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Old 10-16-14, 11:31 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Join Date: 10-10-05
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Heath 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 if wrestler is competing this season

-I didnít realize until after I finished the write-up that the district would in fact be at Heath this year, so please bear with me as I may have written ďClaymontĒ in spots where it should read ďHeathĒ.

1. Jashon Hubbard-Steubenville (2nd middle school state 2013)
2. Briar Cadle-Claymont
3. Logan Ball-Cambridge
4. Quinton Bookman-Beaver Local
5. Gannon Petrullo-Dover
6. Cody Woods-West Holmes

I usually hate trying to rank freshman due to the fact that they donít have the high school results to compare with other wrestlers, but itís almost impossible not to factor them in at these lower weights. I know very little about freshman Jashon Hubbard, but Steubenvilleís recent history of developing first-rate light weights (state bronze medalist and now 2x Pennsylvania state champ Devin Brown and state finalist Tariq Wilson) suggests that Hubbard will be an excellent wrestler. Jashon finished 2nd at the middle school state tournament in 7th grade, losing to 3x middle school state champ Jaden Mattox (Central Crossing) in the finals after posting a 5-3 semifinal win over a sterling Zach Shupp (Fairfield) who should contend for state qualification in D-1 this year. Hubbard also shutout Graham middle school wrestler Alex Isbrandt 6-0, pinned Jordin James (Bedford), and tech Danny Assaf (Defiance) during the same state tournament run. His excellent wrestling acumen plus the coaching staff and training daily with Tariq Wilson should have Jashon more than ready for the rigors of the state tournament process.
I know even less about Briar Cadle, but Claymont like Steubenville, has done an excellent job of churning out light-weights. Plus, Boro Fan has him listed as their starter, and he knows more than I do about who will wrestle at what weight. I do know that Cadle placed 4th at the OAC grade school wrestling tournament in 6th grade, where he beat middle school state placer Kevon Freeman (Lake Cath.) in a 2-0 consolation semifinal bout. At the same tournament, he lost a respectable 4-2 semifinal to last yearís middle school state champ Matthew Cardello (Canfield). Cadle placed 6th at the OYWA state championships when he was in 5th grade and more recently, Briar won the Uniontown Lake Middle school invitational over another quality freshman in Dominic Gelonese (Canfield) last season. The year prior he won the same tournament over 2014 middle school state placer Mason Coleman (Hudson). Briar finished a match shy of placement at the middle school state tournament in 7th grade as well, but did not wrestle in the tournament in 2014 despite qualifying at 108-pounds. So what we do know about Cadle is that he has a cool name, and that he possesses the potential to make an immediate impact for Claymont in 2015 at this young and unpredictable weight class. I love what Claymont seems to be able to accomplish every year as a public school. The coaching staff has set up a program that establishes excellent wrestlers from the youth level all the way through high school. The Mustangs are a quality team year in and year out, and they were able to achieve a national ranking last year, validating the programís continued success. In a generation where we frequently see schools pull in wrestlers from other districts and other states, itís admirable to see a program that establishes their talent from the bottom up.
There is a great deal of uncertainty (at least on my part) about which weight-class many of these lightweights will wrestler after a year of growth. I put Logan Ball here after a solid freshman year due to the fact that he wrestled at 96 pounds in middle school the year before so itís possible that we see him make a return to 106 in 2015. Logan placed 3rd at his home tournament early last year, losing only to potent state qualifier Jake Martinez (Licking Hts.). Later, Ball would win the ECOL tournament while earning a 9-7 victory over Gannon Petrullo in the semis before pinning his finals foe in the first period. Logan also snatched a 6th place finish at the dense OVAC tournament where he defeated a respectable Thomas Campbell (Martins Ferry) 10-3 in the consolation quarters. He conquered Cody Woods (West Holmes) in the sectional semifinals before falling to 2x state champ Tyler Warner (Claymont) in the title match to finish 2nd. Ball started his district tournament off with a narrow 8-7 win over Quinton Bookman to reach the quarterfinals. He dropped his second match with Jake Martinez in the quarters and then fell 8-6 in OT to Gannon Petrullo in the rematch of their league tournament semi. Freshmen light weights frequently make significant jumps in performance by the next year due to adding strength and experience, and Ball seems as likely as any to contend for a state birth in 2015 if the able sophomore makes it back down to this weight.
