BY AL MILLER/wrestling reporter
In just four years, the Green Machine Wrestling Club has become one of the top Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling clubs in the state of Ohio.
This year the Green Machine qualified 22 wrestlers for the state tournament at Western Brown with 19 of them placing in the top six.
The Green Machine is named after Jon “Green Machine” Green, a state champion Greco Roman wrestler from Boardman who was killed in a motorcycle accident. Started by Boardman Head Wrestling Coach Dom Mancini along with Brett Powell, Jack Raver and Jon Byrd, the ‘Machine’ has crowned 14 state champions.
“The whole idea was to build state champions in memory of Jon Green who was a Greco Roman state champ and in four years we have had 14 state champions. It’s just incredible the accomplishments we have had with this club,” Coach Mancini said.
Five Boardman wrestlers placed at the state tournament with two winning state championships.
Vince Mancini won the 106# state championship in Freestyle and Greco.
Anthony Mancini won the 170# state championship in Greco and placed second in Freestyle. Jimmy Sferra placed fourth in 138# Freestyle and fifth in Greco. Tyler Dempsey placed fifth in 160# Greco and seventh in Freestyle. Nick Patoray placed sixth in 160# Greco.
“The most impressive Boardman wrestler this spring was definitely Jimmy Sferra. He broke through. He has been grinding for a couple years with the program, both folkstyle and the Freestyle - Greco. He was able to punch through this year and do really well at the state tournament. Also Anthony Mancini, winning the Greco state title and placing second in freestyle were the two biggest accomplishments. Unfortunately for Vince there was nobody in his weight class,” Coach Mancini said.
‘Team Lennox’ with contributions from Lennox Furnace started local wrestlers in freestyle wrestling. In 2011, the team went regional when it became the Green Machine. Coach Mancini credits the Green Machine success to “getting kids that are committing to it. They believe in the program. The whole idea of freestyle and Greco is that it is different than folkstyle wrestling that the kids do all winter. It gives them a change as far as the rules go, the moves that are used and helps them to experiment with different things that help them with their folkstyle wrestling. We have had a lot of kids buying into that and they have become good at it. That’s why we are winning state championships.”
Members of the Boardman wrestling team will be competing next in the “Disney Duals” in Orlando, Fla. in late June. Their competition will be teams from throughout the U.S. They will wrestle three to five dual matches a day.