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Eight BHS Wrestlers Head to District Tournament

David Stern

The district tournament will be held this weekend in Garfield Heights.

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The BHS wrestling team won the sectional tournament at Beachwood on Saturday, Feb. 18. Eight Beachwood wrestlers are advancing to districts on Feb. 24 and 25.

At sectionals, four students were first place in their weight classes: sophomores Ryan Harris and Sammy Gross as well as senior Grant Blumenthal and co-captain David Shapiro.

The team has certainly come a long way from the Bison kickoff classic in December, where they were missing a few wrestlers and came in third.

“Some looked great, some showed weaknesses,” lamented Coach Dugan Bentley.

Bentley admitted that at the kickoff tournament, there was a lack of relentlessness and aggression and there appeared to be failure to create scoring opportunities.  “It wasn’t an overall positive event, but it [gave] us something to improve upon,” noted a determined Bentley.

And improve they did.

Senior co-captain David Shapiro explained, “We really gained confidence. It’s important to know that you’re going to win, but not take opponents for granted.”

Shapiro puts things in perspective.  He feels that the team was able to fine-tune all the aspects of wrestling after their rough showing early in the season.  He saw a lot of strengths in the team. “Everyone on the team’s pretty solid on their feet,” he said.

From sprints all the way to long distance running, this team pushes hard every day.  When they’re not running, they’re either doing plyometric or weight training.

As evident from their performance at the district tournament, Beachwood has a well-rounded team. Out of the available fourteen weight classes, Beachwood fills nine.

The wrestlers work hard to maintain their weight for each tournament. Shapiro explained that it can be more difficult for some wrestlers than others to maintain their weight.

To succeed in this sport, the wrestlers need to control their aggression.  “You have got to mix strength and endurance with tenacity and focus,” said Bentley.

The core strength of the team boils down to Beachwood’s “Fab Five.” The Fab Five consists of Shapiro, Harris, Friedman, Blumenthal, and Gross. Of those who competed at Sectionals, the top four wrestlers will go to States, where the wrestlers will be going for the gold.

The district tournament will be held in Garfield Heights on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.  Check bcomber.org for results.

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Eight BHS Wrestlers Head to District Tournament