10 wrestlers finish undefeated, Martinez and DiJulius win their third state titles, Centerville’s Rose pins redemption, Heminger wins elusive title…Highlights from the 74th annual state wrestling tournament
Most wrestlers feel pressure when they step on the mat. Not Felipe Martinez – that’s his place to escape. After a whirlwind 12 months in which the two-time state champion at Graham re-located to Genoa, Martinez found himself back where he feels most comfortable Saturday – wrestling for a state championship.
In the only state final pitting two undefeated wrestlers, Martinez beat St. Clairsville senior Dominic Prezzia 9-5 in sudden victory overtime for the Division III 152 title at the state wrestling tournament at Value City Arena in Columbus. The final whistle capped a crazy offseason for Martinez and moved him one step closer to becoming a four-time winner.
“This year has been one of the toughest years of my life,” Martinez said. “Moving around and the heartache with everything. I just keep these family issues in my head and it helps me to keep going. I think about my mom and all her struggles. That’s what drives me to keep winning.”
After last year’s state championships, Martinez’s mother moved the family to suburban Toledo so she could accept a higher-paying job as a nurse. The relocation took its toll on the family and Martinez fell off the grid for a while. Reappearing at Genoa Area recently he didn’t wrestle a full schedule (finished 19-0) and continues to battle weight and conditioning issues. Regardless, Martinez is a state champion – again. He’s the seventh Genoa wrestler to win a state title.
“It’s still got the ‘G’ logo but the first time I put on a Genoa singlet I had to look in the mirror. It was weird not seeing myself in the black and silver (of Graham),” Martinez said. “But now maroon is my home color and I’m good with that. I’m glad to be there and I know they’re glad to have me.”
Fittingly, Martinez shared a long embrace with his mother ringside following his victory.
The Falcons moved closer to St. Edward’s record of 13 straight state titles by claiming their 11th consecutive D-II championship with another runaway win. Graham scored over 200 points for the fifth year in a row and outdistanced second place Walsh Jesuit 230.5-108. It was the Falcons second highest point tally ever.
Graham qualified 10 wrestlers to the state tournament and eight made finals. All 10 placed in the top four. State champions for Graham included: two-time state champions Nick Brascetta (140, Sr.), Ryan Taylor (112, Jr.), Isaac Jordan (160, Jr.) and Bo Jordan (145, So.) and first-time winners Matt Stephens (152, Sr.) and Micah Jordan (119, Fr.). Huston Evans (189, Jr.) and Case Garrison (135, Jr.) were runners-up.
Stephens title was especially sweet considering it came against defending state champion Ian Miller of Oak Harbor. Stephens, who had placed second, third and fourth in three previous state tournaments, beat Miller 2-0 in sudden victory overtime.
Graham’s 10 state placers pushes it past Maple Heights and into second place on the all-time state placers list with 147. The state title is head coach Jeff Jordan’s 10th, which ranks third all-time. It’s good to be from Graham.
A year after having its record string of 13 straight D-I state championships snapped by Wadsworth, St. Edward regained the D-I title with a 187-109 win over runner-up Massillon Perry. The title is the Eagles 26th overall. St. Ed advanced six wrestlers to finals and had three claim titles: two-time winner Dean Heil (119, Jr.), Mark Martin (152, Jr.) and Domenic Abounader (160, So.). Overall, the Eagles qualified 10 wrestlers to state and all 10 are underclassmen.
“Whew.” That’s the collective sigh everyone released after Galion Northmor’s Tyler Heminger rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win the D-III 119 title with a pin (2:23) of Bloomdale Elmwood’s Nick Goebel, a three-time placer and former state champion.
Heminger had finished second the last three years to Monroeville’s Cam Tessari (2008) and Hunter Stieber (2009 and 2010). He won all four of his matches in Columbus this weekend by pin. Tyler posted a career record of 190-16.
Bedford St. Peter Chanel edged Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 99-92.5 for the D-III team title. The championship is Chanel’s fifth overall and first since winning three straight from 1986-88.
Centerville senior Kyle Rose wavered back and forth this past fall on whether or not to wrestle his senior season. He finally made the decision to compete and was rewarded with a state title, winning the D-I 285 championship with a 3-2 win or St. Edward’s Greg Kuhar. Rose finished second at 215 last year and that disappointment ultimately led to his comeback.
Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit senior Johnni DiJulius became the school’s fourth three-time state champion and first since 1994 when he pinned Canfield’s Alex Benedict in 3:19 in the D-II 130 finals. DiJulius finished the season 44-3 and is the program’s all-time leader in wins (177). Walsh has never produced a four-time champion and DiJulius was close. As a freshman he lost the 103 final to Aurora’s Ty Mitch, 4-2, in overtime. DiJulius is headed to Ohio State.
