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Old 11-07-14, 01:06 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Mansfield 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.

* = unsure about participation at this district
This district along with Wilmington is particularly hard to project given the fact that we wonít know what teams will be wrestling here until later in the year. I just placed the same teams here as last year for the start of the season, but Iíll adjust later in the season as we know more.

106-
1. Josh Venia-Toledo C.C. (3rd state)
2. Bruce Hrynciw-Oak Harbor (5th district)
3. Eric Bartos-Buckeye (6th district)
4. Tyler Capodice-Perkins
5. Andrew Bailey-Wauseon
*6. Coleman Foster-Eaton*

Josh Venia finally got the chance to start at his optimal weight after being limited to spot starting at 113 during the previous year despite being an undersized 106-pounder. Wow, did he ever make the most out of the opportunity, putting together a tremendous season and peaking at the state tournament. Venia was 2nd at Solon to start off the year, losing in the finals to West Virginia state runner-up Jared Donahue (Parkersburg) by a 7-5 score. Next, he finished 4th at the robust Brecksville Tournament, pinning both D-1 state qualifier Daniel Roth (Lakota E.) and state placer Jarod Bronstrup (Brecksville) along the way. His two losses at Brecksville were a 4-2 defeat against the ferocious D-3 state placer Drew Mattin (Delta) and a 1-0 loss to 2x state placer Joey Bowen (Manchester). Venia made a statement at CIT, by winning the tournament title and shutting out returning state placer Tony Decesare (Padua) 6-0 in the finals. Josh later won titles at the TRAC and sectional tournaments, majoring state alternate Bruce Hrynciw 10-1 in the finals of the latter event. After an opening round tech at BG, Venia won consecutive 5-0 shutouts over state placer Charlie Nash (Norwalk) and district placer Eric Bartos to punch through to state. Venia was bested by the undefeated Hunter Lucas 5-3 in the finals earning him a silver medal for the district. Josh opened his state tournament with an 8-2 defeat of Alex Potts (E. Liverpool) to reach the quarters, and extended his stay in the championship bracket with a tough 4-3 tiebreak victory over Graham sophomore Justin Stickley. His semifinal draw would be a rematch with Tony Decesare, although it would be the Padua wrestler that came away with a 5-3 win in sudden victory to advance to the finals. Despite the heartrending loss, Venia didnít show hesitation or lag in the consolation rounds as he pulled a 7-3 consolation semifinal victory out over the first-rate Hunter Kosco (Northwest). Next, Josh avenged his district finals loss to Hunter Lucas with a 4-3 win over the excellent sophomore to finish his state tournament with the bronze medal. Venia will definitely be among the favorites if at this weight in 2015, and could very well contend for a title at 113 if he decides to opt for the heavier class.
Bruce Hrynciw got a raw deal with his draw at the district tournament last year, losing decisions to the wrestlers that finished 4th and 8th in the state while finishing as the state alternate. That wonít happen this year. The talented sophomore will be even better regardless of what weight he wrestles, and heíll likely end the season on the podium in Columbus. Hrynciw won a middle school state title as a 7th grader, so he has big match experience as well as a year of varsity competition under his belt. Bruce showed immediate promise last season dominating in all four of his wins at the Oak Harbor duals. He had 4 pins at Bellevue, including one over state qualifier Dominic Rosin (St. Maryís C.C.) and lost only to 2x state finalist Evan Ulinski (Woodmore). Even the loss was impressive given the fact that it was a competitive 10-7 score and Hrynciw was wrestling up a weight. Bruce finished 4th at Medina, where his two losses were to the wrestlers that finished 1st and 2nd in the state in D-1 (Tommy Genetin and Noah Baughman). He posted a nice 8-2 win over state qualifier Jackson Lakso (Central Crossing) during the MIT. Hrynciw majored Andrew Bailey 16-4 in the consolation finals at Perrysburg, where he finished 3rd after a loss to state bronze medalist Drew Mattin in the semis. Hrynciw (man thatís a hard name to type) lost a 12-10 opening round dogfight with 2x state placer Jake Adkins (Northridge) at Clay, but rebounded with a 15-0 tech over state qualifier Ben Tate (Mt. Vernon) and a first period pin over Andrew Bailey. He won the SBC tournament with another fall over Dominic Rosin, and pinned his way to the sectional final before losing to Josh Venia. Bruce won his first district showdown 9-1 with Brad Huhn (Brookside) and majored Coleman Foster 13-0 in the quarters. He put forth a valiant effort in the semis against the exceptional state placer Hunter Lucas but lost 10-6 and then fell to another placer in Charlie Nash 6-4 in the go-to-state match. Hrynciw rolled in his 5th place final, posting a 15-5 victory to capture state alternate status. Hrynciwís 5th place opponent, Eric Bartos was also very close to state last year despite being a freshman. He won the Beachwood Tournament over hometown district placer Ben Kitay with an expedient first period pin last November. Eric went 1-2 at Medina and 2-2 at Firestone earning a second pin over Kitay during the latter tournament. Bartos finished 2nd to state champ Sebastian Vidika at the PAC tournament and won the Medina sectional with a 4-0 shutout of state qualifier Mike Baumberger (Madison Comp.). AT Bowling Green, Eric pulled off a tech and a pin in his first two district bouts before a respectable 5-0 loss to Josh Venia in the semis. His consolation semi would be a rematch with Baumberger, but this time the Madison Comp. wrestler would have his number, pinning Bartos in the second period. Though it was a disappointing end, Bartos was only a freshman and he knows that he can beat state caliber wrestlers. Baumberger was only a match away from placing at state, and Bartos split two matches with the freshman. The loss should serve as proper motivation for Bartos as he seeks to better his 2014 season.
Tyler Capodice wrestled sporadically last year, but was not in the line-up for the post-season process. I see him as a potential state qualifier if heís wrestling at full strength this year. Capodice was 2-2 at Medina and finished 6th at the JC Gorman Tournament last year. He made the semis at the Gorman tourney by defeating state qualifier Mike Baumberger 8-5 but ran into state champ Sebastian Vidika and dropped into the consolation semis, where he lost to state qualifier Dominic Rosin 2-1. Capodice defaulted in his 5th place bout, which was a rematch with Baumberger, but hopefully, heís back healthy this year making a push for state qualification.
Coleman Foster went 1-2 at both GMVWA and Top Gun, but pinned district placer Alec Schopfer (West Branch) for that lone win at Alliance. Foster finished 2nd to Cory Alspaugh (Valley View) at the SWBL tournament and walked to a sectional title with two first period pins. He won a 9-4 bout over Mason Satterfield (Perkins) in the first round at BG but was soundly defeated 13-0 by Bruce Hrynciw in the quarters. Foster came back with a pin over Clay Todd (Keystone) but was eliminated in an 8-7 match with Mike Baumberger to finish at 2-2.
Like Foster, Andrew Bailey also went 2-2 at BG last year. He finished 4th at Perrysburg, wrestling a tight 2-1 semifinal match with a tough Khyron Vidales (Perrysburg) and losing to Bruce Hrynciw in the consolation finals. Later, Bailey placed 2nd to defending state champ Jake Spiess (Delta) at the NWOAL tournament. He finished 3rd at sectionals, falling only to Venia but dropped his opening match at Bowling Green 9-5 to Mike Baumberger and fell into the consolation rounds. Bailey powered back with two pins before falling to state placer Charlie Nash.

113-
1. Seth Beard-Napoleon (3rd, 2nd state)
2. Charlie Nash-Norwalk (8th state)
3. Aaron Kelly-Rocky River (SQ)
4. Hunter Waldron-Perkins
5. Michael Baumberger-Madison Comp. (SQ)
6. Justin Drennen-Bellevue

Seth Beard went undefeated at the Archbold Duals early in the year, and the only wrestler that was able to keep their match with Beard to a decision was state placer Brady Barnett (M. Edison) who Seth defeated by a comfortable 9-2 score. Beard was a finalist at Medina, earning an 8-0 major over district placer Dylan Mansor, conquering Zac McCauley (Perry) by the same margin, and pinning stalwart freshman Ethan Rivera (Brunswick) on his way to the championship match. He lost a 3-2 decision to state placer L.J. Bentley (St. Edward) in the finals who I believe was nationally ranked at the time. Beard later pinned Dylan Mansor to reach the finals at Perrysburg before being on the losing end of a 1-0 championship match with 2x state placer Mario Guillen (Perrysburg). He turned those finals woes around at the NLL tournament, earning the title while avenging his loss to Guillen with a 5-3 victory over the Perrysburg wrestler in the championship. Beard rolled to a sectional title, majoring Mansor 13-2 and pinning state qualifier Thurston Dyer (Upper Sandusky) in the finals. His district tournament performance would be even more impressive, as Beard teched talented freshman Keysean Amison (Perkins) 20-4, majored Dylan Mansor 19-7, and teched state placer Blaine Hunter (Elida) 21-5 for the crown. A week later, Beard started his state tournament with a bang, pinning Josiah Hrusch (Minerva) and majoring a sturdy Brennan Joseph (Marlington) 15-3 to reach the semis. His run of success was halted by Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) who handed Beard a 9-7 loss to send him into the consolation rounds. Beard finished strong, earning the 12-1 major over Lane Peters (Claymont) in the consolation semis, and besting 2x state placer Cory Simpson (Field) 5-1 to claim the bronze. Seth Beard has lost only one match in each of his first two state tournaments. The sterling junior took Tyler Warner (Claymont) into overtime as a freshman and lost the semifinal bout to Tariq Wilson last year. 113 looks like it will be a weight with a lot of depth as Beard appears to be returning to the class, several of the top 106-pounders could be moving up and freshman star Mitch Moore looks to be filling this weight in the Graham line-up. We could also see Wilson make a mid season cut to this weight class. It should make for an exciting state tournament. Beard has what it takes to win a championship, but heíll have to be even better than he was during the past two years to finally occupy the top spot on the podium.
Charlie Nash emerged as an explosive presence at 106 last wrestling season, and the Norwalk sophomore would end the year on the podium in Columbus for the first time. Nash was leading state qualifier Dante Ginnetti (Poland) late in the third period in the second round of the KIT when Ginnetti did what he does best, and pinned Nash with 19 seconds left in the bout. Rather than getting down on himself, Nash stormed back through the consolation bracket with 5 straight pins and an 11-2 victory in the consolation finals. The consy semifinal pin was over district placer Alec Schopfer (West Branch) and the finals win was an impressive victory over the quality Jake Ondash (Crestwood). Nash powered to the semis at the JC Gorman with two pins and a tech, and impressively defeated returning state qualifier Joey Bowen (Manchester) 5-1 to reach the finals. Despite his finals loss to D-3 state champ Sebastian Vidika (Black River), Nash finished a strong 2nd at the tournament and cemented his presence as a threat to place at state. He would finish 2nd to district champ Hunter Lucas (L. Shawnee) at sectionals, before pinning his first district foe a week later at BG. After a 5-0 quarterfinal loss to state bronze medalist Josh Venia (Toledo C.C.), Nash surged back through the consolation bracket. He would pin 3 of his 4 foes, with only former middle school state champ Bruce Hrynciw (Oak Harbor) going the distance in a 6-4 bout, though itís possible that the consolation quarterfinal pin over Andrew Bailey (Wauseon) was an overtime match given that the time listed was 5:30. Nash was shutout by the excellent freshman Jake Martinez 6-0 to open his state tournament, but displayed more of that signature power in his next two bouts, pinning both foes to earn state placement. The second fall over Terrell Grant (Tallmadge) was quite impressive given the caliber of Grantís performance over the year. Nash was defeated by Hunter Kosco (Northwest) and senior Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling) in his final two bouts while finishing 8th. It was a great season overall and even more impressive when you consider that Nash was 0-2 at the district tournament during his freshman season. Itíll be enticing to see just how much Nash can improve in 2015.
Aaron Kelly is a third junior at this weight with prior state experience. He finished 4th at Avon Lake last year, falling 7-2 to Nick Meyer (Avon Lake) in the consolation finals. A month later, Kelly would win the title at Berea-Midpark with a 9-5 victory over the same Nick Meyer in the championship bout. The sophomore won the Medina Sectional with a 4-2 victory over a hardy Jonah Schropp (Lexington) in the finals. Kelly made the semis at BG after earning a commendable 7-6 quarterfinal win over state qualifier Thurston Dyer. Here, he would fall by that same 7-6 score to state placer Blaine Hunter, dropping him into a win or go home consolation semifinal with the skilled freshman Keysean Amison. Kelly won one of those brutally tight 1-0 go-to-state bouts to march on to the consolation finals. He lost the rematch with Dyer, and drew Tariq Wilson (Steubenville) in the first round at state. Wilson won the bout 14-5 on his way to the state finals. Kelly was dropped into an elimination bout with 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace), in which he labored valiantly but fell 2-1 in OT.
I put Hunter Waldron at 113 and Tyler Capodice at 106 just for symmetry in the Perkins line-up. Truth be told I donít know how their weights will shake down, but Iím hoping they find a way to have Capodice, Waldron, and Amison all in the line-up. Last year, Waldron split varsity time with Keysean Amison who ended up earning the starting spot for the post-season while finishing as a state alternate as a freshman. Waldron seems too good to be out of the starting line-up for sectionals for a second straight year. He looked impressive in his stints with the starters last year, finishing 1st at Willoughby South where he swept through the field. Waldron later placed 3rd at Columbian, where he bounced back from a close 3-1 loss to state qualifier Thurston Dyer in the semis to defeat state placer Blaine Hunter 5-0 in the consolation finals. Waldron was also 3rd at the Gorman, besting state qualifier Kaden Moore (Willard) 9-4 and defeating a quality Derek Wilson (Norwalk) 5-3. His only loss would be another 3-1 semifinal defeat, this one to 2x state qualifier Jake Donahue (Massillon). Hopefully, Waldron will crack the varsity line-up in 2015, because if he does heíll make a serious play for state placement.
Mike Baumberger was 2-2 at Hoover to kick off his freshman year, but won the tournament title at Columbian a few weeks later. Later in the season, he started off 2-1 at Clay before forfeiting out of the tournament. Mike later finished 5th at the Gorman where he lost an 8-5 quarterfinal bout with Tyler Capodice before claiming victory over the same wrestler in the 5th place final (via default). Baumberger placed 2nd to Dalton Eagle (Ashland) at the OCC tournament and 2nd to Eric Bartos (Buckeye) at sectionals, losing a 4-0 championship bout at the latter event. Mike opened the BG District Tournament with a 9-5 win over Andrew Bailey (Wauseon) but was soundly defeated by state placer Hunter Lucas in the quarters. Undeterred, Baumberger came back with a pin and an 8-7 win over Coleman Foster (Eaton) to set up a rematch with Eric Bartos in a go-to-state consolation semifinal. Baumberger earned his revenge in a big way, pinning Bartos and stamping his ticket to state. He was pinned by the ever explosive Charlie Nash in the consolation finals, setting up a first round bout with defending state champ Tyler Warner (Claymont) in Columbus. After an unsuccessful venture on the mat with Warner, Baumberger gutted out a narrow 2-0 win over Tyler Adkins (Western Brown) to stay alive in the consolation rounds. Next, he fell to Graham wrestler Justin Stickley 15-2 in the second consolation round, ending his season a match shy of placement.
Justin Drennen is a sophomore on the rise at Bellevue. He won a district bout at BG last season as a freshman and started to have some close matches with good wrestlers by the end of the season. Drennen went 2-2 at the Gorman and finished 4th at the NOL tournament, where he lost a 9-8 shootout with a very capable and experienced senior, Derek Wilson. He finished 4th at sectionals and lost his opening round bout at BG to state qualifier Aaron Kelly (Rocky River). Drennen bounced back with a 16-0 tech in a consolation match with fellow freshman Dylan Christman (Bellefontaine) before being eliminated in a 6-0 loss to state alternate Keysean Amison, who had pinned Drennen the week before.
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Old 11-07-14, 01:09 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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120-
1. Blaine Hunter-Elida (8th state)
2. Thurston Dyer-Upper Sandusky (SQ)
3. Keysean Amison-Perkins (5th district)
4. Dylan Mansor-Oak Harbor (6th district)
*5. Nick Berry-Carroll*
6. Carson Speelman-Madison Comp.

You’ve got to respect the progress that Blaine Hunter made in a year at Elida. As a freshman the Bulldog was 5th at the sectional tournament wrestling at 106. Within a year, Hunter was on the medal stand in Columbus despite only being a sophomore. Early in the year, Blaine powered his way to the title at Allen County with three pins and a 20-7 major. He later finished 4th at Columbian with a 4-3 loss to district placer Trayvion Scott (Fremont Ross) and a 5-0 defeat at the hands of Hunter Waldron in the consolation finals. Next he won the league title at the WBL tournament with a 6-3 victory over Garrett Hower (Memorial) in the deciding match. Hunter lost a 3-1 semifinal bout to Thurston Dyer at sectionals, but rolled back with a 5-0 defeat of Dylan Mansor for 3rd. A pin in the opening round of the district tournament got Blaine started on the right track, and he earned a nice 5-4 victory in the quarterfinals over tough senior Derek Wilson (Norwalk). A 7-6 semifinal win over fellow sophomore state qualifier Aaron Kelly put Hunter through to the finals and earned him his first trip to the state tournament. A lopsided defeat at the hands of returning state finalist Seth Beard in the finals set Hunter up with a first round match with returning state placer Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling). Hunter suffered a 10-5 opening round setback to Abduljelil, but remained undaunted bouncing back with a 15-3 major over Aaron Cox (Ross) on Thursday night to stay alive in the consolation rounds. Hunter squared off against Brennan Joseph (Marlington) in the match to place at state, and emerged the victor in an 8-5 win. A close 3-1 loss to Paul Petras (Padua) in the consolation quarters put Hunter into a 7th place rematch with Abduljelil. Though the second match-up didn’t go any better than the first for Hunter, he did come away with a medal and showed that he was one of the most improved wrestlers in the state.
Thurston Dyer made the jump from D-3 state qualifier in 2013 to D-2 state qualifier last year. One of the lynchpins for a quality Upper Sandusky team, I wasn’t sure how well Dyer and the rest of the team would adjust to the rise in competition. Dyer certainly did not show any intimidation or lack of skill in his transition up. He won the tournament title at Columbian while beating Hunter Waldron 3-1 and Trayvion Scott 1-0 in the semis and finals. His 1-2 performance at Marion County was respectable considering the fact that the losses were by 1 point to state placer Michael Sergent (Troy Chr.) and by 2 points to 2x state placer Kristopher Hill (Hartley). Dyer finished 2nd at Pleasant two weeks later losing to Hill 7-3 in the finals. He posted a 2nd place finish at sectionals, earning a big 3-1 win over state placer Blaine Hunter in the semis before falling to Seth Beard in the finals. After an opening round pin at the BG District Tournament, Dyer lost a 7-6 face-off with Aaron Kelly in the quarterfinals. Dyer responded brilliantly with four consecutive wins to take the bronze. The first was a 5-3 win over talented senior Jonah Schropp (Lexington) who had defeated Dyer earlier in the year at the state duals. Next, Thurston bested another good senior, Derek Wilson, 6-3 to set up a consolation semifinal bout with the freshman Dylan Mansor. The experienced Dyer stamped a return trip to state with an 8-4 victory over the up and coming Mansor. In the consolation finals, Dyer defeated Aaron Kelly 5-3 in a rematch of their quarterfinal bout. It’s worth noting that Dyer knocked off two wrestlers who had beaten him earlier to finish 3rd (Schropp and Kelly). Thurston wrestled close matches in both bouts at state but came up at the short end of the stick in an 8-4 loss to state placer Lane Peters (Claymont) and a 1-0 defeat against Brian Persinger (Triway).
Keysean Amison made a smooth transition from middle school state placer to competitive varsity wrestler last year, though he’ll be wanting more after finishing as the state alternate in 2014. Keysean went 2-2 at Medina early in the year, but really started to round into shape at Top Gun where he finished 3-2 with an 8-7 win over state qualifier Josiah Hrusch (Minerva) prior to wrestling and a tough 2-0 bout in a loss to state placer Lane Peters (Claymont). Amison placed 3rd at the SBC Tournament where he defeated Dylan Mansor 4-0 in the consolation finals. He also claimed a 3rd place finish at sectionals, losing a 2-1 semifinal to Derek Wilson but winning his four other matches. Things wouldn’t come easy to Amison at BG, where he faced staunch senior Jonah Schropp right off the bat but earned a tight 1-0 tiebreak victory to advance to the quarters. Keysean fell to Seth Beard in the quarters before grabbing a 6-0 win over Justin Drennen (Bellevue) and a 9-4 victory against Carson Speelman in the wrestle backs. Amison lost the previously mentioned gut-wrenching 1-0 bout to Kelly but bounced back to tough out a 3-0 win over Dylan Mansor to closeout as the state alternate. With his talent and the quality of the Perkins wrestling team, it’s only a matter of time before Amison is wrestling at the state tournament.
Dylan Mansor also showed his mettle during a solid freshman campaign, claiming a 3rd place finish at Bellevue and a similar bronze medal at Perrysburg. Mansor’s chances at placement looked in jeopardy at Clay when he lost in the quarters, but he battled back with one impressive win after another to take 3rd again. Among his wins were a 4-1 victory over a stout Brandon Bartlome (Lorain) a 2-0 triumph over a quality Trey Davis (Mt. Vernon), a 2-0 victory over a hardy Nick Mayer (Avon lake) and his most impressive win, a 3-1 defeat of D-1 state qualifier James Wimer (Central Crossing) in the consolation finals. Mansor placed 4th at sectionals while losing to state placers Seth Beard and Blaine Hunter, but he started off his district tournament with two impressive triumphs. The first was an 8-2 defeat of sectional champ Nick Berry (Carroll), and the second a 6-0 win over Carson Speelman. He would finish 6th, but still posted an excellent freshman season.
Nick Berry looks to be a contender to qualify for state out of the southwest sectional, if Carroll continues to make the trek to BG in 2015. He may have a less crowded road at Wilmington, but he could make it out at either district. Berry finished 2nd to state finalist Hunter Bray (Dayton Chr.) at Franklin after pinning his way to the finals. He went 2-2 at the GMVWA Tournament while picking up two nice wins; 6-0 over the respectable Jacob Boldman (Wilmington) and a thoroughly impressive pin over state placer Michael Sergent (Troy Chr.). The losses were a 4-2 defeat against state qualifier Gage Branson (Glen Este) and a 5-2 setback delivered by Georgia state placer Gio Fernandez (Archer). Berry finished 4th at the CIT, falling twice to state qualifier Stan Bleich (Elyria Cath.), and he later placed 2nd at the GCL tournament where he lost 8-6 to state qualifier Eric Beck (LaSalle) in the finals. Nick strolled to a sectional title with 3 first period pins, but lost his opening match at BG to district placer Dylan Mansor. Berry defeated a brawny Garrett Hower (Memorial) 5-3 in this first consolation round before falling 6-2 in his next match with senior Derek Wilson, ending his 2014 season.
I don’t see many results from Carson Speelman on Jake’s Wrestling, but hey, the cat was a match away from placing at the district as a freshman so he must be good. He finished 4th at the OCC and 3rd at sectionals, with only a 3-2 loss to Jonah Schropp at the latter tournament. He won his first district bout 6-2 over senior Garrett Hower before dropping the quarterfinal bout to Dylan Mansor. Speelman pinned his next foe before falling to Keysean Amison 9-4. I expect bigger and better things this year for the talented sophomore.

126
1. Sandro Ramirez-Wauseon (1st Middle School state)
2. Juwan Minnifield-Perkins (SQ)
3. Nick Bergman-Oak Harbor (5th district)
4. Rosendo Beltran-Toledo C.C. (SQ)
5. Fernando Chavez/Ryan Lantow-Defiance (6th district)
6. Jesse Todd-Clear Fork

I seldom know much about the incoming freshman until they actually start wrestling in high school, but I’ve been assured that Sandro Ramirez will be another powerhouse for an already solid Wauseon team. He won the Middle School State Tournament last season with a 15-0 tech over Colt Yinger (Nelsonville-York), whose surname is synonymous with wrestling success. Ramirez also knocked off Jake Thompson (Moeller) 8-3 and Jake Marsh (Marysville) 8-2 in the quarters and semifinals respectively. Also, he’ll have state placer Wade Hodges to push him to excellence in the room every day, so he’s destined for success.
Juwan Minnifield started out a bit rocky with an 0-2 Medina tournament, though it wasn’t as if he was wrestling scrubs in the two losses. He fell to state alternate Nick Bergman and a solid Hunter Deshon (Hoover). Minnifield fared better at the Gorman, finishing 2nd to state placer Carson Mills (Frederickstown) after pinning Jesse Todd in the semifinals. A week later, Juwan placed 3rd at Marion County, losing a one point bout with state alternate Isaac Hendershot (South) before defeating Jesse Todd a second time in the consolation finals. He had a nice 2-0 win over Andrew Murphy (Dover) at Top Gun, but finished 2-2 after dropping a quarterfinal match with state champion Alex Mackall (Walsh). Minnifield was 2nd to 2x state placer Evan Cheek (M. Edison) at the SBC tournament while posting a nice 7-5 win in a rematch with Nick Bergman in the semis. Minnifield pinned district placer Ryan Lantow in the sectional semis before wrestling 2x state placer Colin Ingram (Bath) tough in a 5-3 loss. After a first round tech fall win at BG, Juwan seized a 2-0 win over state placer Markus Cruz (Clearview) in the championship quarters. Minnifield defeated Ryan Lantow in the district semis a week after besting him at sectionals. This time it was an 11-4 victory to send Juwan into the state tournament. Minnifield had to default in his finals rematch with Colin Ingram, setting him up with a first round bout with Ryan Kelley (Hillsboro) in Columbus. At the state tournament, Kelley defeated Minnifield 13-7 before finishing 6th in the state. The Perkins sophomore bounced back with a 22-5 tech of Isaiah Ngiraingas (Conneaut) to stay alive in the consolation rounds, but was pinned midway through the third period of his placement match with Colin Ingram. Minnifield is a very good young wrestler in an established program. He took a nice step up last year to reach the state tournament. I expect big things from him this year as he looks to climb the next rung in the ladder.
Bergman is a name connected to wrestling success in Northwest Ohio, and this year, Nick Bergman has a chance to extend the legacy left behind by so many other Bergmans (Bergmen?). Nick had a late start to last season and saw his first major tournament action at Medina, where he finished 2-2. The previously mentioned win over Minnifield was a significant one as they could see each other at BG in 2015. The two losses were a one-pointer to state qualifier Mike Stewart (S. Highland) and another to a tough Mason Daugherty (St. Edward). Bergman was 3rd at the SBC tournament after the loss to Minnifield, and he finished 1st a few weeks later at the sectional tournament. His finals win was a notable 4-2 defeat of state qualifier Rosendo Beltran, which may have actually hurt Bergman’s chances at state qualification. There’s no way to know how things at the district tournament would have gone if the sectional final match had been reversed, but Beltran qualified for state out of BG, while Bergman lost two very close go-to-state bouts with wrestlers that placed at state. Bergman teched his first foe and defeated Jesse Todd 4-0 to reach the semifinals. He then lost a 2-0 match with 2x state placer Colin Ingram and fell in a heartbreaking 2-1 bout with state placer Markus Cruz. Bergman closed out with a 5-1 victory over Ryan Lantow to secure state alternate status. After two close calls (Bergman was also the alternate as a freshman), I’m really pulling for Bergman to qualify for state this year, and I think he will. He has the talent and the motivation he needs to get it done. Now he just has to seize the opportunity.
Rosendo Beltran made the most out of his first shot at varsity duty, cracking the tough Central Catholic line-up and qualifying for state as a sophomore in 2014. Beltran was 2-2 at the absurdly stacked Brecksville tournament and started to show his chops at CIT with a 3rd place finish. His consolation finals victory was a 5-4 defeat of Elder’s Sam Williams, a state qualifier the year before. Beltran furthered his progress with an 8-4 finals win over Aaron Henneman (Clay) to claim the title at the TRAC tournament. Beltran finished 2nd to Bergman at the BG North sectional and lost the opening match at the district tourney to Ryan Lantow 7-6. Undeterred, Beltran pinned Mac Altom (Eaton), defeated Jesse Todd 2-1, and knocked off district placer Trae Coopwood (Madison Comp.) 4-2 to schedule himself a rematch with Lantow. This time Beltran would emerge victorious, winning a 7-4 bout to lock up a state spot. He closed out the district tournament with an 8-1 loss to state placer Markus Cruz. At state, Beltran hung tough in his first bout with Mario Kastl (Graham) but eventually lost 2-1 to the state bronze medalist. He would lose his consolation match with Chance Haynes (Buckeye Valley) 8-0 and exit the state tournament. Considering the fact that Beltran was not even a starter as a freshman, I think it’s remarkable that he made the state tournament as a sophomore. However, this type of performance is not all that uncommon for the state powers like Central Catholic who have a plethora of talent and depth. 2015 is a new year, and it could hold great things for the junior Beltran.
Ryan Lantow’s ascension to district placer at this weight is impressive given the fact that he started the season at 113 winning 6 of 7 matches at the Archbold duals. After making the jump to 120, Lantow was 3-2 at the GMVWA tournament and placed 2nd at the WBL tournament, losing to state placer Colin Ingram at both tournaments. Lantow finished 3rd at sectionals after the loss to Minnifield in the semis, and opened the district tournament with that nice win over Beltran. He defeated Dan Mahoney 10-4 in the quarterfinals but lost the semifinal bout to Minnifield for the second consecutive week. He would lose the rematch with Beltran and drop the 5th place bout to Bergman. Lantow will be a state threat again in 2015, but there are questions that remain about Defiance’s line-up. It’s fairly dense with middle school state champ Timothy Grunden now on the team, and 2013 middle school state placer Fernando Chavez hopefully making a return to the line-up. It’s possible that we see one wrestler make the drop to 120 or the jump up to 138, but only the wrestlers and coaching staff know at this point.
Jesse Todd remains another viable option for qualification at this weight. He finished 4th at Marion County, losing to Cheek and Minnifield, 6th at Gorman and 2nd to state qualifier Brandon Fitzgerald (Grandview Hts.). Todd posted a solid 2-1 win over Trae Coopwood in the semifinals at the OCC tournament, where he finished 2nd to state runner-up Cole Woods (West Holes). Todd was 3rd at the Medina Sectional, where he lost in OT to Coopwood but came back to beat Dan Mahoney 5-1 for 3rd place. Todd won his opening match at BG by a 15-2 score over Caleb Houser (Benjamin Logan) before losing 4-0 to Bergman and 2-1 to Beltran. He’s right there with the top wrestlers at this weight, he just has to step it up a wee bit and he’ll be winning those close matches.
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Old 11-07-14, 01:10 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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132-
*1. Devon Rogers-Spr. Northwestern* (4th state)
2. Timothy Grunden-Defiance (1st Middle School state)
3. Brandon Leynaud-Lexington (SQ)
4. Luke Leonard-Fostoria (SQ)
*5. Adam Wilhelm-Carroll* (5th district)
6. Matt Salmon-Perkins (6th district)

Devon Rogers accomplish what only 7 other wrestlers achieved at state last year, and that was to knock off a defending state champion at the Schottenstein Center. His overtime win against Eli Seipel (Graham) in the state quarters was one of the biggest upsets at the state tournament. Everyone though that Seipel was headed to a semifinal match-up of defending state champs with Anthony Tutolo (Lake Cath.), but Rogers had other ideas. Devon looked very good even early in the year, finishing 3rd at North Canton where he beat district placer Trae Coopwood (Madison Comp.), state qualifier Walker Chieffe (University) and West Virginia state champ Lucas Simpkins (Ripley) while only losing to D-1 bronze medalist Alec Cotton (Lake). Rogers bested state qualifier C.J. Ball (Rossford) in the consolation finals at Marion Harding to finish 3rd after losing an 11-7 semifinal to 2x state finalist Zack Durbin (Mapleton). He would finish 2nd at the CBC tournament, knocking off Elijah Cochran (Kenton Ridge) 8-6 in the semis after losing to Cochran in their state duals match. In the finals, Rogers suffered a one-sided 13-2 defeat to Eli Seipel serving as motivation for their later showdown. Devon pinned his first two sectional foes and bested Adam Wilhelm 5-1 for the sectional crown. The road to the district throne would be even more impressive for Rogers as he defeated state qualifier Vince Zitiello (Bay) 7-2 in the semis and pinned Luke Leonard (Fostoria) for the title. A week later he pinned Dominic Meehan (Brooklyn) in the first round of the state tournament before his fateful quarterfinal showdown with Seipel. The 4-3 OT win that Rogers notched was not just impressive and shocking because of what a high caliber wrestler Seipel is, but also because the 11 point margin of victory in their first bout seemed so definitive. Rogers lost to 2x champ Tutolo in a respectable 6-3 semifinal, but came right back and defeated Georgio Poullas the freshman sensation from Canfield 8-4 in the consolation semis. Rogers lost the rubber match with Seipel 3-1 to finish 4th, but I won’t count Devon out for a state title this year based on the leaps and bounds in improvement that he showed last year.
It’s hard to decipher how Defiance’s line-up will shakeout this season. With wrestlers like district placer Ryan Lantow, sophomore powerhouse Fernando Chavez, and middle school state champ Timothy Grunden, they’re well stocked at these middle weights. I don’t know much about Grunden other than the fact that he beat Trevor Lawson (Graham) for the title, but that in and of itself is impressive. Lawson was 2nd at the Kentucky High School state tournament as a 7th grader the year before. Many have pointed out the quality of Kentucky versus Ohio in their wrestling programs, but The Bluegrass State is certainly not devoid of talent. Evidence of that is the fact that Lawson’s brother Kyle who won one of the better weight classes in D-2 last year as a freshman was also 2nd in the Kentucky state tournament in 2013. Grunden finished 2nd to defending middle school state champion Rocky Jordan (Graham) at the illustrious Philo Electric Invitational tournament in what sounded like an entertaining finals bout. Grunden also placed 2nd at the middle school state tournament as a 7th grader in 2013. He knocked off 2014 Kentucky high school state champ David Carr 17-10 in the quarterfinals and then pulled out a 1-0 victory over 2014 high school state placer Brady Barnett (Edison) in the semifinals. His only loss of the tournament was a 3-1 defeat in the finals to Graham powerhouse Ryan Thomas who is a 2x middle school state champ. At the middle school sate tournament this past season, Grunden picked up a 5-4 semifinal victory over 6th grade stud David Cumberledge and then toughed out a 1-0 victory over Trevor Lawson for the state crown. I’m excited to see what this young talent can do in his first year of high school wrestling.
Brandon Leynaud performed admirably all throughout the course of last season, but he’ll be aiming even higher in 2015 in search of his first state medal. He started off last year going 8-2 at the Archbold duals, losing only to state placers Wade Hodges of Ohio and Derek Humphrey (Davison) of Michigan by decision. Leynaud was 2-2 at Medina with a solid 5-3 win over the ever improving Chris Motter (Hudson). The two wrestlers he lost to were state placers Major Moore (Willard) and Jason Spencer (Perry). In his most impressive tournament action of the year, Leynaud hit another gear at the JC Gorman, winning the title while storming through the field with 4 pins and a 14-0 major. Further elevating the performance at Gorman was the fact that Brandon’s last two pins came against 2x state placers Colton Ullman (Loudonville) and Caleb Ohl (Newark Cath.). He would tally two more wins over state qualifiers in his dual meet victories against Darrin Gilkerson (Wadsworth) and Carson Mengerink, the latter whom he pinned. Leynaud won the OCC title with a pin over Zane Speelman (Madison Comp.) and claimed a sectional title at Medina with two pins and a 2-1 win over precocious freshman Leconte Merrell (Madison Comp.). Leynaud drew the feisty Matt Salmon in the first round of the BG district tournament and lost a 2-0 overtime bout, setting up a long road back in the consolation rounds. Brandon slogged his way through with aplomb, pinning his first foe and defeating a worthy Cameron Slattman (Wauseon) 8-4 to kick off his consolation run. Next was the game Riley Zipfel (Defiance) who Leynaud was able to shut out in a 3-0 consolation quarterfinal bout. Brandon had carefully worked his into contention for a state spot, and ended up facing Adam Wilhelm in the decisive consolation semifinal. Leynaud again pulled off a shutout, defeating Wilhelm 4-0, and moving himself on to another weekend of wrestling. He would fall 5-1 to Vince Zitiello (Bay) in the consolation finals, causing him to draw 2x state champ Anthony Tutolo in the first round of the state tournament. Leynaud was soundly defeated and had the misfortune of drawing another multiple time state placer in Chandler Minnard (Bloom Carroll). He would put up a fight with the exemplary junior, but Leynaud ultimately fell 4-2.
Luke Leonard was very consistent over the course of his junior year, ultimately earning his first trip to state for the Fostoria Redmen last February. Leonard won early season titles at Bellevue and Lima C.C. before facing a stern test at Perrysburg. He advanced to the semifinals with pins in his first two matches but suffered a sound 12-2 setback to state alternate Joe Koontz (SVSM) in the semis. He dropped a second match to Brock Jones (Perrysburg) in the consolation semis but closed out strong with a pin over Cameron Slattman to take 5th place. Leonard finished 2nd to the underrated Buddy Limes (awesome name) from Otsego at VanBuren. Later in the season, he won the sectional title in methodical fashion, pinning his first two foes, defeating district placer Matt Salmon 9-2 in the semis, and closing out with a 7-2 win over Collin Adkins. He drew the tough freshman Leconte Merrell in the opening round at BG, but hung tough for the 6-4 win. After a 10-3 victory in the quarters, Leonard advanced to his first state tournament with a tight 3-2 victory over Adam Wilhelm. Luke would fall to state placer Devon Rogers in the district finals and lose a close 6-5 bout with state placer Georgio Poullas in the first round of the state tournament. His first consolation bout was against senior Elijah Cochran, and despite a valiant effort, Leonard would fall 4-2 in sudden victory. Being so close with his state foes should let Leonard know that he’s almost there, but he can’t rest on his laurels if he hopes to come away with a state medal in 2015.
Adam Wilhelm was 2nd at Franklin last November, defeating D-3 state qualifier Josh Clary (Dayton Chr.) 3-1 but losing to state placer Ryan Kelly (Hillsboro) 7-6 in the finals. He would go 2-2 at both the GMVWA and CIT tournaments for Carroll. After finishing 4th at the GCL tournament, Wilhelm pinned his way to the sectional finals where he lost a 5-1 bout to Devon Rogers. Adam won his first match at BG with a 12-0 major, and advanced to the district semis via a 3-2 defeat of Matt Salmon. Wilhelm dropped a one point bout with Leonard in the district semis and fell 4-0 to Brandon Leynaud in his second qualification match. He showed up ready for the 5th place match, defeating Salmon a second time by way of a 6-0 shutout.
Matt Salmon saw his first major tournament action at MIT last year, finishing 2-2 at the always competitive tourney. He would snag a 4th place finish at Marion County, besting state qualifier Josh Clary 6-0 in the quarterfinals. Salmon had a rough Top Gun going 1-2, but turned it around nicely at the SBC tournament, winning the title over 2x state qualifier Tyler Rogers (Margaretta) with a 7-2 finals triumph. Matt finished 4th at a tough sectional tournament, losing to state qualifier Luke Leonard before falling to Riley Zipfel in the consolation finals. Salmon claimed that impressive 2-0 overtime upset of Brandon Leynaud in the opening round before suffering the close loss to Wilhelm. He posted a pair of nice consolation wins, claiming a 10-9 shootout victory over Collin Adkins and defeating Brad Sprau (Rocky River) 8-0 to earn his first district medal. He suffered shutout losses to Zitiello and Wilhelm in his final two bouts, but I’ve got faith that Salmon will reach an even higher plateau in 2015 under the tutelage of the Perkins coaching staff.
Collin Adkins, Leconte Merrell, and Bradley Sprau are three other stalwart performers around this weight-class. Adkins was 4th at the JC Gorman with wins over Vince Zitiello and Matt Salmon. Sprau pinned Zitiello at sectionals last year and defeated state qualifier Dominic Meehan (Brooklyn) 9-2 at Avon Lake early last year, and Merrell was 5th at Gorman as a freshman, performing well above his age, winning tournaments at Columbian and the OCC.
138-
1. Nate Hagan-Toledo C.C. (1st, 7th state)
2. Wade Hodges-Wauseon (4th, 4th, 7th state)
3. Vince Zitiello-Bay (SQ)
4. Rhett Petersen-Oak Harbor (SQ)
5. Tre’ Wheeler-Bath (6th district)
6. Zane Speelman-Madison Comp.

Very few wrestlers win a state title with 10 losses, but then again very few wrestlers have the schedule that Nate Hagan had last year. He won the always competitive Solon Comet Classic right off the bat, defeating D-1 state champ Richie Screptock (Clay) 4-3 in the semis and 2x state placer Connor Nemec (Crestwood) 6-4 for the title. Hagan went 1-2 at the hellacious Ironman, but the one win was a second defeat of Screptock, this time by a 5-4 score. Over the holiday break, Nate lost his second match at Brecksville to state placer Jarrad Lasko (Madison) but rattled off 4 straight consolation wins to advance to the consolation semis. Two of the wins were over state qualifiers Bryson Laytart (Trace) and John Shirkey (LaSalle). Hagan would lose a 3-1 match with returning state finalist Bobby Smith (Davidson) in the consolation semis, but close out with a third win over Richie Screptock to finish 5th. Nate Hagan would be the CIT champion, winning a 5-3 finals match with state finalist Lyle Plummer (Chaminade-Julienne). He dropped a state duals bout with nemesis Wade Hodges 4-0 but rebounded with a conference championship at the TRAC tournament while earning a fourth win over Richie Screptock. I’m not sure how many wrestlers have beaten the same state champion 4 times in one season, but Hagan has to put himself in elite company with that fourth win. Nate had one of the most impressive wins of the state duals, when he knocked off returning state bronze medalist Brent Moore (Graham) 3-1 in sudden victory. Hagan advanced to the sectional finals with a 2-0 victory over state qualifier Carson Mengerink (Upper Sandusky) before falling a second time to Hodges 2-1 for the title. He started off his district tournament living dangerously with a 1-0 win over Francisco Chavez (Defiance) but pulled out the major in a 12-0 shutout of Zane Speelman in the quarters. A second victory over Mengerink (4-3) sent Hagan through to the district finals where he was defeated a third time by Hodges 3-1 for the district crown. Hagan would pin Bryson Laytart to kick off his state tournament in emphatic fashion and advance to the semis with a 3-1 win over state placer Brian Yutzy (Jonathan Alder) in the quarters. Here he would meet 3x state placer Aaran Gessic (Perry), toughing out the 3-1 victory in the always tense semifinals. In the finals, Hagan was slated to rumble with Brent Moore in a rematch of their state duals semifinal bout. Nate rose triumphantly to the top of the podium for his first state title after besting the stellar Graham wrestler by the identical 3-1 OT score that he had posted in their first showdown. It was a long and winding road that Nate Hagan traversed to claim his first state title, and it won’t be any easier this year. 132 was one of the most densely populated weights in terms of talent from top to bottom in the state last year (We’ve got the national governing body that removed a middle- weight class to thank for that). But if anyone is capable of making a second climb to the top and trucking through this quagmire of a weight for a second consecutive year, it’s Hagan.
It’s weird to see Hagan ranked ahead of Wade Hodges given the fact that Hodges won all three of their match-ups last year. It almost seems like Hodges should be ranked ahead of Hagan at the district level, but Hagan should be ranked higher statewide. Another weird enigma at this weight is that the top three returning placers from 132; Hagan, Moore, and Hodges all wrestled each other multiple times last year, They were all undefeated against one foe, and winless against the other. Moore was 2-0 against Hodges, Hodges was 3-0 against Hagan, and Hagan was 2-0 against Moore. This Bermuda triangle situation makes the champion difficult to predict, as all three competitors are certainly capable of winning the coveted state title. Hodges went undefeated at the Archbold duals last year, pinning state placer Colton Ullman (Loudonville) and shutting out state qualifier Brandon Leynaud (Lexington) 6-0 en route. He was a semifinalist at Ironman, impressively defeating Bryce Meredith (Cheyenne, WY) by pin in the quarterfinals. Hodges would eventually finish 6th, losing an overtime bout to Brent Moore in the consolation quarters. His Brecksville tournament was even more impressive, claiming the title while pinning Michigan state placer Derek Humphrey (Davison), shutting out state placer Alec Benedetti (North Royalton) 6-0, defeating 3x state placer Bobby Smith 3-1, and pinning state qualifier Austin Hiles (Brecksville) in four consecutive matches to take the title. Hodges continued to roll at Perrysburg, where he won the title with a second shutout of Benedetti 7-0. Despite teching Zane Speelman 16-1 and defeating state qualifier Joey Bernosky (Avon lake) twice at Clay, Hodges would finish 3rd after having his string of wins halted by Aaran Gessic (Perry) in the semis. Hodges shutout state champ Hagan 4-0 in the state duals and surged to a tournament title at the NWOAL tournament with a 7-1 defeat of 2x state placer Dustin Marteney (Delta) in the finals. Two more tournaments yielded two more titles for Hodges at the BG sectional and the BG district. The Wauseon junior would beat the same two wrestlers in the semis and finals of both tournaments, defeating Rhett Petersen 14-0 and then by pin in the semis, while knocking off Hagan twice in consecutive finals matches. Hodges won his first state bout in a controlling 9-4 affair with Seth Cochran (Kenton Ridge), and earned a quarterfinals victory over returning state placer Garrett Carter (CVCA) in a 5-2 triumph. He had a rematch with Brent Moore in the state semis to look forward too, and as it was at Ironman early in the year, Moore defeated him in overtime. Hodges won his consolation semi in a 2-0 shutout of Tyler Knul (Circleville) but was downed a second time by Aaran Gessic 3-0 in the 3rd place finals to finish 4th for a second consecutive year. Hodges has already shown that he can beat state champ Hagan on multiple occasions. He’ll have to prove to himself that he can overcome a Graham opponent, whoever it may be, in order to win his first state title. Hodges has the ability, but who knows what future holds between these two northwest wrestlers in their final season.
Vince Zitiello made that classic sophomore jump in performance from showing freshman potential to realizing that potential the next year. Vince qualified for his first state tournament last season and finished just a match shy of his first state medal. He started the season strong, placing 2nd to district placer Brett Thomas (Brunswick) at Independence despite jumping up 3 weights from the previous year. At Lorain he crushed the field on the way to the title pinning or teching every opponent. Zitiello was 5th at the Gorman, losing a 7-4 match with 2x state placer Caleb Ohl (Newark Cath.) before suffering a surprisingly lopsided 16-5 defeat to another talented sophomore, Collin Adkins (Bellevue). In his 5th place final, Zitiello notched a noteworthy 3-0 shutout of district placer Trae Coopwood (Madison Comp.). Vince finished 3rd at the sectional after getting pinned by Brad Sprau (Rocky River) in the semis, and went on to win his first two district matches to advance to the semifinals. The first was a 5-0 shutout in a rematch with Collin Adkins, and the second, an 11-2 major over Cameron Slattman (Wauseon). He fell 7-2 to state placer Devin Rogers in the semifinals before defeating Matt Salmon (Perkins) 7-0 to claim a set of state tickets. Zitiello’s final district bout would be a 5-1 victory over Brandon Leynaud to finish in 3rd place. In Columbus, Vince would lose an 8-3 first round bout with seasoned senior Walker Chieffe (University) but soldiered back with a 7-3 consolation win over Tyler Jenkins (Meadowbrook) to stay alive on Thursday night. Regrettably for Zitiello, Friday morning did not fare as well as Thursday night, as he was dispatched by returning state placer Cole Tawney (Gallia Academy) 16-4 ending his season. He’s a bit of a wild card in 2015, both in what weight he will reside at and in how much better he can become, given his solid 2014 season.
Rhett Petersen is another ever improving junior with a high ceiling. He won the tournament title at Bellevue last year, majoring Lance Smith (Fostoria) 13-2 in the championship match. Despite going 2-2 at Medina, Petersen won a bout over district placer Jake Evanich (Hoover) in overtime and lost a tight 3-2 bout with state qualifier Justyn Bostic (Jackson) in the quarterfinals. He was 4th at Perrysburg, beating district placer Maverick Meek (New Philadelphia) twice. Petersen finished 7th at Clay and 2nd to Nate Boggs (Perkins) at the SBC tournament before finishing 4th at a tough sectional tournament that saw him lose to Wade Hodges and Carson Mengerink. He knocked off sectional champ Anthony Beier (Clyde) 3-1 in his first district bout and pinned Mitchell Poynter (Tippecanoe) in the quarters. Though he was pinned by Hodges in the semis, Petersen did enough to advance to state by earning a 3-2 victory in a consolation semi match with Anthony Beier. Petersen was pinned by Brent Moore in the opening round at state, but advanced to Friday with a 3-0 win over Garrett Blackburn (London) in the first consolation round. His season ended on a 4-3 loss to 2x state placer Tyler Knul, showing just how close he was to placement as a sophomore. Not many sectional 4th place finishers make it to state each year, but Petersen was one of the few. In 2015, just making it there certainly won’t be enough for this junior on the rise.
Tre’ Wheeler had no trouble adjusting to the jump from D-3 to D-2 that Bath made last year. He won tournament titles at Highland and Allen County before his first stern test at GMVWA. Though he didn’t place at this always competitive tournament, he did go 4-2 with a 10-8 win over D-1 state qualifier Ryan Kaminski (Green). Wheeler finished 5th at Clay with a notable 5-1 win over Jimmy Staschiak (Findlay) in their showdown for 5th place. Tre’ navigated his way to a title at the WBL tournament and finished 2nd to Anthony Beier at sectionals. Wheeler drew state qualifier Carson Mengerink in the opening round at BG and was ousted 10-6. Three consolation wins including a 6-4 sudden victory win over Francisco Chavez put Wheeler right back into contention for a state birth. His second match with Mengerink fared worse than the first and Wheeler was pinned in 1:17. One more loss to Beier closed out Wheeler’s season with a 6th place district medal. Tre’ will be in the hunt for a coveted state spot in 2015, but he’ll need to get even better to make it to Columbus which he’s certainly capable of doing. How good will he be this year? Only he knows.
Josh Speelman was a state finalist for Madison Comprehensive in 2008, giving 4x state champion Collin Palmer a respectable match in a 5-0 defeat. Zane Speelman has lofty hopes in 2015, looking to make his own mark on the Madison program with a state medal at the end of the year. He finished 2nd at Columbian last Christmas break, earning a surprising 6-3 win over state qualifier Carson Mengerink in the quarters. Speelman would go 3-2 at the Gorman and finish 2nd to Brandon Leynaud at the OCC tournament. He walked to a sectional title at Medina with 3 straight pins and continued that trend of pinning into the opening round at BG. Speelman’s next two matches would not be as smooth as he suffered losses to state champ Hagan and state alternate Beier to end his year. With high aspirations in 2015, Speelman’s presence will add depth and quality to whichever weight-class he chooses.
Alex Kowal (Fenwick) is another competitor to watch at the district level, though it remains to been seen whether he’ll wrestle in the northwest of southeast. He wrestled well for LaSalle last year as a freshman winning several matches as a spot starter in dual meets. He knocked off state alternate Andrew Acuna (Lakota W.) 1-0 in their dual meet while wrestling up at 132 and lost a 5-4 bout with a quality Kyle Ramsey (Lebanon.). Now at Bishop Fenwick, Kowal will look to his continue the wrestling success that has become synonymous with the Kowal name.
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Old 11-07-14, 01:10 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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145-
1. Josh Mossing-Toledo C.C. (2nd state)
2. Jeremy Balboa-Oak Harbor (SQ)
3. Jon Watkins-Lexington (SQ)
4. Seth Boggs-Perkins
5. Drew Kinzel-Clear Fork (SQ 2013)
6. Hunter Yackee-Wauseon (3rd Middle School state)

Josh Mossing was one of the more improved middle weights in the state last year, going from 2-2 at the district tournament as a sophomore, to second in the state at one of the deeper weight classes in 2014. Josh was 4th at Solon to start off the season, losing a pair of matches to state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) but beating a slew of other quality opponents including middle school state placer Cal Miller (St. Ignatius), district placer Jared Ferguson (Pickerington N.), and D-1 state bronze medalist Gavin Nelson (Clay). Mossing would finish 5th at Brecksville, losing a rematch with Gavin Nelson, but defeating Derek Gross (St. Paul) who was 4th in the state and state qualifier Lane Hinkle (Mt. Vernon). His statement tournament would be CIT, where Mossing won the title in thoroughly impressive fashion, defeating state qualifiers in three out his four matches. He opened with a 3-1 sudden victory win over 2x state placer Tim Rooney (St. Charles), pinned his second opponent, defeated state qualifier Evan Morgan (Elder) 3-2 in the semis, and won the title over D-3 state placer Grant Rathburn (Hartley) 2-1. That ability to win close matches against state caliber opponents could play a huge factor in Mossing’s quest for a state title in 2015. Josh finished 2nd at the TRAC tournament, dropping the rubber match with Gavin Nelson 3-2 in the finals. He stormed through his first three sectional opponents before being stopped in the finals by Jeremy Balboa who pinned Mossing at the 3:16 mark. Mossing meticulously worked his way through a dense district bracket, opening up with a 3-1 win over state qualifier Jon Watkins. His next test would be passed with an 11-5 win over the explosive Seth Boggs, and he would move on to the finals with a 7-0 shutout of Chris Harris (Bellevue) to stamp his first ticket to state. A rematch with Jeremy Balboa awaited in the district finals. Undaunted by the first loss, Mossing would have his revenge, emerging with an 8-4 victory to climb to the top of the district mountain. Mossing shut out both of his first two state opponents in controlling 4-0 and 5-0 wins over C.J. Frost (Canfield) and Daniel Hasson (Beaver Local) respectively. A birth in the state finals was at stake when Mossing met up with returning state placer Kyle Kaminski (Padua) in the semis. Josh showed his mettle with a 3-1 sudden victory win to provide Central Catholic with yet another state finalist. Though Mossing was pinned by freshman phenom Kyle Lawson (Graham) in the state finals, the match was very close and tight through the early stages. It’s difficult to know who Graham will put on the mat at his weight in 2015, or if Mossing will wrestle 145 or 152. However, if he can continue to step his game up to the next level, Mossing has a legit chance at emerging with a state title when all is said and done.
The name Balboa has become synonymous with combat sports thanks to the Rocky movies. We’ll see if Jeremy can string together a Cinderella story like the protagonist of the films during his senior year. Jeremy Balboa finished 2nd at the Bellevue tournament early last year, besting district placer Chris Harris (Bellevue) 4-1 in the semis. The Oak Harbor wrestler had a rough go of it at Medina, where he was 1-2 while suffering a tech at the hands of state placer Andy Dobben (CVCA) and a pin against Seth Boggs. Balboa finished a sturdy 2nd at Perrysburg and a suitable 3rd at the SBC tournament despite being pinned by Boggs again. The BG-North Sectional tournament was likely Balboa’s best event of the year as he knocked off state qualifier Gene Porter (Sandusky) 7-3 in the semis before pinning state finalist Josh Mossing for the title. At the district tournament, Balboa won a 13-3 opening bout, knocked off Kohle Clellan (Defiance) 8-2 in the quarters, and defeated Logan Stiner (Keystone) 4-3 to advance to his first state tournament. After losing to Mossing in the district finals, Balboa drew 2x state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) in the opening round of the state tournament and lost a 6-5 bout. Jeremy bounced back with a gritty 11-9 OT tin over R.J. Martin (Big Walnut) to stay alive in the tournament. Unfortunately for Balboa, he drew 2013 state finalist Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge) who was coming off of a somewhat controversial upset, and Bowshier rolled to a 16-6 victory. Oak Harbor will have a loaded line-up once again, and with several wrestlers like Balboa on the cusp of state placement, we could see a top tier finish at state.
Much like Oak Harbor, Lexington will also have a host of talented wrestlers in their line-up. Jon Watkins made the move to the plateau of state qualifier last year. The next step up for him is filling a step on the podium in Columbus. Early last season, Watkins stuck state placer Frankie Alvarado (Ayersville) at the Archbold duels, but suffered a 2-2 Medina tournament over the winter break. We saw his grit and determination at the JG Gorman, when he lost his opening match 8-6 to D-3 state placer Derek Gross before reeling off a staggering six straight wins to claim 3rd place. Among the victories was a pin over state qualifier Noah Phillips (East Knox), a 10-3 win over Seth Boggs, and a 6-1 win over Drew Kinzel. As the year progressed, Watkins seemed to lose a bit of steam, falling 11-8 to Seth Boggs in their dual and finishing 2nd to Drew Kinzel at the OCC tournament, losing by the same 6-1 score that he had defeated Kinzel by at Gorman. Watkins finished 3rd at sectionals, dropping a 6-2 match to state alternate Logan Stiner in the semis. Jon would break out of the mid season doldrums in a big way at BG. He had the misfortune of drawing state finalist Josh Mossing in the opening round, but kept it respectable in a 3-1 defeat. Watkins went on a consolation tear akin to the one he had at Gorman, reeling off four straight wins to qualify for state. He opened with a pin, followed up with a 15-0 tech of Austin Baker (Clyde), stuck Russ Hites (Benjamin Logan) in 39 seconds, and shutout Chris Harris 6-0 to punch through to the Promised Land. After a 4-3 loss to Gene Porter, Watkins went 0-2 in a tough state bracket. The most exciting aspect of Watkins’s 2014 season was his ability to trudge back through the dreaded consolation rounds to earn placement at difficult tournaments. Not many wrestlers have the focus and determination to overcome a first round loss like Watkins did last year. The next step will be for him to prove to himself that he can go on a run like that in Columbus, be it in the championship or consolation rounds.
Seth Boggs is an explosive scorer, pulling off an inordinate amount of pins for a middle weight. If he can harness that power at the district level, I can’t imagine that he doesn’t make it to state in 2015. Boggs wrestled a crazy number of matches (9) in his run at Medina last year, pinning his first two foes before getting stuck by 4x state placer Cody Burcher (Claymont). He boomeranged back with 4 straight consolation pins including one over state qualifier Jeremy Balboa, one over state qualifier Jason Sadler (Rootstown), and one over 2x state placer Andy Dobben (CVCA). After being pinned by Michigan state champion Myles Amine (Detroit C.C.), Boggs closed out in 5th place with a 5-3 win over state alternate Cody Notestine (Pickerington N.). Later in the year, he posted a back and forth Gorman tournament, defeating state placer Derek Gross by pin and 16-6 in two matches, but losing 9-5 to state placer Josh Weber (Loudonville) and 10-3 to Watkins while placing 5th. Boggs went 1-2 at Marion County while losing to two state placers, and defaulted out of Top Gun after starting at 2-1. Seth won the SBC tournament with an overtime pin of Austin Baker in the finals, after sticking Jeremy Balboa in the first period of the semis. Boggs won the sectional title handily with two techs and two pins. He finished at 2-2 during the district tournament, pinning in both wins but falling to Josh Mossing (11-5) and state qualifier Gene Porter (11-9) who he had pinned in an early season dual. If Boggs and Watkins are in prime form, we could see some fireworks at BG. With Boggs’s propensity to pin and Watkins consolation prowess, this weight class could be a must watch.
Drew Kinzel will be looking to make a return trip to glory and earn his second state tournament trip in 2015 after a rough 2014 district tournament. The end of the year was not indicative of what a quality season Drew put forth. Kinzel finished 4th at North Canton last December and pulled off the same placement at the JC Gorman a few weeks later. The Gorman tournament saw him defeat state placer Derek Gross 4-3 in a consolation semifinal, before the previously mentioned loss to Jon Watkins. Kinzel would finish 3-2 at Marion County, losing to two state placers and later snagged 3rd at Pleasant. After winning the OCC tournament with a 6-1 victory over Jon Watkins, Kinzel finished 2nd to Logan Stiner at sectionals. Drew finished 0-2 at BG, losing a tight 7-6 bout with Gene Porter in the first round before falling 5-1 to a tough Russ Hites in his consolation bout. Kinzel won’t have another 0-2 district this year, though he’ll certainly have to be at his best if he wants to make it out of this dense field.
I put middle school state placer Hunter Yackee at this weight though he could reside at 132, where he wrestled last season. The Wauseon freshman was 3rd at the Covelli Center last year and will have 3x state placer Wade Hodges to show him the ropes in 2015.
Austin Baker and Chris Harris are two other significant factors around this weight. Baker posted a pin over Seth Boggs in the regional semifinals of the state duals tournament and pinned Chris Harris in the sectional semifinals. Harris was a match away from state after pinning state qualifier Gene Porter in the district quarters last year.

