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Old 10-31-14, 11:41 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Wilmington D-2 District Preview 2014-2015

Iím going to attach this intro to all the breakdowns. I love the sport of wrestling. I love following it, I love watching it, and I love discussing it. However, these breakdowns are just my opinion, not facts. Enjoy them for what they are, a jumping off point for discussion, or 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 generally just the opinions of old guys that are now usually 20+ pounds over our high school weights. Our expectations and opinions do not determine the outcome of the matches, you do. You are the ones doing all the work, and you deserve the credit for the levels of success that you will achieve this year. Good luck to all of the Ohio high school wrestlers during the upcoming season, and enjoy the sport while youíre in it, it goes by fast.
Keep in mind that I have no inside insight into what weights these wrestlers will be occupying this year. I group wrestlers based on a delicate process that combines watching where people on this forum think they will go and guessing based on no real criteria. Will some of the weights be wrong? Definitely. Are some of the wrestlers going to finish the season higher than I have them ranked right now? Of course. Do I sound like a bit of a D answering my own questions? Absolutely.
The first rankings are generally based off of how I think the wrestlers did last season, not how I think theyíll finish this year. There are many results that I donít know about and many that I may interpret differently than someone else reading the same results. Enough about the process. Letís get into it.

*This District along with the northwest district is difficult to forecast due to the fact that we donít know which teams will be participating at the district until mid year. Iíll change the rankings as we find out more information, but for know Iím starting off the year with the teams at the same districts that they wrestled at last year.

106-
1. Justin Stickley-Graham (6th state)
2. Brandon Lucas-Western Brown (4th middle school state)
3. Casey Ragle-Norwood (8th middle school state)
4. Jaylin Cameron-Urbana (6th district)
5. Jordan Pierce-Wilmington
6. David Stroud-Kenton Ridge

Though he didnít begin the year as the Graham starter at 106, Justin Stickley eventually clawed his way into the varsity spot last year and held on through the post-season. At Ironman, middle school state champ Tanner Smith won the starting job for the Falcons, while Stickley wrestled up at 120 to fill in for Mario Kastl. Smith ended up finishing 6th at the prestigious tournament, while Justin went 0-2 while wrestling up two weights. Stickley picked up a pair of quality wins while wrestling with Grahamís second team at the BG duals, defeating state qualifiers George Clemens (Wayne Trace) and Alex Rhine (Mechanicsburg). Justin won the starting job for the GMVWA tournament, where he posted an emphatic finish in his first varsity duty, claiming the tournament championship. Stickley majored state qualifier Skyler St. Peter (Athens) 11-2 in the semifinals before claiming a noteworthy 4-2 finals win over Vinny Artigues (Archer) who finished 3rd at the Georgia big school state tournament. Justin won another tournament title at Valley View, in which he was untested until the finals where he defeated teammate Tanner Smith 3-2 for the gold. Justin was able to grind out a tough 2-0 win over D-1 state placer Alan Hart (St. Edward) in the annual dual meet showdown, helping the Falcons to a team victory over their rivals. Stickleyís tournament title at New Lexington mirrored his Valley View win, in which he was untested until he squared off against Tanner Smith for the title. Justin won the crown with a 6-2 defeat of the freshman, further solidifying his starting roll for the Falcons. Without Smith to wrestle, the CBC tournament would be dominated by Stickley. None of his three matches would go the full distance, and he pulled out a pin in the finals over district placer Jaylin Cameron. A week later, Stickley suffered a setback in the finals of the state dual meet tournament where he was defeated by 2x state champion Tyler Warner (Claymont) in a 5-0 loss. Justin got back on track with titles at both his sectional and district tournaments. He pinned Jaylin Cameron for the sectional title, and he only had one match go the distance at Wilmington. Justin defeated state qualifier Jared Stevens (Gallia Academy) 15-9 in the quarterfinals, teched T.J. Newsome (New Lexington) 19-4 in the semis, and pinned Skyler St. Peter for the district title at the 3:55 mark. The next week, Stickley won his fist state bout in controlling fashion with a 9-2 defeat of Brady Toth (Perry). He summoned from himself excellent effort in the quarterfinals before falling to bronze medalist Josh Venia (Toledo C.C.) 4-3 in the tiebreak. Stickley found his rhythm again in the consolation rounds, majoring Mike Baumberger (Madison Comp.) 15-2 to earn a spot on the podium for the first time. Next up for Stickley was the senior Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling) who Justin was able to defeat by an 8-0 score. He put forth a valiant effort in the consolation semis before falling 10-8 to former middle school state champ Hunter Lucas, and he closed out with another tough loss in the 5th place final, falling 6-4 to the ever improving freshman Hunter Kosco (Northwest). Assuming that Stickley comfortably makes his way back down to this weight, as it has been reported, heíll be one of the title favorites in what should be an exciting mix of experience and youth.
Brandon Lucas logged a 4th place finish at the middle school state tournament last year as an 8th grader, and this season as a freshman he looks to make his mark on the high school state tournament. Last season, Lucas beat St. Edís wrestler Josh Leidich 8-2 in the first round of the middle school state tournament and pinned his second foe to set up the Herculean chore of facing 3x middle school state champ Jaden Mattox. Brandon lost the match, forcing him to endure the arduous task of wrestling back through the consolation rounds. Lucas surgically worked his way through 5 straight wrestle-back wins to reach the 3rd place final. His final two victories would be 9-0 over Mason Coleman (Hudson) and 4-0 over Alex Isbrandt (Miami E.) who finished 8th and 5th respectively. That kind of perseverance will come in handy during the long grind of the season and the gritty post-season process.
Casey Ragle is another middle school state placer who will be looking for his first trip to the high school state tournament as a freshman in 2015. Ragle placed 8th at 108-pounds, so he should be a sizable 106-pounder if he can make the cut. In probably his best win of the middle school state tournament, Ragle shutout Graham wrestler Zane Strubler 5-0 in the second round who would finish the state tournament in 6th place. Ragle also posted a consolation pin over Wadsworth wrestler Cameron Riggenbach and a 1-0 defeat of Cole Bailey (Southeast) to earn placement.
Jaylin Cameron had a solid sophomore year that ended with him on the podium at the Wilmington District. Now he'll be looking to make an appearance on the podium at the Schottenstein Center. After an 0-2 GMWVA tournament where Cameron lost a pair of two point matches to state qualifier Zach Davie (Troy Chr.) and a solid Danny Assaf (Defiance), Jaylin would grab a 2nd place finish at Troy. At the latter tournament, he earned a 4-2 victory over John Quigley (Loveland) in the semis before losing 3-2 to state alternate Connor Ryan (Covington) in the championship match. Cameron would march on to 2nd place finishes at Greenon and the CBC tournament, defeating David Stroud (Kenton Ridge) 3-1 in the semis of the latter tournament. Jaylin again bested Stroud (4-2) in the sectional semis before finishing 2nd to state placer Justin Stickley (Graham). Cameron won his first two bouts at Wilmington, earning a pin and a 7-4 victory over state qualifier Tyler Adkins (W. Brown). He would fall in his last three matches to finish 6th at the district, but the fact that he defeated Adkins should provide encouragement for Cameron, letting him know that he's on the cusp of state qualification. With hard work and improvement this year, Cameron could well end up in Columbus in 2015.
Jordan Pierce is another potential contender at this weight. He finished 3rd at Bellbrook last season while picking up a high scoring 20-13 win over Cory Alspaugh in the consolation semis and a 13-5 major over Kentucky state qualifier Austin Nixon (Dixie Hts.) in the consolation finals. Two weeks later, Jordan again defeated Nixon in the consolation finals of a tournament, and this time it would be a 9-6 triumph at Sycamore. Pierce finished 2nd to C.J. Brown (Harrison) at the SWOC tournament after majoring Kortez Smith (Mt. Healthy) 14-3 in the semifinals. He then rolled to a pair of pins at Washington where he claimed his first sectional title. The next week, Pierce pinned Cory Alspaugh in 44 seconds during the first round of the Wilmington district tournament. He was then pinned by state alternate T.J. Newsome (New Lexington) in the quarterfinals, sinking him into the consolation bracket. In his first consolation bout, Pierce pinned Chase Watts (Logan Elm) in 38 seconds, which was two seconds longer than their sectional finals match had lasted. Jordanís season ended in his next match, a consolation quarterfinal defeat at the hands of state qualifier Jared Stevens (Gallia Academy). Wilmington was a top 8 team in the state dual meet tournament where they lost to Graham in the state quarterfinals. They graduated a number of talented wrestlers form that squad, but thereís still talent and potential there with wrestlers like Pierce. Itís not hard to imagine Jordan making his first state tournament in 2015 under the tutelage of a quality Wilmington coaching staff, and itíll be interesting to see exactly where he falls with a year of experience under his belt.
David Stroud is another wrestler with intriguing potential around this weight at the Wilmington District this season. He posted an impressively lopsided 10-0 win over district placer Jaylin Cameron early in the year at the Bellefontaine Duals, but had a rough showing at the GMVWA tournament where he finished 0-2. However, the losses were not to inferior opponents. Stroud fell by respectable 4-2 and 5-2 scores to D-3 state qualifier Zach Davie (Troy Chr.) and solid central district wrestler Vu Nguyen (Pickerington C.) respectively. Stroud later finished 4th at the CBC tournament where he dropped close 3-1 and 6-5 matches to Jaylin Cameron and Logan Carr (Bellefontaine) consecutively. He placed 3rd at the Tippecanoe Sectional Tournament where he lost 4-2 to Cameron before defeating Cory Alspaugh 8-0 in the consolation finals. Stroud teched Chase Watts 15-0 in the opening round of the Wilmington District Tournament but was upended by state qualifier Skyler St. Peter 12-2 in the quarterfinals. He would then be tripped up in his first consolation match by Cory Alspaugh where he was pinned at the 2:46 mark.
A few other names to keep an eye on at 106 are Jacob Gentry and Nate Keaton. I believe that these freshmen will be wrestling for Ross and Circleville respectively this season, though itís hard to know where freshman end up until they start showing up in the results during the year. Both wrestlers were a match away from placement at the middle school state tournament last year, with Keaton wrestling at 90-pounds and Gentry wrestling at the 96-pound weight class. It should be noted that, Keaton actually finished 3rd at the middle school state tournament in 2013 while wrestling down at 78-pounds.

113-
1. Mitch Moore-Graham (2x 1st Middle school state tournament)
2. Jacob Boldman-Wilmington
3. Tyler Adkins-Western Brown (SQ)
4. Jared Stevens-Gallia Acad. (SQ)
5. T.J. Newsome-New Lexington (5th district)
6. Sean Warniment-Indian Lake

It's crazy to think that Mitch Moore may have been able to win a high school state title last year as an 8th grader. I'm not saying that he would have, Tyler Warner is a phenomenal wrestler, but it very well could have happened. Moore dominated his way to a second straight middle school state title in 2014. He pinned his way to the semis, teched a good Brendon Fenton (Elyria) to reach the championship and majored a stellar Tommy Hoskins 9-0 for the title. Moore won the 2014 title at the prestigious Philo middle school tournament with a pin over Luke Wymer (SVSM) in the semis and another win over Tommy Hoskins in the finals. He had finished 5th at Philo as a 7th grader, only losing 4-3 to Eli King (Father Ryan) who won a Tennessee high school state title in 2014. Moore also knocked off Jared Donahue 5-0 and Hunter Kosco (Northwest) 9-0 at the same tournament. Donahue was a West Virginia high school state runner-up in 2014 and Kosco finished 5th in D-2 over Mooreís teammate Justin Stickley. Mitch Moore won his first middle school state title in 2013 in very impressive fashion. He pinned 2014 state placer Mason Coleman (Hudson), stuck 2014 high school state qualifier Jared Stevens (Gallia Academy), teched Claymont starter Briar Cadle 15-0, defeated D-3 state 3rd place finisher Drew Mattin (Delta) 3-0, and knocked off previously mentioned West Virginia high school state runner-up Jared Donahue (Parkersburg) 4-2 for the title. Itís even more impressive that Mitch seems to be improving by leaps and bounds with each season that he wrestles. In the 2014 post-season, Moore decided to wrestle in the high school division of the highly competitive Flo Nationals wrestling tournament. He would finish 4th, losing to New York state champ Yianni Diakomihalis who finished the year ranked #1 in the nation by InterMat and Michigan state champion Lucas Hall. For comparison sake, Moore defeated D-2 state runner-up Tony Decesare (Padua) 3-1 in the championship rounds, and Pennsylvania state placer Gage Curry (N. Hills) was only able to finish 6th in the same bracket. Itís also worth mentioning that California state champion Justin Mejia (Clovis), who defeated Tyler Warner in the Top Gun finals, finished in 7th place. Moore is an absolute brute in the way he wrestles, bringing a relentless power to the mat. Mitchís style reminds me of Joe Colon from Northern Iowa who just finished 3rd at the NCAA D-1 wrestling championships in 2014. Both wrestlers relentlessly horse their opponents around, driving them back on their heels for the entire match. It was especially impressive to see Moore do it to experienced high school wrestlers as an 8th grader last year. Moore should take this district by storm in 2015, but the bigger test will come in Columbus where it appears that 2013 state finalist Seth Beard (Napoleon) will be making the cut back down to 113. Beard is an excellent wrestler in his own right and should provide a stern test for the superb freshman. We could also see state finalist Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) make the tough cut down to 113 as the season progresses, making the weight that much more difficult. Moore is capable of claiming the state title regardless of competition, but with possible challengers like Beard and Wilson, itís not cut and dry.
Jacob Boldman looked tough throughout the course of last year. He placed 5th at Edgewood in early December, with his lone loss coming to John Noble (Lebanon) in the pool portion of the tournament. Later in the year, Boldman picked up a sound 2-1 win over former middle school state placer Elijah Perkins (Miamisburg) in the opening round at the GMVWA tournament. Jacob lost the following bout 6-0 to a quality opponent in Nick Berry (Carroll) and eventually bowed out of the tournament at 2-2. Clint Chaffe (Ryle) was the Kentucky wrestler that eliminated Boldman from the GMVWA tournament by a 10-5 score, but it would be Boldman getting the better of Chaffe in the quarterfinals at Bellbrook, where Jacob avenged the earlier loss by a 6-3 score. Boldman fell by an 8-7 score to state alternate Matt West (Hillsboro) in the semifinals before rebounding with a 3rd place finish. After a resounding 20-6 thrashing of state qualifier Kyle Denier (Blanchester) in their dual, Jacob moved on to place 3rd at Sycamore. His lone setback at the tournament was a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Joey Scaggs (Dixie Hts.) who finished 6th at the Kentucky state tournament. Boldman would also finish 3rd at the SWOC tournament, where he lost a 3-2 but with state qualifier Aaron Cox (Ross) in the semis before earning a 9-4 win over Parker Buschelman (Harrison) in the consolation finals. For the fourth time over the course of the year, Boldman finished 3rd at a tournament, taking the bronze medal at the Washington Sectional Tournament. His only defeat was a 4-1 loss to Matt West, and he picked up two wins over Nick Weaver (Bellbrook) including a pin in the consolation finals. The next week, Boldman pinned Isaiah Holley (Gallia Academy) in the opening round at the Wilmington District Tournament before falling 2-1 to Aaron Cox in a tight quarterfinal match. In his first consolation bout, Jacob defeated Nick Weaver for a third time in two weeks, pulling out the 12-6 victory. Next, in the consolation quarterfinals, Boldman would fall for a third time to state alternate Matt West in a arduously close 4-3 defeat. I started Boldman at 113 more for symmetry in the weights rather than any actual knowledge of how big he is. Heíll be a state qualification contender at whatever class he opts for, though he could certainly reside at a heavier weight this year.
Tyler Adkins looked impressive in his junior year, earning titles at Middletown, Bellbrook, the SBAAC tournament and sectionals before qualifying for his first state tournament. His title at Middletown would be earned with four straight pins. At Bellbrook, Adkins claimed a semifinal pin over Corey Alspaugh (Valley View) and a 13-6 decision over A.J. Warner (Fairborn) to seize the crown. Tyler pinned D-3 state qualifier Kyle Denier (Blanchester) in 55 seconds for the title at the SBAAC tournament and teched Dontae Tallarigo (Batavia) 18-1 for the sectional championship. After an opening round pin at Wilmington, Adkins fell 7-4 to Jaylin Cameron in the quarterfinals. He didn't seem the least bit intimidated with the task of wrestling back through the consolation bracket, as he picked up a pin and a 13-1 major over Corey Alspaugh to reach the consolation semis. Here, Adkins's go-to-state match would last all of 39 seconds as he picked up the pin over T.J. Newsome to lock up a spot in the state tournament. Tyler won a fourth straight match, 4-2 over Jared Stevens (Gallia Aca.), to exit the district as the bronze medalist. In Columbus, he lost his first bout to state placer Hunter Kosco (Northwest) before losing an agonizingly close 2-0 bout with Mike Baumberger (Madison Comp.) to exit the state tournament. Now that he's gained the state experience, the next step for Adkins will be to strive to claim a state medal in 2015.
Jared Stevens will look to build off of his first trip to the state tournament during his 2014 freshman season. He finished 2nd at Nelsonville-York last year where he defeated Sterling Edler (River Valley) 7-0 in the semifinals before falling to district placer Jordan Anthony (Buckeye Valley) in the tournament championship. Stevens followed a 4th place finish at Western Brown with a 2nd place result at the Alexander Sectional Tournament. Where he defeated state alternate T.J. Newsome (New Lexington) 7-4 in the semis before falling to state qualifier Skyler St. Peter (Athens) 11-4 in the title match. Jared pinned Mogan Huff (Goshen) in the opening round of the district tournament, and then he gave state placer Justin Stickley (Graham) a fight in a 15-9 quarterfinal loss. After a consolation quarterfinal pin over Jordan Pierce (Wilmington), Stevens knocked off Jaylin Cameron (Urbana) by a resounding 12-2 score to advance to his first state tournament. He would lose his consolation final bout 4-2 to Tyler Adkins, setting up an unfavorable state bracket. Stevens was pinned in his opening bout by state runner-up Tony Decesare (Padua), dropping him into a Thursday night match with the explosive Charlie Nash (Norwalk) who also pinned Stevens on his way to placing 8th at state.
T.J. Newsome also strung together a solid season last year, but heíll want more after finishing as the state alternate last year. He started last season up at 113, where he finished 1-2 at the tough MIT, but later pulled out a lopsided 13-0 score over Logan Ball (Cambridge) in the regional quarterfinals of the state duals process. Newsome placed 5th at his home tournament (while still up at 113) before making the cut for the sectional tournament. At sectionals, T.J. placed 3rd after dropping the previously mentioned semifinal bout to Jared Stevens. A week later, Newsome pinned Jordan Pierce in the quarterfinals at the Wilmington District Tournament prior to falling 19-4 to Justin Stickley in the semifinals. He would suffer another setback in the consolation semis where he was pinned by Tyler Adkins in 39 seconds. Newsome closed out the tournament on a high note, teching Jaylin Cameron 17-2 to finish as the state alternate out of Wilmington. Itís a new season, and itíll be intriguing to see whether Newsome makes the drop back to 106 in 2015 or opts for a higher weight.
Sean Warniment is another wrestler who could contend at this weight, though he may opt for a heavier classification after wrestling at 113 last year. He had a rough Medina Tournament last year, drawing tournament champ and state placer L.J. Bentley (St. Edward) in the opening round and losing to a solid Juan Estrella (Willard) in his first consolation bout. Warniment earned a few legit victories at Scioto where he defeated Collin Burt (U. Arlington) and Devin Johnson (Pickerington C.) to reach the finals before claiming the title over Charlie Osborn (Worthington Kilbourne). His only loss at the sectional tournament was to state champ Eli Stickley while snagging a 3rd place finish. He pinned Ian Schomaker (Talawanda) in the first round at the Wilmington District Tournament but was tripped up by state qualifier Nathaniel Kehn (Sheridan) in the quarterfinals. Warniment picked up a narrow 7-6 win over Jacob Kordik (Oakwood) to stay alive in the consolation bracket but was pinned in the next round by Nathan Whitman (Franklin) to finish a match shy of placement.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:42 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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120-
1. Eli Stickley-Graham (1st, 3rd, 5th state)
2. Nathaniel Kehn-Sheridan (SQ)
3. Levi Congleton-Warren (SQ 2013)
4. Alex Cox-Ross (SQ)
5. Zach Bussard-Valley View (SQ 2013)
6. Dakota Stapleton-Talawanda

