Ohio Lowedown: Ohio HS State Wrestling berths (224) decided at Districts; Who, When & Where

Josh Lowe (@JoshMLowe) is currently a national high school wrestling analyst for InterMatWrestle.com and was named the 2013 OHSWCA Media Service Award winner. JJHuddle.com is proud to announce he covers wrestling for us as well. The topic? High school wrestling. The writer? One of the sports best.

OHIO LOWEDOWN

Weekend Wrestling Primer: Schedules, Top Teams, Challengers & Additional Notes…

JJH-LoweDistrict week is upon us. The field of wrestlers vying for state tournament glory is down to 2,688. Four district tournaments in each of the three divisions will be conducted on Friday and Saturday to determine the 224 wrestlers per division that get to compete at Value City Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University on March 3rd through 5th. Four wrestlers per weight class per district tournament qualify to state.

Only 23 of those wrestlers enter this weekend undefeated, which means they are truly among the one percent (actually only 0.85% of the remaining wrestlers are without a loss). Of those wrestlers, 12 are in Division III, while it’s 11 combined between Division I (6) and Division II (5). Five state tournament weight classes have two undefeated wrestlers remaining: DIII/126, DIII/160, DIII/195, DI/106, and DI/285.

Below is a brief overview for each of this weekend’s district tournaments.

Division I – Hilliard Darby

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 5:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Team: Olentangy Liberty, which has been top 40 in the InterMat national team rankings all season, is the team to beat for the district title. The Patriots are led by returning state champion Kyle Lawson (160) and another projected state champion in Brakan Mead (106), along with freshman phenom Connor Brady (132). They could see as many as ten wrestlers qualify to state, though a more reasonable number is eight or nine.

Challengers: Dublin Coffman and Central Crossing. State dual meet tournament participant Dublin Coffman features returning state champion Dominick Demas (145), who is undefeated on the season; he is one of five projected state tournament qualifiers. Central Crossing won seven titles at the sectional level this past weekend, but finished runners-up; they are anchored by Kameron Teacher (285), who is undefeated on the season, and projected state champion Jaden Mattox (132). The Comets have three other projected state qualifiers, though they could get a sixth to state as well.

Additional Notes: sectional champions last week were Olentangy Liberty, Dublin Coffman, Westerville North (beating out Central Crossing), and Delaware Hayes. The Warriors and Pacers each have four projected state qualifiers, with at least one other possibility; Delaware Hayes is the higher end team with three projected state placers in Greg Brusco (152), Max Wright (160), and Chris Martinez (195).

Division I – Kettering Fairmont

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 6:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top teams: Five squads stand out as teams likely to dominate state qualification from this district. Mason and Fairfield were sectional champions last weekend; Elder and Moeller finished behind Fairfield in a sectional, while LaSalle was runner-up to Mason. It is likely those teams will combine for between 35 and 50 percent of the total state qualifiers from this tournament (i.e. more than 20, and possibly even more than 25). Mason is anchored by 2014 state placer Zack Donathan (132); Fairfield is anchored by undefeated Zach Shupp (106) and 2014 state placer Andrew Sams (152); Elder features projected state placers in Austin Murphy (126) and Ti’Ric Evans (170); Moeller is led by returning state placers in Jacoby Ward (152), Brett Bryant (170), and Jack Meyer (285); while LaSalle is anchored by 2014 state placer Corey Shie (132).

Additional Notes: The 285 pound weight class is the deepest of this tournament, with the 170 weight class close behind.

Division I – Mentor

Schedule: Friday at 5:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 7:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Team: Brecksville is the defending champion of this district tournament, and qualified 12 wrestlers to this year’s tournament. In addition, the Bees are projected to qualify seven wrestlers to state with an additional possibility as well. They are led by returning state placers Jarod Bronstrup (113), Harry Feuer (120), Justin Demicco (138), and Austin Hiles (152), as well as impact freshman Gabe Tagg (106).