152-
1. Richard Jackson-Toledo C.C. (SQ)
2. Ben Petersen-Oak Harbor (8th state)
3. Derek Kuhlman-Shawnee (Lima) (5th district)
4. Dallas Ambos-Wapakoneta (SQ)
5. Chuck Mikelait-Lexington
*6. Colin Wilson-Monroe*

I feel like Richard Jackson could be anywhere from 145 to 160 this year, but he’ll certainly be an impact performer no matter what weight he opts for. Only a sophomore in 2014, Jackson qualified for state while wrestling in the middle of Central Catholic’s talented line-up. Sandwiched in between the two state finalist Mossing boys, he made his first district final and lost a pair of razor thin matches at state. Jackson went 3-2 at Brecksville early in the year before finishing 3rd at CIT. His only loss at the Catholic Invitational was a 2-1 semifinal bout with D-1 state qualifier Dakota Stephens (St. Xavier). He mounted a two bout comeback culminating in the bronze after defeating talented freshman Tristan Brady (St. Ignatius) in sudden victory in the consolation finals. Jackson defeated state qualifier Dallas Ambos 3-2 in the regional finals of the state duals before finishing 2nd to state finalist Trey Grine (Fremont Ross) at the TRAC tournament. Richard also posted a 7-3 win over Chuck Mikelait in the state duals quarterfinal; a relevant win considering those two could see each other in a go-to-state match in 2015. Jackson won the sectional title over state placer Ben Petersen with a 10-7 triumph in the title match. He pinned his first district foe before shutting down an adroit Jacob Kluding (Norwalk) 9-2 in the quarters, before moving on to the finals with a workman like 5-1 win over Andy Garwood (Celina) in the semis. Jackson kept it respectable despite falling to state finalist Beau Minnick (Clyde) in an 8-4 district championship showdown. Jackson would draw state placer Andy Dobben in the first round of the state tournament, and take the CVCA junior into overtime before falling 4-2 in the tiebreak. Jackson’s next match would be his last as he lost 6-5 to Tyler Sowards (Kenton Ridge). Jackson climbed from district placer to state qualifier in his first two tours of varsity duty, so it’ll be worth watching to see how much better he can get with another year under his belt.
Ben Petersen really improved nicely last year, finishing with his first state medal as a junior in 2014. Early in the year he beat eventual state placer Kristian Jackson (Alliance) at the Oak Harbor duals and won the tournament title at Bellevue. Though Petersen lost his opening bout at Medina to returning state finalist Logan Day (Archbold), he battled back with three straight wins including a pin over Chuck Mikelait before falling 9-5 to state alternate Nick Notestine (Pickerington N.). Petersen made the finals at Perrysburg with a 5-0 win over state qualifier Sean Vasquez (Fremont St. Joe’s) but finished 2nd to Seth Meyer (Defiance) dropping a 6-1 finals match. Ben would finish 7th at Clay where he pinned both district placer Matt Waltermeyer (Perrysburg) and a solid Blake Dixon (Brush) in the 7th place bout. Petersen finished 2nd to Beau Minnick at the SBC tournament and 2nd to Richard Jackson at sectionals. His two sectional wins were a pin over Roman Williams (Columbian) and a 7-0 shutout over district placer Andy Garwood, both quality victories. Petersen advanced to the district semis with a 9-6 win over state qualifier Dallas Ambos, but was defeated by Beau Minnick in the semis. He rebounded with a 4-2 win over Derek Kuhlman to advance to his first state tournament, and posted a 4-3 win over Ambos in the consolation finals for good measure. Peterson kept it close despite losing 3-2 in the opening round of the state tournament to Nick Wrobel (Crestwood). He got the third period stick in his first consolation bout, pinning Bailey Jenkins (Meadowbrook) at 4:41. Even more impressive was Petersen’s fall in his match to place with Alliance District champ Zack Lake. Petersen pinned Lake in 3:48, earning him his first trip to the medal stand. Ben lost a 6-3 match with Caden Herron (Claymont) in the consolation quarters dropping him into a rematch with Nick Wrobel for 7th place. The second match mirrored the first in terms of margin as Wrobel emerged with the 6-5 victory. Though he finished 8th last year, Oak Harbor wrestlers have a habit of exceeding their placement of the previous year, making Petersen another one to watch in 2015.
Derek Kuhlman was the centerpiece of what could have been three state qualifiers contending for state placement for Shawnee, but with the departures of Hefner and Lucas to D-3, He’ll be the undisputed leader of this team. Kuhlman won the Allen County tournament in December, but lost a close 4-2 match with Andy Garwood in their dual meet. He defeated Roman Williams and Austin Williams (Steele) on the way to a 4th place finish at Clay where he lost 6-3 to D-2 bronze medalist Heath Lange (Indian Lake). Kuhlman claimed a 5-3 dual meet win over Dallas Ambos in late January, and then defeated Ambos again 11-0 for the WBL tournament title. He finished 2nd to Minnick at sectionals beating two good wrestlers in the quarters and semis in Seth Meyer (1-0) and Jacob Kluding (3-2). Kuhlman advanced to the district quarters but dropped a second match to Garwood (5-4), sending him into the consolation rounds. After a 13-1 major in his opening consolation match, Kuhlman defeated Colin Wilson 2-0 to emerge as a consolation semifinalist. He lost a 4-2 bout with state placer Ben Petersen to go to state, but found a bit of redemption in the 5th place match with a pin over Garwood after his two previous losses to the same wrestler. He’ll be a prime contender for state qualification in 2015, and with the previous wins over Ambos, he knows he can beat state caliber wrestlers.
Based on how he continued to climb the ladder improvement last season, I may be vastly underrating Dallas Ambos. He got a bit of a late start, missing GMVWA but returning for Top Gun where he went 2-2. Despite a one-sided loss to Kuhlman in the WBL finals, Ambos showed he was on the right track with a 3-2 win over Seth Meyer in the semis. He finished 4th at sectionals, which seems underwhelming at first blush, but he had a second nice win over Meyer in OT to advance to the district tournament. His only losses were to state placer Beau Minnick and Jacob Kluding, both high quality foes. Ambos opened his district tournament with a nice 5-3 win over sectional champ Colin Wilson, but fell to Ben Petersen in the quarters. He had two close consolation bouts with a 2-1 win over Gabe Callicoat (Tippecanoe) and a 5-3 win over Chuck Mikelait to reach the consolation semis. Ambos secured his first spot in the state tournament with an emphatic 10-2 major over Andy Garwood before dropping a one point match with Petersen in the rematch for 3rd place. He opened state with district champ Zack Lake (Coventry) and took him to the limit before falling 7-6 in the tiebreak. After a 5-1 win over Shawn Livingston (Steubenville), Ambos lost 9-4 to Nick Wrobel in the placement match. After a 2-2 Top Gun and a 4th place sectional tournament, Ambos finished a match away from a state medal, which bodes well for his 2015 prospects.
Chuck Mikelait won an early season dual match over district placer Matt Waltermeyer 10-7, but ended up 2-2 at the tough MIT. He won the OCC tournament title over Tyler Wilson (Ashland) 18-11 and moved on to a sectional title after rolling through the field with a pin a tech, and a major. Mikelait suffered a 10-1 setback to Andy Garwood in the opening round of the district tournament before returning with two consecutive pins over Lyndon Eagle (Carroll) and Roman Williams. Mikelait would end his season a mere match shy of district placement losing 5-3 to Dallas Ambos. The ability of Mikelait to qualify and score at state will be a major factor in the team placement of Lexington who could end up with multiple state finalists.
Colin Wilson was also a match away from placement at BG last year. He won a tournament title at Madeira in January before finishing 5th at Fairfield. Wilson made the drop from 152 to 145 at the SWBL tournament where he finished 3rd with a lone loss to state placer Tyler Wiederholt (Bellbrook). Wilson won the sectional title over a solid Gabe Callicoat 11-7, but dropped his opening match at BG to Ambos by two points. After a first consolation win, Wilson advanced via disqualification in his match with Jacob Kluding before falling in a close 2-0 match with Kuhlman.
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Old 11-07-14, 01:11 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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160-
*1. Connor Rogers-Spr. Northwestern* (5th district)
*2. Jack Peura-Tippecanoe* (5th district 2013)
3. Ben Fuller-Sandusky (6th district)
4. Robbie Bowers-Defiance
5. Roman Williams-Columbian
6. Brody Henning-Oak Harbor

Devin isn’t the only Rogers seeking a district title in 2015. Connor finished just a whisper away from state in 2015, and should be considered a favorite with the graduation of all four of the wrestlers that finished ahead of him at the district tournament. Connor placed 4th at Hoover early last year defeating state qualifier Cody Dingess (West Jefferson) 6-2 and dropping a pair of decisions to state placer Robbie Bosley (Wadsworth). Rogers would finish 2nd to state qualifier Caleb Llanesza (Westerville S.) at Marion Harding and 5th at the CBC tournament He pulled out a win over Jack Peura in the sectional finals, winning the match 5-3 over a wrestler who could be one of his biggest threats in the district title hunt this year. After trudging on the to district semis at BG, Rogers lost 9-2 to 2x state champ Alex Mossing and dropped a close 2-0 bout to Mason Correll (Columbian) in the district semis. He posted an exclamation point on his season with a 14-3 drubbing of Ben Fuller to finish 5th at the district. With the wins over both Peura and Fuller at the end of the year, Rogers has placed himself at the forefront of the district title picture going into the new season.
Jack Peura placed at the district tournament as a freshman in 2013, finishing a match shy of the state tournament. Last year he finished at 2-2 during the BG district tournament, but still took steps forward in terms of his development as a wrestler. Last season as a sophomore, Peura won his home tournament at Tippecanoe and finished 3rd at Troy while giving state qualifier Jordan Paul (Loveland) a game bout in a 10-5 defeat. Later, Peura won the tournament title at Lima Senior and put up a 13-5 score in a win against state qualifier Logan Hartman (Mechanicsburg). Next he would peg a 4th place finish at the CBC tournament before finishing 2nd to Rogers at the sectional tourney. Peura majored district placer Ben Fuller 13-5 in the opening round at BG, but did not end up placing as high as Fuller due to bracketing. Peura’s two losses were to state finalist Mike Repko (Vermillion) and state qualifier mason Correll (5-0). He’ll need to make steady improvements in 2015, but it’s not a stretch to imagine the talented underclassman with a district gold medal and a state tournament medal around his neck by the end of the season.
Ben Fuller cobbled together a respectable season during a junior year that culminated in his first district medal. Fuller was 3-2 at Clay, hanging tough with state qualifier Lucas Staten (Mt. Vernon) in a 10-7 loss. Fuller trooped through Wadsworth (finishing 6th), the NOL tournament (3rd) and sectionals (3rd) where he split two matches with Brody Hennig. After his opening round loss to Peura at BG, Fuller trekked back through the consolation bracket with 3 straight wins (one was a default win over Robbie Bowers) which placed him in the consolation semis. Fuller wrestled possibly his most impressive match of the year in the go-to-state match with state finalist Mike Repko, keeping it close but falling short in a 9-8 scuffle.
Robbie Bowers is one of the many young talents on a deep and underrated Defiance team. Among his wins during a great freshman season was a 4-3 win over state qualifier Lincoln Parsley (Archbold) and a 4-2 defeat of district placer Andy Garwood (Celina) who was a very respectable senior last year. Bowers finished 2nd to J.P. Newton at Perrysburg, besting Brody Hennig 4-3 in the quarters before falling to the state bronze medalist in the finals. Robbie finished 5th at Clay, ending his tournament with a 10-9 win over hometown wrestler Andrew Howard in the 5th place finals. Bowers won his league tournament, defeating Andy Garwood a second time in the finals. He would place second at sectionals, falling 11-3 to 2x state placer Blake Miller (Clyde) for the title. Bowers defeated Austin Kinzel (Clear Fork) 5-2 to open his district tournament, but was not so fortunate in the quarters against 2x state champ Alex Mossing who teched Bowers 16-1. The freshman rebounded nicely with an 18-5 smashing of a good Ian Standen (Brookside) before having to default in his match with Ben Fuller.
Roman Williams is another key contender at this weight class, who’ll be looking to follow in the footsteps of another great Columbian Williams, state champion Seth. He finished 2nd to state finalist Trey Grine (Fremont Ross) at Columbian last season, grabbing a respectable 9-0 win over state qualifier Gene Porter (Sandusky) in the semis. Williams would finish 6th at Clay, defeating Blake Dixon (Brush) 3-0 along the way. He won the NOL tournament over a capable Jacob Kluding (Norwalk) with a 3-1 win in sudden victory. Williams was 3rd at his sectional, defeating Nick Flowers (Galion) 6-4 to advance to the district tournament, and pinning district placer Andy Garwood (Celina) in the consolation finals. After opening his district tournament with a pin, Williams was defeated 15-7 by state finalist Beau Minnick (Clyde) and was pinned in the consolation rounds by Chuck Mikelait (Lexington). Williams will be a factor at these dense but open middle weights as he looks to keep Columbian’s run of state qualifiers alive in 2015.
Brody Hennig could be one of the next to emerge in a long line of Oak Harbor state qualifiers. One of the better public school teams in D-2, Oak Harbor constantly churns out state caliber wrestlers. Henning wrestled all over the map last year from 152 up to 170. He snagged a 6th place finish at Bellevue early in the year, and finished 7th at Perrysburg, both at 152. Hennig also finished 3rd at the SBC tournament where he lost only to 2x state placer Blake Miller (Clyde). Though he finished 4th at his sectional, Henning split two matches with district placer Ben Fuller, defeating him 10-9 in the first round before falling 6-3 to Fuller in the consolation finals. He ended at 0-2 at BG, but he’ll only get better in 2015 with the coaching staff at Oak Harbor and the

