prior to Friday’s match.

Friday

Cleveland 31, Father Ryan 29

(Match started at 152)

106 — Raymond Eason (FR) pinned Josue Nino (C); 113 — Eli King (FR) dec. Tristan Blansit (C), 8-4; 120 — Trey Chalifoux (FR) dec. Taylor Bishop (C), 5-1; 126 — Chris DeBein (C) major dec. Kirby Simpson (FR), 13-3; 132 — Austin Stevison (C) pinned Jared Frazier (FR), 3:20; 138 — Ezra Taylor (C) def. Chris Wesnof (FR), 7-2; 145 — Marcelo Morrice (FR) major dec. Will Haas (C), 10-0; 152 — James Simpson (FR) pinned Eli Isenhower (C), 1:49; 160 — Aaron Oliver (C) pinned Nick Naughton (FR), 3:20; 182 — Josh Hamilton (C) dec. John Hagey (FR), 3-2; 195 — Ethan West (C) dec. Houston Hooker (FR), 10-3; 220 — Ben Stacey (FR) dec. Koran Kennedy (C); 285 — John Gaither (C) pinned Justin Williams (FR), 1:02.

cLEVeland 66, WOODstock 6

(Match started at 170)

106 — Josue Nino win by forfeit; 113 — Tristan Blansit (C) dec. Michael Doppel-Slater (W) 8-1; 120 — Taylor Bishop (C) win by forfeit; 126 — Christopher DeBien (C) pinned Rex Eifert (W) 0:00; 132 — Austin Stevison (C) pinned Rudy Lamerique (W) 0:00; 138 — Ezra Taylor (C) pinned Brock Cullman (W) 0:50; 145 — Jack Engelhardt (W) dec. William Haas (C), 5-1; 152 — Eli Isenhower (C) pinned Calais Easton (W), 1:11; 160 — Aaron Oliver (C) pinned Mark Vaughn (W), 2:52; 170 — Nick Bruno (W), dec; Jonathan Martin (C), 9-2; 182 — Josh Hamilton (C) pinned London Demetriou (W), 1:33; 195 — Ethan West (C) pinned Austin Biggers (W) 1;12; 220 — Koran Kennedy (C) pinned Will Stumpf (W) 2:53; 285 — John Gaither (C dec. Daniel Benitez (W), 7-2

AL MILLER CLEVELAND DUALS

Pool Champions

Archer — defeated Heritage (Ga.), McCallie, Christian Brothers

Baylor — defeated Gilmer, Thompson, Roswell

Father Ryan — defeated Soddy Daisy, Parkview, Sonoraville

Cleveland — defeated Pope (31-26), Blackman (58-15), Woodstock (66-6)

SEMIFINALS

Baylor defeated Cleveland, 43-20

Archer defeated Father Ryan, 50-21

CHAMPIONSHIP

Archer def. Baylor, 47-20 ... Archer is 15-0 ... Baylor is 5-1

THIRD PLACE

Cleveland def. Father Ryan, 37-31

OUTSTANDING WRESTLER

Vinny Artigues, 106 pounds, Archer