Challengers: Massillon Perry and Aurora, both of whom also won sectional titles this past weekend. Massillon Perry, runners-up last year to Brecksville at the district, are projected to qualify seven to state as well; anchoring the Panthers is defending state champion David Carr (145), returning state placer Joe Koontz (138), and returning state qualifier Emil Soehnlen (152). The Greenmen are projected to qualify six to the state tournament, and are anchored by 2014 state placers Jarred Brezovec (132) and Josh Burger (285), as well as impact freshman Andy Garr (120).

Additional Notes: The two deepest weight classes in this year’s district tournament are at 113 and 138 pounds.

Division I – Perrysburg

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and one hour after the consolation semifinal round is complete (medal matches)

Top Team: St. Edward qualified its full team to the district tournament from a loaded sectional tournament at Westlake this past weekend. The Eagles won the state dual meet title two weekends ago, and are the defending individual bracket state tournament champions. They are projected to qualify 12 wrestlers to the state tournament. Anchoring the St. Edward squad are returning state champion Allan Hart (126), state runners-up Hunter Ladnier (138) and Jared Campbell (220), state placer Jack Conway (152), along with impact freshmen Bryce Andonian (106) and Sam Dover (132).

Challenger: Elyria qualified 13 wrestlers from the Westlake sectional, and were runners-up to St. Edward at both last year’s state tournament and the state dual meet tournament two weekends ago. The Pioneers were runners-up at the sectional level, and are anchored by a pair of defending state champions in Ben Darmstadt (182) and Kevin Vough (285); additional returning state placers include Brandon Fenton (113), Nico O’Dor (152), Mikah Price (160), and J.T. Brown (182). They are projected to advance 8 or 9 wrestlers to the state tournament.

Additional Notes: This is a very top-heavy sectional with the likely 20 state qualifiers coming from St. Edward and Elyria. In addition, four other teams could accrue another 12-to-16 state qualifiers among themselves: Wadsworth and Brunswick, top two at the Wadsworth sectional; Olmsted Falls, third at Westlake behind St. Edward and Elyria; and Perrysburg, champions at Toledo Waite. Projected state champions in eight weight classes are at this district tournament.

Division II – Alliance

Schedule: Friday at 3:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 6:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Teams: Lake Catholic is projected to qualify the most wrestlers to state (six), and has the most wrestlers competing in this district tournament (twelve). The Cougars are anchored by returning state placer Kevon Freeman (132) as well as returning state qualifiers in Hunter Ryan (113), John Szep (182), and Justin Sanders (195). Canfield and Akron SVSM, each sectional champions, are projected to advance five to the state tournament. The Cardinals feature three returning state placers in Georgio Poullas (152), David Crawford (160), and Jacob Esarco (220), as well as state qualifier C.J. Frost (138); while the Irish have returning state placer Ben Knaus (170), state qualifier Luke Wymer (126), and projected state placer Jaret Lester (195).

Challengers: Canal Fulton Northwest was the other sectional tournament champion, and are projected to advance four to state. They are anchored by two-time state placer Hunter Kosco (120), along with returning state qualifiers Kyle Myers (160) and Dalton Cox (182). Alliance is projected to qualify five to state after finishing runners-up to Canfield at the sectional tournament; the Aviators are a somewhat young team, but are led by a senor in returning state qualifier Shawn Barnes (285).

Additional Note: The West Branch sectional is the class of this district tournament, as teams exiting that site are projected to amass 25 state qualifiers (though a more conservative estimate would be in the 20 range).

Division II – Claymont

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 5:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Teams: Three teams from this district finished “on the board” at last year’s state tournament, Claymont, Carrollton, and Steubenville. They are the clear class of this tournament and should combine for between 15 and 20 state qualifiers (probably closer to 20). Claymont (sectional runners-up for the second straight year) and Steubenville (sectional champions) qualified the joint most to the district, 12 each; Carrollton, who beat Claymont for their second straight sectional title, advanced ten. Anchoring the host Mustangs is three-time state champion Tyler Warner (120), two-time state placer Lane Peters (132), and four other state qualifiers. The Big Red are led by two-time state runner-up Tariq Wilson (126), who is undefeated on the season; two other state placers are on the squad, Jashon Hubbard (132) and Shawn Livingston (170). Carrollton is led by returning state placer Aidan Pasiuk (170), impact freshman Ben Pasiuk (106), and projected state placer Adam Shaw (138).