Eli Stickley is following the Jordan pipeline to Wisconsin next year. The returning state champ will join former teammates Ryan Taylor and Isaac Jordan at the school that his coach attended during his college years. Madison's a great college town with phenomenal people, and I wish the best to Eli in his college wrestling endeavors. However, this season, Stickley will have different goals on his mind. He'll be looking for a second state title in what could be a very competitive 120-pound weight class. Aside from Stickley, we could also see 2x state champ Tyler Warner (Claymont) as well as returning state finalist Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) at this weight. Eli had an excellent junior year in 2014, on the way to his first state title. He earned a national ranking right off the bat via a 3rd place finish at the brutal Ironman tournament. Eli kicked off Ironman with a pin of Michael Sergent (Troy Chr.) who later finished 4th in the D-3 state tournament. In his next match, Stickley would suffer his lone loss of the event when he lost 4-0 to Illinois state champ Dylan Duncan (Montini) who actually finished the season up at 120. Undaunted, Stickley reeled off 6 straight consolations wins that included a pin over D-1 bronze medalist Mario Guillen (Perrysburg), a 2-0 win over D-1 state champ Hayden Lee (Marysville), a pin over D-2 120-pound state champ Dustin Warner (Claymont), and a 4-0 defeat of Jack Mueller (Trinity Chr., TX) who finished the year ranked 5th in the nation by InterMat. The most gratifying win for Stickley in his superb performance may have been the stick of Warner who had pinned him at the Super 32 Tournament a month earlier. Eli continued his reign of dominance at the GMVWA tournament where he pinned his way to the semis, teched state qualifier Gage Bronson (Glen Este), and majored 2x state placer Kristopher Hill (Hartley) 11-2 for the title. Stickley had his lone weird loss of the year in Graham's dual meet with Blair Academy, when he fell 3-0 to Requir Vander Merwe by a 3-0 score. I know strange things can happen in duals when a lot of emotion is riding on the match, but the result was surprising considering Vander Merwe failed to place in the same bracket at the Ironman Tournament where Stickley finished 3rd. Eli got back on track with a tournament title at Valley View where he had two pins and a tech fall. Stickley lost his dual meet match-up with state placer L.J. Bentley (St. Edward) 2-1 who I believe was nationally ranked at the time, but he would not lose again after that setback. He pinned every opponent on the way to titles at the New Lexington and CBC tournaments, and pulled out a 9-1 major decision over state placer Lane Peters (Claymont) in the finals of the state dual meet tournament. Stickley didn't have a match go the distance at the sectional or district tournaments, racking up 4 pins, a default, and an 18-2 tech fall of 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace) in the finals at Wilmington. The next week, Eli teched Brain Persinger (Triway) in the first round of the state tournament before shutting out Lane Peters 7-0 in the quarters. Stickley had his closest match of the tournament score-wise in the semis when he defeated Cory Simpson (Field) 6-2 to reach his first state championship match. After finishing 5th and 3rd at the state tournament the previous two years, Stickley won his first state title with an impressive 9-0 major over an excellent Tariq Wilson. Eli will face a stern test this year as he seeks out his second state title, but with all of the awards and accolades that he's racked up during his first three years of high school wrestling, I doubt that he'll be intimidated by the daunting task of claiming a second state title at this excellent weight class.
Nathaniel Kehn started off last year with a runner-up finish to the underrated Cameron Canonico (Minerva) at Cambridge after he had pinned his way to the finals. The championship match was a narrow 5-4 defeat, and he moved forward from that result to finish 2-2 at the formidable GMVWA tournament. The result was a good one considering his second victory was a 7-5 triumph over Gio Fernandez (Archer) who finished 5th in the state of Georgia last year. Kehn lost his next two matches to 2x state placer Kristopher Hill (Hartley) and state bronze medalist Michael Sergent (Troy Chr.), with the first coming by a respectable 5-2 score. Nathaniel defeated returning state qualifier Levi Congleton 9-2 for the sectional title at Alexander. The next week, he pinned Nick Weaver (Bellbrook) and teched Sean Warniment to reach the district semis before losing a 5-3 match with 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace). Kehn pinned the senior Matt West to lock up a spot in his first state tournament, and then he earned an 11-3 major over Aaron Cox to finish with a bronze medal. Though he would finish 0-2 in Columbus, the two matches were by close 8-2 and 7-3 scores, giving Kehn a taste of the Big Show as he prepares for a deeper run in 2015.
Levi Congleton followed up his state qualifying sophomore year with a commendable overall junior year. Unfortunately, after taking 2nd at his sectional tournament, Levi did not participate in the Wilmington District Tournament. He pulled out a plethora of pins at Gallia Academy early in the year including a first period fall over Kyle Kirby (Jackson). Later in the season, Congleton picked up an excellent dual meet win over state qualifier Gavin Stalnaker (Belpre), teching the sophomore by a 17-2 score. He also gained impressive pins over Wyatt and Auston Webb (Vinton County) over the course of the year and stuck Kyle Kirby in the sectional semis before falling to Nathaniel Kehn in the championship. Congleton will be back in state qualification contention during the 2015 season.
Aaron Cox earned qualified for the state tournament in 2014, and he’ll look to follow it up with an even better performance in 2015. Cox finished 6th at Franklin early last November, and he followed that result up with a 2-2 effort at SWOWCA where his two losses were to state qualifiers Ben Tate (Mt. Vernon) and Troy Barklay (Centerville). A few weeks later, Aaron placed 6th at Fairfield where he split a pair of matches with a stout Parker Buschelman (Harrison). Cox placed 2nd at the SWOC tournament after earning a nice 3-2 victory in the semifinals over senior Jacob Boldman (Wilmington). Aaron pinned his way to a sectional title and then advanced to the district semis the week later after picking up a 2-1 win in the rematch with Jacob Boldman. Cox was pinned by state champ Eli Stickley in the district semis before earning his first trip to state with a fall over Nathan Whitman (Franklin).Cox would lose both his matches at the state tournament to placers Cory Simpson (Field) and Blaine Hunter (Elida).
Zach Bussard had a bit of a rough season last year. He qualified for state in 2013 while wrestling at 113, and he started last year at the same weight with decent results. Bussard finished 3rd at Franklin after being pinned by a tough Nick Berry (Carroll). He would finish 4th at Pickerington North, where he suffered a lopsided 16-0 loss to state qualifier Luke Nace (Teays Valley) in the semis before being handed a more respectable 12-11 loss by state qualifier James Wimer (Central Crossing) in the consolation finals. I'm not sure if the weight cut was too severe for Bussard or he just preferred the higher class, but he wrestled up at 126 at Bellbrook where he advanced to the semifinals before falling 11-3 to Jake Henderson (Western Brown) and subsequently defaulting out of the tournament. Zach did not wrestle in the post season tournaments, which could have been connected to the default at Bellbrook. Hopefully, Bussard will return to wrestling in full health for the 2015 season. If he does, we could see both Zach and Kyle making their way to the state tournament by the end of the year.
Dakota Stapleton looks like another solid contender for qualification at this district. He finished 2-2 at the SWOWCA Tournament last December and then followed that result up with a 4th place finish at Bellbrook. His losses at the latter tournament were an 11-8 match with district placer Kyle Bussard and another setback to state placer Ryan Kelley. Stapleton placed 4th at the SWOC Tournament and then grabbed a tournament title at the Western Brown Sectional where he knocked off Brandon Planck (New Richmond) 10-5 for the crown. Dakota finished 1-2 at Wilmington with a 12-8 win over Holden Macy (Athens) that was sandwiched by losses to Greg Brewer (Circleville) and Seth D’Allessandris.


126-
1. Eli Seipel-Graham (3rd, 1st, 4th state)
2. Dominic Vagnier-Logan Elm (4th state)
3. Andrew Spicer-New Lexington (SQ)
4. Kyle Bussard-Valley View (5th district)
5. Seth D’Allessandris-S. Shawnee
6. Greg Brewer-Circleville

Eli Seipel had an awesome season last year. When you're in the top tier of wrestlers in a state, the overall excellence of your accomplishments can be overlooked if when you don't claim a state title. 126 was a stacked weight, and only one wrestler was going to emerge with a championship. Three wrestlers who had previously earned a state gold medal entered the field, so at least two were going to walk away with less than they had hoped for. In mid December, Seipel made the finals of the Ironman tournament, a feat that few high school wrestlers ever accomplish. He defeated 2x state champ David Bavery (Mass. Perry) in the quarterfinals by a 4-3 score and then conquered Kentucky state champion Trae Blackwell (Union Co) 3-0 in the semis. He was shutout 5-0 in the championship by one of the nation’s best wrestlers in Matthew Kolodzik (Blair). Two weeks later, Eli won the title at the GMVWA tournament where he majored state qualifiers Nick Broyles (Northmont) and Elijah Cochran (Kenton Ridge) 11-3 and 12-2 in the quarters and semifinals respectively. In the championship, Seipel would defeat an excellent foe in Chris Diaz (Archer) who finished 2nd at the Georgia state tournament. Diaz lost his state finals match by a tight 4-3 score to Ryan Millhof (Collins Hill) who ended the season ranked 5th in the nation by Inter Mat. Seipel won tournament titles at Valley View and New Lexington in dominating fashion, defeating Nick Broyles 7-3 in the finals of the former tournament and majoring state qualifier Tyler Jenkins (Meadowbrook) 16-3 in the finals of the latter event. Eli then claimed his conference tournament title with a 13-2 major decision over Devin Rogers (Northwestern) who later finished 4th in the state. Seipel won the sectional title with a high scoring 20-10 win over Elijah Cochran, and rolled to the district finals a week later with a pin and two tech falls. Here Seipel was upended by the undefeated Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook) in a rematch of the 2013 state finals, won by Seipel. At the state tournament, Eli won his first match with a dominating 17-1 tech over Hayden Matheney (Morgan), but he was upset in the quarters by Devin Rogers in a rematch of the CBC finals. Though Rogers was able to pull out the 4-3 overtime shocker, Seipel came back strong with a 16-1 tech over Elijah Cochran to reach the consolation quarters. After dispatching 2x state placer Cole Tawney (Gallia Aca.) 5-2, Eli majored district champ Kollin Clark (Claymont) 11-2 to reach the consolation finals. Here, Seipel would encounter Devin Rogers once again in a rubber match of their season series. Eli earned a 3-1 victory to close out the year strong with a solid 3rd place finish. I'm sure it's not the result that he was looking for, but Seipel will enter this season as the prohibitive favorite at 126. As good as he's been over the course of his high school career, and as motivated as he'll be during his senior season, it'll be nearly impossible for anyone to pry the state title away from Eli in 2015.
Dominic Vagnier was sneaky good all of last season, and he really came on strong at tournament time. Dominic finished 2nd to 2x state placer Cole Tawney early last season at Gallia Academy while wrestling up at 126. Vagnier earned a commanding 16-4 statement win over state qualifier Nick Hoffman (Amanda-Clearcreek) in the regional semifinals of the state duals. He continued to impress at sectionals where he snared a pair of pins in rounds one and two to punch through to the finals. Here Dominic earned an even more impressive win in the sectional final with a 12-4 major decision over Ryan Kelley (Hillsboro) who ended the season as the 6th place finisher at the state tournament. A week later, Vagnier pinned district placer Tyler Armstrong (Kenton Ridge) in the district quarters and earned a 14-5 major over a solid Kyle Bussard (Valley View) in the semis to grab a spot in the state tournament. Dominic fell in a bout with one of the state title favorites in Mario Kastl (Graham) during a 5-3 district final match. Vagnier had a rough start to the state tournament losing 2-0 to Markus Cruz (Clearview) in the densely populated 120 weight class. He pinned Mike Stewart (S. Highland) on Thursday night to pick up his first state tournament win, and he followed the victory with another win in a 13-11 skirmish over 2013 state 4th place finisher Collin Dees (Perry). Vagnier next defeated 2x state placer Colin Ingram (Bath) 9-5 to reach the consolation semis, and then he continued his run of success with an 8-4 victory over Alliance district champ Korey Frost (Canfield) to advance to the 3rd place final. Dominic would end his state tournament the same way he finished his district finals, with a loss to Mario Kastl. Though Dominic lost his final fray, he still posted an exceptional first trip to the state tournament. 2015 is another season, and with another year of growth comes the potential for an improved end product. Vagnier will be in the running for a state finals birth in what should be a competitive yet open state tournament bracket. Dominic should also be helped by the fact that he and Eli Seipel will likely occupy opposite ends of the state bracket. Now the question remains, how good can he be?
Andrew Spicer can already claim to be a state qualifier, and the next step is for him to lay claim to a state tournament medal. He finished 2-2 at Medina last year losing a 13-5 match to 2x state placer Tyler Sarreshteh (Liberty Benton) in the second round before rebounding with a 12-5 victory over a wrestler from Richmond, Michigan. The wrestler's name is X.J. Nuckles which may be one of the top 7 names of all time. Spicer lost his next consolation match 3-1 to Thomas Cooper (U. Arlington) to close out his tournament. Andrew later finished 5th at Western Brown where he lost a 5-3 bout to state qualifier Alec Logsdon (Lebanon) but pulling out a solid 5-4 victory over Bryan Holden (Campbell Co.) who placed 8th at the Kentucky state tournament. Spicer moved on to finish as the runner-up at his home tournament where he defeated D-3 state qualifier Theodore Zoumpolidis (Martins Ferry) 6-2 in the semifinals before losing 9-3 to state bronze medalist Mario Kastl (Graham) in the championship bout. Andrew powered to a sectional title with three pins in three matches and followed suit in his first district bout, pinning Tyrone Nadeau (Indian Lake). Spicer lost a wild 13-12 OT quarterfinal to state placer Ryan Kelley (Hillsboro) in the tiebreak prior to pulling off a pin over Auston Webb (Vinton Co.) and an 11-8 win over Seth D'Allessandris (S.Shawnee) to advance to the consolation semis. Andrew won a classic, tight 6-5 go-to-state match with Kyle Bussard to reach the consolation finals and score his first set of state tickets. In his next match, Spicer fell to Ryan Kelley again in the 3rd place final and exited the state tournament on Thursday night. However, he grabbed valuable experience heading into a junior year that is chalked full of potential and promise.
After finishing the 2014 season as the state alternate, Kyle Bussard looks to climb the podium at least one spot in Wilmington and survive to wrestle at the Schott. He finished 3rd at Franklin last November, picking up a nice 2-0 win over Toby Warrington (Hillsboro) after losing an overtime match to Kentucky state qualifier Brad Krebs (Campbell Co.). Bussard followed that tournament up with another 3rd place finish at Bellbrook where he lost to state placer Ryan Kelley in the semis before defeating Dakota Stapleton (Talawanda) 11-8 in the consolation finals. Kyle had to default out of his home tournament but came back a few weeks later to finish 2nd at the SWBL, losing 8-0 to Mac Altom (Eaton) in the finals. Bussard picked up a tight 2-1 win over district placer Tucker Armstrong (Kenton Ridge) to reach the championship of the Tippecanoe sectional where he fell to state bronze medalist Mario Kastl (Graham) to finish 2nd. After teching Holden Macy (Athens) to kick off his district tournament, Bussard pinned the respectable freshman Greg Brewer (Circleville) to reach the semifinals. He would fall to Dominic Vagnier and Andrew Spicer consecutively, dropping him into a rematch with Tucker Armstrong for state alternate status. Bussard closed out strong with a definitive pin over Armstrong, ending the season in 5th place.
Seth D'Allessandris has performed admirably in his first tow tours of varsity wrestling. Now it's time for him to take the next step and qualify for the state tournament. Seth placed 2nd at Madison Middletown last season, where he overcame state qualifier Kameron Paulus (Milton U.) by an 11-4 score in the semis before suffering a first period pin in the finals at the hands of state qualifier Dominic Butler (Mariemont). A month later, D'Allessandris earned another 2nd place finish at Lima Senior where he fell to Mason Perkins (Troy) in the finals. Seth would soldier on to take 3rd at the CBC Tournament where he lost to district placer Tyler Armstrong (Kenton Ridge) 9-7 in the semis prior to defeating Caleb Houser (Benjamin Logan) 7-5 in the consolation finals. He claimed another 3rd place finish at the sectional tournament, defeating middle school state placer Greg Brewer (Circleville) twice while suffering a solitary setback to state placer Ryan Kelley. D'Allessandris won his first bout at the district tournament by an 11-4 score over Brandon Planck (New Lexington), but he would then suffer a 34 second pin in his quarterfinal match with state placer Mario Kastl. He earned a 6-0 shutout of Dakota Stapleton in his first consolation bout, but Seth would lose an 11-8 shootout with state qualifier Andrew Spicer to finish a match shy of a district medal.
Greg Brewer followed up an 8th grade season in which he earned a medal at the junior high state tournament with a respectable first tour of varsity duty. He took his lumps early in the year as many freshmen do but rounded into shape by the sectional tournament, qualifying for Wilmington after a 4th place finish at Washington in which he dropped two matches to D'Allessandris. Brewer picked up a meritable 10-4 win over Dakota Stapleton in the first round at Wilmington before being pinned by Kyle Bussard in the quarterfinals. He scraped out a 12-10 overtime win over Brandon Planck in his first consolation bout, but was pinned by district placer Tyler Armstrong in his next match.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:43 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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132-
1. Cameron Kelly-Bellbrook (2nd, 2nd, 1st state)
2. Rocky Jordan-Graham (1st middle school state tournament 2013)
3. Cole Tawney-Gallia Acad. (8th, 5th state)
4. Shawn Murphy-Washington C.H. (5th district)
5. Toby Warrington-Hillsboro (6th district)
6. Jake Henderson-Western Brown

