Iím just going to attach this intro to all the breakdowns. I love the sport, but to anyone reading, remember that these are just my opinions. Feel free to tell me if Iím wrong or ignorant. To any wrestlers reading this, donít put too much stock in it. Use it to motivate you if you wish, but threads and rankings are just the opinions of old guys that are now usually 20+ pounds over our high school weights. We donít know anything in terms of who will beat who, or how much work you have put in to achieve greatness. Only the wrestlers themselves determine the matches. Good luck to all wrestlers during the rest of the season, and enjoy the sport while youíre in it.
*= question about weight or participation
1. Tyler Warner (Claymont)
2. Jake Martinez (Licking Valley)
3. Alex Potts (East Liverpool)
4. Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling)
5. C.J. Brady (Carrollton)
6. Jordan Anthony (Buckeye Valley)
7. Logan Ball (Cambridge)
8. Cody Woods (West Holmes)
The freshman Tyler Warner navigated one of the deeper weights in D-2 last year to walk away with his first state title. This season, heís been spectacular, earning a national ranking, winning the Ironman and Medina tournaments, and posting impressive wins over many of the best 106-pounders in the state. Warner pinned his way to the Ironman finals, a rare feat for any wrestler, before staking a dominant 12-2 win over nationally ranked Jay Renteria (Oak Park River Forest) to earn the crown. At Medina, Warner would knock off two of the Division 1 state title favorites, besting Noah Baughman (Wadsworth) 5-0 and Tommy Genetin (Perry) 7-1. His lone loss of the season would come at Top Gun, where he fell 7-6 to nationally ranked Justin Mejia (Clovis) in the finals. Another key win for Warner came in the finals of the state duals, where he bettered Justin Stickley (Graham) 5-0. Warner will be the favorite for a state title this year as he looks to navigate this talented weight class as he and the nationally ranked Mustangs strive to put their best performance on at the Schott.
I donít see many results from the Licking Valley crew, but middle school state placer Martinez has made an impact during his brief high school stint. He won the Cambridge tournament early in the year, earning a 19-4 tech against Ball and a 9-4 win in the finals over fellow middle school state placer Hunter Kosco (Northwest). Martinez also bumped up to 113 to wrestle state placer Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling) in their dual, dropping a close 3-1 match.
Potts looked impressive in winning the title at the OVAC tournament, defeating middle school state placer Greg Quinn (Shadyside) 4-2 for the gold after earning 2 pins, a tech, and a 12-1 major to reach the finals.
Noah Jay is looking to make a return trip to the Promised Land, as the Whitehall senior qualified for state in 2012 but just missed out last year. Jay has finished 4th and 5th in the district the last two years.
Brady was also extremely close to qualification last year, dropping an OT match and a 1-pointer in his two advancement matches. Jay would go on to defeat Brady 5-4 for the state alternate spot at this district last year. Itís been reported that Brady owns a win over Potts this year putting him right at the heart of the qualification hunt at this weight.
1. Tariq Wilson (Steubenville)
2. Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling)
3. Lane Peters (Claymont)
4. Cory Marshall (Dover)
5. Josiah Hrusch (Minerva)
6. Jack Dawson (Beaver Local)
7. Joey Coe (Amanda-Clearcreek)
8. Giovaughni Bonner (Brookhaven)
Wilson impressed last year, finishing 6th at a deep 106 weight class and even earning a win over state champ Tyler Warner (Claymont) during their dual meet. It was interesting, because before the season I thought that he may have bump up to 113 or wait a year to start with state placer Devin Brown returning. Brown moved to Pennsylvania, and the move worked out for both he and Wilson. Wilson placed at state in Ohio, while Brown claimed his first state title in PA.
This season, Wilson has picked up right where he left off, winning a title at the North Canton Holiday Tournament and sailing through the OVAC tournament to claim another crown. At Hoover, he picked up three pins and a major on his way to the finals. One of the pins was over middle school state placer Brady Barnett (M. Edison), and in the finals he defeated a quality wrestler in Noah Baughman (4-3), who is one of the D-1 state title favorites at 106. No one was able to keep the match to a decision against Wilson at the OVAC tournament, where his closest bout was a 12-4 major.