Additional Notes: Sectional champions New Lexington qualified 11 wrestlers to the district tournament, though only two are projected to move on to state: 2014 state qualifier Andrew Spicer (132) and returning state qualifier Matt Adams (285). The deepest weight class is 138 pounds, where a returning state qualifier was already displaced at the sectional level; that still leaves four state tournament experienced wrestlers plus Shaw and an additional ranked wrestler.

Division II – Fostoria

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and one hour after the consolation semifinal round is complete (medal matches)

Top Team: Wauseon was runner-up in the state dual meet tournament two weekends ago, and won a sectional title this past weekend. The Indians have been “on the board” for multiple seasons in a row, and were runners-up at the district tournament last year. They are led by three returning state placers: Sandro Ramirez (152), Tre Campbell (182), and Tony Banister (195); Hunter Yackee (132) is also a returning state qualifier.

Challengers: Bellevue, Perkins, Ashland, and Sandusky were atop the standings at the Sandusky sectional in that order. Those four teams are projected to total 15 to 20 state qualifiers this weekend. The sectional champion Redmen are led by returning state placer Collin Adkins (132) and state qualifier Jared Hoy (285); the Pirates feature returning state qualifiers in Juwan Minnefield (138) and Seth Boggs (152) along with two returning state alternates; the Arrows do not return a state qualifier, as they were a Division I squad last year, but have two notable projected state placers in Sidney Ohl (145) and Tristen Weirich (220); while Sandusky is led by returning state qualifier Leondre Cooley (113) and talented upper-weights in Jalen Gowdy (220) and Jamez Young (285).

Additional Notes: Adding in the rest of the Sandusky sectional, it would not surprise if 20 (or even more) state qualifiers out of this district came from that site. The deepest weight in this tournament is at 120 pounds, with past state finalists Seth Beard (Napoleon) and Tony Decesare (Padua) anchoring the proceedings.

Division II – Wilmington

Schedule: Friday at 3:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 1-:30 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals, fifth place matches) and approximately 4:30 p.m. (championship and consolation final)

Top Team: Despite indications to the contrary, this district tournament is not officially named The St. Paris Graham Invitational, it just seems that way. The Falcons are prohibitively favored to win a sixteenth straight state championship. The only question at this tournament is how many they will qualify to state, is it 12 or is it 13? Anything less than 12 would be an upset. They are led by returning state champions Mitch Moore (126), Brent Moore (138), and Alex Marinelli (170); state runners-up Justin Stickley (120) and Rocky Jordan (145); projected state champions Ryan Thomas (132) and Garrett Jordan (160); along with impact freshman Jordan Crace (106).

Challengers: Western Brown and Hamilton Ross both qualified to the state dual meet tournament, and waged a tight battle in the sectional, one that Hamilton Ross won. Even without returning state placer Brandon Lucas (106), who failed to make weight, the Broncos could still see four or five reach the state tournament; while the Rams could see four of their own make it to Columbus, though none is projected to reach the podium.

Additional Notes: The deepest weight class here is at 182 pounds, one anchored by projected state champion Tyler Wiederholt (Bellbrook). The other deep weight here is 152 pounds.

Division III – Garfield Heights

Schedule: Friday at 5:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 6:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Teams: Waynedale and Rootstown both advanced to the state dual meet semifinal round two weeks ago, and each dominated their way to sectional titles. The Golden Bears advanced their whole team to district from the West Salem Northwestern sectional, while the Rovers took 13 from their home sectional. In terms of state qualifiers, Rootstown is projected to advance seven, while Waynedale is looking at six. The Rovers are led by returning state placers Seth Hayes (120), Patrick Jordan (160), and Luke Sorboro (170); while Waynedale features state placers in Christian Wellman (113), Reid Stanley (160), and Tristan Anderson (182).

Challengers: Tuslaw qualified the next most to the district with eleven, in finishing second to Rootstown at the sectional; however, the Mustangs have only two projected state qualifiers. In terms of state qualification, Manchester and Mogadore are likely to advance the next most behind Rootstown and Waynedale. Manchester, champion at the Independence sectional, is led by state placers Joey Bowen (126) and Jerek Cropper (220); while the Wildcats, runners-up at Independence, are led by state placer Collin Kelly (220) and state qualifier Josh Tompkins (145).

