STATE WRESTLING REVISITED: BIGGEST STORIES
As we all know, this past weekend was the OHSAA state wrestling tournament, which means that the scholastic wrestling season is “officially” over. However, that does not mean the end to the Ohio Lowedown until next November. While this article will wrap up the just completed state tournament, upcoming articles will address a wide range of topics: Ohio wrestlers in the NCAA tournament, Ohio wrestlers in the post-season national tournaments, et al.
First and foremost, let’s take this moment to congratulate the 42 individuals that were crowned state champions. It is the culmination of much dedication and hard work for them as individuals, as well as their coaches, friends, and families. Each young man should take time to reflect upon what they have accomplished, as they will have it as something to cherish going forward. The same can be said for all of our state placers and qualifiers.
My late January state tournament prediction rankings held up relatively in line with how they have in previous years. There were nine correct champions in each division, for a total of 27 in all. The other champions were all projected to finish within the top four of their weight classes: seven in second, four were rated third, and the other four were positioned in fourth.
Looking in the other direction, eleven of the projected champions who did not win either finished second (four) or third (seven). The other four projected champions that did not win, however did place, one each in fourth, fifth, sixth, and seven. Even though there was a swarm of upsets earlier in the tournament, quarterfinals in particular, it was a relatively normal year in terms of prognostication
Repeating the Feat
Like last year, there were five weight classes where a defending state champion was unable to repeat as state champion, as well as six defending champions in all that did not repeat. Four-time state champions were the already mentioned Micah Jordan and Jacob Danishek, while ten others won a second state title: Tyler Warner (Claymont), Anthony Tutolo (Lake Catholic), Alex Marinelli (St. Paris Graham), Aaron Adkins (Akron SVSM), Billy Miller (Perry), Garrett Hancock (Troy Christian), Jared Ganger (Covington), Ryan Harris (Beachwood), and Travis Linton (Rootstown).
Failing to win second state titles were Jose Rodriguez (Massillon Perry) and Chalmer Frueauf (Moeller), who lost in the state finals; third place finishers Eli Seipel (St. Paris Graham), Jake Spiess (Delta), and Patrick Garren (Bishop Ready); as well as Dakota Sizemore (Moeller), who placed fourth.
Two of the three wrestlers who were former state champions, each had won their title in 2012, regained state titles this past weekend. David Bavery (Massillon Perry) and Sammy Gross (Beachwood) earned the gold, while Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook) fell short losing to defending state champion Tutolo in the final.
Glorious Graham, challenging Claymont
The derby for tops in Division II was not really that close, but it was competitive for a longer period of time than expected. Heading into the Friday night semifinal round, St. Paris Graham held about a 15-point lead, with nine total placers and seven semifinalists. That was in comparison to eight total placers and six semifinalists for Claymont.
Even with an inconsistent tournament, the Falcons still found the way to get it done and win a state record fourteenth consecutive state title. This year’s title was decided through their middle-weight wrestlers, as Kyle Lawson (138), Micah Jordan (145), and Alex Marinelli (160) all won state titles. Eli Stickley (113) was the additional weight class champion, while Brent Moore (132) came in second place. Third place finishes were accrued by Mario Kastl (120) and Eli Seipel (126), while rounding out the placements were sixth place finishes by Justin Stickley (106) and Josh Couchman (195).
That performance enabled St. Paris Graham to score 185.5 points, which outlasted the 137.5 point effort by Claymont. The point accrual for the Mustangs was a record number of points for a Division II runner-up, breaking the 121.5 point mark set by Columbus DeSales in 1978, back in the days of Class AA.
Leading the way for Claymont were titles won by Tyler (106) and Dustin (120) Warner, while Garrett Harding (220) came in with a runner-up finish. Semifinal losers Cody Burcher (138) and Colt Crall (182) came in fourth, while Kollin Clark (126) earned fifth. Additional placement finishes came from Caden Herron (145) and Lane Peters (113), who placed fourth and sixth respectively after losses in the quarterfinal round on the front side of the draw.