Quinton Bookman finished 5th at Cambridge early last year in advance of a 4th place finish at Lorain over the holiday break. He later placed 7th at the multi-state OVAC Tournament where he defeated a capable Thomas Campbell 4-1 in the 7th place final after losing a 5-1 bout with West Virginia state placer Hunter Cline (Parkersburg S.). Quinton snagged 3rd place at the Buckeye Local Sectional where he defeated Gannon Petrullo 9-4 in the consolation finals. He followed up a close first round loss at Claymont to Ball with consecutive wins over Charlie Solorzano (London) and Sterling Elder (River Valley) by 4-1 and 4-2 scores respectively. Bookman closed out the district tournament at 2-2, finishing a match shy of placement after conceding a 7-1 loss to the proficient Jordan Anthony (Buckeye Valley) in the consolation quarters.
Gannon Petrullo is right there with Bookman and Ball as potential contenders at these light weights. Gannon finished 3rd at the ECOL tournament after enduring a two point semifinal loss to Logan Ball, and also placed 3rd at Buckeye Local Sectional where he lost to state qualifier Alex Potts (East Liverpool) in the semis as well as Quinton Bookman in the consolation finals. Petrullo lost his first round district bout to 2x state champ Tyler Warner before rebounding with a 5-2 win over Domenic Carfagna (DeSales) and the previously mentioned overtime win over Ball. Gannon, like Quinton Bookman would end a match shy of placement after falling to state qualifier Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling) in the consolation quarters.
Cody Woods wrangled a 4th place finish at Cambridge last year, defeating Quinton Bookman 7-0 during the pool portion of the tournament. He finished 2-2 at the Medina Invitational, while picking up a pin over a quality Tyler Capodice (Perkins), a state qualification contender out of the northwest this year. He later claimed a 3rd place finish at the OCC tournament and another 3rd at sectionals where he lost to Logan Ball in the semis. Woods finished 1-2 at the Claymont District Tournament, and will be right in the mix with the other contenders at this weight in 2015. Given the family history of peaking during the post season, itíll be hard to bet against Woods moving forward.

1. Ana Abduljelil-Whitehall-Yearling (7th, 5th state)
2. Alex Potts-East Liverpool (SQ)
3. Jordan Anthony-Buckeye Valley (6th district)
4. Maxx Peters-Claymont (2nd middle school state)
5. Gunnar Carpenter-Licking Valley (5th middle school state)
6. Justin Shaw-Carrollton (7th middle school state)

There were reports that Ana Abduljelil was injured at the end of last season, making his second consecutive run to the state podium all the more impressive. Ana exploded onto the scene as a freshman in 2013, snaring 5th place at the state tournament while knocking off a number of state placers along the way. Hopefully, heíll be healthy as he enters his junior campaign, and it looks like heíll make it back down to 113 if his Super 32 registration is any indication. Last year Abduljelil knocked off freshman stud Jake Martinez (Licking Valley) 3-1 in a state duals showdown prior to teching district placer Austin Smith (Tri-Valley) at Groveport Madison. Ana won the sectional title over 2013 state qualifier Joey Coe (Amanda-Clearcreek) with a 22-7 tech in the final. After an opening round win at the Claymont District Tournament, Abduljelil was upset during a 6-1 bout with the sturdy Josiah Hrusch (Minerva), dropping him into the wrestle-back rounds. Ana demonstrated his prowess by methodically working his way back through a host of impressive foes in the consolation rounds. He worked systematically through the consolation bracket, defeating Jackson Law (River Valley) 6-5, Mitchell Giffin (Indian Valley) 7-4, Jack Dawson (Beaver Local) 8-3 to qualify for state, and Josiah Hrusch 