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BAINBRIDGE TOWNSHIP -- Given the company it keeps in the Suburban League, success for the Twinsburg wrestling program this winter might have been under the radar.
There have been signs of progress for the Tigers, however, and more of them showed Feb. 25 at the Division I sectional tournament at Kenston.
Twinsburg advanced six wrestlers from Kenston on to the district tournament at North Canton Hoover. The top four finishers in each weight class at Kenston advanced to districts.
What's more, all 12 of the Tigers who wrestled at Kenston were able to finish on the podium.
That team effort led the Tigers to fourth place in the team race at Kenston with 141.5 points. Austintown-Fitch won the team title with 223.5 points, while Aurora was second with 218 points.
Tigers coach Dave Mariola was happy with his team's effort, noting even the wrestlers who didn't reach districts went down fighting.
"Six kids. That's tripling it (the numbers of district qualifiers) in a year. You have to be happy about that," Mariola said. "We lost a couple of close matches in the go-to matches, as well. We've got a lot of kids coming back next year and this will help them."
Twinsburg's lone returning district qualifier -- junior 138-pounder Kris Jones -- was one of two Tigers to reach the final in his weight class at Kenston.
Jones opened with a 5-3 win over Walsh Jesuit's Adam Salek and dominated Kent Roosevelt's Duncan Barr 18-6 to reach the final.
In the final, Jones was a bit overpowered by Fitch's Andrew Fairbanks, who won a 15-0 technical fall.
"Kris rises to the occasion," Mariola said. "I wish he worked harder, but in big matches, he comes to wrestle."
After spending most of the season at 160 pounds, sophomore Austin Cefaratti bumped up to 170 at Kenston. The move worked perfectly as Cefaratti reached the final.
Cefaratti opened with a 6-4 win over Solon's Jason Garcia and then edged Hudson's Michael Caniglia 4-3 to reach the title match.
The final was a tight one, but Cefaratti lost a 3-1 decision to Aurora's Colin McNamara.
Taking third place for Twinsburg was freshman 106-pounder Rick Diturno, who defeated Fitch's Hunter Helminiak 4-2 in the third-place match.
After an illness-riddled season, senior 220-pounder Tim Edwards also took third place, as he edged Boardman's Nick Carabello 3-2 in the third-place match.
Twinsburg also saw senior 138-pounder Colin Trouten and junior 152-pounder Joe Voltz earn their first trips to districts, as each finished in fourth place.
The Tigers will have two district alternates at Hoover, as junior 120-pounder Brandon Callow and junior 145-pounder Bob Delegram took fifth place at Kenston.
Freshman 113-pounder Mike Magyar, senior 160-pounder Jared Eaton, sophomore 182-pounder John Delisio and junior heavyweight Devion Copleand each finished in sixth.
"The big thing is we have a lot of these kids coming back," Mariola said. "If we can replace our seniors in the lineup, we'll be in really good shape. Our freshmen did great here."
Mariola said he knew his team is in for a severe test at Hoover. Wrestling at districts begins at 5 p.m. March 3 and will resume March 4 at 9 p.m.