State Wrestling: Upsets on Day One, Graham advances a record 13 wrestlers


Monroeville’s Logan Stieber was one of four Eagles wrestlers to advance Thursday. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

The 72nd annual Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships started
Thursday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center before a crowd of 12,545. Action heats up again Friday with the championship quarterfinals and semifinals. Here’s a look at some of the newsmakers from Day One.

The 72nd annual Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships started Thursday at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center before a crowd of 12,545.

Action heats up again Friday morning with the championship quarterfinals and concludes Friday night with the semifinals. Consolation brackets will also be contested throughout the day.

Here’s a look at some of the top newsmakers from Day One at the state wrestling championships.


Lakewood St. Edward is in first in Division I with 21 points, while Wadsworth (18) and Brecksville-Broadview Heights (17) are second and third, respectively. Massillon Perry is fourth (15).

Things are still very interesting and wide open. St. Edward advanced six of its eight qualifiers, while Wadsworth had six of nine go on. Perry had five of seven move on. St. Ed is looking to win its 13th straight D-I title and 25th overall. Perry has been runner-up five times in the last six years. Wadsworth was No. 1 in the final coaches state poll. Intrigue indeed.

In D-II, St. Paris Graham was in total control as expected with a 43.5-18 edge over second place Hunting Valley University School. Graham qualified 13 wrestlers to state and all 13 won their first round matches. That’s a tournament record. Graham’s 43.5 points on the first day is also a record.

In D-III, two-time defending state champion Troy Christian has a slim lead on Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. The Eagles posted 22 points on the first day, while CVCA countered with 21.5. This race will go down to the wire.


Of the 15 undefeated wrestlers at state, 14 advanced to the championship quarterfinals. The only one who didn’t was Greg Isley of Sylvania Southview who lost to Massillon Perry’s Andrew Phillips 4-3 in their D-I 189 opener. Isley won his first consolation match.


Monroeville’s talented Stieber brothers – Logan and Hunter – have wrestled 14 state matches and only one has gone the distance – Thursday’s D-III opening round 119 match for Hunter Stieber against Tuslaw’s Justin Hall.

Hall, who lost to Hunter, 13-2, also wrestled Logan two years ago in the 103 championship. He lost 20-5. Hall dropped his consolation opener Friday as well to end his senior season 40-8 and three wins shy of the Tuslaw school record for most career wins.

Hunter and Logan Stieber are looking for their second and third state titles, respectively.


The first upset of the tournament came in the Division III 171-pound weight class.

Reading junior Kirby Acus, the fourth-place finisher at the Kettering Fairmont district tournament, edged Sparta Highland’s Austin Kucera, the Steubenville district champion, 3-2 in a first-round match.

Acus will oppose North Lima South Range’s Beau Bowden in the quarterfinals.


In another upset, Mechanicsburg junior Josh Salyers, the fourth-place finisher at Kettering Fairmont, pinned Milan Edison’s Craig Ritz in 5:17 at 215. Ritz was the Owens College district champion. Salyers will wrestle North Jackson-Milton’s Dan Clawson in the quarterfinals.


Columbus DeSales senior Jake Vaughn pinned Greenville’s Chris Miller (1:53) in the first period of their D-II 130 championship preliminary match to advance to the quarterfinals. The victory was Vaughn’s seventh by pin since the postseason started. He’s 9-0 with another win by tech fall.


West Carrollton senior Jordan Beverly had high hopes entering the state tournament. Last year, Beverly finished third in D-I at 285. This year he put together and undefeated record until losing in the finals of the Hilliard Darby District last weekend. Thursday Beverly dropped his first two state bouts to end his high school career. He went 41-3 this season.


Division II action kicked off with Lisbon Beaver sophomore John McComas surprising Minerva’s Cody McGee 12-8 in a first-round match at 103. McComas, who finished fourth at the Heath district tournament, will take on Greenville’s Jon Edwards in the quarterfinals. McGee was the Akron Firestone district champion.


In another Division II surprise, Ravenna Southeast senior Shelton Morris nipped Wauseon’s Carson Frey 7-6 at 130. Morris, the fourth-place finisher at Akron Firestone, will oppose Springfield Shawnee’s Evan Storts in the quarterfinals.

Other Division II fourth-place district qualifiers to advance were Canal Winchester’s Conrad Rosch at 140 and Willard’s Jeff Goines at 145.


In Division I, Twinsburg’s Mike Labry surprised Hilliard Darby district champion Logan Strope of Lancaster 3-1 at 103.

Hilliard Darby’s Joe Crabtree pinned Harrison’s Kevin Campbell in 1:46 at 152. Crabtree finished fourth at the Hilliard Darby district and Campbell was the Fairfield district champ.

Other Division I fourth-place qualifiers to move on were Oregon Clay’s Richie Urias and Mayfield Village’s Dan McNulty at 119, Barberton’s Joe Parra at 135, Twinsburg’s Marlon Baker at 171, Massillon Perry’s Andrew Phillips at 189 and Beavercreek’s Adam Walls at 285.

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