170-
1. Tre Campbell-Wauseon (4th state)
2. Lucas Beauch-Toledo C.C. (SQ)
3. Anthony Arroyo-Maumee (5th district)
*4. Cole Smith-Tippecanoe*
5. Heath Newman-Wapakoneta (5th district)
6. Jaden Heitkamp-Memorial

Wauseon will once again put a fine team out on the mat for the upcoming season, lead by wrestlers like 3x state placer Wade Hodges and the district favorite at this weight, state placer Tre Campbell. The team wrestles an admirable schedule with several top tournaments and quality duals providing stern tests before the post season tournament process. Campbell took his lumps along the way during this brutal schedule, but was battle tested at the end of the year, finishing 4th in the state despite being only a sophomore. Tre went undefeated at the Archbold duals last year, picking up a victory over state qualifier Dan Waltermeyer (Perrysburg) along the road. Campbell finished 5th at Brecksville wrestling 7 matches, all against quality opponents. His most notable victories were a pair of wins against state placer Alexander Bair (Centerville) and a pin over district placer Tyler Workman (Elyria) in the 5th place bout. The two losses were to 4x state placer Tyler Fahrer (Delta) and to 2x state placer Austin Strnad (Brecksville). Campbell placed 2nd to Fahrer at Perrysburg and snagged 4th place at Clay where he pinned state qualifier Peyton Geary (Fremont Ross) but dropped a pair of identical 5-0 matches to state qualifier Mike Wearsch (Steele) in the quarterfinals and consolation finals. Campbell would again finish 2nd to Fahrer at the NWOAL tournament two weeks before grabbing 2nd at sectionals. Tre posted an impressive 9-1 win over state qualifier Lucas Beauch in the sectional semis, but was thwarted by state alternate Anthony Arroyo 5-3 in the championship match. Campbell was dominant at the district tournament despite coming in as a sectional 2. He teched his first opponent, majored a very good Cole Smith 11-2, pinned Dom Ruma (Bay ) in the semis, and stormed to a 12-0 win over senior Aldin Leaker (Eaton) in the finals to win his first district title. Campbell continued his success at state with a 17-3 win in the opening round and a pin of state placer Owen Shoemaker (London) in the quarters. Tre was pinned by 2x state champ Alex Marinelli (Graham) in the semis, but showed no ill effects in the consolation semis with a 3-2 win over the senior district champ Alonzo Turner (Harvey). Campbell would be pinned by double bronze medalist Ben Schram (Bellbrook ) in the consolation finals, putting a minor blemish on an outstanding sophomore year. Though Campbell may be behind the likes of Marinelli and Schram at this weight, he seems to be experiencing the sharpest climb in improvement in the weight class, making this class all the more exciting for 2015.
Lucas Beauch has crazy upside. If he can gain the consistency to match his upside, there’s no one in the state he can’t beat. It’s not as if he suffered bad losses last year, but with the quality of his top wins, it’s reasonable to expect an even greater performance in 2015. Beauch was 3-2 at Brecksville last season losing a pair of one point matches, and he bettered that result at CIT, winning the tournament title in impressive fashion. At the latter tournament, he pinned state qualifier Austin Bohenek (Moeller) in the quarters before earning a 3-1 victory over state placer Matt Ludwig (Lake Cath.) in the finals. Later in the season, Beauch won a 2-0 OT bout with Tre Campbell in the regional semis of the state duals tournament. He would place 2nd to state placer Nick Stencel (Clay) at the TRAC tournament, besting state qualifier Peyton Geary (Fremont Ross) 5-3 in the semifinals. The next week, Lucas would pull off the biggest upset of the state duals tournament when he defeated 2x state champion Alex Marinelli 8-6, becoming only the second Ohio wrestler to defeat Marinelli in his high school career. The other was Fargo national champion Markus Scheidel (St. Edward). That caliber of win doesn’t come along to often, and it has to serve as an indicator to Beauch that there is no one that he cannot hang with if he brings his A-game. A week later, Beauch hit a bit of a lull, finishing 4th at his sectional while losing 9-1 to Tre Campbell, who he had beaten previously, and getting pinned by returning state placer Alex Kenner (Upper Sandusky). Beauch won his opening bout at BG, but was pinned in the quarters by state qualifier Aldin Leaker. Beauch came back with a workman like approach in the consolation rounds posting wins of 3-0, 9-3, 3-1 and 7-6 to finish 3rd and qualify for his first state tournament. The last win was a rematch with Alex Kenner who had defeated Beauch for 3rd at sectionals. Beauch had the misfortune of drawing 2x state placer Ben Schram in the opening round and fell by a close 3-2 score. After earning the emphatic pin over Mason Hughes (West Branch) in the first consolation round, Beauch had a rematch with Matt Ludwig who he had beaten for the CIT championship. It would be Ludwig who emerged victorious this time, staking claim to a 3-2 victory to earn placement. Though I’m sure it was a disappointing end to an otherwise impressive season for Beauch, it can provide the right kind of motivation if looked at properly. Beauch already knows that he can compete with anyone in the state, and yet he should know that there is still work to be done if he hopes to reach his goals in 2015.
Anthony Arroyo is a very good wrestler who produced an excellent sectional run last year. If he can wrestle at the district and state tournaments like he did at sectionals, he’ll certainly be on the podium. Over the holidays, Arroyo finished 5th at Columbian while wrestling up at 170. He made the drop to 160 after the new year, where he finished 2nd at the NLL tournament. There he picked up a respectable 10-7 win over Collin Keil (Anthony Wayne) in the semis after being pinned by Keil in their dual. At the sectional tournament, Arroyo pinned his first three opponents, the most notable being Alex Kenner who had finished 6th at state in D-3 the prior season. Anthony capped of his outstanding sectional with a 5-3 win over state placer Tre Campbell. It was more of the same for the opening two rounds at BG, as Arroyo soldiered on to the district semis. Here he would be pinned by Aldin Leaker, setting up a rematch with Alex Kenner to advance to state. The second showdown would be far less fortuitous for the Maumee junior as he fell 20-11 to Kenner. Down but not done, Arroyo pinned Dom Ruma (Bay) to finish as the state alternate out of the district.
Cole Smith is in the middle of a solid run of potential state qualifiers for Tippecanoe. He finished a match shy of placement at BG last year as a junior, and certainly has the goods to advance in 2015. His most impressive win of the year may have come in a state duals bout with state placer Owen Shoemaker that Smith won 7-1. Cole defeated state qualifier Aldin Leaker 10-9 at Eaton, and finished 4th at the CBC tournament a week later. Smith showed that he had Leaker’s number at sectionals claiming a second win in a 13-11 dogfight. He finished 2-2 at BG, losing to state placers Tre Campbell and Alex Kenner, while Leaker went on to finish 2nd at the district. Though we can’t know how the districts will break down year, Smith will definitely be a contender for qualification at either at the northwest district or Southeastern.
Heath Newman really kicked his performance up a gear for the post season in 2014. You’ve gotta love those gamers who save their best for last, and another season of improvement could see Newman in the state tournament. Heath was 2-2 at the GMVWA and 1-2 at Top Gun, finishing on the wrong end of three pins in those four losses. He would tighten up his performance at the WBL tournament finishing 2nd to state placer Dylan Hefner in a 6-4 finals bout. Once sectional rolled around, Newman was ready to rumble. He claimed a sectional title at BG beating state qualifier Alex Tetzloff 6-3 in the semis and overcoming another explosive state qualifier in Brock Nagel (Bryan) 12-10 in the finals. Newman opened BG with a 17-8 major but was pinned by returning state finalist Aaron Schuette in the quarters. After a pair of consolation wins, Newman had a rematch with Alex Tetzloff to go to state, but was pinned in the third period. Newman seemed to take out the disappointment of the previous match on Alex Wilk who he teched 19-4 in the 5th place final. Newman and state qualifier Landon Hall should help push each other in their quest for state medals in 2015.
Jaden Heitkamp was a match from district placement in 2014 for St. Mary’s. Heitkamp placed 5th at Marion Harding while down at 152 over the holiday break, and won his conference title at the WBL tournament. After another tournament title at Rossford, Heitkamp finished 2nd at sectionals to senior C.J. Matheny (Fostoria). After a rough 27-12 defeat at the hands of state placer Alex Kenner, Heitkamp won two consolation bouts, setting up a match to place with Lucas Beauch. Though he would fall 9-3 to the state qualifier, it showed that Heitkamp can keep it close with top level wrestlers, providing a solid stepping stone to build off of in 2015.

182-
1. Drew Kasper-Lexington (SQ)
*2. Austin Robbins-Tippecanoe* (SQ)
3. Landon Hall-Wapakoneta (SQ)
4. Garit Witt-Clyde (6th district)
5. Colin Kaucher-Toledo C.C.
6. Cahle Puhl-Maumee

Drew Kasper built a phenomenal season last year stringing together multiple tournament titles and notable wins. Unfortunately, the Lexington wrestler lost to wrestlers that placed 3rd and 4th in the state in 2013 in consecutive matches at the Schott, finishing just shy of placement. Early last season, Kasper claimed an 11-4 win over Devin Bouza (Tinora) at the Archbold duals. Bouza would go on to finish 4th at state in D-3 at year’s end. Drew finished 4th at Medina, picking up a notable 3-1 win over 2x state placer Kile Schaefer (W.S. Northwestern) in the quarterfinals before suffering a pair of lopsided losses to state placers Nate Hall (Olentangy) and Gabe Dzuro (St. Edward). Kasper looked even better at the JC Gorman, where he won the tournament title while corralling wins over district placer Dylan Hermes (Perkins) and state placer Traevon Dickerson (Mansfield Senior) in the semis and finals respectively. He went on to win the OCC tournament and then claim the sectional title two weeks later, beating 2x state placer Jacob Worthington (Keystone) 7-4 in the finals. Kasper pinned state placer Dylan Hefner (L. Shawnee) in the quarters at the Bowling Green District Tournament and defeated Jacob Worthington in the rematch for the district title, this time by a 6-1 score. Kasper opened the state tournament with a 5-4 win over 3x state qualifier Dallas Lazear (Athens), but he met his match in the quarters against Alec Schenk (Perry) a 2x state 3rd-place finisher. This sent Kasper spiraling into the consolation bracket where he met L.J. Henderson (Indian Lake) who had finished 4th at state in 2013. Henderson came away with an 8-5 victory ending Kasper’s season. I’ll be surprised if Kasper doesn’t place at the state tournament this year. With a training partner like Faust, and a staff as good as they have at Lexington, Drew will have a legitimate shot at the state finals in 2015.
Austin Robbins, like Drew Kasper was 1-2 at state last year, and like Kasper, his two losses were to wrestlers that have top 4 finishes at state. Early in the season, Robbins won a dual match with D-3 bronze medalist Zach Sullivan (National Trail) by a 9-5 score, but he later finished 2nd at Tippecanoe to the same wrestler, losing 10-5 in the finals. Robbins finished 3rd at Troy, where his only blemish was a semifinal loss to undefeated state champ Joe Heyob (St. Xavier). Robbins won the tournament title at Lima Senior over state qualifier Wes Buettner (Delphos St. John’s), and finished 3rd at the CBC tournament losing to state placer Lane Thomas (Graham). Robbins pinned both opponents at sectionals to win the title, pinned his first opponent at BG and majored Gabe Benjamin 16-7 to make the semis. He lost to returning state finalist Aaron Schuette (Wauseon) in the semis at BG, but rebounded dominantly with a 17-4 win over Alex Wilk (Buckeye) to qualify for state and a 22-4 tech over Alex Tetzloff (Perkins) to secure the bronze medal at BG. Robbins opened his state tournament with a 10-4 win over Zach Gibson (Bloom Carroll), but ran into powerhouse Jimmy Sandlin (Carlisle) in the quarters, who posted a 12-1 win over the Tippecanoe wrestler on his way to the state finals. The consolation rounds would not be much kinder to Robbins, as he drew Zeck Lehman (Revere) in the middle of his stampede through the consolation finals. As good as he looked last year, Robbins has established himself as a medal contender at whatever weight he wrestles at in 2015. Now we’ll see how high he can climb up the mountain.
Landon Hall certainly surprised me by qualifying for state last year. I knew the Wapakoneta freshman was bound for success after a fruitful middle school career, but I didn’t think he would be making his first trek to the Schott as a freshman. Hall started off as many good freshman upper-weights do, competitive but outmatched at times. He finished 0-2 at GMVWA and 3-2 at Top Gun. He started to show that he could hang with the contenders when he lost a 6-4 bout to state placer Dylan Hefner and a 4-1 bout to Colin Kaucher. Hall won the WBL but finished 4th at a deep sectional tournament, losing to district placer Dylan Hermes and again to Dylan Hefner. Landon reversed the previous result against sectional champ Colin Kaucher, defeating the Toledo C.C. wrestler 3-2 in the opening round at BG. Getting pinned by state placer Jacob Worthington didn’t slow down Hall, who beat Cahle Puhl (Maumee) 5-0, senior Cody Wright (Bay) and Garit Witt 3-1 in consecutive matches to punch through to state. He lost to Dylan Hefner for the third time on the year (2-0) to finish in 4th. That would set Hall up with a first round state tournament match up against one of the title favorites Jack Harris (Urbana). The freshman kept the bout close but ultimately fell by a 2-1 score. Hall was pinned by Ahmad Khatib (Revere) in his first wrestle-back match to exit the tournament on Thursday. The sky’s the limit for the sophomore in 2015, and if he can improve as much as he did last year, he’ll be dangerous to anyone at this weight and may well land on the podium.
Colin Kaucher made a late debut for Central Catholic, but he had an immediate impact when he entered the fray. Kaucher posted a 4-1 win over Landon Hall at the state duals and won the TRAC tournament late in the season. Building off of that, Kaucher fought his way to a sectional title, but he would be upended by Landon Hall in the opening round of the BG district tournament. After a consolation pin, Kaucher lost a razor thin 1-0 bout to state placer Dylan Hefner in the wrestle backs to end at 1-2. Hopefully, Kaucher will get a full season under his belt in 2015, and he’ll be ready to make a run at Columbus.
Garit Witt, like a number of other Clyde wrestlers, missed the early portion of the season but was highly competitive at tournament time. He went 3-2 at Brecksville and finished 3rd at the SBC tournament, where his lone loss was 6-4 to state alternate Dylan Hermes. Witt finished 2nd, again to Hermes at sectionals, after winning a huge 6-5 semifinal over state placer Dylan Hefner. He emerged as a semifinalist at BG with wins over Alec Vonier (Wauseon) and Joe Rindfleisch (Bellefontaine) in the opening two rounds. Witt took district champ Drew Kasper to the wire in the semis in a 7-6 tiebreak loss that was Kasper’s closest of the tournament. This dropped Witt into a consolation match with Landon Hall to go to state, and the freshman Hall would emerge with the 3-1 win over the sophomore Witt. Garit dropped one more devastatingly close match in his 5th place bout with Dylan Hermes, losing 1-0 to the Perkins senior to end his season. I always root for good wrestlers that came so close to state one year, to punch through the next year, and Witt will certainly be on my list in 2015. With his ability and the Clyde program, he should make it to state sooner rather than later.
Cahle Puhl went 1-2 at BG last year in one of the many loaded weight classes. 2015 is a new year, and Puhl has the making of a wrestler that could stand up and make noise at an already talented weight if he continues to demonstrate improvement. Puhl finished 2nd to district placer
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Old 11-07-14, 01:12 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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195-
1. Bailey Faust-Lexington (5th state)
2. Colton Brown-Wapakoneta (SQ)
3. Sylas Smith-Kenton
4. Michael Gregory-Toledo C.C.
5. Tony Banister-Wauseon
6. Zach Morris-Defiance