At Wilmington, I only have 5 weights that don’t have a Graham wrestler ranked at the top of the weight-class. That’s absurd. However, it is not only the Graham wrestlers that will be exiting this district with a chance at individual state titles. There are several other fine competitors with legitimate chances at a state title. One of these wrestlers is the phenomenal Cameron Kelly. He’ll be looking to bookend his career with a second state championship after finishing as the runner-up the previous two seasons. Kelly got a late start last year after recovering from a preseason injury, but when he hit the mat, it seemed as if he had never left. He stomped the field at his home tournament, pulling off consecutive tech falls over Zach Macella (Wilmington) and Jake Henderson in his final two matches. Cameron continued his reign of dominance during the state duals where he teched Malachi Marlow and 2x state qualifier Bryson Laytart (Trace) before pinning his way through the SWBL tournament. Kelly finally met opponents who were able to go the whole match with him at sectionals, though he picked up major decisions over Toby Warrington (12-4) and Shawn Murphy (18-7) in the semis and finals respectively. After a pin and a tech to start off the district tournament, Cameron squared off against state placer Cole Tawney in the district semis. Kelly posted an 8-2 win to advance to the district championship against nemesis Eli Seipel. During the 2013 season, Kelly defeated Seipel during their first showdown but fell to the Graham wrestler the next three times they wrestled including a loss in the state championship bout. Many favored Seipel to continue his string of wins over Kelly considering the fact that Seipel had defeated nationally ranked opponents over the course of the year, while Kelly had a late start to the season. Cameron shook off scars of the past to grab the district title with a 3-1 win over the reigning state champ. Kelly seemed to hit another gear at state cranking his volume up to 11 while exploding through his first three matches with a tech over Tyler Jenkins ((Meadowbrook), a tech over Walker Chieffe (University), and a pin over district champ Kollin Clark (Claymont) to reach his third consecutive state finals. In one of the more anticipated match-ups of the championships, Kelly squared off against another returning state champion in Anthony Tutolo (Lake Cath.). In the end, Cameron finished a match shy of his goal after falling 6-2 to the Kent State recruit Tutolo. I was thoroughly impressed by the season that Cameron Kelly put for after returning from injury last season. It was a bit reminiscent of Virginia Tech wrestler Devin Carter who returning from a severe injury to advance to the national championship match with an undefeated record before falling to 3x national champ Logan Stieber (Ohio State). Kelly will enter the season as the prohibitive favorite at this weight. Though it’s hard to believe that he can keep climbing the learning curve as rapidly as he has, I have faith that Kelly will be even better this year. If that’s the case, it’s hard to see anyone knocking him from the top of the podium.
I’m so excited that Ohio State has been able to establish a pipeline to Graham over the last few years. After Bo Jordan broke through and made his commitment to the Buckeyes, we have seen brother Micah Jordan follow suit. As excited as I am to see those wrestlers opt for Ohio State, I’m even more excited for all of the additional recruits that we could possibly see in the future. The Graham line-up is stacked with excellent young talent who have the potential to become superb college wrestlers down the road. To no one’s surprise, one of that current crop is another Jordan. Rocky won the middle school state title as a 7th grader in 2013 and likely would have won a second in 2014, but he did not compete in the event. Rocky was able to pin his way to the finals in 2013, picking up a stick of Dylan Mansor (Oak Harbor) in the early rounds before pinning Matt Jones (St. Ignatius) in the semis. As a point of reference, Mansor was a match away from state as a freshman last year losing an 8-4 bout to advance to Columbus. Jones was expected to contend for a state birth in D-1 as a freshman but was out for the season. The only match that went the distance for Jordan was the 4-0 shutout win in the finals over another excellent 7th grader Tommy Hoskins (Dayton Chr.) who is expected to contend for a state finals spot in D-3 this season. Rocky also won a pair of titles at the brutally tough Philo Electric Middle School Invitational in 2013 and 2014. During his first title run, he earned a 19-4 tech over Alan Hart (St. Edward) who finished 7th in the D-1 state tournament during the 2014 season. Jordan also defeated Daniel Planta (St. Paul) by a 13-2 score and Ethan Dendy 8-2 in the finals. Planta finished 6th at the excellent Powerade wrestling tournament last year and earned a 3rd place finish at the National Prep wrestling tournament. Dendy finished 2014 as the state runner-up at the Tennessee high school state championships as a freshman in 2014. At the most recent Philo tournament, Rocky teched middle school state placer Isaac Yoho, majored Oklahoma middle school state champ Kruz Simons, and defeated Ohio middle school state champ Sandro Ramirez (Wauseon) in the finals. It’ll be a formidable task for Rocky to overcome 3x state finalist Cameron Kelly for the state title, but I’ll never underestimate a Jordan when it comes to wrestling prowess. I still remember Ben Jordan starting his freshman year as a back-up before ending the year with a state title over the defending champion Adam Kriwinsky (University) after beating the previous year’s state runner-up (Quentin Keyes) in the semis. Cameron and Rocky will likely see each other in the district semis or finals, though I’m not sure whether it favors Jordan or Kelly more to have that match-up before a potential state finals rematch. It should be a great weight to watch at Wilmington. Can’t wait!
Cole Tawney stormed on scene in 2013, placing 5th in the state at 120 after finishing 4th at the district tournament the week before. His propensity for putting up points in bunches and pinning his opponents makes him an extremely dangerous foe. Tawney pinned his way to the finals of his home tournament last December before picking up a nice 9-2 win over state placer Dominic Vagnier (Logan Elm) in the championship. A week later, Cole would claim another tournament title at Nelsonville-York, pinning state alternate Eli Ayoob (Jonathan Alder) in the semis and majoring state qualifier Hayden Matheney (Morgan) 10-0 in the championship match. Tawney continued to rack up tournament titles at Western Brown, where he majored Toby Warrington (Hillsboro) 19-7 in the semis. Cole showed that he could also win the close matches when he beat state qualifier Quinn May (Lebanon) in a gritty 1-0 finals bout. Tawney pinned his way to a sectional title before advancing to the district semis with a 6-1 win over Zach Macella (Wilmington) and a pin over state qualifier Elijah Cochran (Kenton Ridge) in the quarters. Cole would put up a respectable fight before falling 8-2 to 3x state finalist Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook) in the district semis, and then he'd bounce back with a 15-7 major in the consolation semis over Toby Warrington to secure a second trip to state. Tawney earned a second win over Elijah Cochran in the consolation finals, this time by a more conservative 4-2 score, to lock up 3rd place in the district. The D-2 126 bracket was one of the more loaded weights in the state regardless of division last year, and the fact that Tawney had a first round bout against another state placer can attest to the talent of the class. Cole pulled out a 7-4 win over 3x state placer Chandler Minnard (Bloom Carroll) to advance to the quarterfinals, where he would meet 2x state champ Anthony Tutolo (Lake Cath.). Tawney fell into the consolation bracket after a 10-6 loss to Tutolo, but he would earn his second state medal after picking up a commanding 16-4 win over Vince Zitiello (Bay) in his first consolation match. Unfortunately for Tawney, he would draw 2013 state champ Eli Seipel (Graham) in his next consolation match which landed him in the 7th place bout after a 5-2 loss to the St. Paris Graham Falcon. Tawney ended his season in a tough 7-4 loss in a rematch of his first round bout with Chandler Minnard to close out in 8th place. It wasn't the result that he was looking for, but it was a second medal at a excellent weight class. I would be very surprised if Tawney didn't exceed that placement this year, and I'll be interested to see just how high the Gallia senior can climb with his final year of varsity wrestling.
Shawn Murphy finished a point from state qualification last year. That's agonizingly close but if it's framed with the right mindset, it can provide the impetus for improvement and a monster senior season. Murphy went 2-2 at the GMVWA Tournament last December, with losses to state qualifiers Hayden Matheney (Morgan) and Tyler Hogue (Pickerington C.) along the way. Two weeks later he trekked to a 3rd place finish at Marion County where his only loss was to 2x state champ Garrett Hancock (Troy Chr.). At the same tournament, he snared a 3-0 win over state alternate Eli Ayoob (Jonathan Alder) and picked up a 5-3 win over another district placer, Matt Salmon (Perkins) in the consolation finals. Shawn posted a pair of impressive wins during the regional portion of the state dual meet tournament when he earned a narrow 1-0 win over district placer Toby Warrington (Hillsboro) and posted a 5-0 shutout over a worthy Zach Macella (Wilmington). Murphy earned a second dual meet victory over Warrington, defeating the Hillsboro wrestler 5-4 in OT two weeks before sectionals, and he claimed a second win over Macella in the sectional semifinals by a 7-5 score. Shawn finished 2nd to state finalist Cameron Kelly at his home sectional, and then advanced to the district semis with a pin and an 8-5 victory over Trenten Scott (Franklin). Here, Murphy met defending state champ Eli Seipel and was soundly dispatched to the consolation semis. Next, Murphy would square off against returning state qualifier Elijah Cochran who defeated Murphy by a tight 9-8 score. As distressing as the loss must have been, Murphy deserves a great deal of credit for picking up a resounding pin over Toby Warrington in the 5th place final after their two previous close matches. Shawn has a lot to look forward to in is final varsity wrestling season. A new year means new beginnings and a clean slate on which each wrestler determines his or her own future. His future may well hold a state tournament appearance in it, but it'll be up to Murphy to achieve it.
Toby Warrington sounds like the title of a country western singer, but it's actually the name of a good young wrestler who will be looking to make the Ohio state tournament in 2015. Warrington finished 5th at Franklin early in the year, losing a 2-0 match with district placer Kyle Bussard in the pool portion of the tournament but bouncing back with a pair of impressive wins. The first triumph was a 3-2 tiebreak win over Kentucky state qualifier Brad Krebs (Campbell Co.), and the second was a 6-1 victory over state qualifier Aaron Cox (Ross) in the 5th place final. Warrington later placed 4th at Western Brown and 3rd at the Washington Sectional Tournament. At the latter event Toby lost a 12-4 bout with 3x state finalist Cameron Kelly in the semifinals but trekked back with a nice 5-2 win over Zach Macella in the consolation finals after Macella had bested him earlier in the season by a 5-0 score. Warrington won his first district bout with Tyler Hicks (New Lexington) by a 7-4 score but found himself in the wrestle-backs after a quarterfinal loss to defending state champ Eli Seipel (Graham). Toby ended his first consolation bout with a pin and then settled the season series with Zach Macella by pulling out the 4-2 sudden victory win in the consolation quarters. This secured a district medal for Warrington, but he subsequently fell to 2x state placer Cole Tawney and Shawn Murphy in consecutive matches to finish out in 6th place.
Jake Henderson had a bit of an unceremonious end to last season, going 0-2 at the district tournament. That being said he is much better than that result, and I may actually have him ranked too low here to start the season. Henderson had an excellent tournament at Bellbrook. Despite losing to 3x state finalist Cameron Kelly in the finals, he picked up a 5-1 win over district placer Toby Warrington and an 11-3 victory over state qualifier Zach Bussard while finishing 2nd at the tournament. After defaulting out of his home tournament, Henderson batted back with a tournament championship at the SBAAC where he pinned A.J. Rostetter (New Richmond) in the finals. He finished 3rd at the sectional tournament with another win over Rostetter after being tripped up by Damian Walton (Taylor) in the semis. Jake suffered a 7-3 loss to state qualifier Elijah Cochran in the first round at the district tournament and lost his first wrestle-back to a tough Zach Macella to close out the season.

138-
1. Ryan Thomas/Mario Kastl-Graham (2x 1st middle school state tournament/3rd state)
2. Bryson Laytart-Trace (SQ)
3. Malachi Marlow-Western Brown
4. Skyler Hester-Washington C.H.
5. Tanner Rahm-Goshen
6. Cayne Bennett-Sheridan

Ryan Thomas is another of the freshmen juggernauts for the St. Paris Graham wrestling squad. The two time middle school state champ won his first title in 2013 at the 114 weight class as a 7th grader. Thomas defeated Andrew Sams (LaSalle) 5-2 in the second round of the middle school state tournament, teched Georgio Poullas (canfield) 19-3 in the quarterfinals, beat Ethan River 8-3 in the semis and bested Timothy Grunden (Defiance) 3-1 in the finals. Sams placed 8th at the D-1 high school state tournament in 2014. Poullas finished 6th at the D-2 state tournament. Rivera was a point away from placing at the Cleveland State District Tournament as a freshman and Grunden won a middle school state title this year over Thomas’s teammate Trevor Lawson who had finished 2nd at the Kentucky High school state tournament in 2013 as a 7th grader (middle schoolers are allowed to wrestle in the Kentucky high school state tournament). He earned his second title was this past season while wrestling at 132. Dominant is an accurate word to describe Thomas's second state title run. Of his 5 matches at the middle school state championships, all ended in a first period pin, and only one lasted more than a minute. Ryan's finals bout was a 50 second pin over a very good Joey Baughman (Wadsworth), a wrestler who had picked up two pins a major and one 3-2 decision on his way to the finals. Ryan won the illustrious super 32 tournament last year, teching fellow Ohio middle school state champ David Crawford (Canfield) 21-6 in the semifinals. Thomas also made it to the Philo Electric Middle School Invitational finals twice, winning the prestigious tournament during his 8th grade season. While in 7th grade, Thomas pinned a very good Ethan Rivera (Brunswick) in the quarterfinals, defeated Pennsylvania stud Nino Bonacorssi 3-1 in the semis, and lost 10-1 to the indomitable Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional) in the finals. Now the loss to Lee might not sound impressive, but the fact that it was closer than any of Lee's matches at the Ironman tournament last year speaks volumes. For those who aren't familiar with Spencer Lee's work, he just won his first PA state title as a freshman while completing an undefeated season and dominating the field. Over the summer, Lee won a world freestyle championship without being scored on at the tournament. He may be the best high school wrestler in the country this year, and he's only a sophomore. So, the fact that Ryan Thomas went a full match with him is impressive. With Lee wrestling in high school this year, Thomas dominated the field on the way to a Philo championship. He majored Georgia middle school state champion Cody Cochran in the finals to take home the title. It's always difficult to say how good incoming freshmen will be in their first year of high school wrestling, and I can't say for certain just how good Thomas will be by the end of the season. One thing that I can say is that Ryan Thomas is already exceptional.
Graham has an embarrassment of riches on their squad. State qualifier Hayden Bronne and Kavan Sarver will battle it out at 182 for a starting spot. At 126, Graham has the state title favorite, Eli Seipel as well as Trevor Lawson who placed 2nd at both the middle school state tournament and Kentucky high school state tournament previously. At 113, the Falcons have middle school state champ Mitch Moore and middle school state finalist J.D. Stickley. The biggest wrestle-off may be between middle school state champ Ryan Thomas and returning state bronze medalist Mario Kastl. Kastl saw his first major action at GMVWA last year, placing 5th at the tournament while picking up a pin over 2x state placer Colin Ingram (Bath) in the 5th place final. Two weeks later, he pulverized the field at Valley View with three first period pins and a 20-3 tech over state qualifier Kamron Paulus in the finals. Kastl scored a solid 6-4 dual meet victory over Mason Daugherty in the annual match-up with St. Edward and won a tournament title at New Lexington during the same week. At the latter event, Mario majored state qualifier Mike Stewart 12-4 in the semis and then defeated state qualifier Andrew Spicer 9-3 in the finals. After trouncing the field at the CBC Tournament, Kastl picked up a huge 6-0 win over state champ Dustin Warner in the finals of the state duals. Mario stormed to a sectional title and picked up a 6-1 win over Ryan Kelley and a 5-3 win over Dominic Vagnier in the district semis and finals to claim the title. At the state tournament, Kastl toughed out a tight 2-1 win over Rosendo Beltran (Toledo C.C.) in the opening round and then defeated state placer Collin Dees (Perry) 2-0 to reach the semifinals. After a surprising 5-4 loss in the semifinals to Cole Woods (W. Holmes), Mario closed out his state tournament the same way he closed out his district tournament, with consecutive wins over Ryan Kelley and Dominic Vangier. That would have been an excellent senior year for many wrestlers, but Kastl was only a sophomore. This season, he’ll likely need to beat out Thomas for a starting spot, which is no easy task. Whoever wrestles for Graham at this weight will be a top 3 placement contender. Hopefully, the Falcons will be able to work both young men into their line-up for the 2016 season.
Bryson Laytart is another talented young chap on the always tough Miami Trace squad. Last season, he finished 3-2 at Brecksville where he beat the rising freshman Josh Herhold (Perrysburg) 7-1 and later pinned Robbie Oswald (Elder). Laytart's two losses were a pair of identical 5-2 setbacks to Bobby Smith (Davidson) and Nate Hagan (Toledo C.C.) Smith was a 3x state placer who made it to the D-1 state finals in 2013, and Hagan was a 2x state placer who won his first state title in 2014. Bryson posted a similar result at Top Gun, where he was 2-2 with a pair of quality wins and a pair of quality losses. The victories were a 5-2 win over state qualifier Chandler Golec (Claymont) and a 2-1 victory over district placer Brett Bailey (Southeast). His two defeats were a setback to 2x state placer Nolan Whitely (Walsh) and a loss to state qualifier John Shirkey (LaSalle). Laytart later advanced to the sectional finals at Washington before falling to 2x state placer Tyler Knul (Circleville) in the finals. Bryson teched his first opponent at the Wilmington district but was tripped up in an 8-7 loss to Jordan McKnight (Carlisle) during the quarterfinals. Laytart earned a 19-2 tech fall over Emmett Covington (Athens) in his first consolation match, defeated Skyler Hester 7-1 in the consy quarters, clawed past Zane Brady (Valley View) 6-5, and closed out with a 6-5 win over Seth Cochran (Kenton Ridge) to finish the tournament in 3rd place. Bryson had a rough draw at state, facing state champ Nate Hagan in the first round and eventually closing out at 0-2. Laytart has what it takes to place at state this season, but it won't be easy slogging through the talented pool of wrestlers to earn a spot on the podium.
Malachi Marlow finished 3rd at Madison Middletown last December, posting a 1-0 win over a sturdy Landon Schlater (Coldwater) in the quarterfinals but falling 7-4 to state qualifier Chase Mayabb (Milton U.) in the semis. A month later, he earned a tournament title at Bellbrook where he was able to grind out a nice 10-6 win over Kentucky state qualifier Jake Erdman (Ryle ) in the finals, After a 4th place finish at this home tournament, Marlow won the SBAAC tournament title with a 6-0 shutout over Sam Humbert (Batavia) in the finals. Malachi was dominant at his home sectional earning a tech and two pins on the way to the crown. The pin in the finals was at 3:18 over Tanner Rahm (Goshen) and it set up Marlow with an opening match against Jonathan Matthews (Logan Elm) at the Wilmington District Tournament. Malachi pinned Matthews in the first round but lost to Zane Brady (Valley View) in the quarterfinals. Here he would be pinned by Rahm in a rematch of their sectional final bout. It's difficult to know who should be ranked higher between Rahm and Marlow given the fact that they pinned each other, but regardless, they'll both be in contention for state tournament spots this year.
Skylar Hester finished 1-2 at the GMVW Tournament last season, losing matches to state alternate Joseph Terry (Pickerington C.) and a skilled Nate Henkle (Graham) along the way. Hester posted three wins over a sturdy Cody Whaley (Hillsboro); 6-3 during the state duals, 7-5 during a late season dual meet, and 4-2 in the opening round of the sectional tournament. Skylar closed out his home sectional tournament in 3rd after falling to 2x state placer Tyler Knul in the semis. He earned a first round pin over Tanner Rahm at the Wilmington District Tournament before falling to state finalist Brent Moore in the quarterfinals. Hester earned a 9-4 consolation win over Jonathan Matthews to reach the consolation quarters where he lost a 7-1 bout with state qualifier Bryson Laytart.
Tanner Rahm, like Hester was a match away from placement at this district last year. He went 1-2 at the SWOWCA tournament but wrestled a tight 3-2 match with excellent freshman Drew Hobbs (Moeller) before taking the loss. Rahm marched on to place 5th at Madiera and 7th at Western Brown. Tanner would lose a 7-2 match to Malachi Marlow in the opening round of the SBAAC Tournament before rolling back with three straight consolation wins to finish in 3rd place. Rahm pinned his first two foes at the Western Brown District Tournament to reach the finals where he was pinned by Malachi Marlow. He suffered the previously mentioned first round pin at the hands of Skylar Hester at the district tournament before rebounding with two consolation pins, with the second win coming over Marlow. Rahm lost his consolation quarterfinal bout with state qualifier Seth Cochran (Kenton Ridge) by a 4-2 score to end the season. Rahm, Hester, and Marlow have shown the ability to beat each other, so it’ll be the improvements and consistency that they develop between now and the 2015 district tournament that will put one or more of them through to the state tournament.
Cayne Bennett was also a match from placement at Wilmington last year, albeit at a higher weight. He finished 4th at Cambridge early in the season while picking up a notable win in a 6-4 match with Samuel Grashel (River View). The next month, Bennett would thrash the field on the way to a tournament title at Sheridan, where he pinned a tough Evan Reed (Cambridge) in the finals. Cayne finished 3rd at the Alexander Sectional Tournament, falling to Isaiah Collier (Fairfield U.) in the semis prior to earning a 3-0 win over Andy Vu (Athens) in the consolation finals. Bennett picked up a tight 3-2 win over Goshen freshman Trey Atwood in the opening round at the district tournament but was sent tumbling into the consolation rounds after a quarterfinal loss to state champ Kyle Lawson. Cayne posted another win over Andy Vu (5-3) in his first consolation bout before being eliminated by 2x state qualifier Zach Johnson (Wilmington) in the consolation quarterfinals.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:44 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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145-
1. Brent Moore-Graham (2nd, 3rd state)
2. Jeff Smiddy-S. Shawnee (6th district, SQ 2013)
3. Tyler Young-Ross (6th district)
4. Zach Carpenter-Sheridan
5. D.J. White-Logan Elm
6. Isaiah Davis-Indian Lake

It's only a matter of time before Brent Moore wins a state title. The most pressing question at this time is; will he win his first state title in 2015? Moore had one of the best seasons of any wrestler not to win a state title last year. He finished an excellent 3rd place at the ludicrous Ironman Tournament, while racking up one quality win after another. Moore opened the event with a resounding 13-4 win over a very good state alternate Hunter Ladnier (St. Edward). However, Brent would suffer his lone setback of the tournament in the second round where he was defeated 4-2 in overtime by Wyoming state champ Bryce Meredith (Cheyenne). No rest for the weary at Ironman. Moore's first consolation bout would be against Will Crisco (Wyoming Sem.) who finished 6th at the National Prep championships. Brent took care of business dispatching Crisco by a 3-1 score. Moore soldiered on through the consolation bracket with aplomb, defeating D-1 state champ Richie Screptock (Clay) 5-0 and bettering 3x state placer Wade Hodges (Wauseon) 6-2 in OT to reach the consolation finals where he would earn a rematch with Bryce Meredith. Brent wouldn't let the second match go into overtime, instead seizing the win in a 5-1 match to earn the bronze. Moore missed the GMVWA Tournament but made his return at Valley View while earning 3 pins a tech and a 5-0 shutout of his teammate Nate Henkle on the way to the title. He suffered a surprising loss to Hunter Ladnier in the dual with St. Edward, falling 12-9 in what sounded like a thoroughly exciting match. Descriptions of the bout suggested that Moore surged out to an early lead and looked like he was on the way to earning bonus points before Ladnier turned the tides and nearly pinned the Graham wrestler. Moore got back on the right track at New Lexington where he won the title with two techs and two pins, with the final tech fall being a 23-6 win over state qualifier Austin Lang (Waterford). Brent won the CBC tournament with a 9-3 victory over state qualifier Seth Cochran (Kenton Ridge) in the finals, but ran into a roadblock a week later in the semifinals of the state duals. Here Moore was defeated by eventual state champ Nate Hagan (Toledo C.C.) in a 3-1 overtime bout during the state duals semis. He promptly took out the frustration in the finals with a 31-15 tech fall over freshman state qualifier Chandler Golec (Claymont). After winning a sectional title with a 7-2 win over Seth Cochran, Moore pounced on his district competition with a tech, two pins, and an 8-1 win in the finals over 2x state placer Tyler Knul (Circleville). The Graham sophomore would claim a pin in his first state bout and a 21-6 tech over 2x state placer Connor Nemec (Crestwood) in the quarters to set up a rematch with Wade Hodges in the state semis. The second match was reminiscent of the first, as Moore pulled out the win in overtime by a 2-1 score. This set him up with a second straight rematch, this one coming against Nate Hagan who had defeated him three weeks earlier in the state duals semis. This match was a clone on the original match, at least in terms of score, as Hagan pulled out the 3-1 sudden victory win to claim his first state title. Though it was surely a disappointing end to an excellent season, Moore clearly made huge strides from his freshman to his sophomore year. Brent continued to better himself in the off-season, claiming the tournament title at the extremely competitive Flo Nationals event. He looked exceptional on the way to the gold, defeating Oklahoma state champ Keegan Moore (Putman City) 8-3 in the semis and Wisconsin state champion Robert Lee (Kaukauna) 6-3 for the title. On a side note, Keegan Moore starts the season ranked 2nd in the nation at 132 and Robert Lee starts this year ranked 16th in the country according to Flo Wrestling. All signs point to Brent Moore winning a state title in the future, but brutal competition looms on the horizon. If he opts to wrestle 138, where he's registered for the Super 32 tournament, Moore will likely have to defeat both Wade Hodges (who took him to overtime twice) and Nate Hagan (who defeated him twice) in order win the state title. If he opts for 145 to help the team accommodate their massive stockpile of talented wrestlers, he'll likely see two time state placer Kyle Kaminski (Padua) who wrestles tight matches with good wrestlers. Either way he's a state title contender who's capable of defeating any middle weight in Ohio.
If you're looking for a good wrestler to follow with a cool, old-timey last name that sounds like a nickname, Jeff Smiddy is your man. The Shawnee wrestler has already placed twice at the district tournament and qualified for state once in his brief high school career. Smiddy will be looking to schedule a return trip to state and walk away with a state medal on Saturday night. Jeff won the tournament title at Madison Middletown last year by posting a 7- 2 victory in the finals over state qualifier Chase Mayabb (Milton U.). Smiddy won another tournament title at Lima Senior where he pinned his way to a championship. He later earned the bronze medal at the CBC tournament where he fell 4-2 in the semis to 4x state placer Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge). Over the course of the CBC tournament, Smiddy claimed a pair of impressive wins over Isaiah Davis (Indian Lake) and Russ Hites (Benjamin Logan) by resounding 9-0 and 16-0 scores respectively. After a trio of first period pins at the Washington Sectional, Smiddy finished 2nd to state qualifier Zach Johnson (Wilmington) in a 6-5 bout. Jeff pinned Isaiah Davis in the first round of the Wilmington District tournament and then pulled an emphatic 15-0 tech over Blake Silvus (W. Brown) in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal round, Smiddy lost a tight 4-3 rematch with Preston Bowshier and then replicated that feat in the consolation semis where he lost by an identical 4-3 score to Zach Johnson. He ended his season with a 6th place finish at the Wilmington district after a lopsided loss to senior Isaiah Collier (Fairfield U.) in the alternate finals. It was a disheartening end to what was an otherwise impressive season. Smiddy will be back this year, and he'll be a state qualifier once again. The story line for the Shawnee wrestler will be about how high Jeff can climb once he gets to state.
Tyler Young finished 2nd to state finalist Alex Becker (Dayton Chr.) at Franklin last November before having a tough GMVWA tournament and finishing 0-2 over the holiday break. Young placed 3rd at the SWOC tournament and snared 2nd place at the Western Brown Sectional Tournament where he picked up a 7-4 win over Malachi Marlow (Western Brown) in the semifinals. Tyler earned an excellent 11-2 major over state alternate Hunter St. Peter (Athens) in the first round at the Wilmington District Tournament before falling to the incomparable Micah Jordan (Graham) in the quarters. Young soldiered back with a gritty 10-9 win over 2012 state qualifier Dillon Hunick (McClain) in his first consolation bout, and then he earned a 9-7 win over Jacob Price (Chillicothe) to lock up a district medal. Tyler lost to returning state qualifier Tyler Sowards (Kenton Ridge) in his go-to-state bout and then dropped his 5th place final rematch with Hunter St. Peter 4-3.
D.J. White looked tough at the end of the year last season, though it may not have translated into the success that he was hoping for at Wilmington. White advanced to the sectional finals after picking up a 5-4 semifinal win over state qualifier Dillon Hunick but would fall 9-3 in the championship bout to state placer Tyler Wiederholt (Bellbrook), finishing in 2nd place. D.J. put up a fight against 2x state qualifier Tyler Sowards before falling 11-9 in overtime at the opening round of the Wilmington District Tournament. White pinned Tony Gatto (Batavia) during their first wrestle-back match but he would fall 9-5 to senior Jacob Price in the next round to close out at 1-2 for the tournament. I think he’ll have a better district tournament this year, and if he continues to improve, we could certainly see him make an appearance at the state tournament by season’s end.
Zach Carpenter finished 3rd at Cambridge last November, where he placed ahead of state alternate Logan Hickenbottom (Cambridge) after falling to district champ Dalton Hartshorn (Minerva) in the semifinals. Carpenter later bested Hickenbottom by a resounding 15-5 score in the finals at Sheridan, where Zach claimed the title. He went 2-2 at the GMVWA Tournament over the holidays, picking up a solid win 5-1 over Andy Vu (Athens) and a pin over Kentucky state qualifier Cole Kirkland (Ryle) before losing to D-3 state champ Logan Lacure (Greeneview) in the quarterfinals. Zach earned a noteworthy second period pin over state alternate John Haines (Morgan) during the state duals tournament, and then he won a sectional title while earning a solid 7-3 win over former middle school state placer Casey Parsons (Warren) and another impressive 6-2 win over Jacob Price in the sectional final. After pinning Tony Gatto in the first round at the Wilmington District Tournament, Carpenter suffered a pin at the hands of Tyler Sowards and was subsequently pinned by Tony Kitchen (Urbana) in his first consolation bout.
Isaiah Davis wrestled well last year, but defaulted out of the consolation rounds of the district tournament. If he can continue his success in 2015, we could see him with a district medal and possibly a spot in the state tournament. Davis went 1-2 at Medina, where he grabbed a solid 11-7 win over Taylor Neely (U.Arlington) before falling 9-7 to Michigan state placer Austin Vannatter (Richmond) in the second round and then dropping his first consolation match to state qualifier Zach Defraine (Medina). Isaiah later finished 3rd at Scioto where he lost a rematch with Neely before wrestling back to claim the consolation prize with a 10-5 win over Emmanuel Barnes (Canal Winchester). Later in the season, he placed 5th at the CBC tournament, where his losses were to state qualifier Jeff Smiddy and state champ Kyle Lawson (Graham) and his 5th place win was an 8-2 defeat of Andrew Franzen (S. Northwestern). Davis placed 3rd at the sectional tournament, picking up three pins and a lone loss to 4x state placer Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge). Davis was pinned in the opening round at Wilmington by Jeff Smiddy and unfortunately defaulted out of the tournament.

