Ohio High School Wrestling: Heasley’s heroics cap Day 2 of state; Graham has six in finals


71st State Wrestling Championships
Worthington Christian's Colin Heasley pulled an upset Friday at the state wrestling championships at Value City Arena by beating defending state champion Steve Wilson of Marion Pleasant. With the win Heasley becomes the first WC wrestler in history to vie for a state title. Team-wise, Lakewood St. Edward, St. Paris Graham and Troy Christian are set to repeat. Below we take a look at those stories and more.

COLUMBUS ­- Colin Heasley has earned a place on the podium Saturday. The Worthington Christian senior should also get separate recognition for his determination. Heading into his 160-pound Division III state semifinal bout with Marion Pleasant’s Steve Wilson at the 71st annual State Wrestling Championships inside Value City Arena on Friday, Heasley had an 0-7 lifetime record against his foe. He also registered a fourth place finish at the Heath district meet six days ago.

Who cares? Not Heasley.

Doing the unthinkable, Heasley upended Wilson, a four-time placer and the defending state champion, 3-2 to become the first WC wrestler to make a state final. His appearance in a state semifinal was also a program first.

“It came down to one take down,” Heasley said. “I see guys shoot in at Steve and get that shot all the time but for some reason mine never work. Today it did for some reason. I was able to do that spin and get one down.”

Heasley rode Wilson until time expired.

Let it be known that Heasley is no slouch – he’s a four-time state qualifier and now a three-time placer – but WC is no juggernaut.

The Eagles have seven wrestlers total, no middle school program and have to practice with Westerville North in order to get enough bodies on the mat. Heasley’s training against North monsters Jesse Dong and Chris Kline (both of whom made finals in D-I) has paid off.

So has his perseverance.

“I don’t know what the difference this time was,” Heasley said. “I prayed with like 10 people before the match and I’m not saying prayer is magic but it worked. Plus people have believed in me all year. People have told me they’d put their money on me.”

Heasley will face Delta’s Derrick Yant in the finals. And just for the record, Heasley is 0-2 lifetime against Yant, losing 3-2 as a sophomore and 14-10 as a junior.


Marion Pleasant held a 75-70 lead over defending state champion Troy Christian in the D-III team standings after the first two sessions but then things unraveled for the Spartans. After Session 3, Pleasant trailed Troy Christian (135 points) and Monroeville (94) with 89 points.

The Spartans suffered two losses in head-to-head matches with Troy Christian that hurt their bid for a state title. TC edged Pleasant by 2.5 points for last year’s championship.

At 130, TC junior Zac Hancock, a two-time state placer and last year’s runner-up at 125, beat Pleasant junior Cody Coomes by major decision 12-3.

At 145, TC junior Zach Toal, a two-time placer and the defending state champ at 140 last year, handed Pleasant senior Mike McCoy a 5-4 setback. “I definitely had extra motivation,” Hancock said.

“Last year it came down to two points so winning any match is key, especially when it’s someone from Pleasant. They all make a difference.”

Troy Christian is in a solid position to repeat with five wrestlers in the finals.


After 14 league, 13 sectional and 11 district championships, St. Paris Graham wrestlers are going for six state titles. The Falcons can tie Cleveland West’s record of six individual state champions set in 1951, but Graham fell short in its bid to break the hallowed mark.

The Falcons advanced 10 wrestlers to the semifinals and lead the D-II race comfortably over Walsh Jesuit (167-67).

Junior David Taylor (112) and senior Ben Jordan (145) are going for their third state titles.


Hillsboro senior Dustin Carter’s memorable trip to the state tournament ended Friday with back-to-back losses to Parma Padua Franciscan’s Andrew Romanchik (5-1) and Minerva’s Cody McGee (5-3). Carter’s championship quarterfinal match with Romanchik was tied 1-1 in the final minute.

Carter, who lost his arms and legs to a rare disease at age 5, was honored once again before the start of Session 3 when he was brought out in front of a crowd and a video of his feats played over the big screens above the Value City Arena floor. Carter received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted several minutes.


Monroeville may not win the D-II team title this year, but the program’s prospects for the future look bright.

Monroeville advanced all four of its wrestlers to the finals and has three remaining undefeated wrestlers – the most of any team in any division.

Sophomore Logan Stieber, the state champion at 103 last year, won his semifinal bout over Cincinnati Maderia’s Johnny Carpenter with a tech fall (18-3) to improve to 50-0.

Stieber’s younger brother Hunter, also improved to 50-0 with a pin (1:52) of Waterford ’s Tyler Reed in the 103 semis. Fellow freshman Chris Phillips bumped his record to 50-0 as well with a 10-2 decision over Marion Pleasant’s Spencer Adams at 171.

The Eagles other entrant, freshman Cam Tessari, is now 38-3 after a pin (3:19) of Marion Pleasant’s Riki Reynolds at 112.


As usual, Lakewood St. Edward leads the D-I standings with 119 points, while Massillon Perry is second with 79. The Eagles are looking to win their 12th straight state title and 24th overall.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *