Pinned for the Future


In a year full of ups and downs, the wrestling team still has managed to find many positives throughout their season.

The team has experienced some degree of recent success. While they are only placed 5th in the Federal League and have a 19-16 record, many students are having milestone-setting seasons and are propelling the team with individual success.

The team got off to a shaky start, with a positive COVID-19 test forcing the team to have a two-week quarantine right at the beginning of the season. However, the team quickly overcame that adversity and got right back to work.

“I’m just glad we’re having a season, I’m so happy,” wrestling head coach Michael Hynd said. “We were supposed to have a match when we got shut down; it was just four days in.” However, the success from a mix of older and younger guys since returning has been pleasing.”

Overcoming adversity and hard work were the biggest factors to the team’s success. In a year where practices and matches were never guaranteed, showing up to practice and working hard pushed the team to another level.

“The guys have really bought into the system. They’re really disciplined: they hardly miss practices and even come after they’re beat up,” Hynd said. “Older guys are starting to realize they’re role models and are living up to that role, contributing to the strong mental toughness of the team.”

While the team is seeing some success, the success of individual players this year has really driven the program to another level.

“Quite a few students are having fantastic seasons this year,” Hynd said. “Aeden Begue and Ronnie Dimmerling both reached their 100th win this year. Ronnie’s on pace to break a career victories record. We’ve also had four students ranked in the state this year.”

Those four students are sophomore Brandon Batson, currently 11th in his weight class, junior Ronnie Dimmerling, currently 7th in his weight class, senior Aeden Begue, 8th in his weight class, and senior Avant Money, formerly ranked in his weight class before switching. 

“I’m especially proud of my seniors this year,” Hynd said. “Aeden has been completely dedicated to the team, and hasn’t missed a practice yet this year. Avant went from nothing to being ranked, turning into someone we can always count on. Nik Kiley is a very dedicated wrestler, only missing two practices in his career. This season is an example of his hard work.”

While the seniors have been drivers for success, the two best seasons have come from underclassmen Batson and Dimmerling, poised to enter a leadership role next season. They lead by example, hard-work and embrace a team environment.

“My team and coaches help push me every day,” Dimmerling said. “They don’t let me slack off and push me further than I think I can go.”

Dimmerling takes this work ethic to another level, practicing outside of workouts and pushing himself every day. In fact, Batson and Dimmerling practiced together during the offseason.

“Wrestling with Ronnie and my coaches pushing me have been the biggest factors in my success this year,” Batson said. “When you wrestle more your arms and legs become tougher and less like jello, which is what we need for a good match.”

This success has paid off for Batson and Dimmerling, with the two boasting records of 32-1 and 34-1 this season, respectively. The season has also given them some individual victories this year.

“My most impressive win was against the Green kid,” Dimmerling said. “I’ve wrestled that kid since youth and would always come up short. This year I had the chance to wrestle him and I won.”

While Dimmerling’s victory was one of personal pride, Batson was able to have a very high profile win this season.

“This year, I got to wrestle a kid from Painesville Riverside,” Batson said. “He was ranked 6th in Division 1 in my weight class, but I beat him.”

This success is driving a very positive outlook for both the team and individuals for the sectional playoffs, which will be at Euclid High School on Feb. 27th.

“Ronnie, Batson and Aeden will place at states, as long as they make it,” Hynd said. “Avant and Nik have the opportunity to make it to states if they wrestle their best. Some underclassmen, Payton Fichter and Isaac Sommers, have a good shot at making it to districts. I see the team placing 2nd or 3rd in sectionals, and top 10 in districts.”

With the playoffs looking bright, the wrestling team also looks toward a bright future coupled with strong leadership and rising stars.

“Payton has had over 20 wins this year, he’s proven himself to be a fighter. Isaac is a very smart kid, and wrestled through a hernia this season,” Hynd said. “Also, Aaron Magueyal won a competitive match at Norton this season, giving us the win that day. We should also get Mason Lorenz back, who is an instant game changer.”

The team is looking to build a strong core this season, to give them a legitimate shot at winning the state next year.

“As long as we stay healthy and get everybody back, we will be contenders,” Hynd said. “We have lots of firepower. I’m looking forward to the future.

With playoffs coming just around the corner, the wrestling team is surrounded by excitement and optimism for the tournaments and next season.