152-
1. Kyle Lawson-Graham (1st state, 2nd state KY)
2. Tyler Wiederholt-Bellbrook (6th state)
3. Caleb Price-Chillicothe (8th state)
4. Tyler Sowards-Kenton Ridge (SQ)
5. Hunter St. Peter-Athens (5th district)
6. Casey Parsons-Warren

I feel like I do too much doting on the Graham wrestlers and the program in general in these write-ups, but it's hard not to heap credit on one of the great programs in the history of our state. They make us look better as a state by representing Ohio with constant success. Kyle Lawson came up in the Graham program before spending a year wrestling for Woodford County in Kentucky where he placed 2nd in the state as an 8th grader. Lawson made his return to the Graham team last season, where he started off the Ironman tournament with a first round match against Illinois state champion Vince Turk (Montini). It's an absurd way for a freshman to start the season, but Lawson handled himself admirably before ultimately falling by a 4-2 score. As a reward for a hellacious opening round match, Lawson drew the excellent state qualifier Austin Hiles (Brecksville) in his first consolation bout. Kyle would fare better than his first bout, pinning Hiles in the second period. There are very few matches off when you wrestle in a tournament that is the high caliber of Ironman. Lawson found this out first hand when he drew Nick Monico (Saegertown) in his second consolation match. Monico finished 6th in the state at the end of the year, but that didn't phase Lawson as he bested the PA wrestler 7-0. Next came Shea Conley (Broken Arrow) who placed 3rd in Oklahoma, Kyle beat him 5-3 in OT. After that win, Lawson pinned D-1 state champ Mike Kostandaras (Walsh) and earned a revenge win over Turk 3-1 to reverse the first round defeat. Lawson dropped two close matches (3-0) to California state runner-up Mike Longo (Santiago) and (3-1) to Illinois state champ Isaiah White to finish 6th. Longo finished the year ranked 10th in the nation by InterMat and White started the year ranked #1 by Flo. An interesting fact that I found out about Isaiah White is that he goes by his middle name, and his actual name is Walter White Jr. You gotta love the name if you're a Breaking Bad fan, and it’s an amusing coincidence that the real life Walter White Jr. doesn’t go by his first name, just like Flynn on the show. After Ironman, Lawson would finish 3rd at the GMVWA tournament while earning wins over state qualifier Matt Sicurella (Glen Este) state finalist Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge) and a revenge win over Sean Fausz (Campbell Co.) who was the wrestler that defeated Lawson in the Kentucky state finals back in 2013. Lawson majored Sicurella 11-2, controlled Fausz 7-1 and shutout Bowshier 3-0. Kyle would pin state qualifier Chase Mayabb (Milton Union) in the finals at Valley View and teched state qualifier Christian Price (Granville) 16-0 in the finals at new Lexington. Lawson defeated Bowshier again in the finals of the CBC tournament by a 6-2 score and picked up a pin over state finalist Josh Mossing (Toledo C.C.) in the semifinals of the state duals. He would suffer a setback in the state duals finals where he was bested by 2x state finalist Cody Burcher (Claymont) in a gritty 1-0 match. Lawson would defeat Bowshier by the same score to earn the sectional title at Tippecanoe, and then he pinned Bowshier for the district title the next week at Wilmington. After an opening round tech fall at state, Lawson pinned 2x state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) and avenged the earlier loss to Burcher with a 9-3 win to advance to the state finals. Lawson picked up a second period pin over Josh Mossing in the state finals to earn his first state title as a high school freshman. Lawson is not unbeatable, but after seeing his results as a freshman, it's hard to see anyone denying him a second state title in 2015 if he continues to improve.
Every one expected Cameron Kelly and Ben Schram to be in contention for top three finishes at the state tournament last year, but it was Tyler Wiederholt who was Bellbrook’s most improved wrestler. As a sophomore, Wiederholt finished 6th at the state tournament due to his ability to grit out the tough low scoring matches. Early last December, Tyler finished 2nd to district placer Steven Serbinski (Lebanon) at Edgewood after pulling off an 8-4 upset in the semis over state qualifier Zach Johnson (Wilmington). Tyler went 5-2 at the GMVWA tournament while finishing in 5th place at the highly competitive event. He knocked off Logan Calvert (Sidney) 8-2 in the second round but fell 5-4 to state qualifier Tyler Sowards in the quarterfinals. Wiederholt soldiered back with a 3-1 win over a solid Jordan Pieczynski (Pickerington C.) and a 6-2 win over Andy Cress (Lakota W.) to reach the consolation finals. Here he would fall to Kentucky state runner-up Clay Brown (Walton Verona) before avenging his earlier loss to Sowards with a 2-1 win over the Kenton Ridge wrestler in the 5th place final. Wiederholt won the tournament title at home in Bellbrook while earning a nice 9-3 victory over placer Austin Jackson (Dixie Hts.) who placed 5th at the Kentucky state tournament. He would earn another tournament title with a 5-3 win over state qualifier Chase Mayabb (Milton Union) in the finals of the SWBL. Tyler moved on to a sectional title over D.J. White (Logan Elm) an won both of his first two matches at Wilmington over Tony Kitchen (Urbana) and Jacob Price (Chillicothe). Wiederholt then drew Micah Jordan in the district semis, before bouncing back with a 4-0 win over Hunter St. Peter to advance to state and a 3-1 win over Sowards in the rubber match. Wiederholt would be pinned by Caden Herron (Claymont) in his first match at state, but then he would showcase his ability to win close matches in the next three rounds. First, Tyler eliminated 3x state qualifier Walter Gibson (SVSM) in a 2-1 bout. Then he bested district champ Dalton Hartshorn (Minerva) 4-2 in sudden victory to secure a spot on the state podium. Next, Wiederholt would overtake Nick Wrobel (Crestwood) 3-1 to reach the consolation semifinals. He would fall to 2x state placers Heath Lange (Indian Lake) and Andy Dobben (CVCA) in his finals two matches to close out the season with a 6th place medal. It was an impressive overall season for the Bellbrook sophomore, who may have been the most improved wrestler in his weight-class last year. Another year of training combined with a Bellbrook team that’s looking for a top 3 finish at state could raise Wiederholt to a top 3 wrestler in his weight class, if not better.
Caleb Price pulled his first state medal as a junior at the end of what was a very solid overall season. Price won the tournament title at Athens in January with a pin over Casey Parsons (Warren) in the quarters, a 1-0 win over Ray Petros (Fairfield U.) in the semis, and a pin over Brandon Thompson (Meigs) in the finals. At the end of the year, Price claimed a sectional title after knocking off Andy Vu (Athens) 2-0 in the semis and majoring Isaiah Collier (Fairfield U.) in the finals. A week later, Price majored Nathan Rostetter (New Richmond) 16-4 in the first round at Wilmington before getting pinned by state finalist Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge) in the quarters. Price seemed comfortable wrestling back through the consolation bracket while snaring a 7-3 win over Blake Silvus (Western Brown) and earning a second win over Isaiah Collier (4-2) to advance to his first state tournament. Price lost 4-2 to Zach Johnson in the consolation finals at Wilmington, setting him up with a first round bout against 2x state finalist Cody Burcher (Claymont) in Columbus. Caleb wouldn’t log much mat time in his first match, falling to Burcher in 35 seconds, but he picked up a great grind-it-out 2-1 win over Gene Porter (Sandusky) to stay alive Thursday night. Price won a nice 6-4 bout over Daniel Hasson (Beaver Local) in his second consolation bout to secure a spot on the podium. Caleb lost his final two state matches to Preston Bowshier and Jake Zemaitis who were each multiple time state placers, but he walked away with his first state medal. Price has effectively put himself on the map for the 2015 season where he will be looking to climb to an even higher plateau on the state podium.
Tyler Sowards was a semifinalist at the GMVWA tournament after posting that previously mentioned 5-4 win over Tyler Wiederholt. Here he would be pinned by Micah Jordan before suffering identical 2-1 losses to Logan Calvert and Wiederholt to finish in 6th place. Tyler posted solid dual meet wins over Tony Kitchen (8-3) and Gabe Callicoat (Tippecanoe) 13-0. He later finished 2nd at the CBC tournament to Micah Jordan after defeating Kitchen in the semifinals. He lost his opening sectional bout 11-6 to state bronze medalist Heath Lange but rebounded to take 3rd while earning a third victory over Kitchen (3-1) in the consolation finals. Tyler picked up a tight 11-9 overtime win over D.J. White (Logan Elm) in the first round of the district tournament and then pinned Zach Carpenter (Sheridan) to reach the semifinals. He lost a respectable 10-7 match with Heath Lange in the semis before earning a 9-1 win over Tyler Young (Ross) to reach the state tournament for a second straight year. After falling 3-1 to Wiederholt in the consolation finals, Sowards would draw district champ Dalton Hartshorn in his opening match at state. Though he would drop a close 3-2 match to Hartshorn, Sowards rolled back with a 6-5 victory over Richard Jackson (Toledo C.C.) to earn a placement match with Caden Herron. Here, Tyler lost a narrow 4-3 match with Herron who would go on to finish 4th at the tournament.
Hunter St. Peter will look to follow in Skyler’s footsteps and qualify for his first state tournament during his senior year. Hunter had a nice state alternate finish last year after a back and forth early season. Hunter went 1-2 at the GMVWA tournament while wrestling up at 152, and finished 4th at his home tournament despite defaulting in his final two matches. St. Peter posted a legit 10-8 win over Zach Carpenter during the regional quarterfinals of the state duals tournament and then pulled a tournament title at the Tri-Valley Conference event, pinning Brandon Thompson (Meigs) in the finals. Hunter finished 3rd at his sectional where he lost to Jacob Price 6-2 in the semis, defeated Brandon Thompson 4-2 to advance to the district, and closed out in 3rd place with an 8-5 win over Casey Parsons (Warren). St. Peter suffered a lopsided 11-2 loss to Tyler Young (Ross) in the first round at Wilmington but came back with three straight consolation wins to earn district placement. The second wrestle-back win was a 6-5 triumph over Casey Parsons, and the consy quarterfinal victory was a wild 18-17 defeat of Tony Kitchen. Hunter lost his go-to-state bout 4-0 to state placer Tyler Wiederholt before avenging the first round loss by defeating Tyler Young 4-3 to claim the state alternate spot.
Casey Parsons followed an 8th grade season that culminated in middle school state placement with a solid freshman year. He pinned Brandon Thompson in the semis at Gallia Academy before falling to 2x state placer Tyler Knul (Circleville) in the finals to finish 2nd. He grabbed a 5th place finish at Athens, losing only to state placer Caleb Price along the way. Parsons earned a solid 3-2 win over state alternate Logan Hickenbottom (Cambridge) during their state duals match and finished 4th at the Alexander sectional after falling to Carpenter and St. Peter by 4 and 3 points respectively. He had a nice 8-3 win over senior sectional champ Sterling Briggs (Goshen) at Wilmington but fell to Heath Lange and Hunter St. Peter (6-5) in his next two matches to close out at 1-2. Parsons has shown that he has the talent and ability to contend with the Wilmington contenders at this weight, and we could see him at the Schott by seasons end if he keeps improving.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:44 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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160-
1. Alex Marinelli-Graham (1st, 1st state)
2. Jason Sandlin-Carlisle (3rd, 3rd state)
3. Travis Grooms-Trace (5th district 2013)
4. Christian Collins-Chillicothe (5th district)
5. Corey Williams-Greenon
6. Mason McCane-Washington C.H.