Abduljelil was one of the more impressive surprises to me at the state tournament last season. As a freshman, he finished 5th in Columbus earning three of his four wins over wrestlers that had already claimed a state medal in their career. At the state and district tournaments, Abduljelil showed both the ability to bounce back from getting pinned and the ability to win the close match. At district he was pinned by Josh Henderson (Beaver Local) in the semis, but bounced back with two 2-point wins to finish 3rd. Abduljelil opened his state tournament with an OT win over senior state placer Matt Pool (Central Cath.). After getting pinned by eventual state champ Eli Seipel (Graham), he rebounded with one-point wins over Raimo and 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace). Abduljelil was then pinned by Collin Dees (Perry) in the consolation semis, but bounced back with an overtime win over 2x state placer Ryan Bennett (CVCA) to claim 5th. Abduljelil is fully capable of improving on that placement this year, and although I canít find many of his results this season, he did defeat middle school state placer Jake Martinez (Licking Valley) 3-1 in their dual meet. He and Wilson should prove to be a great match-up at this weight.
Lane Peters has been the primary beneficiary of Dustin Warnerís jump from 113 to 120. Peters has seized the opportunity to wrestle at a weight that is more suited for him. He grabbed a 7th place finish at Top Gun where he defeated middle school state placer Keysean Amison (Perkins) and pinned another solid freshman Max Wright (Hayes) in his final match. Along the road to the state duals final, Peters defeated state qualifier Cole Woods (West Holmes), district placer C.J. Brady (Carrollton), state alternate Skyler St. Peter (Athens) by pin, and state qualifier Joey Coy (Amanda-Clearcreek) who he teched. Peters also won his conference tournament with a 6-4 overtime win over state qualifier Marshall. He looks primed for district placement, and could be on the road to his first state medal.
Speaking of Corey Marshall, he picked up a nice 6-4 win over state qualifier Cole Woods (West Holmes) in their state duals match after having a rough Top Gun tournament where he finished 2-2, getting pinned by state placer Cory Simpson (Field) and freshman Max Wright.
1. Dustin Warner (Claymont)
2. Raymond Raimo (River Valley)
3. Mike Stewart (S. Highland)
4. Adam Shaw (Carrollton)
5. Cole Woods (West Holmes)
6. Nick Hoffman (Amanda-Clearcreek)
7. Cameron Canonico (Minerva)
8. Dakota Goff (Steubenville)
Dustin is another Warner seeking a state title for Claymont, and the Mustang senior has evidently elected to pursue a state crown at 120 after starting the season at 113. Warner was a semifinalist at Ironman while down at 113, claiming a 7-3 win over state placer Mario Guillen (Perrysburg) and a national ranking in the process. At Medina, Dustin would finish 3rd staking 4 pins and a 6-2 win over state placer Shakur Laney (Groveport-Madison) in the consolation finals. Warner would have a rough quarterfinal at Top Gun after making the jump to 120. He opened with a 14-1 major of the solid Sal Ferrise (SVSM) and a pin in the quarters, but ran into spectacular freshman Corey Shie (LaSalle) who pinned him in the third period. Warner followed that match up with a 10-3 win over state qualifier Cole Woods but forfeited to 8th place after that win. He had a mixed weekend at the state duals this past week, where he majored state qualifier Hoffman 16-3 and defeated state placer Collin Dees (Perry) 5-1 who he had split two matches with at the state tournament last year. However, he hit a wall against the sterling sophomore Mario Kastl (Graham) in the finals, where he dropped a 6-0 match. Dustin is going to be a state title contender regardless of the weight that he opts to go, and I fully believe that he is capable of reversing that result against Kastl. The question for the top contenders at this weight will be; who can step up on the biggest stage?
Raimo was a state qualifier last season when he came up just a match shy of placement in Columbus. He also earned a nice consolation win over state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) in the dreaded Thursday night consolation match. I donít see many results from him, but heíll be a contender for a state medal is he is indeed wrestling in the state process.
Mike Stewart was a state alternate at this district last season after loosing an 11-9 bout to eventual state placer Ana Abduljelil to go to state. I know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to be the state alternate as an underclassman. The next year sectionals canít come soon enough as you seek to redeem yourself and punch a ticket to the state tournament. Stewart has performed well in this, his junior year, and he looks primed for a trip to Columbus. Early in the year he finished 2nd at his home tournament and claimed an 8th place finish at the always competitive Medina tournament. While at Medina, Stewart defeated solid competition in Hunter Deshon (Hoover), state alternate Nick Bergman (Oak Harbor), and Connor Gray (Wadsworth) while losing a 1 point match to state bronze medalist Josh Heil (Brunswick) and a two point match to state placer Santino DiSabato (Westerville N.). Stewart went on to win the Heath tournament, defeating Nick Young (Philo) by pin in the finals. He also finished 3rd at New Lexington, dropping a 12-4 match to Mario Kastl but winning his 3rd place match over state qualifier Theodore Zoumpolidis (Martins Ferry) 17-6.
