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After missing the first two months of the season with a broken foot, things looked back on track for Stow-Munroe Falls senior 160-pounder Joey Andrassy in February.
Andrassy reached the finals at the Suburban League Tournament in his first weekend back and then won the 160-pound title at the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 25 at Kenston.
However, both Andrassy and Stow wrestling coach Randy Jenkins acknowledged the field at the Division I district tournament at North Canton Hoover was loaded. Andrassy said he had to be on his game or he might not return to states.
Sadly for the All-Ohioan, that's exactly what happened.
Andrassy had to settle for a state alternate spot, as he finished in fifth place at 160 pounds at Hoover March 4. The top four finishers in each weight class at Hoover earned automatic qualifying spots.
Stow also saw junior heavyweight Richie Morrocco eliminated, as he went 1-2 at districts.
After he took fourth place in Division I at 170 pounds last year, Jenkins admitted he was stunned Andrassy wasn't advancing, but appreciated his senior's efforts to return from injury.
"After that long injury, it's hard for a kid to come back and be 100 percent," Jenkins said. "That weight class  was the toughest at that district. When you've got four state placers at one weight, someone's not going to make it."
Andrassy was in top form on day one of the tournament March 3, as he won his first two matches by technical fall.
Andrassy opened with an 18-1 win over Dover's Mason Contini and then dominated Medina Highland's Josh Kedzior 15-0.
That gave Andrassy two chances to earn his second trip to states.
Officiating in Andrassy's semifinal match with Massillon Perry's Joe Koontz left Jenkins fuming.
"He was dominating the whole match. He had two takedowns that the officials said were out of bounds," Jenkins said. "He was up 5-4 with 40 seconds to go and the officials gave him a penalty point for grabbing the headgear. What happened was his finger got stuck in [Kootz'] headgear."
The match went to overtime and Koontz got the winning takedown in the sudden victory period to win 7-5.
That set up a rematch of the 160-pound final from Kenston in the consolation semifinal, as Andrassy faced Austintown-Fitch's Michael Ferree.
"The kid from Austintown caught him in a five-point move and he was never able to catch up," Jenkins said.
Ferree won 5-3 to advance to states.
Andrassy was able to salvage the state alternate spot, as he defeated Kenston's Joe Koplow 9-2 in the fifth-place match.
Andrassy had a small chance of wrestling at states, but he would need one of the top four 160-pounders from Hoover to be unable to wrestle at states due to weight, skin or injury issues.
"I want him to go, but I wouldn't wish any of the guys who made to not wrestle," Jenkins said. "They all work hard."
Meanwhile, Jenkins said Morrocco's season was "unbelievable," given that he reach districts in his first year of high school wrestling.
Morrocco won his first match at Hoover, beating Wooster's Jake Burns 5-1. However, he then lost a 4-2 decision to Brecksville-Broadview Heights' Zach D'Anna and was eliminated with a 9-4 loss to Copley's Willian Gallien.
"I wish he started two years ago," Jenkins said. "He improved just within a month about 200 percent. At the end of the season, he beat guys who beat him earlier. I think he's got a taste of being competitive and winning. I think he's going to have a nice year."