By: Jessica Archer
There’s nothing like walking into The Jerome Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University on the first Thursday in March. Ten mats cover the floor of the arena that holds over 18,000 fans in addition to the dreams of 672 high school wrestlers from across the state of Ohio. “The Big Show”, as those in the sport call it, is the ultimate accumulation of years of sweat, tears, and discipline. As Nordonia’s Head Coach Jason Walters says, “this is what they’ve worked for since they first put on a pair of wrestling shoes”. This year, Nordonia High School sent four wrestlers to the stage – Senior Jake Hamad (alternate at 113), Senior Jaivon Jones (132), Senior Mitch Collica (138), and Sophomore Sal Perrine (160) – and finished 28th in the State as a team.
The tournament is a grueling, three day display of talent and athleticism. Starting on Thursday at 3 p.m. and ending Saturday night around 10 p.m., 1261 matches are wrestled in “The Schott” to rank the top eight wrestlers in 13 different weight classes and three divisions. In the best case scenario, a wrestler winning through to a title wrestles four matches. In the worst case scenario, a wrestler loses in the first two rounds and is out of the tournament. For most wrestlers, however, including our own, their grit and endurance are tested by as many as six matches to determine which medal they’ll wear home. While Hamad never saw time on the floor as all four of the North Canton district qualifiers were able to wrestle, Jones, Collica, and Perrine all tirelessly battled through their brackets.
Look for more info about the BIG SHOW this week here on NordoniaHills.News
Wrestler spotlight: Jaivon Jones
Wrestler spotlight: Mitch Collica
Wrestler spotlight: Sal Perrine
Assistant Coaches Jason Lara, Louie Iacoboni and Marty Collins