Two years ago, Adam Shaw was a middle school state place winner. This season, the freshman has made a splash on the high school level and already looks like he can contend for state qualification. He finished 2-2 at Top Gun, but owned a 4-2 win over a solid Seth Whitehead (Mass. Jackson) losing a 7-3 match to 6th placer Jarrette Carter (Fort LeBouef, PA). He also dropped a 7-1 decision to state champ Tyler Warner in their state duals match, although Warner was wrestling up two weights.
State qualifier Woods started off the season at 113, where he won the Cambridge tournament, defeating Jack Dawson (Beaver Local) and 2nd to state qualifier Jake Donahue (Massillon) at Smithville. Woods finished 3-2 at both Medina and Top Gun earning wins over Marko Vilimonovic (Highland) and district placer Travis Pidgeon (West Branch) along the way. However, he did suffer a lopsided loss to Whitehead at Top Gun the round before Shaw defeated him. Woods rebounded with a title at the OCC tournament where he earned a respectable 10-3 win over a capable Jesse Todd (Clear Fork) in the finals.
Canonico won a title at Cambridge over Nathaniel Kehn (Sheridan) and also bested district placer Pidgeon 4-3 in their dual meet.
Hoffman and Goff add depth to this weight. Hoffman is a fourth wrestler with state experience at this weight and Goff finished 2nd at the OVAC tournament while earning a pin over a solid Dustin Martsolf (Beaver Local) in the opening round. Hoffman won the Jeff Arndt tournament with a nice win over Dominic Vagnier (Logan Elm) in the finals despite getting majored by that wrestler in their dual meet.
Chandler Minnard has already placed at state twice in D-3, finishing 7th in both of his first two seasons. This year he and his Bloom-Carroll teammates will look to make the seamless transition in to the D-2 climate. That being said, Minnard looks like the favorite at this weight at Claymont and a likely state placer once again. Early in the year, he pinned his way through the Sheridan tournament, but Minnard had a rougher go of it at Brecksville, where finished 2-2. He was able to rebound at the Dies Tournament where he would claim the title. Minnard earned two pins and a tech on the way to the semis before earning an 8-2 win over state alternate Brett Thomas (Brunswick) in the semis. In the finals, Minnard won a close 8-7 bout with the skillful freshman Giorgio Poullas (Canfield) who finished 3rd at the middle school state tournament last season and defeated state placer Jarrod Lasko (Madison) in the semis of that same Dies tournament.
Kollin Clark has been a consistently good wrestler for the Mustangs the last few years. This season, he seems to be reaching higher and higher levels as the season progresses. Early in the year, he finished 5th at Medina losing only to state placer Josh Wimer (Central Crossing) and state alternate Brett Thomas. He won a crucial swing match in the dual victory over St. Edward, and then seized a 5th place finish at Top Gun. While wrestling at Alliance, Clark pinned district placer Haynes, bested middle school state placer Joe Koontz (SVSM), pinned state placer Greg Brusco (Hayes), and defeated another middle school state placer Matt Steer (West Branch) 8-2 for 5th place. Clark pinned and teched his way through the ECOL and state duals until he reached the final of the state duals and fell in a 6-2 match with state champion Eli Seipel.
Jenkins has bounced back and forth between here and 132, but Iím guessing that heíll reside at 126 come tournament time. His biggest tournament win came at the OVAC where he won the title over state qualifier Keyes 10-4. Jenkins has also finished 5th at Cambridge, 2nd to state champ Seipel at New Lexington, and 3rd at ECOL falling to Sam Grashel (River View).
Jason Keyes defeated Hunter Pizzino (Harrison Central) at Cambridge the match after Pizzino bested Tyler Jenkins. He also finished 5th at Lorian and 2nd at EOWL while at 132, but was 2nd at 126 at the OVAC, so his weight for sectionals may be in question. Keyes wrestled a solid match in the finals of the EOWL, taking the bout to overtime before falling to Joey Baitt (Jefferson).
Matheney and Haynes both placed at this district last year, finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Matheneyís most impressive win this year came in the second round of the GMVWA tournament where he bested Elijah Owens (Simon Kenton) who finished 6th at the Kentucky state tournament last year.
