HOWLAND - Howland wrestler J.R. Perry got the rare opportunity to celebrate a personal milestone on a night when the Tigers achieved an historic victory.
On Wednesday on senior night at Howland High School, Perry pinned Canfield's Korey Frost in 43 seconds for his 100th win. That helped his team defeat the Cardinals, 56-12, and claim the All-American Conference and Eastern Ohio Wrestling League Championships.
"Our kids did an unbelievable job tonight - I thought it was going to be a little more competitive," Howland coach Bill Beasom said. "They didn't forget that we lost to them last year in a dual meet, but we didn't put too much emphasis on that because each week our kids just kept getting better and better."
Howland coach talks about win. Wrestler scores 100th win.
Perry followed victories by junior 106-pounder Nico Lucarelli, who pinned Ross Duffett 46 seconds in the second period, and freshman 113-pounder Aaron Jackson, who defeated Anthony Spencer, 9-7.
Seconds into his match, Perry rolled Frost into a cradle, and etched himself into school history.
"I feel if I can't take a kid down, I can turn anybody in the state if I get on top," Perry said.
Tribune Chronicle / Vince Taddei
Howland’s Andrew Hamilton, left, battles Canfield’s Jake Dunbar in the first period of a 132-pound match. Hamilton went on to pin Dunbar at 1:43 of the period. Howland won the meet, 56-12.
Even though he earned his 100th win, the night was still all about the team.
"It feels so great (to win the EOWL and AAC) because last year we were three points away from winning it, and this year we won it by domination," Perry said. "That just shows that we're a good team and we still have good things to come."
Junior Alex Cornicelli followed Perry with a smothering 10-0 win over Nick Borucki, and set the stage for another senior - 132-pounder Amdrew Hamilton.
Hamilton proceeded to pin Jake Dunbar at the 1:43 mark in the first period. It was just part of the team's aggressive approach to the night.
"We wanted to come out fast and hard against Canfield, which we know is a good team," Hamilton said. "We were able to do that, and bring the titles home, which is great considering we only lost to these guys by three points last year. I wanted to help my team. I prayed to God before my match, so I just want to give thanks to the Lord for giving me the strength to go out there and win my match."
Senior Robby Klose followed junior Game Stark's 13-0 win over Adam Nye in the 138-pound match by pinning Shawn Williams at the 34-second mark in the second period.
"It was important to come out here and win on senior night," Klose said. "It was our last match in this gym, so we can finish the season knowing we took care of business in front of our fans."
Senior Austin Hutchins capped off senior night with a forfeit win in the heavyweight division.
"Tonight was for the seniors - all of our seniors won tonight," Beasom said. "J.R. got us started in the varsity match, and Andrew Hamilton came out and had a really good match against probably their second-best wrestler. And then Robby Close won a good match. The team just wanted to go out there and do it for them."