Division III – Heath

Schedule: Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 9:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and 5:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Notable: This is the one district tournament across the 12 statewide that is bereft of any top teams. In addition the site only has three projected state finalists: Greg Quinn (Shadyside) at 113 pounds, Caleb Brooks (Bishop Ready) at 126, and Dalton Hoover (Martins Ferry) at 195. My projections for this district show no team advancing more than four to state, those being Nelsonville York and Shadyside, who both won sectional titles last week. The other sectionals were won by Northmor and Coshocton. It is an extremely balanced and wide open district tournament across weight classes and in terms of the team battle.

Additional: Two weight classes to watch for their depth are 132 and 195 pounds.

Division III – Toledo Waite

Schedule: Friday at 4:00 p.m. (two championship rounds only), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (two consolation rounds, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and one hour after the consolation semifinal round is complete (medal matches)

Top Team: Delta is now four-time champions of the state dual meet tournament, and have finished either first (2014) or second (2013 and 2015) in the prior three individual state meets. The Panthers advanced thirteen to the district tournament, and have a realistic chance to hit double digits in state tournament qualifiers. They are led by returning state champions Drew Mattin (120), Jake Spiess (132), and Chance Veller (285); Dustin Marteney (138) and Jesse Beverly (152) were runners-up last year; while Devin Richard (220) is a two-time state placer.

Challenger: Oak Harbor is in their debut season in Division III after many years of Division II competition. While this is a tough district tournament, it is still easier than the competition the Rockets were used to seeing in previous years. They join Delta in advancing 13 to the district tournament, and were state dual meet qualifiers along with winning a sectional title this past week. Oak Harbor is projected to qualify eight wrestlers to the state tournament. Anchoring the team are returning state qualifiers Dylan Mansor (132), Rhett Petersen (145), and Brandon Garber (285); along with past district placers Bruce Hrynciw (120) and Kian Thompson (182).

Additional Notes: Milan Edison was also top five in the state tournament last year, won a sectional title this past weekend, and advanced 12 to the district tournament. The Chargers are projected to advance five to state, though that number could be slightly less or much more, as draws are tough. Leading their roster are returning state placers Brady Barnett (132) and Jack Staggs (195). Also projected to have robust district tournament performances are Genoa and Archbold, who could each get five to state with good tournaments this weekend. Genoa is a young team, led by impact freshmen Dylan D’Emilio (106) and Julian Sanchez (113); while Archbold features Gavin Grime (120) and Noah Mattin (126) with state experience and two other returning state alternates.

Division III – Troy

Schedule: Friday at 3:00 p.m. (two championship rounds and one consolation round), Saturday at 10:00 a.m. (second consolation, mixed round including the semifinals, consolation semifinals) and approximately 4:00 p.m. (medal matches)

Top Teams: Mechanicsburg and Dayton Christian are likely to wage a tight battle for the district tournament title, both projected to qualify seven to state. The Indians were top five at state last year and the state dual meet runners-up, while the Warriors are defending state tournament champions. This pair of teams is arguably the favorites to finish runner-up to Delta at state next weekend. Two-time state champion Kaleb Romero (160) anchors Mechanicsburg, who features four other returning state placers: Tyler Wetzel (113), Alex Rhine (120), Tanner Smith (138), and Wade Smiddy (145). Two-time state champion Logan Lacure (145) and defending state champion Tommy Hoskins (113) lead the Dayton Christian squad, which includes another pair of state placers in Ronnie Pietro (106) and Nick Vestal (152).

Challengers: Covington and Miami East are projected to qualify four each to the state tournament. Covington is led by state placer Ryan Ford (138) and Lance Miller (160); while Miami East features a trio of returning state placers in Graham Shore (113), Alex Isbrandt (126), and Ben Ferguson (285).

Additional Notes: This district tournament features six projected state champions, and has in recent years been the toughest of the Division III districts in terms of state tournament performance metrics (most placers, least two-and-out, et al).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *