12/5 2017-2018 Wrestling Team Winter Sports Photo Day
12/5 2017-2018 Wrestling Team Winter Sports Photo Day
Published in The News-Herald
March 13, 2018
Tom Manning won Willoughby South’s one and only state championship in wrestling.
In 1988, he took home the 112-pound Division I state medal.
In college, he won a Mid-American Conference championship at Kent State and qualified for the NCAA Division I Tournament. He was the school’s athlete of the year as a senior.
Manning eventually became coach at Kenston, where for about a decade the Bombers had great success. The school won two district titles and produced two state champions in Ricky Deubel and Matt Moran.
He stepped down in 2006, and spent a few seasons as a volunteer assistant at Kent State. Manning said coaching will always be in his blood. He’s still certified, and that allows him to help out at Kenston, where he used to teach, but these days is now on the school’s board.
On occasion, he lends help to Deubel, who’s now the school’s wrestling coach.
“Oh yeah, I’ll pop my head in to see if he needs anything,” Manning said. “Sometimes, he’ll reach out to me.”
There’s also another role in wrestling he’s happily embraced. It’s one that’s allowed him a premiere opportunity behind the scenes this weekend at Quicken Loans Arena for the March 15-17 NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament.
Manning will be the crew chief for the multitude of scorers tables at the tournament. In Las Vegas terms, he’s basically the pit boss of the tournament.
“I’m basically the eye in the sky,” he said. “We’re going to be on (ESPN) in prime time for the semifinals and finals. We can’t have screw ups. I’m confident because we have good people in place. I’ve got an all-star team.”
The role entails supervising each crew so that everything goes smoothly. Scores of matches must be precise. There can’t be a mix-up with mat assignments.
Each day the number of tables decreases, so it’s Manning’s job to decide which crew stays. On March 15, there will be eight tables. The next day six, then three for the morning/afternoon session March 17 and one for the national championship matches.
Manning’s staff of table chiefs are picked by him, and are individuals he’s known for a while.
“I’m confident everyone will do well, but I want to see the cream of the crop, and that might be a tough one to decide,” he said.
Helping run tournaments is nothing new for Manning. He did that for years as Bombers coach for the long-standing Kenston Invitational Tournament. When he left Kenston in 2006, and joined Kent State’s staff voluntarily, he was approached by assistant Mid-American Conference commissioner Jeff Bacon to run the tournament when it was held at Kent State.
Manning’s guidance produced a smooth tournament, and Bacon took notice. The MAC wrestling tournament two weeks ago at Central Michigan was the 10th Manning helped run.
When the NCAA announced Cleveland had been awarded the 2018 D-I tournament, the MAC stepped in as the host school. Bacon didn’t wait long asking for Manning’s assistance.
“I was in, no questions,” Manning said.
It will be a busy week for all involved. The three-day event is sold out, and a Fan Festival is set for each day at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. Manning knows he and his staff must be ready. He’s confident the tournament will run smoothly on his end, but there’s always nervous anticipation.
“The finals are always the most nerve-wracking,” he said. “Everyone will be watching.”
Visit The News-Herald to view their photo.
Published in The News-Herald March 9, 2018 John Kampf Koplow battled through a knee injury that has bothered him since the WRC tournament. He lost by two simple decisions at the state tournament to finish 37-12. “Of course it’s worth it,” said Koplow, his left eye black and blue and his injured left knee taped… Continue Reading
Published in The Chagrin Valley Times March 8, 2018 Tony Lange Walking through the tunnel to the roars of 10,000-plus fans cheering on as many as nine mats at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus is an experience every Ohio high school wrestler dreams about. Solon 120-pound junior Jake Canitano knows the feeling, and Kenston… Continue Reading
Published in The News-Herald March 3, 2018 John Kampf As long as there’s time on the clock anything can happen. Kenston’s Joe Koplow proved that at the Division I wrestling tournament at North Canton Hoover on March 2. Koplow got a takedown with 20 seconds remaining in his match with Akron Ellet’s Matt Smoley, giving… Continue Reading
Kenston High School, Sectionals Wrestling Tournament is here, please come out and show your support. It will be held at the school on Saturday and it’s all day. There will be a live broadcast and lots more. There will be lots of food and drinks for the Families and friends that come out and support. Continue Reading
Published in The Chagrin Valley Times January 25, 2018 Tony Lange The Kenston and University School wrestling teams got a fine taste of where they stack up among some of the best programs in the state during the 32nd Grizzly Invitational Tournament on Saturday at Wadsworth High School. A 16-man scramble of pool rounds with… Continue Reading
Published in The News-Herald January 6, 2018 John Kampf If Nick Nastasi was looking for the perfect role model for how to succeed in wrestling given the skill set he’s been given, he has found it in Coach Ricky Deubel. Kenston’s sophomore 126-pounder is a muscular, 5-foot-3 grappler who uses physical strength and speed to… Continue Reading
Published in The Chagrin alley Times January 4, 2018 Tony Lange There was no way for University School sophomore grappler Joe Averill to get redemption against Kenston sophomore Nick Nastasi nor Crestwood sophomore Brett Szuhay during the 53rd Kenston Invitational Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Bainbridge. As a 106-pound freshman last season, Averill lost… Continue Reading
Published in The News-Herald December 31, 2017 Riverside was the highest-placing area school at the Kenston Invitational on Dec. 30. The Beavers tied for second. Nordonia won the tournament with 142 points. Riverside and Crestwood followed at 131.5. Chardon was fourth with 120.5. Also in the top 10 were Kenston (seventh, 112 points) and Geneva… Continue Reading
December 21, 2017 Continue Reading