I’m excited to see what the outstanding Alex Marinelli will be able to accomplish in his final two seasons of varsity wrestling before he begins his college career. Marinelli has already made the Ironman finals twice in two years of high school wrestling, a rare feat for any wrestler let alone such a young one. He’ll be looking to claim that elusive Ironman title after losing to Blair Academy wrestlers during both of the last two years. Marinelli pinned his way to the semifinals at Walsh last season, sticking Oklahoma state finalist Zach Walton (Edmond N.) in the quarters. In the semis, Marinelli won a 5-1 bout against Illinois state champion Xavier Montalvo (Montini Cath.), who finished the season ranked 16th in the nation by InterMat. Alex would fall in the finals to Dylan Milonas (Blair) who ended the year ranked #1 in the nation. He continued to impress at the GMWVA tournament, where he won the tournament title with four straight pins and a 3-0 shutout of state bronze medalist Ben Schram (Bellbrook) in the finals. Marinelli pinned his way to another tournament title at Valley View and demonstrated similar dominance at New Lexington, where he racked up 3 pins, a tech and a 15-7 major over state placer Dain Steffeny (Granville) in the finals. A few weeks later, Alex won the CBC tournament over state placer Reyse Wallbrown (Indian Lake) but suffered a shocking upset in the state duals semifinals, where he lost an 8-6 bout to state qualifier Lucas Beauch (Toledo C.C.). Marinelli got right back on track with a dominant sectional title (three pins in three matches) and a district title where he defeated state runner-up Kordell Ford (Hillsboro) 5-2 and Ben Schram 3-1. He would hit another gear at state, teching state placer Alex Kenner (U. Sandusky) and pinning another state placer Matt Ludwig (Lake Cath.) in his first two bouts. After a 46 second pin over Tre Campbell in the semis, Marinelli finally met a foe that would test him. Senior Kordell Ford put up a valiant effort, but Marinelli ultimately pulled out his second state title in a 9-8 championship win on Saturday night. I’m excited to see that Marinelli registered for the Super 32 tournament. It’s one of the best high school tournaments in the country, and it should provide an excellent barometer for Alex as he looks to become one of elite wrestlers in the country.
Carlisle put forth a legit team last year that produced a state finalist, two additional state qualifiers, and three other wrestlers who had earned district placement in their career. The one missing piece was the superb Jason Sandlin. The junior had finished 3rd in the state in D-3 during both of his first two tours of varsity duty. However, he missed most of last season with what I believe were injuries, cutting short what could have been an even more impressive district tournament for Carlisle. Now that Nick Svarda has switched schools, and four other seniors with district medals have graduated, it’s up to Sandlin and sophomore sensation Reece Human to carry on the legacy of the program. I have no idea as to what weight Jason will wrestle this year, but I seem to remember seeing result from him as low as 152 last year, but I can’t confirm that. He also posted a few wins up at 160, where I started him this year including an 8-4 win over state alternate Jack Peura (Tippecanoe). Regardless of where he resides in 2015, Sandlin will be a top 3 type of wrestler if he’s healthy. Among Sandlin’s excellent wins in his career are a 7-4 win over Gavin Nelson (Clay) who finished 3rd in the state, a 5-2 win over Alex Becker (Dayton Chr.) who was a state runner-up in 2014, and 8-3 triumph over 3x state placer Dakota Mays (Nelsonville-York), a 13-7 win over state finalist Cody Laney (Hicksville), a 5-3 OT victory over state finalist Bobby Smith (Ready/Davidson), and a 7-5 defeat of state champ Gennar Feucht (W, Jefferson). Hopefully, Sandlin will be back to 100% in 2015 as he makes another push for a state title.
Travis Grooms had a rocky district tournament last year after what was an otherwise exemplary junior season. He went 2-2 at Brecksville, but one of the wins was a 9-8 defeat of Lucas Beauch who was the only Ohio wrestler to defeat Alex Marinelli last year. The losses were to first-rate opponents in Detaun Smith (8-2) and Alexander Bair (Centerville) 4-0 who have state podium finishes of 3rd and 6th place. Grooms finished 6th at Top Gun while earning a 6-5 win over Austin Brooks (Carrollton), a 5-1 win over Ryan Taylor (Nordonia), and a 5-2 win over state qualifier Mason Hughes (West Branch). Travis won his sectional tournament with a 7-3 win over Corey Williams (Greenon) and pinned Paul Pook (Athens) in his first district match. Grooms lost his quarterfinal bout to Steven Murray (Urbana) 9-6 but rebounded with an 8-7 win over Austin Klintworth (Warren) to reach the consolation quarters. Here, he lost a 3-2 match to Chris Linton (Logan Elm) to end his season.
Christian Collins, like Grooms has finished as the state alternate. Collins posted an 11-10 shootout win over Mason McCane in their dual meet last January. He would storm into the semis in Athens before dropping a 2-1 Overtime bout to state qualifier Troy Stalder (Athens) in the semis and subsequently finishing 3rd. Collins finished 2nd at the Alexander sectional wrestling tournament, again falling to Stalder in the finals. He began his district tournament with a pin over Brandon Henderson (Indian Lake) but saw that result reversed when he was pinned by Ben Schram in the quarters. After a consolation pin, Collins defeated a tough Dimitri Williams (New Lexington) for a second straight week to earn a district medal. He lost to Stalder for a third straight time in a tough 3-1 go-to-state bout. Collins closed out the year with a 7-2 win over Luke Matthews (L. Shawnee) to claim the alternate spot and establish a solid foundation off of which to build this year.
After a boatload of dual meet wins last year, Corey Williams looked solid at his home tournament, defeating state alternate Steven Murray 7-1 and losing a close 5-4 match with 2x state placer Anthony DeCarlo (Catholic Central). Williams would finish 3rd at the CBC tournament, earning a statement 13-2 win over state alternate Jack Peura in the consolation finals after losing a 5-2 bout with state qualifier Garrett Jordan (Graham) in the semis. Williams would finish 2nd to Travis Grooms at sectionals and earned a 22-4 tech over Austin Klintworth in the first round at Wilmington. Unfortunately for Corey, his next two matches would be against a pair of state qualifiers. He wrestled well but lost a 5-2 match with Andrew Dunn (Ross) in the quarterfinals, dropping him into a match with Kenon Bowling (Western Brown) which he lost by a 7-5 score. Williams was right there with the qualifiers at this weight last year. A better bracket or a different week, and we could have seen Corey advance to the state tournament. Fortunately, as with all underclassmen, he’ll get another shot at the Schott in 2015.
Mason McCane looked solid during his sophomore year. After going 2-2 at the GMVWA tournament over the Holiday break, McCane finished 3rd at Marion County where he piled up several quality wins. He knocked off Dylan Wildman (J. Alder) 4-1 and pinned Austin Kinzel (Clear Fork) in the championship rounds before falling 11-4 to state placer Dain Steffeny in the quarterfinals. McCane bested state alternate Kyle Ice (Waynedale) 2-1 in the consolation rounds and then knocked off his teammate Jake Staggs 8-2 to finish in 5th place. Mason placed 3rd at his home sectional tournament while defeating district placer Luke Matthews 6-4 in the consolation finals. McCane pinned his first foe at Wilmington, but was bested 8-3 by Troy Stalder in the quarters. He picked up a solid 15-9 win over a capable Brandon Phelps (Franklin) in the consolation rounds before falling 10-4 to state finalist Kordell Ford in the consolation quarters.

170-
1. Benjamin Schram-Bellbrook (3rd, 3rd state)
2. Russell Miller-Trace (4th state)
3. Garrett Jordan-Graham (SQ)
4. Troy Stalder-Athens (SQ)
5. Garrett Davis-Marietta (5th district)
6. Dalton Jones-Ross (SQ 2013)

I know that he’s registered at 160 for the Super 32 tournament, but I’m guessing that Schram and David-Brian Whisler wrestle at whatever weight (160 or 170) Marinelli is not residing at. Whisler and Schram both seem like state champion caliber wrestlers, so I’m hoping that at least one is able to walk away with the hardware this season. We could just as easily see Marinelli up here or Schram down at 160, but I guess we’ll have to wait till the post season to know for certain. Ben Schram is an excellent wrestler whose finished 3rd at both of the last two state tournaments. He kicked off last season with a tournament title at Edgewood where he pinned his way through the field. Schram then advanced to the quarterfinals at the Ironman tournament after a 5-3 victory of Virginia state runner-up Taylor Misuna (Grassfield) before being defeated by Illinois state champion Xavier Montalvo (Montini Cath.) and Brian-David Whisler (Howland) in consecutive matches. The loss to Whisler was a rematch of the 3rd place final at the state tournament from the 2013 season, won by Schram. We could well see the rubber-match in the state finals this season. A few weeks later, Schram rolled to the finals of the GMVWA Tournament with three pins and a 15-6 major over state alternate Keegan Driscoll (Bradley) but was defeated by Alex Marinelli in a 3-0 finals match. Ben would pick up an excellent tournament title in his home gym, where he bested state runner-up Kordell Ford (Hillsboro) 3-1 in sudden victory in the championship match. Schram bumped up to 170 for Bellbrook’s state duals match with Miami Trace and defeated state placer Russell Miller in a 2-1 bout. He pinned his way through the SWBL tournament, sticking state qualifier Aldin Leaker (Eaton) at the 1:20 mark in the finals. Schram picked up a second win over Kordell Ford (5-3) while winning the sectional title, and stormed to the district finals with two wins and an 11-3 major decision. He would fall to Alex Marinelli a second time, losing 3-1 to finish as the district runner-up out of Wilmington. Schram earned a 3-2 triumph over the dangerous Lucas Beauch (Toledo C.C.) in the opening round of the state tournament and handed Brendan Scherer (River View) his first loss of the year in a 9-4 quarterfinal win. It’s always tough to beat an excellent wrestler multiple times in a row, and this would prove to be the case in the semis as Schram fell 3-2 to Kordell Ford after two earlier wins over the Hillsboro wrestler. Schram would get back on the winning track by gritting out a tough 6-2 overtime win against Matt Ludwig (Lake Cath.) in the consolation semis. He then closed out his season with a decisive pin over Tre Campbell (Wauseon) to capture his second bronze medal. Will 2015 be the year for Schram to walk away with that elusive state title? We’ll know in a few short months.
Russell Miller Looked like one of those wrestlers that was sure to make a jump in performance last year after a solid sophomore season, but I didn’t expect him to be quite as good as he was in 2014. Miller looked awesome at Top Gun last January. He posted dominating 14-4 major decision over Brody Brand (Clovis) who finished 3rd at the California state tournament, and followed it up with a 6-5 win over state qualifier Camran Rezapourian (Fitch) in the quarterfinals. Russell notched another impressive victory in the semis where he defeated state placer Mike Audi (Poland) by a 3-1 score. Even his loss in the finals was an impressively close 3-2 defeat against the excellent 3x state placer Isaac Bast (Perry). Miller would lose the previously mentioned state duals bout to Ben Schram 2-1 before earning a sectional title over state qualifier Tye Smith (Washington) with a 5-1 win. He dominated his first two district opponents before falling 7-5 to state finalist Jimmy Sandlin (Carlisle) in the semis. Miller picked up a nice 7-4 win over Garrett Davis to reach the state tournament, and followed that win with a second defeat of Tye Smith, this one by a 15-3 score. After a 5-3 first round win over Kaz Struna (Lake Cath.) in Columbus, Miller fell 3-1 to undefeated state champ Seth Williams (Columbian) to drop into the consolation rounds. He rebounded nicely with a third defeat of Tye Smith, pinning the Washington wrestler and securing a spot on the podium. Not satisfied with just placing, Russell next bettered Brendon Winning (Ravenna) 7-4 to reach the consolation semis, and pulled off a 5-4 upset of 2013 state finalist Aaron Schuette (Wauseon) to reach the consolation finals. Miller would lose his 3rd place match 4-3 to Zeck Lehman (Revere) who had been on fire, rolling through the consolation bracket after a first round loss. Though he made great strides in 2014, Miller has to believe that he can achieve more. Not only was he 4th in the state while defeating several excellent opponents, but he never lost a match by more than 2 points. This shows that he’s right there with the highest competitors around his weight. If he continued to improve this season a state title is certainly not out of the question.
I’m still not positive who will occupy this weight for Graham; Marinelli or Jordan, but it’ll certainly be a state placement caliber wrestler regardless. Garrett Jordan carved out a nice little niche for himself as a sophomore, qualifying for the state tournament in 2014. He had a bit of a rough time at Ironman going 1-2, but just about everybody has a hard go of it at Walsh. He rebounded nicely with a 2nd place finish at the GMVWA Tournament while earning wins over state qualifier Daniel Jennings (Covington) by pin and state placer Aaron Yarger (Pickerington C.) 8-3. Jordan lost 8-3 in the finals to Georgia state champ Thomas Bullard (Archer) but still cobbled together an excellent tournament overall. Garrett won the tournament title at Valley View and finished 2nd to 3x state placer Dakota Mays (Nelsonville-York) at New Lexington after an overtime loss. Jordan also picked up a nice 9-2 win over state alternate D.J. Williamson during the annual Graham/St. Edward dual meet. He finished 2nd to 2x state placer Heath Lange (Indian Lake) at the CBC tournament a week before he pulled off a nice 6-2 win over state placer Caden Herron (Claymont) in the state duals final. Jordan finished 2nd to state bronze medalist Reyse Wallbrown (Indian Lake) at both the sectional and district levels, where Garrett never had a win smaller than his 8-0 district semifinal bout. Jordan earned a gritty 2-1 win over Ben Knaus (SVSM) in the opening round of the state tournament, but was pinned by 2x state champ Alex Mossing (Toledo C.C.) in the quarterfinals. Garrett’s season would end on an 8-4 defeat to Kristian Jackson (Alliance) in their match to place at state.
Troy Stalder also finished a match from state placement last year after stringing together a solid overall season. Stalder went 2-2 at the GMVWA tournament while posting a 6-1 win over state qualifier Tye Smith, losing a match to state placer Lane Thomas (Graham), and dropping a 2-1 bout with state qualifier Joe Kylin (Springboro). Troy won a tournament title in his home gym, posting a 2-1 OT win over state alternate Christian Collins (Chillicothe) in the semis. After another tournament championship at Tri-Valley, Stalder won a sectional title with a 4-1 victory in a rematch with Christian Collins. Stalder advanced to the district semis with a pin and an 8-3 victory over Mason McCane (Washington) before falling to 2x champ Marinelli in the semis. Troy qualified for a second straight state tournament with a 3-1 win over Christian Collins before falling to state finalist Kordell Ford in the consolation finals. Stalder suffered a lopsided loss to Tre Campbell in his first state bout before earning a quality 6-1 win over Tony Rupert (Marlington) in the his first consolation match. He would lose his first match on Friday to Alonzo Tuner (Harvey) by a 12-3 score and finish a match from placement. Stalder had a rough road, losing to the wrestlers that finished 4th and 5th in the state, but it’s the state tournament, so nothing generally comes easy. Fortunately, Stalder has another shot at placement, and we’ll see if he can make the most out of his senior season.
I’ve got Garrett Davis ranked 5th to start the year, but he’s fully capable of making the state tournament and placing in 2015. I’m hoping that these mid-to-upper weights at Wilmington space out evenly, because there is a lot of talent and a limited number of state qualification spots. Davis claimed an 11-3 dual meet win over state qualifier Matt Tom (John Glenn) in mid-December. He also snared a 2nd place finish at Athens, where his only loss was a 7-3 finals defeat to 3x state qualifier Dallas Lazear (Athens). Davis posted a legit win over a sneaky solid Jared Torch (Dover) in the quarters of the ECOL tournament before upsetting state qualifier Matt Dennis (Claymont) in the semis. He lost an 11-6 finals bout with state qualifier Mark Barrow (New Philadelphia) for the title but rolled to a sectional championship two weeks later at Alexander. Davis won handily in his first district bout but was drilled by Lane Thomas in the quarters. Garrett claimed wins in his first two consolation bouts, including a win that eliminated returning state qualifier Dalton Jones 5-3 in the consolation quarters. He would bow out of the state tournament picture after the 7-4 defeat at the hands of Russell Miller in the consolation semis, but he ended on an upswing with an 11-5 win over Dakota Jarrell (Wilmington) to finish the year as the state alternate.
Despite the consolation quarterfinal loss to Davis, Dalton Jones is a good wrestler, in a quality program with state experience. It wouldn’t be difficult to see him end his season on the podium if he continues to improve in the Ross wrestling room. Jones won a tournament title at Franklin last year and finished 6th at the always deep SWOWCA tournament. His most impressive win at the latter event was a 5-3 defeat of stud freshman Brett Bryant (Moeller) in the quarterfinals. It wasn’t as if the three defeats at SWOWCA were bad losses either. Jones lost to state placer James Caniglia (Loveland), state bronze medalist Detaun Smith (Colerain) by a 3-1 score, and a legit Juilan Daniels (northwest) 2-1. At Eaton, he had a solid 2-1 win over Chris Hughes (Carroll) before falling 5-2 in OT to state qualifier Austin Robbins (Tippecanoe). Jones won the tournament titles at the SWOC tournament and the Western Brown Sectional. His finals win at Western Brown was a 3-1 overtime victory over Demarcol Cain (Norwood), a sneaky good freshman who will be one too keep an eye on in his last three years. Jones won his opening match at Wilmington, but was tripped up in the quarters by Tye Smith in a 3-1 defeat. After a tech fall to win his first consolation bout, Jones fell in the decisive 5-3 match with Davis to end a match shy of placement.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:45 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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182-
1. Jack Harris-Urbana (2nd, 4th state)
2. Tye Smith-Washington C.H. (SQ)
3. Hayden Bronne (SQ)/Kavan Sarver-Graham
4. Nick Jackson-Norwood (5th district 2013)
5. Chayse Sayers-Ross (6th district)
6. Dakota Jarrell-Wilmington (6th district)

