After the Whistle: Kolodzik and Kelly deliver on their promise: “…since we were six.”

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Miami Valley’s Matthew Kolodzik and Bellbrook’s Cameron Kelly.

Separated by five minutes and different singlets, Matthew Kolodzik and Cameron Kelly delivered state
championships within seconds of each other Saturday at the 75th annual OHSAA
State Wrestling Tournament. On a
night when one school won it’s 27th team title and another won its 12th
in a row, Kolodizk and Kelly’s story holds merit too.


Matthew Kolodzik and Cameron Kelly share a lot of things. Saturday it was a stage, hug, headlines, hometown and cookies.

Separated by five minutes and different schools, the two delivered state championships within seconds of each other at the 75th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center. On a night when one school won it’s 27th team title and another won its 12th in a row, Kolodizk and Kelly’s story holds merit too.

Best friends and drill partners since the age of six, Kolodzik, a Miami Valley School freshman, and Kelly, a ninth-grader at Bellbrook, contested finals bouts at the same time on neighboring mats in the same weight class – 106.

The results were the same too: convincing wins.

“I feel very fortunate to have him,” Kolodzik said. “We’ve been joking with each other about winning state titles since we were six.”

Said Kelly: “We’re like brothers. We get into arguments sometimes and don’t like each other very much, but we see each other more than we probably see our parents. We see each other every day.”

That meeting usually takes place on a mat.

Kolodzik and Kelly live within a few miles of each other in the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools district and trade sweat, moves and mayhem at each others homes. Kelly has a wrestling barn. Kolodzik has a decked out basement.

Both have state titles.

Kolodzik, following in the footsteps of his brother Daniel (a two-time state champion), is a one-man wrestling team. He drills with Kelly because of need and want.

Saturday, Kolodzik capped a 45-2 freshman season with a 5-0 decision over Troy Christian freshman Jarred Granger in the D-III final.

Kelly, who finished the season 42-1, followed suit with a 7-2 win over Urichsville Claymont’s Cody Burcher in the D-II final. In winning his first state title, Kelly also won Bellbrook’s first.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” Kelly said. “I’ve been wanting it for so long.”

The same could be said for cookies.

After wrapping their media obligations and before posing for one final picture together, Kolodzik’s mom pulled a bag of cookies from her purse and threw it to the duo. The offering stood little chance.

When asked which was better – winning state or devouring “Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies” – Kolodzik answered: “They’re equally good.”

No doubt.

 

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