State champs Morgillo, Contos returning for Comets

J. Patrick Eaken

        When you’ve won four state championships in two years, how do you top that?
        Last year, the Comets won their second straight Division III state tournament championship with a record 113½ points, crowning six champions. That came after a few weeks earlier winning their second straight D-III dual meet state title.
        In his previous eight seasons, Coach Bob Bergman’s teams were 246-45 in dual meets, winning seven conference championships, six sectional championships, two district championships, and finished in the top 10 at the D-III state meet the past five years. There have been 44 conference champions, 39 state qualifiers, 25 state placers and 13 state champions.
        This year, the Comets do not have a state team championship on their radar, but two wrestlers have a chance to repeat as individual state champions. However, the points may not be there to win dual matches consistently against teams with better depth unless wrestlers inexperienced at the varsity level are able to fill in the gaps.
        “We will be a competitive tournament team but will need our underclassmen to step up and go the distance to be competitive in duals,” Genoa ninth-year coach Bob Bergman said.  
        Two state champions return — seniors Dustin Morgillo and Kevin Contos. Morgillo won a 145-pound state title last year, finishing 50-3, and Contos was 48-2 after taking the 152-pound state championship. Both have already committed to wrestling at NCAA Division I schools.
        Contos will be wrestling at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island next fall.  Contos is a two-time state placer and carries a 3.918 GPA and in 2019 earned Academic All-Ohio honors. He carried a 109-15 career record heading into his senior campaign.  
        His freshman and sophomore years, Contos was 40-10 and 21-3. In his last two years alone, he has a total of 30 pins, seven technical falls and 10 major decisions. He has also won two sectional and two district championships and is a three-time district placer.
        Morgillo will be attending George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  He had a career record of 139-25 at the start of the season and is a three-time state placer.  Morgillo is two-time Academic All-Ohio award winner and carries a 4.288 GPA.  
        Morgillo was 39-16 and 50-6 as a freshman and sophomore. He has 72 pins, 15 technical falls and 19 major decisions. He is a two-time Northern Buckeye Conference champion, two-time sectional champion and two-time district champion.
Four lettermen returning
        They are among four lettermen returning from a team that went 28-0 in dual matches last year. Morgillo and Contos will stay at the 145 and 152 pound classes, senior Randy Matheny is wrestling at 113 and senior Corey Welch at 132.
        “Corey has been a journeyman in our program and is technically very sound,” Bergman said. “He has 61 career wins. He made a major commitment in his weight training this offseason and will surely turn some heads this year.”
        Matheny was the Northern Buckeye Conference runner-up and district alternate last year, and is the brother of two-time state placer Devon Cannon.
        “Randy started the whole year for us at 106 last year and is coming off 26 wins a season ago,” Bergman said.
        Outside of that, there is not a lot of varsity experience returning.
        “Our youth and inexperience is a major weakness,” Bergman said. “We lost eight senior starters (seven state qualifiers, five state placers) from last year’s state championship squad.  Additionally losing Devin D'Emilio (a junior two-time NBC placer) to a season-ending injury and senior Antonio Quezada (80 career wins, 2019 state alternate) not coming out thrusts 10 new youngsters into our line-up.”  
        In addition, there is plenty of talent to go around in the NBC this year with five teams expected to compete for the title. In preseason coaches’ voting, Otsego and Elmwood tied as league favorites with 53 points each, Eastwood (51) was third, followed by Genoa (47), Lake (30), Woodmore (29), Rossford (21), and Fostoria (8). Eastwood and Genoa had three first place votes each and Elmwood had two.
        “The league will be a big challenge for us and it will take all of our guys hitting on all cylinders to finish in the top three,” Bergman said. 
        The Comets found out early in the season that polls can be deceiving, losing a back-and-forth contest to Lake, 30-26, and after narrowly downing Woodmore, 31-30, in the league opener.
        Winning both of their matches for the Comets that night were Morgillo, Contos and freshman heavyweight wrestler Drew Posey. 
        “Drew has been wrestling for several years as a youth wrestler and has had a lot of success. He is physically ahead of his time and will be a stabilizing force for our upper weights,” Genoa coach Bob Bergman said. 
        Wednesday, Genoa split at an NBC triangular at Otsego. The Comets slipped a close bout to the Knights 39-33, but in round two Genoa raced past Fostoria 62-12.  Winning both bouts were Nate Partin, Mario Torres, Welsh, Contos, Tommy Giles and Posey.  
        In another dual match, Genoa lost to Findlay, 45-23, however they did have individual success at a tournament.
        Partin, a sophomore who wrestles at 106, won gold at Bellevue’s 43rd annual Bob Baily Invitational. Also placing for the Comets was Posey (third), Welch (fourth), Derick Gilbert (fourth), Mario Torres (fourth), Darin Muir (fifth), Kenny Reno (sixth) and Tony Morgillo (sixth).  Genoa finished in sixth place with 132 points out of 10 teams. 
        “Darin Muir has been in the varsity line-up and scored several points throughout his career.  He has great conditioning, a never say die attitude, and is a very coachable kid,” Bergman said. 
        Also expected to contribute this year are junior 170-pounder Tommy Giles.
        “Tommy has been around the sport for a long time.  His dad (Tom Giles, Sr.) was our middle school coach for over 20 years,” Bergman said. “Tommy has filled in for us over the last couple of years in several spots.  I can’t wait to see him come into his own this year.”
        Bergman says junior Quinton Banks, who wrestles at 142 and 152 “is a special athlete with an explosive style of wrestling.”


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