11-2 in a sound reversal of the quarterfinal loss. After closing out with the bronze at Claymont, Abduljelil drew Blaine Hunter (Elida) in the first round of the state tournament and defeated his fellow sophomore 10-5 to reach the quarterfinals. Here Ana conceded a pin at the hands of 2x state placer Cory Simpson (Field), dropping him into a rubber match with Josiah Hrusch in a bout to earn state placement. For a second straight year, Ana would show resilence at state by bouncing back from a match where he was pinned. Abduljelil won a narrow 2-1 bout over Hrusch to earn a spot on the podium for the second straight year. He lost to the hardy Lane Peters (Claymont) 9-5 in the consolation quarters, but closed out in 7th place after a sound 16-6 defeat of Blaine Hunter in a rematch of their first round bout. Hopefully, Ana is back to 100% health this year, because as he continues to improve, Abduljelil could be a major threat to the state title contenders at this weight.
Alex Potts made his first appearance on the mats of the Schottenstein Center this past winter, finishing his junior season a match away from state placement. Potts won the OVAC tournament in impressive fashion last year, majoring Quinton Bookman (Beaver Local) 12-1 in the quarters, pinning the #3 seed Tommy Curtin (Linsley, WV), and besting the top seeded Greg Quinn (Shadyside) 4-2 for the title. Quinn later finished 6th at the D-3 state tournament a few weeks later. Potts pinned his first two sectional opponents in under a minute, but suffered a setback in a 14-11 shootout in the finals with district placer C.J. Brady (Carrollton). A week later, Potts hammered out two major decisions to make the semifinals at Claymont, including an impressive 13-3 win over Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling) who finished 7th in the state the next week. He lost an 11-3 match to Jake Martinez in the semis but pulled out another major decision in his go-to-state match, defeating a good Jordan Anthony 13-2 to make his first state tournament. Potts took a forfeit win in the rematch with Noah Jay to finish 3rd but drew the eventual state bronze medalist Josh Venia (Toledo C.C.) in his first state tournament match and fell 8-2. Alex trudged through a Thursday night consolation bout with Brady Toth (Perry) to emerge with a 5-2 win, but fell to eventual 5th place finisher Hunter Kosco (Northwest) 11-5 in his second consolation match. Pottsís senior year will be a great opportunity to reach that next echelon and climb onto the podium at state. There is a great deal of wrestling between now and then, but Potts should be at the heart of the state placement quagmire in 2015.
Jordan Anthony was a match from state last season, losing that pivotal consolation semifinal bout to Alex Potts, but still cobbled together a solid season overall. He finished 4th at Marion Harding during the year, losing an 8-2 match with D-3 state champion Sebastian Vidika (Black River) in the semis and dropping a consolation finals match with state alternate Seth Transue (Jerome). Anthony pinned his way through the field on the way to a title at Nelsonville-York, including a stick of state qualifier Jared Stevens (Gallia Academy) in the title match. Jordan later placed 2nd to state placer Noah Jay at the Madison Plains Sectional, and opened his district tournament with a first period pin. Anthony lost a close 4-3 quarterfinal match to senior C.J. Brady before rebounding with a pin over Cody Woods (W. Holmes) and a 7-1 win against Quinton Bookman (Beaver Local.). After the consolation semi defeat at the hands of Potts, Anthony lost another close bout to C.J. Brady for the alternate spot in a 2-1 defeat. Several of the wrestlers from that weight have either moved up in weight or graduated from high school, leaving Anthony with a prime shot at a state spot in 2015.
After the top three I have freshmen ranked at 4 through 6 which Iím wary of doing due to their lack of varsity experience. However, all three freshmen have demonstrated exemplary success on the junior high level, meriting serious consideration in the rankings process. However, due to their lack of competition with familiar high school opponents, thereís always a distinct possibility that any of these three could be ranked too high or too low.
Maxx Peters was a middle school state finalist last year, finishing 2nd at 114 after earning a nice 6-0 quarterfinal win over Kevon Freeman (Lake Cath.) who had finished 7th at the tournament the year before, and a 6-3 semifinal win over David Johnson (Walsh) who was a 2x middle school state placer.
Gunner Carpenter and Justin Shaw finished 5th and 7th respectively at the 108-pound weight class of the middle school state tournament last season. Incidentally, both wrestler beat 8th place finisher Casey Ragle (Norwood) and both lost to the same wrestler Brandon Fenton (Elyria) throughout the course of their state tournaments. Justin Shaw defeated another skilled freshman in Briar Cadle (Claymont) 2-0 in overtime for the district title at Steubenville a few weeks before the state tournament.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:32 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Tyler Warner-Claymont (1st, 1st state)
2. Tariq Wilson-Steubenville (2nd, 6th state)
3. Jack Dawson-Beaver Local (5th district)
4. Mitchell Giffin-Indian Valley
5. Joey Coe-Amanda-Clearcreek (SQ 2013)
6. Daniel Hague-Indian Creek

The news that Warner and Tariq Wilson could be wrestling up at 120 along with Eli Stickley is extremely exciting from a wrestling fan’s perspective. We could well see two state champs square off in the finals, or we could see a new king if Wilson can rise to the test. Regardless of who wins, we’ll have some excellent wrestling at this weight come tournament time.
Tyler Warner has been a shining star on an excellent Claymont team in his first two years of varsity wrestling. Already a state champion in a loaded weight-class as a freshman, Warner rose to new heights in 2014 with an Ironman title and a national ranking in the midst of a second state championship run. Tyler tore through the field at one of the best, if not the best, in-season tournaments in the country, pinning his first four opponents at Ironman, including state placer Alan Hart (St. Edward) and Oklahoma state runner-up Paxton Rosen (Edmond N.). Warner closed out the tournament with a dominant 12-2 major over Illinois state runner-up Jay Renteria (Oak Park) who was also nationally ranked last season. The MIT would see more of the same from Warner as he rolled to the semis with a tech and a first period pin before shutting out D-1 state champion Noah Baughman (Wadworth) 5-0 in the semis and defeating the other D-1 state finalist Tommy Genetin (Perry) 7-1 in the finals. Tyler dominated the early rounds at Top Gun, pinning his first two foes, majoring district placer Austin Oberly (Worth. Kilbourne) 13-0, and teching state qualifier Dante Ginnetti (Poland) to reach the finals for a second straight year. However, Warner would run into superb California state champion Justin Mejia (Clovis) in the finals and suffer his first in-season defeat since the Top Gun finals the year before. Tyler got back on track at the ECOL tournament, pinning his way to the title despite weighing in at 113 and wrestling up at 120 to help the team optimize their line-up. Warner did his part in the state duals finals despite the team’s eventual loss to Graham, defeating state placer Justin Stickley (Graham) 5-0 in their showdown. He swept through to a sectional title with three pins and picked up a pin and two techs to reach the district finals a week later. Warner wrestled the excellent freshman Jake Martinez (Licking Valley) in the district finals but still managed to pull out a commanding 8-0 major decision for his second district title. After a first round 17-1 tech at state, Warner methodically worked his way through a quality field for his second state title. He would shutout Hunter Kosco (Northwest) 6-0 to reach the semis. Then Warner faced a stalwart test against the undefeated Hunter Lucas (L. Shawnee), who was the last wrestler to defeat Warner at a state championship, albeit the middle school state tournament in 2012. Tyler avenged that loss and handed Lucas his first defeat of the season with a 7-2 decision to reach his second state championship match. Here he would meet returning state placer Tony Decesare for the title, and though Decesare kept the match tight, Tyler pulled out the 3-1 victory to reassert his place atop the 106 pound podium. State champ Stickley and state finalist Wilson will present a stern test for Warner on his way to a third consecutive state title. However, Tyler seems to seek out competition and challenge, wrestling at some of the best tournaments in the nation. It’ll be a monumental task for anyone to unseat the two time champ Warner as he looks to become one of the elite four timers.
Tariq Wilson was exceptional last season, and he hasn’t show any signs of slowing down in the off-season. If he continues his exponential climb this year, we could well see him walking away with his first state title. After polishing off a solid freshman campaign with a 6th place
finish at state, Wilson started of his sophomore campaign with a bang. He won the tournament title at North Canton by pinning state placer Brady Barnett (M. Edison) in the semis and defeating D-1 state champ Noah Baughman (Wadsworth) 4-3 for the crown. Tariq later bludgeoned the field at the OVAC tournament, pinning four opponents and majoring a fifth 12-4 on the road to the title. The wrestler that Wilson pinned in the finals was Danny Wyke (Oak Glen) who finished 3rd at the West Virginia state tournament. He next strolled to a sectional title with an 18-3 tech over state qualifier Cory Marshall (Dover) in the finals. Wilson showed no signs of letting up at the Claymont District Tournament, posting 3 straight pins to reach the final including a first period fall over an underrated Josiah Hrusch (Minerva) who had knocked off 2x state placer Ana Abduljelil the round before. Tariq squared off against the talented sophomore Lane Peters (Claymont) for the district title and put to rest the notion that anyone in the district could challenge him at 113 with a 12-2 major decision. Wilson continued to roll at state with a 14-5 major over Aaron Kelly (Rocky River) and an 8-2 triumph against state placer Paul Petras (Padua) in the quarters. Tariq faced a stern test in the semis where he was slated against returning state finalist Seth Beard (Napoleon) who was an overtime point away from a state title as a freshman. Wilson pulled off the upset and advanced to the finals with a thrilling 9-7 victory over Beard. The finals would see Wilson’s run of greatness come to an end with a 9-0 defeat at the hands of nationally ranked Eli Stickley (Graham). However, his phenomenal performance shouldn’t be overshadowed by his finals loss, and the fact that Stickley had teched Wilson at state the year before shouldn’t be overlooked. Tariq looked just as good if not even better this summer at the Disney duals where he went undefeated while posting several excellent victories. He defeated D-3 state finalist Hunter Bray (Dayton Christian) 9-2, knocked off Seth Beard 2-1 to show that the first win was no fluke, and bested Gage Curry (North Hills) 6-4 who has placed 4th and 6th at the Pennsylvania state championships and was nationally ranked at one point last season after his runner-up finish at the prestigious Super 32 tournament. If Wilson continues on this trajectory, we could see an excellent three horse race for the state title between Tariq, Tyler Warner and Eli Stickely. Wilson already beat Warner once and keeps getting closer to Stickley, do there’s no reason that he shouldn’t place himself firmly in the title hunt in 2015.
