Tallmadge wrestling finally gets back on the mats vs. Streetsboro
TALLMADGE — Over the course of the 2020-21 winter season, the question for most high school teams isn't if there will be disruptions, but when and how severe they will be.
Tallmadge wrestling might take the cake for having the most disrupted season.
First, the Blue Devils had their second coaching change of the offseason happen one week before the season started with the arrival of Josh Potok.
Then, before its first match, Tallmadge shut down all of its athletic teams down due to COVID-19 concerns.
Finally, right after the Blue Devils returned to practice, a positive COVID test on the team forced another two-week shutdown.
As a result, Tallmadge hosted its opening dual meet of the season Tuesday against Streetsboro at James O. Mattox Court.
Needless to say, Potok was happy just get his team on the mats.
"Streetsboro has a pretty good team," Potok said. "They're in our district so it's good for us to go against them and see what they've got. They match up pretty well with our guys, so it's good to see where they are."
Although Streetsboro has had something resembling a full season, Rockets coach Josh Zupancic noted his team has taken some recent hits.
"The big thing is just trying to get as many matches as we can," he said. "You don't know from week to week who is going to be there for you. Last week, we were 18 strong, but between small injuries and quarantines we lost some significant guys."
Due to those losses and the fact Tallmadge could only field seven healthy wrestlers, the two squads agreed not to record team scoring. The Blue Devils ended up winning four of the six wrestled matches.
Potok noted the heart of his team is his upper middleweights, and they came through for Tallmadge.
At 152 pounds, Justin Leonard needed just 46 seconds to get a pin, and 160-pounder Gus Fortserus used a variety of chinlocks and tilts to score a 15-0 technical fall over Streetsboro's Sam Brunner.
"Sam is only a sophomore," Zupancic said. "He's going to be dangerous in the future. The fact he only gave up a tech is a good sign."
At 182 pounds, Tallmadge's Aiden Schwartz needed just 24 seconds to get a pin.
The heavyweight match turned out to be the most competitive of the night. Tallmadge's Max Blondin was able to hang on for a 10-5 decision, though Streetsboro's Trevor Jacobs had Blondin on his back when the match ended.
"He's a tough kid," Potok said of Blondin. "He's been struck the last couple of year behind guys like [Ben] Blankenship. He's getting there."
Both of Streetsboro's varsity wins came from the Bodovetz brothers.
At 145 pounds, Landon Bodovetz scored a pin in 1:21.
At 170 pounds, Tyler Bodovetz was involved in the most anticipated bout of the night with Tallmadge freshman Jayden Potok — coach Potok's younger brother.
However, the elder Bodovetz got the early takedown and dominated the match, before tilting and pinning Potok in 1:34.
Zupancic noted Tyler Bodovetz remains undefeated this season and the win was No. 101 of his career, as he won the title the previous week at Archbishop Hoban.
"That was one of their best guys and it was good for Jayden to go against him," coach Potok said.