Elder’s Scales heads into postseason undefeated and No. 1 in the nation


Elder senior Orlando Scales is looking for his second straight state title. (Photo by Greg Beers)

The road to the state wrestling tournament officially begins this weekend with sectional tournaments being held all over Ohio in all three divisions. Who are the favorites? Well, one is Cincinnati Elder senior Orlando Scales who is undefeated the last two years and is the reigning D-I state champion at 215.

Almost unstoppable a year ago, senior Orlando Scales is ready for yet another memorable postseason –  one of his final experiences as a Cincinnati Elder High School wrestler.

This winter, Scales, the Division I defending state champion at 215 pounds, has dealt with the pressure of knowing the national expectations are higher than a Cincinnati skyscraper.

But, Scales says he thrives on the hype and learns not to worry about what others say.

“Things are going pretty good,” says Scales, who is a rare All-American in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. “I am just trying to do my best. I really don’t think (about the pressure).”

Scales, 18, is garnering plenty of attention not only around Ohio but the entire country. Last season, he went 49-0 with 35 pins – setting two single-season Elder records. Scales, who is also a standout defensive lineman, is ranked No. 1 in the country in his weight class by several wrestling publications and was the USA national runner-up in Greco-Roman competition during the summer.

Elder coach Dick McCoy said Scales wrestled with expectations earlier this high school season since the national No. 1 ranking loomed large.

“I think he thought he had to go out and pin every kid he wrestled and beat every one of them by a huge score because everybody else thought that is what he should do,” McCoy said. “But after I talked to him about it and told him that staying at the top is harder than getting to the top, he understood.”

McCoy said Scales realizes that another state title is the ultimate goal this season. He also said Scales has been on a mission this winter and has shown solid leadership to Elder’s younger wrestlers.

“I have told you before and I will you again,” McCoy said, “his drive to succeed is over and above almost any kid I have coached. He has something special when it comes to that. Something that everyone wishes they had.”

Scales, who is 28-0 with 22 pins, will certainly one to watch this weekend as the Panthers, ranked 10th in the state, prepare for the sectional tournament at Elder starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Scales said he can’t wait to elevate his performance to another level.

“The last three weeks I have been in top shape and have been wrestling very well,” Scales said. “I am taking in different and learning new techniques.”

That’s no surprise to Bob Preusse, who is a high school columnist/ranker for Amateur Wrestling News. He is fully aware of Scales’ talent and ability on the mat.

“Orlando Scales is truly outstanding,” Preusse said. “He proved it this summer in Fargo versus top national competition.”

Scales was recently invited to two prestigious wrestling events with the Dapper Dan Classic (in Pittsburgh) and the Dream Event (in Oklahoma). Both are comparable to the national prep football showcases such as the Big 33 or the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

“He will be representing Ohio as well as Elder and to be one of those kids is something that I don’t think any kid out of Cincinnati has been involved in for a long time (if at all),” McCoy said. “That tells you something about what he has accomplished.”

Scales is still considering his college options, but it likely won’t be a Division I school initially. Scales will look at junior college and NAIA programs this spring.

Said Preusse: “He can be a very good college heavyweight, maybe even an All-American with a Division I program.” — OH Staff


Two weeks ago we announced that Ohio was home to five wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the country at their respective weight classes. Make that six. In the latest rankings released by the Amatuer Wrestling News, Lakewood St. Edward junior Jamie Clark has vaulted to No. 1 in the country at 119 pounds.

Clark joins Graham’s Nick Brascetta (103) and David Taylor (135), Monroeville’s Logan Steiber (125) and Chris Phillips (171) and Scales (215) as national No. 1s.

Pennsylvania (three) is the only other state with more than one wrestler ranked No. 1.


The famed Brakeman Report was released recently. The annual state tournament preview/predictions produced by Brian Brakeman, the Brakeman Report is one of the most popular pieces of prep sports literature in the state. OK people, let’s send in those T-Shirts. Click Here To Download The Brakeman Report (PDF Format)


Here’s the latest – and final – Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Poll (released 2/18/09):

Division I
1. Wadsworth (8) 118
2. Massillon Perry (3) 115
3. Lakewood St. Edward (2) 114
4. Brecksville-Broadview Heights 80
5. Cin. Archbishop Moeller 72
6. Elyria 56
7. Cle. St. Ignatius 43
8. Beavercreek     25
9. Grove City Central Crossing 13
10. Cin. Elder 12

Division II
1. St. Paris Graham (10) 100
2. Hunting Valley University School 83
3. Uhrichsville Claymont 58
4. Walsh Jesuit 57
5. Medina Highland 48
6. Lexington 42
7. Oak Harbor 37
8. Parma Padua Franciscan 25
9. Cols. St. Francis DeSales 24
10. Harrison Central 17

Division III
1. Troy Christian (13) 130
2. Monroeville     110
3. Cuya. Valley Christian Academy 86
4. Marion Pleasant 84
5. Bedford St. Peter Chanel 73
6. Cuyahoga Heights 59
7. Elmwood 41
8. West Jefferson 38
9. Milan Edison 24
10. Massillon Tuslaw 16


1. Blair Academy N.J.
2. St. Paris Graham Ohio
3. Apple Valley Minn.
4. Central Dauphin Pa.
5. Northampton Pa.
6. Central Mountain Pa.
7. Wyoming Seminary Pa.
8. Huxley Ballard Iowa
9. Christiansburg Va.
10. Simley Minn.
11. Brandon Fla.
12. St. Mark Del.
13. Clovis Calif.
14. Cumberland Valley Pa.
15. Wadsworth Ohio
16. Massillon Perry Ohio
17. St. Edward Ohio

18. Blue Mountain Pa.
19. Reynolds Pa.
20. Montini Catholic Ill.
21. Poway Calif.
22. Collins Hill Ga.
23. Buchanan Calif.
24. Lake Stevens Wash.
25. Wisconsin Rapids Wisc.
26. Wausau West Wisc.
27. Hastings Minn.
28. High Point N. J.
29. Park Hill Mo.
30. Roseburg Oreg.
31. Iowa City West Iowa
32. Flathead Mont.
33. Long Branch N.J.
34. Billings Skyview Mont.
35. Oak Park River Forest Ill.
36. Grand Island Neb.
37. Mishawaka Ind.
38. Blue Springs Mo.
39. Ponca City Okla.
40. Goddard Kans.

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