Hilltoppers Ousted by Warriors
December 22, 2021 by Haley Adams

After a strong showing at the Solon Comet Classic during the first weekend of December, the Hilltoppers hosted Legacy Night Dec. 16 — an evening filled with future and former Hilltoppers, celebrating the success of head coach Nick Salatino.

Match photos click here.

After a strong showing at the Solon Comet Classic during the first weekend of December, the Hilltoppers hosted Legacy Night Dec. 16 — an evening filled with future and former Hilltoppers, celebrating the success of head coach Nick Salatino.

The evening would get started with Sam Shantery from Chardon and Dakota Dalton from Edgewood, weighing in at 106. After the first period, Edgewood held a 2-4 advantage. Escaping his opponent, Shantery picked up another point to trail 3-4 to start the second period. Dalton scored four straight points, making it 8-3 after two periods.

Edgewood would capture the victory, 15-9.

Up next were Caden Foley and Antonio Colon-Herron in the 120 weight class. Foley would hold a two-point advantage after the first and second periods. Earning two more points in the third, Foley picked up the win, 4-0.

Pins from Kason Greenwood and Michael Ochoa over Quinton Gaines and Brady Johnson in the 126 and 132 weight classes picked up two more victories for the visiting Warriors. And Justin Jury Gaines from Edgewood won by forfeit, capturing bragging rights in the 138 weight class.

After a strong start from Gabe Perez in the 144 weight class, opponent Kyle Biller pulled off the win in the second period with a pin.

In the 150 weight class, Will Vucetic from Chardon and Josh Biller for the Warriors battled it out for two minutes in the first period before Vucetic pinned his opponent with 17 seconds remaining in the third period.

Junior Brendan Croyle was pinned by Kurt Corrigan after three periods. Corrigan led 7-1 after the first period and 11-2 just after two, and with less than a minute remaining in the third period, Corrigan got his official victory.

It only took junior Kaz Rajko 1:15 to pin his opponent and claim a victory for the Hilltoppers.

It was a bit nerve-wracking going down there as the first one, but I got prepared in the room and warmed up nice,” Rajko said.

To start things in his match, Rajko earned two points with the take-down, the only points he would need before his recorded pin.

When I started, my opponent didn’t seem like he wanted to tie up, and that’s what really won me the match,” Rajko said.

Coach Salatino has had many greats wrestle at The Barn, but he and his teams have never recorded a Western Reserve Conference Title — something Rajko and company are looking to capture.

We have a lot of new faces in the room. A lot of new kids,who aren’t as experienced, but they work just as hard as anybody,” Rajko said. “As a team, we want to work hard and try to get some wins.”

Another victory for Edgewood was recorded by Seth Enos over the Hilltoppers’ own Aidan Croyle. After the first period, both athletes exchanged points, but a four-point advantage for the visiting Warriors would prove to be too much of a deficit for Croyle.

After two, Enos led 14-4, then claimed the victory 20-8 after three.

Weight classes for 190, 215 and 285 pounds all would be won by forfeit.

The Warriors came out on top, claiming the road win, 56-15.

Chardon will have time to regroup before traveling to Kenston, where the Hilltoppers will participate in the Kenston Invitational Dec. 28 and 29.

Rajko said he is looking forward to the event, and is expecting his teammates to perform very strongly.

It’s a tough tournament,” he said. “Kenston is a good team, and there are a lot of other good teams there, too.”