Published in The Plain Dealer
December 29, 2002
By Tim Warsinskey
Plain Dealer Reporter
Kenston junior Ricky Deubel has walked in Beachwood sophomore Jordan Lipp’s shoes, and Deubel knows it is an uncomfortable fit. Being an undefeated state champion as a freshman can be the pebble that feels like a nail as a wrestler’s high school career grows longer.
Last night, the shoe was on the other foot for Lipp, and Deubel put it there.
Deubel pasted an 18-3 technical fall on Lipp in the 119-pound final of the Kenston Invitational Tournament. It was the first loss in Lipp’s career.
He was 42-0 when he won the 112-pound state title in Division III last season, and 51-0 overall until last night.
Deubel was unbeaten as a freshman in 2000-01, and he won his first 74 matches until losing in the sectional tournament last season. He made it to state, but did not place in the brutal, 119-pound weight class in Division II.
The unbeaten streak weighed heavily on Deubel last season.
“It was a lot of pressure, and I think I did [Lipp a favor] by getting that first loss out of the way,” Deubel said. “I know how it feels. It’s hard to go undefeated in Ohio. Now, he just has to keep his head together and not think about the loss.”
Lipp seemed to take the defeat in stride.
“Deubel is a top guy, and it was a golden opportunity to wrestle him,” Lipp said. “I really didn’t think about being undefeated that much. I don’t like to look at the past.”
Deubel appeared quick and confident, pinning his first two opponents Friday and winning a 16-1 technical fall over Berkshire’s Sean Keyes, a state runner-up last season. He blocked especially well and scored easily on snapdowns and tilts.
“I don’t worry about losing any more,” Deubel said. “I just try to stay relaxed and have fun.”
Deubel won his second KIT Most Valuable Wrestler award and led Kenston to its third straight KIT title. The Bombers scored 265 points and placed 12 wrestlers, eight of whom reached the finals. Their other champions were Andrew Hazlett (135), Nick Rendinell (140), Tierro Davis (152) and Anton Narinsky (189).
Division III Beachwood powered its way to second place with 171 points and eight place-winners, including three finalists. The Bison’s Anthony Caruso beat West Geauga junior Geoff Protz, 3-0, in the 125-pound final, and Matt Morgan won at 171. Led by 215-pound junior Ben Huddle, Dublin Scioto placed third with 129 points. Huddle pinned his four opponents, and his longest match was 2:44 in the final.
Freshman 112-pound champion Jacob Murton helped West Geauga finish fourth. Berkshire was sixth, by far its best finish in recent years. The Badgers had six placers, among them 215 – pound runner-up Joe Slepko and Keyes, who finished third at 119.
In an all-Northeastern Conference heavyweight final, Harvey’s Eric Ridenour scored a takedown as time expired in the first overtime to beat Geneva’s Stephon Britton, 3-1.
Other champions were Scioto’s Pat Brown (130), Parma’s Randy Buchanan (145), Brush’s Brandon Diliberato (160) and Boardman’s Adam Chizmar (103).
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