Monroeville wraps remarkable ride

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Monroeville made state history Saturday on multiple fronts.

In a back alley beneath Ohio State’s Value City Arena, Scott Bauer
fought back breaking down
. The only thing that kept the Monroeville
wrestling coach
from shedding a tear was the throng of reporters who
pressed him against the wall. The topic? Bauer’s wrestling team and the ridiculous story they’d
just wrapped.


In a back alley beneath Ohio State’s Value City Arena, Scott Bauer fought back breaking down. The only thing that kept the Monroeville wrestling coach from shedding a tear was the throng of reporters who pressed him against the wall.

The topic? Bauer’s wrestling team and the ridiculous story they’d just wrapped.

Never in the 74-year history of the Ohio high school state wrestling tournament has a school produced two four-time state champions in the same year. Monroeville crowned three Saturday.

“It’s bittersweet,” Bauer said. “Just to be around the excellence and true greatness has been tremendous. You couldn’t write a better script I’ll tell you that. Not many coaches get to do what we’ve got to do for the last five years.”

Truth is NO coach has ever experienced what Bauer and his staff have. And it’s highly unlikely any others will – ever. Hell, Hollywood can’t even make up a movie like this. It would be considered too far-fetched.

In front of 14,116 witnesses Saturday, Monroeville seniors Hunter Stieber (135), Cam Tessari (140) and Chris Phillips (171) capped both their careers and an amazing five-year run by the tiny Huron County school with standing ovations. Throw in Hunter’s older brother Logan – a 2010 grad and another four-time state champion – and Monroeville’s “Fantastic Four” have laid waste to both opponents and reality.

Consider:

– Phillips, Tessari and the Stiebers won 64 straight state tournament matches and 746 total in their careers.

– No school in Ohio has ever had four four-time winners until now. St. Edward and Graham each have three.

– With Hunter’s win he and Logan become just the second set of brothers in history to win four titles in consecutive years and the first since 1982-83 when Graham’s Jim and Jeff Jordan did it.

– Of Ohio’s now 22 four-time state champions, Phillips is the only one to win a weight class heavier than 160 all four years.

– Logan owns the state record for consecutive wins with 175.

– The foursome won 16 individual state titles and one team title (2010).

– Next year Hunter and Tessari will join Logan at Ohio State. Phillips is headed to North Carolina State.

“People talk about Monroeville every where,” Hunter Stieber said. “I meet people and they’ll ask where I’m from and I’ll say Monroeville. They say ‘Oh yeah, they have all those good wrestlers.’ I don’t tell them that I’m one of those ‘good’ wrestlers but it makes you feel good inside. We all stuck together and have done amazing things.”

“A lot of people tell us it’s really an amazing thing but hardwork is really all it is,” Tessari said. “We’ve been working hard since we were in kindergarten. (We’ve been) through hell day in and day out and it’s really paid off. I’m happy with the way everything’s turned out.”

Including the celebration party.

Unlike last year’s after-hours that followed a team title, Stieber, Tessari and Phillips planned to keep it low-key Saturday night.

“We’re going to go back to the hotel and I’m going to drink a ton of Mountain Dew,” Tessari said. “We’ll probably order some pizza and watch Anchorman. We’re going to have a good time.”

Finally some time to reflect.

“We used to come (to the state finals) and watch J Jaggers wrestle for Chanel and we’d say ‘Man, it must be nice to have a kid that you never have to worry about losing,’” Bauer said. “And then these guys show up. And let me tell you something – you STILL worry about losing. But that’s the great thing about wrestling. Anything can happen.”

Monroeville’s ride is proof of that.

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