COLUMBUS – Nothing in wrestling is a guarantee, especially at the state championships. That is except that Goliath’s Lakewood St. Edward and St. Paris Graham would be leading their respected divisions, I and II, after the first day.
Following Thursday’s championship prelims and the first round of consolation, Graham leads all classifications with 32.5 points. St. Ed leads D-I with 25.5.
“We have to wrestle hard and compete tomorrow to be where we want to be on Saturday,” St. Edward coach Greg Urbas said.
Looking to bounce back from last year’s 2.5-point loss to Troy Christian in Division III, the table has turned for the Marion Pleasant. The Spartans lead the defensing champion Eagles 33-30.5 after Day One.
Graham and Marion Pleasant both lead the tournament with 11 active wrestlers. Trailing closely behind are St. Ed (nine) and Troy Christian (eight).
THREE-TIME CHAMPION GETS A SCARE
There have only been 15 individuals that have ever won four state titles in Ohio and No. 16 could come this season as Youngstown Austintown-Fitch’s Tony Jameson is on a mission in the D-I 145-pound bracket.
Jameson has accumulated 43 wins on the season and doesn’t make room for imperfection. However, anyone can be beaten on any given day as Jameson’s first round opponent Rudy Hendon of Bowling Green showed. The unheard senior took Jameson to the limit as the two combined for 43 points as they toed the line in competition. Jameson won 23-20.
“It was the toughest match I have wrestled,” Hendon said.
Hendon put Jameson to his back three times in the contest and looked as he was going to pull off the biggest upset of the tournament, but it wasn’t quite enough as Jameson hit a cradle for the go ahead points.
“It is the state tournament and anything can happen and we just saw it,” Fitch coach Brett Powell said. “I didn’t expect Tony to come that close to being beat.”
For Jameson to make it to his goal Powell said he needs to be mentally focused the remainder of the tournament.
“Champions get up off the mat,” Powell said. “(Hendon) got up three times in that match. I know Tony will get up for the next match and won’t make the mistakes he made. You get a guy on his back you finish it. No more showboating for the people. You will see a different guy tomorrow.”
TO BE CONTINUED
Look for action to heat up Friday as wrestling gets back underway beginning at 10 a.m. with the D-III championship quarterfinals.