1. Bret Yutzy (Jonathan Alder)
2. Hayden Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe)
3. Billy Shannon (Amanda-Clearcreek)
4. Gabe Gibson (Bloom-Carroll)
5. Sam Grashel (River View)
6. Jesse Hubbard (Steubenville)
7. Ben Van Wey (John Glenn)
8. Garrett Blackburn (London)
Yutzy finished 6th at this district last year, and the senior looks like one of the favorites at 132 this year. Yutzy had three pins and a tech on the way to the finals of the Nelsonville-York Tournament earning a solid win over Isaiah Collier (Fairfield Union) in the semis. He would finish 4th at Marion County, defeating state qualifier Tim Violet (Madison Plains) 12-7 in the quarterfinals before dropping a match to state placer Bradley Wardell (Waynedale) and a 5-3 bout to Christian Price (Granville) for 3rd. After making the drop from 138 to 132, Yutzy won the tournament at Pleasant, earning a noteworthy 9-3 win over state qualifier Carson Mengerink (Upper Sandusky) in the finals.
Hayden Bullard has made some noise in his sophomore campaign. He finished 4th at New Lexington where he defeated a high quality wrestler in Nate Henkle (Graham) 6-4 in OT before defeating Van Wey 11-7. His only two losses at the tournament were to state placer Brent Moore (Graham) and to state alternate Jake Maynard (Northridge) in OT.
Billy Shannon has already qualified for state twice, and heíll attempt to make the jump from D-3 to D-2 state qualifier this year. He earned a 6-5 win at the state duals over middles school state placer Chandler Golec (Claymont) and finished 2nd at the Jeff Arndt Tournament to Joey Pelletier (Utica).
Gibson, like Bullard is sophomore who has rounded into a better and better wrestler as the season has progressed. He was 0-2 at Brecksville, but finished 6th at the Dies tournament where he had a nice 5-4 win over Nate Taylor (Brunswick), bested state qualifier Bobby Bowen (Manchester) 10-5, also grabbing wins over quality wrestlers Daprile (Canfield) and Dantimo (Streetsboro).
Grashel finished 2nd to district placer Maverick Meek (New Philadelphia) at the ECOL tournament, besting Tyler Jenkins (Meadowbrook) 4-0 in the semis.
Hubbard is another wrestler to watch at this weight. He finished a respectable 4th at the OVAC tournament recently, and even wrestled a 3-2 match with West Virginia state placer Isaiah Hood (University) in the semifinals.
1. Cody Burcher (Claymont)
2. Dashawn Haynes (Buckeye Valley)
3. Daniel Hasson (Beaver Local)
4. Christian Price (Granville)
5. Kody Driggs (Morgan)*
6. Luke Miller (Philo)
7. Devin Hessler (River Valley)
8. Tyler Gunn (River View)
138 is just one of the many exciting weights in D-2 this season. There are several interesting intricacies at this weight that hosts four wrestlers who have been in a state finals (Lawson, Skonieczny, Bowshier, and Burcher) plus Dobben, Zemaitis, Knul, and Haynes who have all placed at state previously. There will be no shortage of interesting match-ups come tournament time. Itís hard not to root for one of the seniors to emerge with the state title to cap his high school career.
Cody Burcher is one of these seniors as the Mustang wrestler has placed 2nd, 2nd and 3rd in his three trips to the state tournament. Heís looked the part of a potential state champ this year, especially in his recent 1-0 win over the stellar freshman Kyle Lawson (Graham) in their state duals showdown. Burcher looked good at Medina, where he won the tournament tile majoring district placer Adam Salti (Olmsted Falls) 11-0 in the quarters, besting Michigan state bronze medalist Myles Amine (Detroit C.C.) 1-0 in the semis and, conquering state placer Nick Boggs (Riverside) 3-0 for the title. Burcher would finish 4th at Top Gun, dropping a very close match with state qualifier Nick Steed (Perry) and a 3rd place match to 2x state placer Mikey Kostandaras (Walsh) but winning matches over state placers Josh Weber (Loudonville) and David Sparks (Marysville), the former of which he pinned. If he keeps wrestling like he has been, Burcher will be in contention once again for a birth in the state finals, as well as his first state championship.
The prolific pinner Deshawn Haynes capped his junior year with a 7th place finish at state. This year heíll hope to better that placement in this absurd weight class. Haynes won the Nelsonville-York tournament, pinning Driggs and Bret Yutzy along the way. He was a semifinalist at Top Gun where he won a 20-14 dog fight with state placer Josh Weber in the quarters. Unfortunately, he after getting pinned by Nick Steed, Haynes defaulted to 6th place. Hopefully, it wasnít anything major, and heíll be back for the state tournament process.