Jack Harris is another one of those great non-Graham wrestlers at this district with a real shot at a state title in 2015. The kid has already been 2nd and 4th in the state during his first two year of varsity wrestling, which is spectacular for an upper-weight. Harris pinned his way through the field at Troy Christian last year, claiming the title with 5 first period falls including a first round stick of state alternate Tristan Devlin (Troy Chr.). He would have an early season trial by fire at Ironman, opening the tournament with a pair of wins that contained a nice 4-3 defeat of state placer Anthony McLaughlin (St. Ignatius). Harris’s next two matches would not be so smooth. He was pinned by Bo Nickal who was ranked #1 or #2 in the nation throughout last year and is currently a member of the 4x defending national champion Penn State wrestling squad. His next match wouldn’t be much better as he was pinned in the third period by Oklahoma state champ Joel Dixon (Edmond N.) who ended the season ranked 9th in the country by Inter Mat. Clearly not the results he was looking for, but hey, that’s why you wrestle in tournaments like Ironman. You do it to test yourself against the best competition in the country, and Harris certainly looked battle tested for the rest of the year. He performed impressively while winning the GMVWA tournament, pinning 2x state finalist Armani Robinson (Greeneview) in the finals after sticking the sturdy state qualifier Kevin McGraw (Troy) in the semis. Harris again defeated McGraw a week later for the title at Troy, this time by a more closely contested 5-2 score. Jackson racked up another tournament title at Greenon, rolling up 4 pins before a 4-0 shutout of Kentucky state qualifier Braden Jones (Boone County) in the finals. After pinning all three foes at the CBC tournament, Harris won the sectional title with an 11-1 win over Hayden Bronne in the semis and a dominating 15-3 victory against 2x state placer L.J. Henderson (Indian Lake) in the finals. Jack won the district crown with a pin over Hayden Bronne in a rematch of their sectional bout. Harris seemed a bit tight in his first state bout, winning a 2-1 match over freshman Landon Hall (Wapakoneta), but Jack soon found his stride in the quarters with a first period pin over a good Jhulyis Monroe (Marion-Franklin) to reach the semis. Jack must have eaten his Wheaties before the semis, because he pulled off a pin of 2x state bronze medalist Alec Schenk (Perry) to emphatically advance to his first state finals. Harris would finish just shy of his goal, losing a 5-4 bout to defending state champion Aaron Adkins (SVSM) who claimed his 4th overall state title (two in football) with the win. Jack has been exceptional in his first two years of high school wrestling, and he’ll be even better this year. I wholeheartedly expect Harris to win his first state title in 2015, though there are no guarantees in this world. He’ll have to continue to improve in a weight filled with other talented wrestlers, but based on what he’s show so far, I’d expect nothing less.
Tye Smith finished a match away from the podium in Columbus last year. He looked a little rough around the edges early last year finishing 2-2 at the GMVWA tournament and going 1-2 at Marion County. Though it should be noted that the losses at GMVWA were to state qualifier Troy Stalder (Athens) and Georgia state qualifier Garrett Miller (Archer). Smith rounded into shape for the sectional tournament where he beat district placer Dakota Jarrell 8-6 to reach the finals before giving state placer Russell Miller a match in a 5-1 defeat to finish 2nd. No matches came easy for Smith at Wilmington. He had a good Rocco Baker (Oakwood) right off the bat but picked up a nice 9-1 major to reach the quarters. In his next match, Smith was slated against returning state qualifier Dalton Jones (Ross) who he defeated by a 3-1 score. Tye lost his district semifinal bout to returning state placer Lane Thomas (Graham) 4-0, but rebounded with another nice win over Jarrell (9-3) to earn his first trip to Columbus. Smith would place 4th at Wilmington after a second loss to Russell Miller. At the state tournament, Tye suffered a first round pin at the hands of state placer Mike Audi (Poland) to fall into the consolation rounds. He would stay alive with a pin over Jim Brittsan (Buckeye Valley) to set up a placement match with Russell Miller. Smith would lose the match as Miller marched on to take 4th while defeating a returning state finalist in the process. The good new is, the progress that Smith demonstrated of the course of the year points to an even more successful 2015 if he can continue on his current trajectory of improvement.
Graham has a bit of a quagmire at this weight. It must be nice to have a problem like the Falcons have with two quality wrestlers at the same weight. I don’t know what happens with the wrestler who ends up short end of the stick. It’s possible that we could see one wrestler bump up to 195 or 220. Bronne earned the starter roll for the post season last year, finishing a point shy of state placement. He went 3-2 at the GMVWA tournament last year, besting state qualifier Dallas Lazear (Athens) 9-6 in the first round before dropping matches to state qualifier Garrick Ginter (Sidney) and Mikey Smith (Moore Traditional) who finished 5th at the Kentucky state tournament. Bronne finished 3rd at Valley View after falling to the sterling freshman Brett Bryant (Moeller) in the semis. He pinned both district placer Zach Baker (S. Highland) and state qualifier Matt Tom (John Glenn) on the way to the finals at New Lexington, but fell in the championship match to teammate Sarver 7-5 in OT. At sectionals, Bronne defeated state alternate Alex Nori (Franklin) 8-6 in OT in the opening round before losing to Jack Harris in the semis. He battled back with a pair of wins including a stick over district placer Nick Svarda (Carlisle) in the consolation finals. Bronne kicked off his Wilmington District Tournament with a narrow 2-0 defeat of Tanner Walker (New Lexington) and ascended to a higher plateau of dominance in the quarters with a pin over district placer Nick Jackson. Even more impressive was Bronne’s 9-5 semifinal win over 2x state placer L.J. Henderson, earning him his first trip to the state tournament. He would finish 2nd to Jack Harris setting up a first round bout with Dylan Hefner (L. Shawnee). Bronne fell by a 13-7 score before gutting out an overtime pin of Jake Hartman (Padua) to stay alive in the consolation bracket. Bronne fell 3-2 to Jhulyis Monroe in the decisive placement match finishing extremely close to the podium.
Bronne’s biggest weekly test could come in the Graham wrestling room where he’ll have to beat out a very good Kavan Sarver in order to win a starting spot. After placing at the middle school state tournament in 2013, Sarver split starting duty with Bronne throughout the course of last year. In the end, Bronne would claim the starting roll for the post season, but Sarver is good enough to seize the varsity spot of he can improve at a greater rate than Bronne. Sarver finished 2nd at Valley View to fellow freshman Brett Bryant, losing a 6-2 finals bout to the same wrestler that Bronne lost to 8-3 while finishing 3rd. Kavan would win the tournament title at New Lexington with a tech, two pins and the previously mentioned 7-5 overtime win over Bronne to claim starting duties briefly. Sarver was able to hold his match with Jack Harris to a 9-3 decision in their state duals showdown, but he was pinned in the semis of the CBC tournament by Harris while finishing 3rd. Kavan bested a quality opponent in Joe Rindfleisch (Bellefontaine) 5-1 in the bronze medal match of that tournament, and he also posted an excellent 2-1 OT win over senior state alternate Evan Hickey (Wilmington) during the quarterfinals of the state duals. It should also be noted that Sarver started the season at 170, but bumped up with state placer Lane Thomas residing there. For a freshman to accomplish what he did while bumping up in weight is thoroughly impressive. I suppose that there is a possibility that Sarver makes the cut to 170 and wrestles off Garrett Jordan, rather than wrestling off Bronne. Either way, it’s only a matter of time till Sarver is a mainstay in the Graham starting line-up, and it won’t be long after that he earns medals at the state tournament.
Nick Jackson’s a bit under the radar, but the senior has already finished a match from state during his high school career, so he certainly deserves recognition for the caliber of wrestler that he is. Jackson picks up a lot of pins, making him an extremely dangerous entity, especially if he makes it to Columbus where opponents are not familiar with his style. Nick picked up a pin over a good Alex Nori (Franklin) during the state duals and later claimed a title at the SBAAC tournament where he pinned his way to the title. The final fall of that tournament came against state alternate Jeffery Botts (Bethel-Tate) in the first period of their championship match. Jackson continued his trend of ending matches ahead of schedule during his sectional tournament, pinning all three foes including district placer Chase Sayers at the 3:50 mark in the finals. Nick would earn one more pin in the opening round at Wilmington, before being ushered out of the tournament due to some stiff competition and some unfortunate bracketing. Jackson was pinned by Hayden Bronne in the quarterfinals and then drew district placer Nick Svarda in his first consolation bout, bowing out of the tournament after a 9-7 loss. It was an unfortunate end to the season, but Jackson will have another shot this year to earn his first set of state tickets.
Chase Sayers, like Jackson earned his first district medal as a sophomore. Ross has consistently produced quality wrestler’s year in and year out, with Sayers being one of the most recent examples. Chase won the title at Franklin with a 4-0 shutout of state alternate Alex Nori in the finals. He also snuck in a 16-12 shootout win over Kentucky state finalist Eli Matthews (Campbell County) during the pool portion of the tournament. Sayers had a rough SWOWCA tournament going 1-2 but came back at Fairfield with a second win over Eli Matthews (8-6) before getting stuck by Nick Svarda for the title. Sayers posted pins over Alex Nori and Dakota Jarrell during the state duals, and picked up another pin over Nathan Bush (Edgewood) in the finals of the SWOC tournament. Sayers dominated his first two sectional opponents before losing the finals bout to Jackson, and then turned around to finish 6th ahead of Jackson at the Wilmington district the next week. After his opening round win, Sayers lost a 9-5 bout with 3x state qualifier Dallas Lazear, pinned Tanner Walker, defeated Tobin Anderson (Trace) 9-3, lost 7-2 to L.J. Henderson, and ended with a loss to Evan Hickey in the 5th place finals. Even a little improvement by Sayers could net him with a state tournament trip in 2015, though this will certainly be a competitive weight class this season.
Dakota Jarrell was one of the many stalwarts for a deep Wilmington squad last year. This season, he’ll be one of the senior leaders for a talented team looking to finish in the top three at their home district. Jarrell finished 4th at Edgewood last December before posting a 3-2 record at the GMVWA tournament. He placed a respectable 3rd at both the Bellbrook, Sycamore, and SWOC tournaments. Dakota posted another 3rd place finish at sectionals for good measure, losing only to state qualifier Tye Smith 8-6 along the way. After a tough opening round loss to Lane Thomas at Wilmington, Jarrell ground out three consolation wins by scores of 12-5, 5-4 and 2-1 to earn a rematch with Tye Smith for the right to advance to state. Smith won the rematch 9-3 and Jarrell dropped into the 5th place finals where he would fall 11-5 to Garrett Davis (Marietta) to end his season with a 6th place medal.

195-
1. Josh Couchman-Graham (6th state)
2. Jermaine Jones-Trace (SQ)
3. Wyatt Hilliard-Franklin (SQ)
4. Aaron Greer-Washington C.H.
5. Gable Smith-McClain (6th district)
6. Zack Michael-Urbana

Josh Couchman made his contribution to the greatness of the Graham wrestling squad last season. He’s a bit unheralded in the midst of the start-studded Falcon line-up, but he returns in 2015 as the third highest placer from last year’s weight class. The next rung on the ladder for Couchman will be the state finals. As excited as I am to see the talented crop of freshmen for Graham, I always love seeing the underdogs put it all together as seniors and win a state title. Couchman went a respectable 3-2 at Ironman last year where he earned a 9-2 win over Josh Meyers (Marmion) who finished 6th at the Illinois state tournament. Josh later advanced to the finals of the GMVWA tournament after a 5-4 quarterfinal win over Wyatt Hilliard and a 4-2 sudden victory defeat of 2x state placer A.J. Ouellette (Covington) in the semis. In the finals, Couchman would be shutout by Georgia state champion Elliott Lee (Archer) in a 5-0 defeat. He later won the title at Valley View and finish 2nd to 2x state placer Clayton Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe) at New Lexington. After dominating the field on the way to the CBC tournament title, Couchman won the sectional tournament in impressive fashion, posting a 17-0 tech of Wyatt Hilliard in the finals. His district tournament would be nearly as dominant, as Couchman won by pin, 13-0 major over Aaron Greer, 11-0 major over Gable Smith and 9-2 decision over James Ritchie (Carlisle) for the title. Josh earned a 10-4 win over Cody Jenkins (Woodridge) in his opening bout at the state tournament and posted a 3-2 win over John Workman (Perkins) to make the state semifinals. Here he was defeated by eventual state champ Tyler MacLellan (CVCA) in a 3-0 bout. Next, Couchman would face Clayton Bullard who had trounced him in the finals at New Lexington. He put up a better fight in his second go around before falling 6-4 to the state bronze medalist Bullard. Couchman ended his season with a 15-6 loss to the explosive Bailey Faust (Lexington), but showed that he has a place in the title hunt in 2015. It was reported that Couchman was injured while playing for the Graham football season. Hopefully, he makes a speedy recovery and is able to participate in wrestling this year.
Jeremiah Jones returns after a state qualification season in 2014. He had a nice early season pin over Zack Michael at the Bellefontaine duals before going 3-2 at Brecksville over the holiday break. Jones would pull off a 7th place finish at the highly competitive Top Gun tournament, pulling out a pair of wins over state qualifiers along the way. A nice 6-2 win over state qualifier Colton Richard (Hayes) in the second round was a bit overshadowed by the loss to D-3 state champ Ryan Weber (Loudonville). He would also claim a 6-2 win over fellow junior state qualifier Colton Brown (Wapakoneta) in the 7th place final. Jones won his sectional tournament with a pin over Gable Smith and a 6-1 defeat of Aaron Greer in the finals to set up a favorable district bracket. Jeremiah would advance to the district semis after a 6-2 win over Wyatt Hilliard, but was halted by James Ritchie in an 11-6 loss to fall into the consolation semis. Here he would earn a 14-9 win over Ike Palmer to secure his first state birth and pin Wyatt Hilliard in their rematch for third place. Unfortunately he drew state finalist Kenny Jackson (Crestwood) in the first round of the state tournament and lost a 7-3 bout. A respectable result, but it still sent him into the consolation rounds where he was promptly defeated by Nate Gray (Claymont) 9-5. Jones will be a senior leader on an always competitive Trace team. Now we’ll have to see if his leadership role and senior motivation can propel him onto the podium in Columbus.
Wyatt Hilliard experienced a few bumps in the road as freshman tend to have, but all in all he had an excellent first season of varsity wrestling which culminated in a trip to the state tournament. He would claim an early season title at his home tournament with a 4-2 win over Kenny Schenk (Ross) in the finals before claiming a 3rd place finish at Sheridan. Hilliard placed 6th at the GMVWA tournament, losing a one-point match to Couchman and an overtime bout to D-3 bronze medalist Kyle Dieringer (Versailles) but suffering a 14-4 setback to James Ritchie in the 5th place finals. Hilliard finished 6th at Western Brown and 3rd at the SWBL tournament before finishing as the runner-up to Couchman at sectionals. The lopsided loss to Couchman in the finals may have overshadowed the fact that Hilliard defeated district finalist James Ritchie 9-5 in the semis. This was a very impressive result considering the fact the Ritchie won their first two showdowns by pin and 14-4 major. Wyatt pinned district placer Ike Palmer right off the bat at Wilmington, but lost 6-2 to Jeremiah Jones in the quarters. Hilliard would climb back through the consolation muck with a pin a major and a 3-2 win over Gable Smith to reach the state tournament as a freshman. After finishing 4th at the district, Hilliard’s two state matches would be against state champ MacLellan and 7th place finisher Blake Owens (Licking Valley). He lost both matches but gained valuable experience, even taking Owens into overtime before falling 2-1. I love the potential that he possesses, and I’m excited to see what kind of improvements he can make after a first-rate freshman year.
Aaron Greer is another contender at this weight. I have him ranked ahead of district placer Gable Smith based off of a head-to-head win in early January. It’s always difficult to judge a pin in terns of how dominant it was. Sometimes a wrestler is dominating and gets the pin. Other times, a match is even and a wrestler will get the fall based off of one move or an ability to wear down his opponent. Still other times one wrestler is being dominated and yet he digs deep to pull out a miraculous pin. I still Remember Rob Rohn from Lehigh who was down something like 14-2 at one point in his national championship match with Josh Lambrecht (Oklahoma). Rohn hit a gator roll and slowly, methodically worked his way to the fall over Lambrecht to win the title in spectacular fashion. Incidentally, I believe that was the finals match right before Cael Sanderson won his 4th straight national title to complete an undefeated career. Enough digressing. All I was really saying is that a pin can be deceptive. Aaron Greer finished 5th at Marion County last year, only losing one match to a tough Ozzie Hermes (Perkins) 3-0. From there he would finish 2nd to Jeremiah Jones at sectionals before pinning his first opponent at Wilmington. Greer lost his next two matches to Couchman and to state alternate Ike Palmer, the latter match being by a 7-5 score. He’ll be right at the heart if the qualification hunt in 2015, and we’ll see if he can pull out the pin against Gable Smith once again.
Gable Smith one the other hand, will be looking to prove that the first pin was a fluke. Gable may be the best first name for a wrestler that I have ever heard. We’ll see if he can live up to his glorious name in 2015. Smith was 3rd at Troy Christian early in the year and finish 3rd at the Washington sectional (though there were only three wrestlers in the weight).He pinned Tom Dunn (Chillicothe) in the first round of the district tournament and then knocked off Zack Michael 7-0 to earn his first district placement. Smith would fall to Josh Couchman, Wyatt Hilliard, and Ike Palmer in his final three matches, though the last two were by competitive 3-2 and 3-1 scores. The win over Michael should provide encouragement since Smith was pinned by the same wrestler at Troy Christian earlier in the year.
Zack Michael is another contender at this weight. Not only did he split the two matches with Gable Smith last year, but he has the advantage of training with state finalist Jack Harris every day. He finished 2nd at Troy Christian last year, after picking up the pin over Smith in the semis and also finished 5th at Troy soon after the New Year. Michael was 5th at the CBC tournament and 4th at sectionals, losing to both district finalists (Couchman and Ritchie) at the latter tournament. He bested Ryan Fulmer (Western Brown) 10-6 to reach the quarters at Wilmington before dropping the 7-0 rematch with Gable Smith. Michael lost his first consolation bout 5-2 to Steve Bender (Batavia) to finish out at 1-2.
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Old 10-31-14, 11:45 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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220-
1. Michael Crockett-Franklin (SQ)
2. Daylen Neece-Meigs (SQ)
3. Darnay Foley-Batavia (5th district)
4. Reece Human-Carlisle (SQ)
5. Steven Major-Indian Lake
6. Mark Huff-Wilmington

