Two-time state champion Felipe Martinez has surfaced at Genoa High School. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)
They say it’s hard to beat an opponent three times in a season. Imagine
trying to do it six times. If we’re lucky – and no offense against the
other wrestlers – that’s exactly what we’ll get to see Graham’s Felipe
Martinez attempt on Saturday at the state wrestling finals.
They say it’s hard to beat an opponent three times in a season. Imagine trying to do it six times. If we’re lucky – and no offense against the other wrestlers – that’s exactly what we’ll get to see Graham’s Felipe Martinez attempt on Saturday at the state wrestling finals.
His foe? Kenton Ridge’s Tucker Armstrong.
This is a rivalry Hollywood couldn’t craft. It’s that far-fetched – and so very real. Armstrong – a senior – started his career at Kenton Ridge where he qualified for the D-II state tournament as a freshman. As a sophomore – after transferring to Graham – Armstrong won the 2008 D-II state title at 125 pounds. Last year he competed and went to school in California (his father’s job was relocated) and earned a scholarship to D-I Cal-Poly. Now Armstrong’s back where he started – at Kenton Ridge.
His “replacement” at Graham just happened to be Martinez.
Martinez is an animal – and I say that as a compliment.
With the potential to go down as one of the state’s best wrestlers ever, Martinez ended last year 45-2 and the D-II state champion at 130 pounds. This year he is 34-0 and ranked No. 8 in the country at 140 pounds.
Armstrong is not ranked nationally, although he is 31-5. And all five losses are to Martinez.
Three of them have come the last three weeks in the finals of the Central Buckeye Conference, Tippecanoe Sectional and Goshen District tournaments. Two prior came at the Alliance Top Gun and GMVWCA Holiday Tournament.
Armstrong has fallen to Martinez by decisions of 3-2, 6-4, 1-0, 7-3 and 3-2.
That’s just one story of intrigue to follow this week as the annual State Wrestling Finals invade Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
Here’s what else you need to know:
WHAT: 72nd Annual State Wrestling Tournaments WHEN: Thursday, March 4 - Saturday, March 6 WHERE: Jerome Schottenstein Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus
EVENT SCHEDULE: Thursday, 3:00 p.m. Session 1: Championship Prelims and Consolation Round 1 Friday, 10:00 a.m. - Session 2: Championship Quarterfinals and Consolation Round 2 Friday, 6:30 p.m. - Session 3: Championship Semifinals and Consolation Quarterfinals Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - Session 4: Consolation (3rd, 5th, 7th place matches), Hall of Fame Saturday, 5:30 p.m. - Session 5: Parade of Champions, All Finals