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Job one for the Hudson wrestling team at the sectional tournament was simple: Advance as many wrestlers as it could to the district tournament by placing in the top four spots.
In that regard, the Explorers had a very good day Feb. 25 at the Division I sectional tournament at Kenston High School in Bainbridge Township.
Hudson advanced seven wrestlers on to the district competition, as the Explorers finished sixth in the 11-team race with 137.5 points. Austintown-Fitch won the team title with 223.5 points.
Senior 182-pounder Kyle Minor won his weight class, setting himself up perfectly for districts. He was one of three Explorers to reach the title match at Kenston.
Minor was given the top seed at 182 pounds and wrestled like the favorite. He pinned his way to the final, sticking Kent Roosevelt’s Bradley McMullen in 1 minute, 41 seconds, pinning Walsh Jesuit’s Robbie Salek in 1 minute and downing Fitch’s Breylon Douglas in 4:42.
In the final, Minor nearly pinned Boardman’s Carlo DeNiro, but ended up with an 8-2 win and the title.
Junior 132-pounder Dietrich Boysel earned his second straight trip to the districts by reaching the final.
Boysel opened by pinning Cleveland John Adams’ Derrick Burrage in 1:43 and then scored an 8-4 win over second-seeded Marco Parry of Fitch to reach the final.
However, in the final, Boysel ran into defending state runner-up Matt Fields of Walsh. Fields showed off his riding skills on his way to a 16-3 major decision win over Boysel.
The nicest surprise of the tournament for Hudson was the performance of sophomore 145-pounder John Sweet, who came into the tournament unseeded. Sweet ended up reaching the final.
After opening with a 15-0 technical fall over Stow-Munroe Falls’ John Rossi, Sweet pulled off two upsets to reach the final. He defeated second-seeded Davon Yong of John Adams 9-4 and then took down Fitch’s John Sweet 4-1 in the semifinal.
Sweet ran out of magic in the final, as he was pinned in 5:53 by Walsh Jesuit’s Will Schmidt, but Caniglia wasn’t complaining.
The Explorers’ four other district qualifiers all took fourth place. They included junior 120-pounder Joe Graf, senior 160-pounder Austin Mullen, sophomore 170-pounder Michael Caniglia and junior 285-pounder Jack Nord.