Bailey Faust was spectacular last year, but had his worst run at the most inopportune time. It’s possible that he just had a bad stretch, or maybe his opponents just figured out how to wrestle him. Either way, it’ll be hard to count him out as a state title favorite this season. If we’re counting the off-season, Bailey Faust beat all three Ohio state champions at 195 last year. He looked dominant throughout most of his junior campaign, following in the footsteps of teammate Josh Lehner who won the 195 state title the two years prior. Faust pinned his way to gold at Medina, sticking state placer John Workman (Perkins), Michigan state bronze medalist Nick Giese (Detroit C.C.), and D-2 state champ Tyler MacLellan (CVCA) sequentially in his final three bouts. At the JC Gorman, Bailey would earn an 8-0 major over D-3 state champion Ryan Weber (Loudonville) in the finals. He even bumped up to 220 for his conference tournament, where he pinned all three opponents before the start of the third period. Hidden in his pile of phenomenal wins was and early season stick of D-1 state 3rd place finisher Kadin Llewellyn (Perrysburg) in their dual meet. After pinning his way to the sectional title, Faust continued the trend in the first two rounds at the BG district (with one coming against Sylas Smith). Faust majored returning state qualifier Marshall Messer (Clyde) 15-3 in the semis, but his string of wins was halted abruptly in the finals by state runner-up Isaiah Margheim (Sandusky) in an 8-5 defeat. Bailey opened his state tournament with another pin, but was stifled in the quarterfinals, losing 2-0 to Tyler MacLellan who he had pinned in the finals at Medina. Faust came back with wins over Nate Gray (Claymont) and John Workman to reach the consolation semis, but dropped a bout with Kyle Kremiller (Perry) 8-2 to fall into the 5th place bout. Despite the setback, Faust would finish strong with a 15-6 major over Josh Couchman (Graham) to end his year on a high note. After the season, Faust finished 2nd at the competitive Flo Nationals wrestling tournament, earning a 7-5 win over D-1 state champion at Kent State recruit Kyle Conel (Lakeside) in the semis. The exciting Faust will get another shot at the throne in 2015, but with Kyle Kremiller likely returning to this weight and the possibility of Sean Rutherford making the drop from 220, the title if far from a sure thing. However, it’s hard to see anyone with a greater upside than the eruptive Faust who racks up so many falls.
Colton Brown jumped onto the scene at this weight last year, ending just a match shy of state placement during his junior tenure. His first major tournament was at Top Gun, where he finished 8th and posted wins over state qualifier Nate Gray and district placer Chad Ely (Riverside) in the first two rounds before facing a 6-2 setback at the hands of state champ Tyler MacLellan. Brown won the WBL tournament, majoring D-3 state qualifier Derek Ebbeskotte (Ottawa Glandorf) 15-4 in the semis and besting state alternate Tyler Smith 5-4 in the finals. He would claim 3rd at sectionals, pinning a tough Sylas Smith in the consolation finals after losing a 4-3 semifinal to state placer John Workman. Brown pinned his first opponent at BG in 27 seconds before losing a close 8-7 bout to returning state finalist Isaiah Margheim. He bounded back with a 5-2 win over Sylas Smith, a 3-2 win over Michael Gregory, and a 2-1 OT win over returning state qualifier Marshall Messer (Clyde) to punch a ticket to state. After a second one point loss to Workman, Brown opened his state tournament against returning state placer Clayton Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe) and was at the losing end of a second period pin. He rebounded with a pin of James Ritchie (Carlisle) on Thursday night, setting up a match with John Workman for a third week in a row. Workman would prove to be Brown’s Achilles’ heal, as he defeated Colton 5-3 for his third victory of the year over the Wapakoneta wrestler. Making it out of BG will certainly be no cake walk for Brown this year, but given the fact that he has already defeated some of the top wrestlers returning to this weight, and that he went one point with Margheim show that Brown has the skills and drive to emerge once again.
Sylas Smith is another legit contender for state at this weight, wrestling well for Kenton as a junior last year. Smith won the Bucyrus, Lima C.C., and Pleasant tournaments over the course of last season. His 5-4 finals win at Lima was over state qualifier Derek Ebbeskotte, and his victory in the Pleasant finals was a 2-1 win over state qualifier Dylan Robertson (Upper Sandusky). Smith had a bit of a rough sectional, dropping a semifinal match with Marshall Messer 11-2 and suffering a pin at the hands of Colton Brown in the consolation finals. This set him up with a first round showdown against juggernaut Bailey Faust at BG, and Smith was subsequently pinned. He rebounded with a consolation win, and wrestled a closer 5-2 match with Brown in their district showdown, but was eliminated from the tournament.
Michael Gregory also wrestled a number of close matches last year, going 2-2 at BG with his two losses being by a combined two points. After a rough 1-2 Brecksville, Gregory won a dual meet match with district placer Zach Uram (Tol. DeSales) 8-3. He carried that success into the CIT, where he finished 4th, dropping a 1-0 and a 3-0 match with state placer Jack Huffman (Lima C.C.). During Central Catholic’s run in the dual meet state tournament, Gregory defeated Tony Banister 4-3 in OT. He finished 3rd at the TRAC tournament and 4th at sectionals where he again defeated Banister by a narrow margin, this time 5-4 in the go-to-district bout. His only losses were a pair of close matches with returning state qualifier Dylan Robertson in the quarters and consolation finals. Gregory stormed out to a 9-0 win in his first district bout before the 4-3 loss to state placer John Workman in the quarters. He persevered with a 3-1 win over Shane Dodd (Tippecanoe) in the next round, but his run of success ended in the consolation quarters in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Colton Brown. I always fear low-balling the wrestler from great programs such as Central Catholic because of the school’s ability to progress their athletes to the next level. That being said, I could absolutely see Gregory on the podium in Columbus at season’s end, but it’ll be up to the wrestler and his coaching staff to get him there.
Tony Banister had a very good freshman stint despite the fact that he did not qualify for the district tournament. Banister defeated a quality Nick Bina (Nordonia) at Brecksville and took solid senior district qualifier Dennis Breeding (Steele) into overtime. He finished 4th at Perrysburg, splitting two matches with sturdy senior Tony Adkins (SVSM) and keeping his bout with state bronze medalist Kadin Llewellyn (Perrysburg) to a 3-1 score. Banister defeated state qualifier Mark Francis (Delta) 4-3 in their dual meet, and knocked off another state qualifier in Kent Petersen (Patrick Henry) 9-2 for the title at the NWOAL tournament. His only losses at sectionals were 5-4 to Michael Gregory and 9-3 to Isaiah Margheim, but it was enough to keep him out of the district tournament. Banister will only be better as a sophomore, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him top 3 at the district by year’s end.
Zach Morris went 3-2 at GMVWA last year while wrestling up at 220, and he gave a tough Adriyel Glass (Princeton) a close match before falling 3-2. Morris was a solid 4th at Perrysburg where he defeated a good Hunter Topolski (Syl. Southview) by pin and a solid Branden Garber (Oak Harbor) 3-2. He had the misfortune of drawing state placer John Workman (Perkins) in the first round of sectionals but rebounded with a pair of consolation wins before falling in overtime to Sylas Smith and closing out as the district alternate.

220-
*1. Chris Norwood-Toledo C.C. (SQ)*
2. Kordell Chaney-Perkins (7th, 6th state)
*3. Ben Stegbauer-Fenwick*
4. Kyle Lhamon-Bath (6th district 2013)
5. Tristen Mallory-Port Clinton (6th district 2014)
6. Braden Garber-Oak Harbor

It doesn’t look like Chris Norwood will be eligible to wrestle this year, but I’ll start the rankings with him in it just in case. If you haven’t read about the kid, you should look up his story. He’s overcome some rough circumstances to become a highly touted D-1 football recruit. Norwood really improved by leaps and bounds as the season progressed last year. He got a late start, probably due to playoff football, but still went 3-2 at Brecksville with a pin over district placer Brandon Truhn (Perry). Norwood demonstrated a great deal of grit and perseverance at the CIT where he was pinned by state qualifier Matt Kuhlmann (St. Xavier) in the opening round but rebounded with 5 straight wins to finish 3rd. The final win was a 12-6 triumph over state qualifier Jared Croswell (Hartley), and he followed up that success with a conference title at the TRAC tournament, defeating Tyler Koester (Clay) 6-1 in the finals. Norwood won a deep sectional tournament at BG by defeating state qualifier Deaken McCoy (Galion) 12-6 in the semis and Tylor Pritchard (Upper Sandusky) 9-5 in the finals. Pritchard would go on to finish 5th at the state tournament two weeks later. Norwood would stake a spot in the state tournament a week later with a 6-5 win over the senior Mario Bell (Thurgood Marshall), and win the district title outright with a second victory over Deaken McCoy. Chris was the victim of circumstance and an unfortunate bracket at state. He defeated Adontis Watson (Alliance) 3-1 in the opening round, sending Watson onto a consolation path that would end up with him placing 6th. Norwood wound up facing the wrestlers that would finish 2nd and 3rd in the state in consecutive matches. First, he suffered a quarterfinal loss to Garrett Harding (Claymont) who later advanced to the state finals. Next, Norwood would be the second victim of Sean Rutherford’s consolation bracket rampage where he pinned all 5 opponents. Though I’m not optimistic that he’ll get the chance, I’d love to see Norwood have one more opportunity at the state tournament. I wish him the best of luck with his athletic career and his future moving forward.
Kordell Chaney has now strung together two straight phenomenal years to start off his high school career. I have to imagine that he’ll wind up as a state champion as a senior next year, though I’m sure he’ll be looking to win the title a year ahead of schedule in 2015. He finished 8th at Medina last year, but that included a forfeit and a default by him in the last two matches. Chaney’s second round win was an 8-4 victory over fellow sophomore state qualifier Noel Caraballo (Olmsted Falls). He was 2nd to state champ Troy Caldwell (Jonathan Alder) at Marion County where he defeated state qualifier Deaken McCoy (Galion) 11-7 in the semis. Chaney would later finish 8th at Top Gun, defeating state placer Adontis Watson 4-0 in his home gym before getting pinned by state placers Garrett Harding (Claymont) and Andrew Sierawski (Hayes) in the consolation rounds. After winning the SBC tournament and the sectional title, Chaney advanced to the district quarterfinals where he was defeated by Deaken McCoy 5-2 in the rematch of their Marion County semi. Coming back through the consolation bracket, Chaney bested state qualifier Beau Swank (Benjamin Logan) 2-0 and Mario Bell 2-1 in the consolation quarters and semis to advance to his second state tournament. He was pinned by state placer Tylor Pritchard in the consolation finals, finishing the district tournament in 4th place. This set up a first round match up with state placer Dre’K Brumley (SVSM) at the state tournament. Chaney had to default in the match sending him into the wrestle-backs where he faced Daylen Neece (Meigs) on Thursday night. Chaney picked up the pin, setting up a rubber match with Deaken McCoy in a match to make the medal stand. Kordell gutted out a tough 3-2 OT win to earn his second state medal, but suffered a pin in the rematch with Adontis Watson in the consolation quarters. Chaney closed out strong, picking up a 5-2 win over Brumley in a rematch of their first round bout. I’ll be surprised if Chaney doesn’t exceed his placement of the last two years, and he could certainly make a play for the state finals if he continues to improve in the talented Perkins wrestling room.
Ben Stegbauer is going to be an impact wrestler either at the northwest district or Southeastern this year. I actually overlooked him, so I’ve got to thank Boro for his rankings or I never would have given him the recognition he deserved coming into the season. Ben won his home tournament last November, pinning all five of his opponents in the first or second periods. Stegbauer posted a nice 6-4 win over district placer John Byus in his home tournament at Gallia Academy, where he finished 3rd after a 5-2 loss to state qualifier Daylen Neece (Meigs). Stegbauer finished 3rd at Tippecanoe, where his only loss was 4-1 to district placer Mario Bell (Thurgood Marshall), and he continued the trend at sectionals where he was also 3rd after a 7-4 loss to Bell. Stegbauer would go 1-2 at BG which was respectable considering one of the losses was 3-2 to state alternate Tyler Jacobs (Bowling Green) and the other was a 6-1 loss to 2x state placer Kordell Chaney in the consolation rounds.
Kyle Lhamon was a district placer as a freshman two years ago in D-3. Last season he, along with the rest of the Bath team made the jump to D-2. Although Kyle did not fare as well in terms of placement (1-2 at BG), he did continue to show improvement, setting him up for a state run in 2015. Last season, he pinned his way to the title at Allen County, sticking Austin Allison (Lima Shawnee) in the finals. Lhamon placed 7th at Clay, defeating Brandon Garber 10-3 in their finals match after losing a one point match to Tyler Koester (Clay) and another decision to district placer Brandon Truhn (Perry). After a 3rd place finish at the WBL tournament, Lhamon finished 4th at the BG sectional, defeating a solid David Bentley (Shelby) twice along the way. After an opening match loss to state qualifier Beau Swank, Lhamon pinned Lexington’s Kendall Kuhn but was defeated the next round by respectable senior Kevin Lockwood (Celina).
Tristen Mallory is a bit of an unknown to me due to the limited Port Clinton results posted. He started last year at 195 where he finished 5th at Columbian, wrestling an 8-4 bout in a loss to state qualifier Dylan Robertson (Upper Sandusky) in the quarterfinals. Mallory would finish 3rd at the SBC tournament, losing to state placer John Workman (Perkins) before pinning Carson Dye (Sandusky St. Mary’s ) for 3rd place. He would finish 5th at sectionals, but his two losses were to state qualifier Deakon McCoy and to the previously mentioned Kevin Lockwood, who bested Mallory 5-4. Upper weights frequently make greater jumps in the standings as juniors and seniors due to the nature of the weights, so I’ll be intrigued to see which names emerge from this district in 2015. Mallory is certainly capable of being one of them.
Branden Garber is another intriguing prospect at this weight. He pulled together a solid season last year as a sophomore but was not in the Oak Harbor line-up come tournament time. If he’s back in 2015, I definitely see him in the state hunt. He won the Bellevue tournament last year before posting a worthy 3-2 performance at Medina that included a 3-2 win over D-1 state qualifier Noel Caraballo. He was 7th at Perrysburg, 8th at Clay, before finishing 3rd at his conference tournament. His only loss at The SBC tournament was 3-2 to district placer Drake Reed (Margaretta) who he defeated by the same score en route to the win at Bellevue.
I have Matt Beniard ranked here where he ended last season rather than 285 where he spent most of the year, though he could be wrestling at either weight in 2015. While up at heavyweight, Beniard finished a respectable 5th at Independence where he pinned a quality Luke Senko (North Royalton), and 6th at the JC Gorman. After a 3rd place at Lorain at 285, Beniard made the drop to 220, where he won the sectional title with a pin over Corbin Chizmadia (Keystone). He had a tough district draw and was out at 0-2 after losses to Kevin Lockwood and Lance Leto (Norwalk).
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Old 11-07-14, 01:12 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Join Date: 10-10-05
Posts: 713
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285-
1. J’Quan Fisher-Toledo C.C. (6th state)
2. T.J. Lawrence-Oak Harbor (8th state 2013)
3. Deaken McCoy-Galion (SQ)
4. Nate Temple-Lexington (7th state)
5. Collin Mange-Clyde (SQ)
6. John Seibert-Defiance (5th district)