Michael Crockett returns as the district champ at Wilmington at a weight with depth at the top. He earned a 16-10 early season dual meet win over Reece Human before finishing 2nd at the Sheridan tournament. At Sheridan, he defeated Daylen Neece 13-10 in the semis before falling to state qualifier Devin King 4-3 in the finals of his home tournament. Crockett lost his opening match at the grueling GMVWA tournament, but won a staggering 7 straight consolation bouts to come back and finish 3rd. Among the wrestlers that Crockett left in his consolation wake were; Georgia state 5th place finisher Jacob Lill (Archer) who he defeated 12-6 in the consolation quarters, a legit Andrew Kostecka (Troy) who he bested 5-2 in the consolation semis, and a revenge 9-6 win over state qualifier Adrian Harding (Greeneview) who had defeated Crockett in the first round. Michael would pull out a pair of quality wins at Western Brown, where he pinned district placer John Byus (Gallia Academy) and defeated state qualifier Alonzo Jewell (Hamilton Twp.) 6-5. Crockett also kept the match close with Kentucky state champ Austin Myers (Campbell County) which is impressive considering that Myers pins almost every opponent. He would finish 2nd to Reece Human at the SWBL tournament, suffering a pin at the hands of the freshman in the finals. However, Crockett rebounded two weeks later with a pin over Steven Major and an 8-7 defeat of Human to win the sectional tournament. Crockett’s district run would be even more impressive as he pinned Daylen Neece in the quarters, stuck John Byus in the semis, and thwarted Devin King 3-1 in the finals to avenge the loss at Sheridan earlier in the season. Crockett lost his opening match at state 7-2 to Cole Genders (Amanda-Clearcreek) and had a brutal first consolation opponent. Crockett may have had a chance at replicating his consolation run at GMVWA if he had a little momentum, but he first consolation opponent was returning state bronze medalist Sean Rutherford (Norton) who had been upset in the first round. Rutherford pinned Crockett as well as the 4 other consolation opponents he faced. The good news for Crockett is that he has a legit shot at winning a second district title which should help his bracketing at state. The bad news is that both of the wrestlers that defeated him in Columbus will return this season, though not necessarily to the same weight class. Crockett is a serious placement contender in 2015, though he’ll have to fend off stern tests at the district level if he wants to secure that second district title.
Daylen Neece was also the victim of a brutal state tournament draw, falling to a pair of 2x state placers in his first two matches. However, 2015 is a new season, and Neece now has that valuable state experience under his belt to propel him to new heights. Daylen pinned every opponent at Vinton County last year and later finished 3rd at Sheridan where he lost a pool match to Devin King and suffered the previously mentioned 13-10 semifinal loss to Michael Crockett. Neece teched district placer John Byus at Gallia Academy and defeated a good Ben Stegbauer (Fenwick) 5-2 on the way to winning the tournament title. Neece finished 4th at Nelsonville-York and 2nd at the Tri-Valley conference tournament losing a rematch with John Byus at the former tournament. Daylen remedied that defeat at sectionals, besting Byus 9-3 in the semis before falling to Devin King for the title. After a first round pin, Neece was stuck by Crockett in the semis before rebounding with a pin over Aaron Leciejewski (Greenon) to reach the consolation quarters. Here, he bested Mark Huff (Wilmington) 12-4 before winning a tight 3-2 match with a very good Darnay Foley to punch through to his first state tournament. IN the consolation finals, Neece defeated the formidable freshman Reece Human 14-8 to claim the bronze at Wilmington. Daylen’s first two matches at state would come against Harrison Hoppel (Minerva) who has finished 4th and 5th and Kordell Chaney (Perkins) who finished 6th and 7th. He was defeated in both, but like Crockett, will have a serious shot at placement with steady improvement this season.
Darnay Foley is a very good wrestler for an unheralded Batavia squad that could have a few state qualifiers this year if he and Dontae Tallarigo continue to improve. Foley won the title at Reading last year, besting D-3 state placer Mike McKinney 5-3 in the semis of his home tournament, and defeating district placer Ike Palmer (Wyoming) 3-2 for the crown. Darnay would claim a conference title at the SBAAC tournament with an overtime win over Naeem Shalash (Amelia) in the finals. Foley would win his sectional title with three pins and claim another pin to open his district tournament. He pulled out on of his biggest wins of the year in the district quarters when he defeated state qualifier Reece Human 6-4 in overtime to reach the semis. Unfortunately, due to bracketing, the win may have done more harm than good, as Human qualified for state while Foley lost his next two matches to the wrestlers that finished 2nd and 3rd at the district. His first defeat was a 10-5 setback to Devin King, and the second a heartbreakingly close 3-2 loss to Daylen Neece. Foley would pin John Byus to finish in 5th place in the district. I placed him ahead of Human in the rankings due to the head-to-head win. However, the fact that it was in OT shows how close the two wrestlers are. Regardless of who’s better to start the season, there should be a great battle for the district title by the end of the year.
Reece Human seems destined to end the season higher up these rankings. Of the three state qualifiers returning from this weight class at Wilmington, he was the only to win a state match, finishing a bout shy of placement. Back in 2013, Human finished 2nd at the middle school state tournament, losing only to Ben Sullivan (National Trail) who was a D-3 state finalist last year as a freshman. Reece won a title at Edgewood early in the season, defeating teammate Darren Milligan 6-5 for the title. Milligan finished as the state alternate at Heavyweight after being bumped up by Human, just as a point of reference. Human went 2-2 at the GMVWA tournament where he earned a 4-2 defeat of district placer Kyle Lhamon (Bath). Later in the season, he lost a rematch of the middle school state finals 10-5 to Ben Sullivan at Eaton. Human impressed at the SWBL tournament winning the title after pinning state qualifier Cody Carr (Brookville) in the semis and sticking Michael Crockett in the finals. After finishing 2nd to Crockett at sectionals, Human pinned his first district foe before falling in that overtime match with Darnay Foley. Reece stormed back with three straight pins, two of which were over Steven Major and John Byus. The latter stick qualified Human for state before he fell to Neece in the consolation finals. In his opening match at the Schott, Human had the daunting task of squaring off against the eventual state champ Troy Caldwell (Jonathan Alder). The stellar freshman put forth a worthy performance before falling 5-3. By comparison, Caldwell pinned both his semi and finals opponents on the way to the title. Human bounced back with an impressive 9-6 consolation win over senior Mason Hilling (Woodridge) to stay alive. His season would end in a high scoring 15-10 loss to 2x state placer Dre’K Brumley (SVSM), but all in all it was an impressive performance for the excellent freshman. Human showed that he belonged at the state tournament as a freshman last year, and this season, the sky’s the limit as to how good the Carlisle sophomore will be.
Steven Major made a nice jump from district alternate as a freshman to finishing a match away from district placement last year. As a sophomore, he finished 4th at Dublin Scioto. Later in the season, he finished 2nd at the CBC tournament to state qualifier Beau Swank (Benjamin Logan) after pinning Aaron Leciejewski in the semis. Major would later finish 3rd at sectionals earning 3 pins and only falling to district champ Crockett. He kicked off his district campaign with a pin over Leciejewski before getting stuck by Devin King in the quarters. Major claimed a 2-1 victory over Karson Chasteen (Ross) in the consolation rounds before being eliminated by Human. The next step up for Major will be district placement, and we’ll see what kind of pressure he can put on the top 4 in 2015.
Mark Huff was also a match from placement at his home district last year. Huff finished 5th at Edgewood and 3rd at Bellbrook last year. He also snagged a 3rd place finish at the SWOC tournament where he picked up a pair of wins over Karson Chasteen in the process. Huff lost to Cesar Aveja (Trace), another contender at this weight, in the sectional semis but rebounded to finish 3rd. He was pinned by Human to start his district tournament but pulled out two consolation wins, including an 8-4 defeat of Aveja to avenge two earlier losses. Ultimately, Huff would fall 12-4 to Neece in the consolation quarters and finish a match shy of placement.

285-
1. Evan Loughman-Sheridan (5th state)
2. Brandon Pahl-Warren (4th state)
3. Calvin Poffenberger-Belmont
4. Hunter Whiteside-Unioto
5. Dylan Nave-Graham
6. Skyler Morris-Trace

Evan Loughman was awesome last year, and he’ll return as one of the title favorites in the heavyweight class for 2015. He rolled to a title at Cambridge early last year, defeating a good Jacob Smith (Minerva) 6-3 before pinning state qualifiers Jaqui Vanmeter (Licking Valley) and Cody Martsolf (Beaver Local) for the title. Loughman was even more dominant at his home tournament, pinning all 5 opponents in the first period including a 34 second stick of a good Jacob Packwood (Bloom Carroll) in the finals. Evan would advance to the quarters of the brutal GMVWA tournament with a pin over state placer Zach Thomas (Van Wert), but suffered his first setback of the season at the hands of state placer Alex Dalton (Troy). Loughman pinned his way back though the tournament with four straight falls including a pin in the rematch with Dalton in the consolation finals. He continued to impress at the Alexander Sectional where he pinned two foes and defeated state placer Brandon Pahl 8-7 for the title. Loughman put on a pinning clinic at a worthy Wilmington District Tournament that produced the 3rd, 4th, and 5th place finishers at state the next week. He stuck a tough Darren Milligan (Carlisle) at the 2:41 mark of the second period to reach the finals, and pulled off an exceptional upset in the finals when he pinned 2x state bronze medalist Chase Henderson (Franklin) in 1:51. Fresh off the dominant district performance, Loughman won his first state bout 11-7 over Cody Hawkins (Ravenna) and then pinned Kyle Henry (Claymont) to reach the semifinals. Here, Loughman ran into the juggernaut that was 2x state champion Billy Miller (Perry) and was dispatched in a 7-1 defeat. He would drop into the 5th place final after losing the rematch with Brandon Paul 10-4 in the consolation finals. Loughman earned a win over district champ J’Quan Fisher (Toledo C.C.) to close out the tournament in 5th place. The biggest factor to consider at this district is determining which match between Loughman and Pahl was more indicative of the future. Each wrestler defeated the other opponent once and they should get to see each other at the sectional, district, and state tournaments. That should result in Loughman and Pahl being on opposite sides of the state bracketing, which could result in an all Wilmington District state final at heavyweight.
Brandon Pahl is just as likely to walk away with the state title as Loughman this year. As the highest retuning state placer in this weight class, he has thrust himself into the state title picture after an excellent junior year. Brandon pinned his way through both the Athens and Gallia Academy tournaments during the season while also picking up a fall in his match with district placer John Byus (Gallia Academy). After reaching the sectional finals with two first period pins, Pahl lost that narrow 8-7 bout with Evan Loughman to finish as the sectional runner-up. After defeating a respectable Dylan Trefz (McClain) 8-4 to open his district tournament, Pahl was beaten by Gavin Peacock (Ross) in a 4-2 bout. Brandon pinned his next foe, defeated Darren Milligan 6-2 and soldiered through a consolation semifinal bout with Charles Broderick (Bellbrook) to earn a 7-1 win to advance to state. Pahl would lose the rematch with Peacock 3-1 and finish 4th at the district. This resulted in the misfortune of him drawing 2x state champ Billy Miller to start his state tournament. Pahl was pinned in the first period and exiled to the consolation bracket. For a second straight week, Pahl showed that he wasn’t intimidated by the long and grueling road back through the wrestle-back rounds. He pulled out an overtime win over Jaqui Vanmeter to stay alive Thursday night and followed it up with a pin over Kostas Parrish (University) to earn state placement. Not satisfied, Pahl squeaked out another overtime win, this time 2-1 over district champ Joshua Kempf (River View) to reach the consolation semis. Here Pahl would exact his revenge on Evan Loughman with a 10-4 win to advance to the 3rd place final. Pahl lost his third place bout to Chase Henderson, who had finished 3rd the year before and also came all the way back from a first round loss to make the 3rd place match. The consolation perseverance of Pahl was remarkable, especially considering that he won 3 or more consolation bouts two weeks in a row in a weight not known for its endurance. If he can go on that kind of run in the championship bracket in Columbus next year, it’ll be difficult for anyone to deny him a state title.
Calvin Poffenberger not only has an awesome last name, but he’s a contender for state qualification out of this district in 2015. He finished 3rd at both Bishop Fenwick and Troy Christian last season, pinning a solid Tristian Taylor (Tecumseh) at the latter event. Poffenberger continued his trend of 3rd place finishes at Valley View where his only blemish was a 12-7 defeat at the hands of Joe Hensley (Moeller) in the semis. He would not fair quite as well at sectionals, finishing 4th after getting stuck by Darren Milligan and Dylan Nave. Calvin would be pinned by state qualifier Gavin Peacock in his first district bout, but pulled out a legitimate 5-4 consolation with over Dylan Trefz to stay alive. In his next match, Poffenberger pinned Kevin Hill (Hughes Center) but would advance no further, getting pinned by Corbin McCune (S. Shawnee) to finish a match shy of placement.
Hunter Whiteside is another wrestler to keep an eye on for placement at this weight. He was 3rd at Gallia and 2nd to state qualifier Matt Hunter (W.S. Northwestern) at Nelsonville-York last year. Later in the season, Hunter placed 7th at Athens and 4th at sectionals to earn him a trip to Wilmington. Whiteside was pinned by Evan Loughman in the first round at Wilmington, but stuck Dylan Nave in his first consolation bout. Hunter had the misfortune of wrestling two state placers in 3 matches at Wilmington, and he was eliminated in the wrestle-backs by Brandon Pahl.
Dylan Nave took his bumps and bruises wrestling the hellacious Graham schedule, but ultimately earned a trip to the district tournament as a sophomore. He could show a big jump in performance this year due to two factors. It frequently takes upper-weights a bit longer to hit their stride and many wrestlers have graduated from this district at 285. Nave finished 7th at New Lexington and 5th at the CBC tournament where he wrestled a 1-0 match in a loss to a good Corbin McCune. Dylan was 3rd at the Tippecanoe Sectional, where he pulled out that nice pin over Poffenberger in the consolation finals. He would go 0-2 at Wilmington but still remains one of the highest credentialed heavyweights returning to this district.
Skyler Morris is another young heavyweight with potential at Wilmington, The Trace wrestler finished a match shy of the district tournament last year after defeating Zach Murphy (Washington) 3-1 in the alternate match. He also defeated district qualifier Danaryl Green (Liberty) at Top Gun, albeit by default. Morris like Nave should have the benefit of improving over the course of a rigorous schedule in his junior year.

A special thanks to Baum’s Page, Track Wrestling, Boro Fan and Jake’s Wrestling, for being extremely helpful in compiling wrestling results and weight class information and of course a thanks to the Godfather, Brian Brakeman who started it all.

-Max Pearce
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  #8  
Old 11-01-14, 04:39 PM
wash.c.h.legend wash.c.h.legend is offline
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awesome right up. thanks for your work.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-14, 03:57 AM
alpha1 alpha1 is offline
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Nice work greatly appreciated great rundown interested to find out current # for these fellas.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:20 AM
turnthem turnthem is offline
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Great write up........ however, I pretty sure Wilmington is no longer hosting a SW District..... and Division II (depending on geography).... will move to the SE... (Athens) or North to (Bowling Green). Might want to double check, but that was the word on the street from the Southwest District Board.
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Old 11-05-14, 07:51 AM
CoachYing CoachYing is offline
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Very detailed. Great work you spent some time doing your homework.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-14, 08:25 AM
Lionattack Lionattack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnthem View Post
Great write up........ however, I pretty sure Wilmington is no longer hosting a SW District..... and Division II (depending on geography).... will move to the SE... (Athens) or North to (Bowling Green). Might want to double check, but that was the word on the street from the Southwest District Board.
This years District meet is being hosted in the Southeast. It is supposed to rotate districts every 2 years. It never has rotated till now. This years District is being held at Chillicothe Southeastern high school . Large Facility and Centrally located.

It now is listed on Baumspage.
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