The 58th edition of the nation’s oldest continuous running “holiday” tournament returns to Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School on Friday, December 28 and Saturday, December 29. The field will feature an event-record 51 teams in total, including 21 programs from northeast Ohio battling it out with a diverse field of teams from across Ohio, three from the state of Michigan, and three from Indiana
Featured from the teams this field are 147 wrestlers that have previously appeared in a state wrestling tournament. This includes sixteen wrestlers that were state champions in 2018: Jacob Lagoa (Ashtabula Lakeside); Nick Burgard (Ashtabula St. John); Asa Garcia (Avon, Ind.); Victor Voinovich (Brecksville); Tyler Stein (Canfield); Jacob and Jordan Decatur (CVCA); Josh Edmond, Derek Gilcher, Kevon Davenport, and Easton Turner (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.); Stoney Buell (Dundee, Mich.); Austin Boone (Lowell, Mich.); Casey Barnett (Milan Edison); Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Liberty); and Jacob Moran (Portage, Ind.)
An additional eleven wrestlers finished second at the state tournament last year: David Cumberledge (Ashtabula St. John), Cole McComas (Lisbon Beaver), Cameron Amine and Steven Kolcheff (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.), Tyler Swiderski (Dundee, Mich.), Dylan Shawver and Mick Burnett (Elyria), Nick Kohorn and Avry Mutschler (Lowell, Mich.), along with Kyle Rowan (Perry – Lake County). In all 89 members of the field placed in the top eight of their respective state tournament bracket last year.
Seeking to repeat as champions are Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), and they are also the field’s highest ranked team at No. 7 nationally. The Shamrocks are anchored by four returning state champions, led by three-timer Kevon Davenport; along with two-time finalist Josh Edmond, Derek Gilcher, and Easton Turner. They also return two state runners-up in Cameron Amine, a two-time previous state champion, and Steven Kolcheff. They return four additional state placers, another state qualifier, and add an impact incoming freshman in Cadet National freestyle runner-up Manuel Rojas; so there is a log-jam of talent present for the Shamrocks. Detroit Catholic Central has won the last two dual team state titles in Michigan’s big-school division, earning that distinction in six of the last nine seasons.
The other two nationally ranked teams in the field are Elyria and Brecksville, champions of this tournament in December of 2016 and 2015 respectively.
Elyria, which has qualified for the dual team state tournament and finished in the top five of the Division I individual state tournament the last four years, is currently ranked No. 27 nationally. The Pioneers are anchored by returning state runners-up Dylan Shawver and Mick Burnett, state placer Matt Zuckerman, state qualifier Jake Evans, and impact freshmen in Peyton Fenton and Nate Burnett.
Brecksville has qualified for the dual team state tournament in all six years of the event, and have finished top five at the individual Division I state tournament in all of those seasons. The Bees are ranked No. 37 nationally, led by returning state champion Victor Voinovich. They also feature returning state placers Jack Stanley, Jimmy Carmany, and Marco Regalbuto, along with state qualifiers Ben Vanadia and Ethan Hatcher.
State championship and runner-up teams abound through the field of this event, ten in total, from either the dual meet or individual bracket state tournament: Ashtabula St. John (Division III individual runner-up), Brecksville (Division I individual runner-up), Brownsburg (Indiana state runners-up), Canfield (Division II individual runner-up), Detroit Catholic Central (Mich. – Division 1 state champions), Dundee (Mich. – Division 3 state runner-up), Lake Catholic (Division II dual meet runner-up), Lowell (Mich. – Division 2 state champions), Tuslaw (Division III dual meet runner-up), and Wauseon (Division II dual meet champions).
On the individual side of things, seven wrestlers will seek to repeat as champions in this year’s edition of the Brecksville Holiday Invitational Tournament (BIHT): Jacob Decatur (CVCA), Dylan Shawver, two-time champion Jordan Decatur (CVCA), Kevon Davenport, Victor Voinovich, Connor Brady (Olentangy Liberty), and Carson Kharchla (Olentangy Libety). Six additional wrestlers seek to move one step higher on the podium after finishing as runner-up in a previous year: Jacob Moran (Portage, Ind.), Asa Garcia (Avon, Ind.), Cameron Amine, Jacob Lagoa (Ashtabula Lakeside), and Easton Turner; while Marco Regalbuto was a runner-up in 2015.
The BIHT would like to welcome all 51 teams to the event, in particular the twelve teams making their overall debut in this event. Those include Avon (Ohio), Berea-Midpark, Brownsburg (Indiana), Columbus Bishop Hartley, Elmwood, Lakeside (Ashtabula), Louisville, Newark Catholic, Norwalk, Tiffin Columbian, Toledo Whitmer, and Watkins Memorial. A cordial welcome back is also given to five squads returning back to the event after hiatus: Bellevue, Independence, Lisbon Beaver, Massillon Perry, and Mechanicsburg.