Hasson adds further depth to this weight, as the junior has already qualified for state once, coming up a match shy of placement last year. He won at Cambridge, where he pinned Driggs, snatched another title at Lorain, where he pinned state qualifier Evan Francis (Kirtland) and won the EOWL title with another pin in the finals. The EOWL had some late match heroics from Hasson in the semis where he needed a last second take down to defeat C.J. Frost (Canfield). Hasson also finished 3rd at the OVAC wrestling tournament recently.
Christian Price has continued to step up his game this year, finishing 2nd to Kyle Lawson at New Lexington and grabbing a 3rd place at Marion County with wins over district placer Yutzy (Jonathan Alder) and state placer Alex Becker (Dayton Chr.)
Caden Herron is another of the Mustangís that has upped their game this year, as the senior former state qualifier has a district title in his sights. Herron claimed a 7th place finish at Top Gun, where his most impressive win came against a high quality Spencer Nagy (Alliance) 11-8 in the second round. Nagy bumped up to 152 in his dual with Hartshorn to defeat the Minerva wrestler 12-6 earlier in the year. Herron added an impressive 12-2 major over state qualifier Stallard in their state duals showdown. From there, Herron won his conference tournament in dominating fashion.
Despite the loss to Nagy, Hartshorn is another wrestler that seems to be reaching new plateaus with each year of his high school career. He won the Cambridge tournament early in the year with a pin over Ethan Fout (Licking Valley) in the finals. At Top Gun, Hartshorn finished 5th, claiming wins over solid competition such as Henry (Mentor), Jackson (Alliance), and Knaus (SVSM) along the way. Hartshorn has spent most of his season at 152, but was a 145 for his state duals match with district placer Nick Wrobel (Crestwood) who he was able to pin.
Stallard and Logan Johnson are both state qualifiers looking to make return trips to Columbus. Johnson finished 4th at Cambridge, where Haines was the champion after the Morgan wrestler defeated Emmanuel Barnes (Canal Winchester) and Daniel Law (Belpre) who both defeated Johnson. Itís been reported that Johnson is done wrestling for the season, which if true would open up this weight a bit.
Hickenbottom finshed 4th at Canbridge while up at 152 and 2nd at Sheridan, while Bailey Jenkins claimed the silver medal at the OVAC tournament.
1. Steven Fearnow (Amanda-Clearcreek)
2. Collin Rollison (River Valley)
3. Niko Moray (Steubenville)
4. Kevin Scrudders (Cambridge)
5. Ethan Fout (Licking Valley)
6. Nate Ketchum (East Liverpool)
7. Eric Williams (Buckeye Local)
8. Dylan Wildman (Jonathan Alder)
Assuming that Hartshorn stays at 145, Fearnow will be the lone state qualifier returning to this weight class. It’s difficult to find results from Amanda-Clearcreek this year but Fearnow was a match away from placement in D-3 last year. This year he won the Jeff Arndt Tournament, defeating Luke Bressler (Liberty Union) in the finals and pulled out a win over Justice Avery (Claymont) in their state duals showdown.
Rollison finished 2nd at Olentangy Liberty, grabbing a nice win over district placer Robbie Bosley (Wadsworth) in the semis and a 2nd place at Nelsonville-York falling to state placer Dakota Mays (Nelsonville-York) un the finals of both tournaments. Rollison also looked solid finishing 4th at Marion County where his only losses were by decision to state placers Jamie Baldridge (Northmor) and Dakota Stanley (Waynedale).
Scrudders has also been good this year; taking 2nd at Cambridge, 3rd at Sheridan, 6th at OVAC and 1st at ECOL. He had a solid win over Dalton Cox (C.F. Northwest) at Cambridge, notable wins over Swackhammer (New Lexington) and St. Peter (Athens) in the state duals, and a pin over Justice Avery (Claymont) in the ECOL finals.
Fout is only a freshman, but he claimed the silver medal at Cambridge, defeating Scrudders’s teammate Hickenbottom 6-1 in the semis.
Niko Moray finished 4th at the OVAC tournament, defeating Bryce Coleman (Martins Ferry) who went on to beat Kevin Scrudders for 5th place.
