Alex Dronzek Wins State Wrestling Championship
By Megan Charms, Staff Writer
What does it take to be number one?” asks rapper Nelly in his song “Number One.” Beachwood’s own, senior Alex Dronzek, became number one on Saturday, March 6th at the state wrestling tournament in Columbus.
He knew that he had won when he “was up by seven in the second period” against Cade Mansfield (38-3) of Defiance Ayersville with his biggest fan, his mom, cheering him on. Right after the match, he jumped into his coach, Dugan Bentley’s, arms. He then celebrated by eating a huge dinner at the Winking Lizard. However, the victory did not set in until he woke up the next morning.
Prior to states, Dronzek was ambivalent about wrestling in college. Now that it’s over, he is considering wrestling at Ohio University. What does it take to be number one? According to Dronzek, it takes commitment, perseverance and dedication to be a champion.
Beachwood Wrestlers Take Control at District Tournament
By Megan Charms, Staff Writer
On Saturday February 27, the district tournament for wrestling was held at Maple Heights High School. Entering the gymnasium, one might expect lots of noise and cheering from the crowd, but you could actually hear a pin drop. The only noise was from the public announcer and the referees blowing their whistles. At times, you could even hear the referee’s hands pounding the mats as a wrestler was pinning their opponent.
From a wrestler’s perspective, the Maple Heights High School gymnasium is built like an arena holding a large crowd, with the bleachers for fans up high looking down into the “ring” for the wrestlers. For the most part, the fans are quiet, but when something exciting happens, there will be roars.
Beachwood sent 7 wrestlers to districts. Out of 45 teams, Beachwood placed 12th overall. Individually, senior Alex Dronzek in the 112-pound weight class placed second and junior Alec Jacober placed first in the 125-pound division. Both wrestlers will compete in states coming up on March 4 – 6 in Columbus’s Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Wrestling is a more complex sport than it appears to someone who knows nothing about the sport. Senior Danny Rose, a qualifier for districts in the 215-pound class, explained “the point of the sport is to maintain control of your opponent at all times with a match lasting 6 minutes, including 3 two minute periods.” The goal is to pin an opponent before time runs out, meaning that one wrestler is completely on their back with their shoulders touching the mat, ending the match immediately. But, if there is no pin, the winner of the match is the competitor who accumulated the most points.
Rose described the point system as follows: “When a wrestler takes an opponent down to the mat and still maintains control, he is given two points for the take down. If you escape someone else’s control you are given one point called an escape. If you put him on his back you are given either 2 or 3 points depending how long his back was exposed and those are called back points.”
Wrestling is not just a seasonal, winter high school sport. In the spring and summer, the wrestlers participate in freestyle wrestling leagues. Also, over the summer, there is a weight lifting routine that the athletes are required to do to stay in shape. Year round, wrestlers stay on a specific, healthy diet in order to make a certain weight class.
According to Rose, the image of wrestlers starving themselves is a myth. “There’s a big misconception that wrestlers starve them selves and don’t eat for days. That’s not true, no one starves themselves. All it is is just rationing your food into really small portions. A wrestler who cuts weight will still eat during the day, just not nearly as much as anyone else. The food that you eat is usually really light and burns up quickly or is heavy in protein so your body is still healthy and has energy.”
Following the district tournament, Beachwood will be well represented at the state tournament in Columbus by 112-pound second place finisher Alex Dronzek and 125-pound division champion, junior Alec Jacober who has been wrestling since the first grade, says that the crowd is not a factor as he wrestles because he is in a zone and it appears as if no one else is around. Jacober, a first time state qualifier, explained that his most memorable match in his 11-year wrestling career was “[his] district semi-final match this year that sent [him] to states. [He] won this match with about 30 seconds left and it was very emotional.” Jacober is anxious and excited for the biggest match of his career as he looks forward to traveling to Columbus. He has talked to “many of the former Beachwood wrestlers and they offer a lot help” as he embarks on this journey, including teammate Alex Dronzek, a 3-time state qualifier.
Over Dronzek’s four-year wrestling career, he has improved each and every year, and has had great success. Throughout the summer, Alex travels all over the country to compete in wrestling tournaments. According to Beachwood’s coach, Dugan Bentley, as interviewed by Brian Lavrich of the Sun Press, said that Alex is “quietly going down as one of the best Beachwood wrestlers ever. He’s in pretty good company. He’s certainly one of the best.” Alex, who is graduating this spring, is unsure of his future with wrestling. He is strongly considering wrestling for Ohio University.