Whenever I hear the name Jack Dawson I associate it with the movie Titanic and Leonardo DiCaprio’s character. It came out when I was in middle school, so I’m sure that there are many out there who remember what a blockbuster it was at the time. For the younger generation who hasn’t been exposed to the movie; it’s a pretty good James Cameron movie that was drastically over-hyped at the time. A more recent equivalent of Titanic would be Avatar, a solid movie that made an absurd amount of money. But enough about movies, Jack Dawson the wrestler looked markedly improved last season and finished a sliver away from the state tournament. Should he continue that upward trend, we’ll definitely see him wrestling at the Schott in 2015. Dawson finished 3rd at Cambridge last year while earning a 7-6 win over state qualifier Josiah Hrusch and a 4-2 victory over another state qualifier in Gavin Stalnaker (Belpre) along the way. His single setback at the tournament was a 7-2 loss to state finalist Cole Woods (W. Holmes) in the semifinals. From here, Jack would move on to finish 3rd at his home Hoppel Tournament and 2nd at Lorain. Dawson would also claim a runner-up finish at the EOWL conference event at Canfield, where he lost a 9-2 bout with D-3 state qualifier Mitch Tikkanen in the finals after defeating a solid Kyle West (Canfield) in the semis. He was 3rd at the Buckeye Local Sectional after a loss to state qualifier Cory Marshall (Dover) in the semis. Dawson pinned 2013 state qualifier Joey Coe (Amanda-Clearcreek) and a tough Bashir Ali (East) in his first two district matches, but had the misfortune of having to wrestle consecutive bouts against two wrestlers that placed at the state tournament. First, he fell 9-3 in the semis to Lane Peters (Claymont) who finished 6th at state, and then he lost an 8-3 consolation semifinal to Ana Abduljelil who finished 7th in Columbus. Dawson avenged his sectional loss to Cory Marshall in the alternate match with a 2-1 win to finish up in 5th place. The Beaver Local Beavers have always been a competitive team with a rich history of producing state caliber performers. Along with previous state qualifiers Daniel Hasson and Jason Keyes looking to make it back to Columbus, we could see the continued development of wrestlers like Dawson, Martsolf, Bookman, Kelly, Barber and others lead to an impressive cluster of state qualifiers for the Beavers in 2015.
Mitchell Giffin finished 2nd at Cambridge to state finalist Cole Woods after defeating state qualifier Gavin Stalnaker 8-6 in the semifinals. He lost his opening bout at the Claymont Sectional to Mitch Tyson (W. Holmes) but battled back for third, eventually defeating Tyson in the consolation finals. A pin over Kolton Chesser (Licking Valley) put Giffin into a quarterfinal match with state finalist Tariq Wilson. That match didn’t go well, but Giffin was able to post another solid win in the consolation rounds by defeating Joey Coe, a 2013 state qualifier, by a 6-2 score. Mitchell lost his next match to 2x state placer Ana Abduljelil 7-4 and was eliminated from the tournament. He’ll be a threat to place at Claymont in 2015 and qualify for state out of the district if he can keep improving at these dense lower weights.
Joey Coe experienced a jump in weight and division last year. Although it was not as successful as he would have liked after qualifying for state as a freshman, Coe built up some valuable experience against D-2 competition. He should be right back in the state qualification picture in 2015. Coe was 2nd to Abduljelil at the sectional tournament, and drew Jack Dawson in the first round at Claymont. Though Dawson would prevail, Coe trudged back with a 7-4 win over Mitch Tyson to stay alive in the consolation rounds. Mitchell Giffin defeated Coe in the next consolation match ending his tournament at 1-2.
Daniel Hague looks like another talented young wrestler with intriguing upside and potential around this weight. He finished 6th at the OVAC tournament last year where he was the only wrestler to go a full 6 minutes with Tariq Wilson in a 12-4 semifinal loss. He also lost a 6-1 bout with Jack Dawson and split two matches with D-3 state qualifier Brandon White (Harrison Central) during his OVAC run. Hague finished 4th at his sectional, where he again lost wo Tariq Wilson and Jack Dawson, though the loss to Dawson was a respectable 2-0 bout. After an opening round 6-0 loss to state placer Ana Abduljelil, Hague won his first consolation bout before exiting the tournament on a 4-0 loss to state qualfiier Cory Marshall.