Steffeny has looked hungry to get back to the state tournament this year. He recently defeated fellow state qualifier Caleb Horn 7-3 in their state duals tilt. Steffeny also won the Marion County Tournament while defeating state placer Alex Kenner (Upper Sandusky) 7-5 in the semifinals, and was 2nd to state champ Alex Marinelli (Graham) at New Lexington. His most impressive win at New Lexington was a 2-1 OT victory over D-3 state qualifier Rob Mickey (Northridge).
Shoemaker was 8th in the state at this weight last season. This year he was 2nd at Scioto only losing to fellow state placer L.J. Henderson (IndianLake) 6-4 in the finals. At Pleasant, Shoemaker pinned his way to the finals before finishing runner-up once again, this time to state placer Kenner (15-7) who Steffeny defeated.
Hannibal Tate made his first trip to the state tournament last year, and the Mifflin Puncher has not showed any signs of a drop off this season. He pinned his way to the Nelsonville-York tournament final before defeating Dylan Wildman (Jonathan Alder) 12-8 for the title. Last week he wrestled up at 170 and won the Columbus City League tournament with an 11-6 victory over a very capable Christian Bobo (Whetstone). I’m not sure if the shift up to 170 is a permanent one, But Hannibal Tate and his phenomenal name will be in contention for qualification at either weight class.
Caleb Horn was also a state qualifier for Amanda-Clearcreek as the senior will try to help his Aces achieve a top three finish at Claymont.
Frazier could end up at 170 where he has also wrestled, and the Philo senior even owns a 3-2 win over state qualifier Dallas Lazear (Athens) wrestling a dual up at 182.
Scherer has also been wrestling very well this year, and could punch a ticket to state this year. Scherer won the Cambridge Tournament with a pin over Fox and claimed the ECOL tournament tile with a 6-2 win over the same wrestler.
1. Zach Gibson (Bloom-Carroll)
2. Alec Eisnnicher (Big Walnut)
3. Matt Dennis (Claymont)
4. Will Navin (Granville)
5. Mack White (Amanda-Clearcreek)
6. Branden Jones (Steubenville)
7. Jim Brittsan (Buckeye Valley)
8. Josh Sokolowski (Buckeye Local)
170 is a great weight at Claymont, with four state qualifiers and a host of other talented wrestlers inhabiting this weight. State qualifier Gibson finished 2nd at two high quality tournaments grabbing runner-up finishes at both Brecksville and the Dies. At Brecksville, Gibson claimed a nice 10-5 win over Todd Miller (Delta) and earned the victory in the semis against state qualifier Troy Lang (Brecksville) when Lang has to default out of the tournament. At the Dies tourney, Gibson defeated middle school state placer Aaron Naples (Brunswick) 9-3 in the semis before dropping a 14-7 match to state champion Ryan Harris (Beachwood) for the title.
Eisnnicher was a state qualifier last season, pinning Matt Dennis in the quarterfinals of the district tournament. At state he lost a pair of two point matches. One to state placer Tyler MacLellan (CVCA) and one to former state champion Chris Moore (Clyde). This year Eisnnicher looks to jump from qualifier to podium.
State qualifier Dennis has had several up and down matches this year. A prime example is the two matches he split with Kevin Khoma (St. Edward). Khoma won their match at Medina 12-10 in OT, but Dennis turned that result around in the dual with a first period pin, helping the Mustangs pull out the win against the Eagles. At Top Gun he pinned middle school state placer Anthony Perrine (Nordonia) while going 3-2 on the tournament. Dennis also earned a notable 2-1 win over Mack White at the state duals, but was teched by state placer Lane Thomas (Graham) in the state duals finals.
Will Navin is the fourth wrestler at this weight with state credentials, and he also defeated Mack White (5-2) and was teched by Thomas this year.
White could wind up with a rematch against Dennis or Navin in a go-to-state bout. The close margins should provide some confidence that he can reverse those results with little improvement, but he’ll have to do it on the big stage.
Jones was 5th at Hoover, where he had a noticeable 7-6 win over a quality Jake Gladwell (Green) in the quarterfinals and beat Kyle Myers (C.F. Northwest) in his final match. He also made the finals of the OVAC tournament before claiming the silver medal.
1. Jordan Leasure (Amanda-Clearcreek)
2. Colt Crall (Claymont)
3. Jhulyis Monroe (Marion Franklin)
4. Mitchell Wells (Edison)
5. John Mercer (Cambridge)
6. Tristan Jones (Buckeye Local)
7. Matt Tom (John Glenn)
8. Jordan Hale (River Valley)
The sophomore Leasure impressed last year by coming onto the varsity scene and qualifying for state as a freshman. No small feat for an upper weight. This season, he won the Jeff Arndt Tournament with a 3-1 victory over Tom in the finals and claimed an impressive 2-0 win over district placer Crall in their state duals showdown. A district title for Leasure would go a long way towards a top three finish for an Aces team that has not missed a beat since making the jump from D-3 to D-2 this year.
