BY JACKIE TOTH
The Wadsworth wrestling team competed in the Medina Invitational Tournament on December 27 and 28. The team took first for the first time in history. Following the win, the Grizzlies made their way to the national rankings at the number 35 spot on InterMat, and improved their spot in the state rankings.
The Medina High School invited 44 of the best teams from Ohio and Michigan to participate in the 42 annual M.I.T., which has been described as one of the top high school wrestling tournaments in the country.
Alex Jones, 12, took 7th at 182; Matt McMillen, 12, took 6th at 120; Jimmy Carmany, 9, took 5th at 113; Jordan Earnest, 11, took 3rd at 285; Luke Baughman, 10, took 2nd at 132; and Cody Surratt, 12, and Joey Baughman, 11, both took 1st at 160 and 170 respectively.
“It felt good winning because last year I took second so I know what it feels like to lose in the finals, and it’s nice to be on the other side of the spectrum,” said Surratt.
As he’s the heaviest on the team, and therefore last to compete, Earnest’s placement at 3rd secured the team’s win over Detroit Central Catholic, a team that was ranked 12th in the nation prior to the tournament.
Surratt’s and Baughman’s victories set the tone for the rest of the season, and gave light to thoughts about the State Championship coming up this spring.
“I feel really good right now. I’ve had a goal to have a state title since the beginning of the season, so this is just a good stepping block for it,” said Surratt.
Baughman, who climbed the rankings to first in the state following the tournament, also has gained affirmation from his win. “It gives me confidence to know I can get the job done in March,” he said.
The team is continuing to work hard through the remainder of the season, and is using the momentum gained from their success in the tournament as March approaches.