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Add another Hoppel to list

December 15, 2013
By STEVE RAPPACH - Staff Writer , Morning Journal News

CALCUTTA - With six state titles and more than 70 years of success, the Hoppels are synonymous with wrestling - especially at Beaver Local.

Then there's Harrison Hoppel.

Unlike the others, the senior calls Minerva his home school, and not being a Beaver doesn't phase him.

"It doesn't bother me at all," Harrison said. "I enjoy going to Minerva."

Harrison continued the family's honor and wrestling legacy as he was named the most valuable wrestler at the 36th annual Everett Hoppel Memorial Wrestling Tournament on Saturday.

The tournament is named in honor of his great-grandfather, who spearheaded the wrestling program at Beaver Local.

With that rich family wrestling tradition, however, comes a great deal of pressure.

"There's a lot of pressure," Harrison said. "Coming from this family, there's a great deal to work through."

While winning all four of his preliminary matches by pin, Harrison, who wrestled in the 220-pound weight class, felt as though he needed to be stronger.

"I thought I made it through well," Harrison said. "I don't feel like I got through the second period like I wanted to. I wasn't able to make my positions."

Regardless, his performance was solid enough to earn a spot in the championship, where he defeated an equally-challenging Seth Bloor of Wellsville by pin at three minutes, 15 seconds to win the 220-pound class.

"They are good athletes," Harrison said. "Everyone who has competed are really good, and this has been tough throughout. They've had good positions."

Although Harrison Hoppel is a Minerva student, he lives near Hanoverton, and his father, Todd Hoppel, explained the reasoning behind going to Minerva.

"United Local doesn't have a wrestling team, and so we decided on Minerva," Todd said. "The distance to both schools wouldn't have made a big difference."

Although Harrison followed in the wrestling footsteps as older generations have, the wrestling Hoppels are starting to dwindle down.

"There are now more girls than there are boys in the family," Todd said. "So, in a way, Harrison is one of the last ones left."

After graduation, Harrison looks to go to college and looks to hit the gridiron.

"I'm looking into playing football," Harrison said. "It will probably be Division II football, but I haven't made up my mind yet."

Harrison's fellow teammates also had success in the tournament, including Dalton Hartshorn, who defeated Adam Green of Austintown Fitch to finish first in the 152 class. Minerva placed third overall in the tournament with 223 1/2 points.

As for host school Beaver Local, the Beavers placed second at 230, falling by just nine points to tournament winners Austintown Fitch.

"It's special to wrestle in our gym in front of our home crowd," Beaver Local coach Jordan Williams said. "The Hoppel family means a lot to our wrestling program and who we are today, and our kids know how important it is to represent Beaver Local well in this tournament."

Two standout wrestlers for Beaver Local were Dustin Martsolf and Daniel Hasson, both placing first in the 126 and 138 classes, respectively.

"He gutted out some tough wins and showed a lot of heart," Williams said regarding Martsolf. "He has really progressed since last year, and the sky is the limit for him if he continues to work hard."

Williams was also supportive of Hasson's showing.

"Daniel Hasson really had a dominating performance tonight," Williams said. "He wrestled smart and in control, and never put himself in a bad position."

Beaver Local hosts Howland on Thursday.



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