Wrestlers Bring Home District Championship, the Ninth in a Row For Coach Zerba

By Jaden Rapaport, Reporter

Led by two individual champions, the wrestling team scored  324 .5 points to win the district championship Feb. 14-15 over a distant second place finish from Grant with 231 points for the Warriors’ ninth championship in a row. 

Logan Medford (126 pounds)  and Patrick Brown (138) won individual titles, and a total of 18 wrestlers scored points for Cleveland’s deep squad. A total of eight wrestlers qualified automatically for the state tournament at the Memorial Coliseum Feb. 28-29. Several other wrestlers who placed fourth may gain additional entry into the tournament depending on how brackets are set up. 

“Our goal is to put as many people into the state tournament as we can and to win as many matches as we can,” said coach Jeff Zerba. “It’s nice to have a string together like nine [district championships] and it’s pretty awesome, especially this year with such a young group.”

Medford defeated sophomore William Jordan of Grant with a fall 34 seconds into the match. The freshman is 42-7 on the year heading into the state tournament.

Brown, a junior, pinned Marco Farinola of Lincoln 1:06 into the match for his third straight district title. Last year at state, he finished in fifth place at the 132-pound class. “I’m really excited to see how such a young team will perform at state,” said Brown.

The other wrestlers automatically qualifying for state were sophomore Sean Lee (third, 106), junior Elijah Fishler (second, 113), sophomore Nakoa Flores (third, 113), junior Devon Forsberg (third, 120), senior Ray Randol (second, 132), and junior Raine Wagner (third, 132).

Last year the Warriors had one state champion, Dontae Hardaway, in the 120-pound division. 

“[State] is actually what we’ve been preparing for all year. We’ve wrestled everybody in the state and we’ve got several kids who can compete for a state championship,” said Zerba.