Regardless of which southwest teams end up at BG, heavyweight will have impressive depth at this district with three state placers and possibly two state qualifiers returning in 2015. Simply put, this district is obnoxiously good at heavyweight.
J’Quan Fisher bookends the talented Central Catholic squad that will be the favorites to repeat as district champions. Only two seniors graduate from a team that ran away with the district title at the deepest district in D-2. Fisher was one of the most improved heavyweights in the state last year jumping up to a 6th place finish after making the state semis. He started off the year with a deceptive 2-2 finish at Brecksville, where he beat D-1 state placer Josh Burger (Aurora) but lost to defending D-3 state champ Patrick Garren (Ready) and state qualifier Antonio Zapata (Clay). Fisher was a finalist at CIT, besting a very good Joe Hensley (Moeller) in a 2-1 semifinal match before keeping it close in a 3-2 finals rematch with Patrick Garren. He was 2nd to Zapata at the TRAC tournament, and beat Nate Temple 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the state duals. After pinning his way to a sectional title, Fisher methodically worked through a brutal bracket at BG to emerge with his first district championship. He pinned in the first round and pulled off a 5-2 quarterfinal win over a sturdy Grant Moyer (Bellevue). Next, Fisher had his closest match of the tournament, coming away with a 5-4 win over John Seibert to secure his first state tournament birth. Fisher pinned Nate Temple in the finals to put an emphatic exclamation point on the end of a stellar district. J’Quan shutout Cody Martsolf (Beaver Local) 7-0 in the opening round of the state tournament and powered to a 3rd period pin over Kostas Parrish (University) in the quarterfinals. Although Fisher suffered three consecutive pins to end up in 6th place, two of those three wrestlers were seniors, and such is life at heavyweight. This points to a possible state finals birth for Fisher this season, and if he continues to improve, a state title is certainly not out of the question.
T.J. Lawrence had a bizarre season last year; missing major parts due to what I can only assume were injuries. The returning state placer started off by going undefeated at the Oak Harbor Duals and racking up several impressive wins. Lawrence posted triumphs over D-3 state placer Zack Thomas (Van Wert) 7-3, a respectable Shawn Barnes (Alliance), and pinned state qualifier Cody Buckner (Genoa Area) among his victories at the duals. At Medina, Lawrence had a crazy draw and finished 1-2. His lone consolation win was a 5-0 shutout of district champion Gage Archer (Westerville N.), and his two losses were to state qualifiers Jordan Lee (Olmsted Falls) and Kyle Henry (Claymont). Lawrence started off 2-0 at Perrysburg before defaulting out of the tournament, making a return later in the year to win the SBC tournament over state qualifier Collin Mange 4-2. However, he did not participate in the post season tournaments. I fully expect Lawrence to contend for placement once again in 2015 if he is healthy and participating at tournament time.
Deaken McCoy was one of those wrestlers last year that seemed to have a year that was almost too good to not earn a state medal. Yet he fell to the state champ and a 2x state placer in Columbus, ending his season a match shy of the podium. With that extra motivation, it’ll be even harder to keep McCoy of the stand this year. McCoy seems to wrestle a lot of tight matches. This can be either precarious or valuable in the formidable atmosphere of the state tournament. He won the title at Marion Harding last year, earning a 11-10 dogfight victory over state qualifier Mike Mollohan (Mt. Gilead) in the quarters, a 3-2 win over Marcus Molina (Findlay) in the semis and a 4-3 tiebreak win over state alternate Dustin Baker (S. Highland). Baker was one of only two wrestlers to defeat state champ Troy Caldwell last year. After winning another title at the Gorman tournament, McCoy finished 4th at Marion County where he beat state placer Tylor Pritchard (U. Sandusky) 3-1 in the quarters before falling 11-7 to 2x state placer Kordell Chaney and 3-2 to state bronze medalist Travis Jaramillo (Archbold). Deaken made the bump up to heavyweight during the state duals, and defeated Nate Temple 5-2 in their showdown. He finished 3rd at his sectional tournament only losing to district champ Chris Norwood in the semis. McCoy earned a pin in the opening round at the BG district before avenging his earlier loss to Kordell Chaney in a 5-2 quarterfinal win. Deaken would then knock off Tylor Pritchard a second time in a 1-0 semifinal victory to earn a rematch with Norwood. McCoy would fall once again, dropping a 5-3 finals match to finish as the district runner-up. He won his first bout in Columbus 11-5 over Mason Hilling (Woodridge) but was upended in the quarters in a close 3-1 match with state champ Troy Caldwell. McCoy’s placement bout was a rubber-match with Kordell Chaney, but it would be the Perkins sophomore defeating McCoy 3-2 in the tiebreak to earn placement. There were some rumors that McCoy would be transferring to Graham this season, which certainly would have helped their national title hopes, but those rumors seemed to have died down. As it stands, we’re likely to see McCoy wrestling for his home school up at heavyweight. He will be a force for placement whether he opts for 220 or 285, adding depth to an already formidable district tournament.
Lexington has really done an impressive job in developing their upper-weights in recent years, and Nate Temple is a prime example of that. Though he started for the team at points during his sophomore year, Temple was not the starter come tournament time in 2013. Fast forward to a year later and he’s walking away from the Schott with his first state medal in 2014. Temple, like Lawrence went 1-2 at Medina, but also looked respectable in those matches. His first match was a 2-1 OT win over state qualifier Seth Maylor (Perry), while his two losses were to state qualifier Jordan Lee and a respectable Chad Miller (Darby) by one point. He would finish 4th at the Gorman, losing 5-1 to state qualifier Josh Rohrbacher (Perkins) and 4-1 to a very good Grant Moyer (Bellevue). Temple avenged the loss to Rohrbacher by pinning the Perkins wrestler during their state duals showdown. He finished 2nd to Zac Benner (Ashland) at the OCC tournament where he pinned state qualifier Michael Holzworth (Madison Comp.) in the semis. At the sectional tournament, Temple again defeated Holzworth, this time 7-6 for the sectional title. He faced an immediate test at the BG District, drawing Josh Rohrbacher in the opening round. Temple settled the rubber match soundly, pinning Rohrbacher, and followed that up with a stick against Tristan Schroeder (Galion). He pulled off another big win in the semis, defeating state qualifier Collin Mange 7-4 to earn his first trip to the state tournament. After falling to Fisher in the district finals, Temple drew district 3rd, Jaqui Vanmeter in the opening round at state. He claimed a solid 9-2 victory over Vanmeter, setting up a quarterfinal showdown with defending state champ Billy Miller (Perry). Temple was promptly pinned by Miller in the first period, but bounced back with an impressive fall over Gavin Peacock (Ross) to earn state placement. After being pinned by two time bronze medalist Chase Henderson (Franklin), in the consolation quarters, Temple grabbed one more pin, this time over senior Josh Kempf (River View) to finish in 7th place. As he continues to train in Lexington’s room, Temple’s star will continue to rise this year.
Clyde is another squad at BG with a wonderful history of developing upper-weights. They remind me of the Ohio State and previous Penn State football quads that churned out one NFL linebacker after another. From Guhn to Strickland to Moore, Ward, and Smith, state caliber wrestlers are always emerging from Clyde. Collin Mange appears to be the next man up for the Fliers in their line of talented big men. He started a bit late in the season, which I assume was tied to the success of the football team, but still managed to round into shape by years end. Mange was 1-2 at Brecksville in his first major action on the year, losing only to defending state champ Patrick Garren (Ready) 5-0 and state placer Nate Jackson (Dayton Chr.) 3-1. He posted a 7-4 win over state alternate John Seibert at the Delta Duals and pinned state qualifier Josh Rohrbacher on his way to the SBC finals. Here Mange would lose to state placer T.J. Lawrence 4-2. However, he came back strong at sectionals, pinning all three opponents he faced including state qualifier Rohrbacher a second time and John Seibert in their rematch. This set up a favorable district path, lining up Mange with two opponents that he would pin in the first period to reach the district semis. After the previously mentioned loss to Temple, Mange claimed another pin, this time over Logan Ferrell to earn his first state tournament birth. A 3-1 loss to Michael Holzworth in the consolation finals set Mange up with a first round match with district champ Josh Kempf. After being pinned by Kempf, Mange had the misfortune of drawing 2x state bronze medalist Chase Henderson in his first consolation bout. Mange wrestled a respectable 8-6 bout, but was eliminated on Thursday night. Now that Mange has some state experience, another year in the Clyde room should have him in the hunt for placement in Columbus come tournament time.
John Seibert was just a shade behind these top wrestlers last season, and it’s not difficult to see him jumping a few of them to make his first state tournament. Early in the year he was 3-2 at GMVWA, and he finished with the same record at Perrysburg. Seibert finished 7th at Clay, where he was pinned by senior Caleb Neal (Bath) in the consolation quarters. Two weeks later, Seibert defeated Neal 1-0 for the title at the WBL tournament. A few weeks later, he advanced to the sectional finals with a noteworthy 4-1 win over Grant Moyer before falling to Mange in the finals. Like Mange, Seibert defeated both of his first two district opponents to advance to the semifinals. The second win came by a 3-1 score against Logan Ferrell, setting up a semifinal bout with district champ J’Quan Fisher. Despite giving Fisher his best match of the tournament, Seibert fell 5-4 and was subsequently defeated by Michael Holzworth 4-2 in their go-to-state bout. Seibert closed out strong with a pin over Logan Ferrell to finish as the state alternate.
Logan Ferrell (Tippecanoe) jumped onto the scene at BG, finishing a match shy of state despite only being a sophomore heavyweight. He’ll be in the midst of the scrum for state qualification, though both Bowling Green and Southeastern will be solid fields at heavyweight. Ferrell was 6th at his home tournament early last year and was pinned by state qualifier Ben Ferguson (Miami East) in their finals match. A week later, Ferrell turned it around with a 5-3 win over Ferguson at Troy, and he would pin state placer Zack Thomas a week after that at Lima Senior. Ferrell won the tournament title at the CBC, defeating Corbin McCune (Spr. Shawnee) 3-1 for the crown after picking up 4 first period pins to start the tournament. After pinning his way through the sectional tournament, Ferrell continued the trend with a pin over Seth Gerken (Napoleon) in the opening round at BG. He fell in the 3-1 quarterfinal to Seibert, but pinned Devon Jones (Wauseon) and state qualifier Josh Rohrbacher to earn a consolation semifinal match with Collin Mange. If the time is correct on the result, Mange pinned Ferrell in overtime of their go-to-state bout. Ferrell will now have the experience of an advancement match under his belt as he pursues state glory in 2015.
Grant Moyer (Bellevue) is another great heavyweight at this loaded district. Though I didn’t list him in the top 6, I fully believe that Moyer could win the district championship outright. However, it’s an exceptionally good district and he’ll have his work cut out for him. Last season, he pinned state qualifier Michael Holzworth in the opening round of the district tournament but fell 5-2 to state placer Fisher and 2-1 to state qualifier Rohrbacher who he had defeated the week before. Moyer also won the Bellevue and NOL tournaments last season and finished 3rd at the Gorman where he defeated state placer Nate Temple 4-1 in the consolation finals.
Devon Jones was only a sophomore at Wauseon last year, but finished 1-2 at Bowling Green. He can be extremely dangerous, and with a little more consistency, we could find him as a state qualifier in 2015. He pinned Nate Temple last year at the Archbold duals and also stuck John Seibert in their state duals showdown. If he can wrestle at BG like he did in those matches, then he’ll be a threat to anyone at the weight.

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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