There were a total of 10 wrestlers who finished undefeated seasons. They were:
George DiCammilo, Jr., Cleveland St Ignatius (35-0, D-I, 112): DiCammilo won his first state title and became a three-time placer by surviving St. Edward’s Edgar Bright 3-1sv.
Kyle Rose, Sr., Centerville (35-0, D-I, 285): Rose finished second last year at 215 and came back this year for the sole purpose of winning a state title. Mission accomplished. Now on to a football career as a DE at West Virginia.
Bo Jordan, So., Graham (46-0, D-II, 145): After winning the championship at 130 last year, Jordan added another title.
Hunter Stieber, Sr., Monroeville (54-0, D-III, 135): Stieber – as expected – won his fourth title.
Felipe Martinez, Jr., Genoa Area (19-0, D-III, 152): Martinez won his third state title – and first at Genoa – with a 9-5sv win. Martinez won two D-II titles prior at Graham.
Nathan Tomasello, So., Cuy. Valley Christian Academy (43-0, D-III, 103): The sophomore is halfway to becoming CVCA’s second four-time state champion after successfully defending his 2010 title.
Stephen Myers, So., Reading (49-0, D-III, 125): After finishing third at 112 in D-I last year while at Moeller, Myers won his first state title.
Chris Phillips, Sr., Monroeville (51-0, D-III, 171): The title is Phillips fourth and all have come at 171.
Ethan Hayes, Sr., Dixie (52-0, D-III, 215): Hayes successfully defended his 2010 state title. He’s headed to Virginia.
Mimmo Lytle, Jr., Swanton (40-0, D-III, 285): After finishing eighth and third the last two years, Lytle got his title.
There were several wrestlers who made history or snapped long exiles from the state podium for their school. The list includes:
Evan Krumheuer, Middle Heights Midpark, D-I, 103: Junior is his school’s highest placer since 1991 after finishing seventh.
Ivan McClay, Massillon Washington, D-I, 112: Sophomore became school’s first placer since 1998 and its highest since 1970 by finishing third.
Cody Steiner, Waynesville, D-III, 112: Junior became highest placer ever from his school by finishing runner-up.
Jacob Danishek, Dayton Christian, D-III, 112: Freshman captured his school’s first state title.
Nick Simpson, Batavia Clermont Northeastern, D-II, 103: Senior became first placer from his school since 2002 with third place finish.
Max Byrd, Cincinnati LaSalle, D-I, 119: Junior became his school’s highest state placer since 1976 with a runner-up finish.
Colin McDermitt, Lima Shawnee, D-II, 125: Junior became his school’s first state placer since 1985 with third place finish.
Stephen Pastor, Port Clinton, D-II, 130: Junior became his school’s first state placer since 2001 by finishing fourth.
Cody Shivener, Springboro, D-I, 135: Senior and three-time state placer saved his best for last, winning his school’s first ever state title.
Ruben Burrows, Canton McKinley, D-I, 135: By finishing runner-up the junior became McKinley’s highest state placer since 1975.
Chase Delande, Hilliard Davidson, D-I, 145: Junior became his school’s first state champion.
Conor Driscoll, Hilliard Bradley, D-II, 145: Junior became first wrestler in his school’s history to place by finishing eighth.
Seth Williams, Tiffin Columbian, D-II, 145: Freshman became his school’s first placer since 1982 by finishing fifth.
Andrew Higgins, Hilliard Bradley, D-II, 152: Senior became school’s highest lacer ever by finishing third.
Austin Jones, Dresden Tri-Valley, D-II, 160: Sophomore became his school’s highest placer since 1998 with a fourth place finish.
Coby Ryba, Mantua Crestwood, D-II, 171: Ryba became his school’s 11th champion but its first since 1994.
Riley Shaw, Washington Court House Washington, D-II, 285: Junior’s state title is his schools first ever.
The finals and overall attendance for the state tournament was the lowest its been since the event moved from Wright State’s Nutter Center in 1999.
A crowd of 14,121 witnessed Saturday’s finals session, while the five-session total was 61,856. Last year 14,886 attended the finals and 64, 617 attended all five sessions.
The largest five-session total ever is 75,582 in 2003.
Regardless, the state wrestling championship (Session 5) remains the single highest attended OHSAA state championship event, eclipsing finals in both football and basketball.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
The 75th annual state wrestling championships will be held March 1-3, 2012 at the Schottenstein Center.