I love seeing the success of a public school team like Claymont that can earn a national ranking while developing their own talent from the youth level up through high school. The improvement that many of these Claymont wrestlers have made within the current season is impressive, and I’m glad to see teams such as the Mustangs and Perry on the lake competing for top three placement in Columbus with entirely homegrown talent. Crall is another Mustang who has made noticeable strides this year after finishing a match from the state tournament last season. He finished 5th at Medina, besting state qualifier Trevor Parker (Darby) 3-2 in the consolation quarterfinals. Crall would best that placement at Top Gun, where he claimed a 4th place finish pinning a Lucky Shaut (Worthington Kilbourne) and defeating state alternate Connor Risgby (Riverside) 4-0 en route. Crall also claimed wins over state qualifier Dallas Lazear (Athens) and Hayden Bronne (Graham) during the state duals process.
Monroe recently won the Columbus City League tournament, but I can’t find many other results from the state qualifier this year. Last season, Crall pinned Monroe in the quarterfinals of the district tournament, but Monroe was able to battle back and claim 3rd place while punching his ticket to the state tournament. In Columbus, he finished one match shy of placement.
Wells finished 2nd to state qualifier Joey Meek (W.S. Northwestern) at Nelsonville-York, dropping a close 4-3 match.
Mercer won his home tournament early in the year, finished 2nd at Sheridan, and 3rd at the ECOL where he was pinned by Crall in the semis.
1. Clayton Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe)
2. Tyler Dodd (Carrollton)
3. Blake Owens (Licking Valley)
4. Nate Gray (Claymont)
5. John Miscak (East Liverpool)
6. Grayson Miller (West Holmes)
7. Roger Pack (London)
8. Austin Guthrie (River Valley)
There aren’t too many people that I believe have the ability to hang with Bailey Faust (Lexington) at this weight in Columbus. However, Clayton Bullard is one of the few that can. The Johnstown-Monroe wrestler was 6th in D-3 last year, and has looked even better this season in his quest for a state title. Bullard pinned his way to the finals of the New Lexington Tournament, sticking Isaac McFann (New Lexington) in the semis. In the finals Bullard would stake his claim as a contender at this weight with an impressive 11-2 major over state alternate Josh Couchman (Graham).
Owens was also a state qualifier last year, and this year he won the title at the Cambridge tournament where he pinned Jaime Barrett (Belpre) in the finals. His closest bout was an overtime win against a solid Nick Antalis (Cambridge) in the pool portions of the tournament.
Dodd makes a third state qualifier at this weight. He finished 5th at Top Gun where he pinned Andy Eckhart (Field) in the quarters before losing a 7-4 match with state placer Tyler MacLellan (CVCA) in the semis. Another important win for Dodd came in the state duals process against Nate Gray where the Carrollton wrestler recorded a third period pin.
The junior Gray has looked good as of late, defeating state alternate Josh Couchman in their state duals match, claiming a 4-1 win over Chris Meffert (Lake) at Top Gun, and capturing an ECOL title while beating Antalis and Leeland Lauvray (River View) in OT.
I don’t see many results from Miscak, but he did win the OVAC tournament which certainly jumps out.
1. Harrison Hoppel (Minerva)
2. Austin Bentley (Carrollton)
3. Garrett Harding (Claymont)
4. Troy Caldwell (Jonathan Alder)
5. Dustin Baker (S. Highland)
6. Luke Larson (John Glenn)
7. Cole Genders (Amanda-Clearcreek)
8. Bo Redman (Licking Valley)
State placer Harrison Hoppel made the jump from 195 to 220 and subsequently became one of the favorites at this weight. He won the Cambridge tournament, besting Redman 8-3 in the semis and Devin King (Sheridan) 9-4 in the finals. Top Gun provided a challenge for Hoppel where he placed 5th with wins over state qualifier Stefano Millen (Perry) and Garrett Harding (7-3) only losing to D-1 state title contender Austin Pfarr (Marysville) and Matt Weiss from California. It’d be great to see another Hoppel win a state title, as the name is synonymous with success in Ohio high school wrestling. Claymont may have the best weight at 220 of all the districts and Hoppel is the headliner.
Bentley was able to turn around his dual meet loss to Adonis Watson (Alliance) at Top Gun by pulling out the 3-2 win in their consolation bout. From there he went on to beat a tough Andrew Sierawski (Hayes) who had pinned state qualifier Millen the round before. He would end up finishing in 6th place and continued to serge at the state duals with a 2-1 win against Garrett Harding. The Carrollton state qualifier looks primed to make a run at the podium in Columbus, and we may not yet have seen just how good he can be.
Harding has withstood the rigors of the burley Claymont schedule and has picked up several quality win in preparation for a state tournament run. Harding claimed a win over state qualifier Millen at Ironman and a pin over Genders in the state duals. Garrett may have been at his best this season while wrestling at the Medina tournament. While earning the title he defeated state qualifier Parker Knapp (St. Edward) in the quarters, pinned state alternate Garrett Snyder (North Royalton) in the semis, and shut out state qualifier Andy Struttmnan (Westerville N.) 3-0 in the finals. Harding would continue to impress at Top Gun where he defeated Sierawski 9-2 and pinned state placer Kordell Chaney (Perkins) while finishing 5th. Harding also claimed an ECOL title pinning his way through the tournament. Harding was so close to state qualification last year, and this season he’s withstood the trial by fire that should prepare him for his first state tournament.
Caldwell is another exceptional 220 who will be wrestling at Claymont. The state qualifier has won titles at Nelsonville-York and Marion County this year staking wins over state qualifier Travis Jaramillo (Archbold) and state placer Kordell Chaney at the latter tournament. Caldwell also finished 2nd at Pleasant, where he lost a close 2-1 finals bout to fellow state qualifier Tylor Pritchard (Upper Sandusky).
Dustin Baker is another wrestler not to be overlooked at this weight. He won the Heath and New Lexington tournaments defeating district placer Kyle Lhamon 12-8 at his home tournament. The only blemish that I see on his record is a 4-3 OT match with state qualifier Deaken McCoy (Galion) in the finals of the Marion Harding tournament. His 7-6 semifinal win over a solid James Ford (Thomas Worthington) was a notable one.
1. Jaqui Vanmeter (Licking Valley)
2. Josh Kempf (River View)
3. Kyle Henry (Claymont)
4. Jacob Smith (Minerva)
5. Eddie Kontual (S. Highland)
6. Cody Martsolf (Beaver Local)
7. David Paul (Buckey Valley)
8. Malachi Maxwell (Morgan)
The central district always has wrestlers that I know almost nothing about emerge and place in Columbus, especially t the upper weights. This year shouldn’t be much different as Vanmeter and Kempf could very well compete for the district title, despite the fact that I don’t see many results from either of them. I’m assuming that Jaqui Vanmeter is the same person as William Vanmeter who finished 6th place at this district as a freshman last year. This season he was 3rd at Cambridge, where he defeated Kempf 6-3, bested a solid Jerrad Cox (Northwest), and defeated Maxwell 7-3 for 3rd place. His only loss was to state qualifier Evan Loughman (Sheridan) in the semis.
Kempf finished 7th at the same tournament, dropping a 4-2 match to Smith, but he recently won the ECOL tournament with a 3-2 victory over Henry in the finals. Kempf also beat a solid Micah Campbell (Carrollton) 3-2 in their state duals match.
Henry has been through the fire with the rest of the Claymont team as they have traversed a solid schedule of duals and tournaments. Henry was 5th at Medina, where he pinned state placer T.J. Lawrence (Oak Harbor), state qualifier Josh Rohrbacher (Perkins), and state qualifier Matt Hunter (W.S. Northwestern). Henry also finished 7th at Top Gun, where he beat Micah Campbell 2-1, Jacob Smith 5-2, and pinned state placer Dre’k Brumley (SVSM).
Smith had a nice 3-1 win over Martsolf in their state duals match, and he defeated Seth Maylor (Perry) 2-1 in their match at Top Gun.
A special thanks to Baum’s Page, Track Wrestling, and Jake’s Wrestling, for being extremely helpful in compiling wrestling results.
I remember trying to scrounge around the internet / local newspapers (found at OSU or the state library) for any kind of information about the eastern/southeastern part of Ohio. Mr. Brakeman would even mention the lack of information for that part of the state.
Now we have this, another outstanding write up in a different thread, Boro Fan and Bucksman giving shout outs to wrestlers from E/SE Ohio.
Thank you ... The wrestlers still have to do their jobs ... but fans are much better informed.