1. Lane Peters-Claymont (6th state)
2. Cole Woods-West Holmes (2nd state)
3. Chance Haynes-Buckeye Valley (SQ)
4. Mike Stewart-Sparta Highland (SQ)
5. Dustin Martsolf-Beaver Local
6. Adam Shaw-Carrollton

Claymont found a way to work Lane Peters into the line-up last year at 113, and boy did it ever pay off. Dustin Warner bumped up to 120 after starting the year at 113 and walked away with his first state title, while Peters finished as a state placer while wrestling at the more optimum 113 weight-class rather than being a small 120-pounder. This year, it looks like the skilled junior will occupy the 126 slot in the line-up, and he should make a move for even higher state placement at the end of the year. Peters saw his first significant varsity tournament experience at 113 while wrestling at Top Gun, where he finished a respectable 7th. There he lost a close 2-0 bout with 2x state placer Trent Duffy (Trace) and bounced back with a 2-0 win over state alternate Keysean Amison (Perkins) to earn placement. Peters then lost a 4-0 bout to California state placer Tristan Gilliland (Clovis) but closed out the tournament with a 39 second pin over a tough Max Wright (Hayes). Lane rolled up several impressive wins over the course of Claymont’s run to the state duals finals. He knocked off state finalist Cole Woods 9-5 in the regional quarters, majored district placer C.J. Brady (Carrollton) 9-1 in the regional semis, and pinned state qualifier Skyler St. Peter (Athens) in the regional finals. A few days after the latter two wins, Peters defeated state qualifier Cory Marshall (Dover) 6-4 in OT to win the ECOL title. The next week, Lane would tech state qualifier Joey Coe (Amanda-Clearcreek) 15-0 and pin state qualifier Brady Toth (Perry) in the quarters semis of the state duals tournament. He lost a 9-1 bout with state champ Eli Stickley (Graham) in the finals of the state duals tournament made more respectable with the knowledge that Stickley won his state championship bout by a 9-0 score. Peters kicked off his post season with a nice sectional title over state qualifier Josiah Hrusch (Minerva). He opened the district tournament with a pin and followed up with a 5-0 quarterfinal shutout of Cory Marshall in a rematch of the ECOL finals. Lane would qualify for his first state tournament with a 9-3 win over Jack Dawson (Beaver Local) before falling in the district finals to state finalist Tariq Wilson. The next week, Peters won an 8-4 bout with Thurston Dyer (Upper Arlington) to open his first state tournament on the right foot. He inched incrementally closer to state champ Stickley in the quarters but fell 7-0 setting up a rematch with Trent Duffy, who had defeated him at Top Gun. Peters showed no intimidation, knocking the 2x state placer out of the tournament with a 3-0 shutout to earn his first state medal. The next challenger up for Peters was Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling) who had finished 5th at state the year before. Once again, Peters rose to the occasion with a 9-5 win to reach the consolation semis. Here he would fall to 2013 state finalist Seth Beard (Napoleon) dropping him into the 5th place final. A close 3-2 loss to Paul Petras ended Lane’s season at an impressive 6th place on the podium. However, 2015 is a new year, and Lane will have higher aspirations for this season, as he becomes one of the experienced leaders on the young, talented Mustang squad.
Cole Woods was one of my favorite stories at the state tournament last year. I never would have expected him to make the state championship match, but sure enough, he reached the big stage after and exciting up and down season. Woods started the year down at 113, where he looked good while winning the Cambridge tournament with a 7-2 victory over Jack Dawson (Beaver Local) and a pin over Mitchell Giffin (Indian Valley) in his final two bouts. Next, he would finish 2nd at Smithville while earning a surprisingly close 4-3 quarterfinal win over a relatively unknown freshman, Brian Persinger (Triway), who would later qualify for state. Woods lost a surprisingly lopsided 14-0 finals match at Smithville to the excellent 2x state qualifier Jake Donahue (Massillon) and subsequently made the jump up to 120 for the rest of the season. He had the misfortune of drawing D-1 state finalist and tournament champ Jake Newhouse (Mass. Perry) in the first round at the MIT, and immediately found himself in the wrestle-backs. Woods posted three straight consolation wins including an 11-2 major over a solid Marko Vilimonovic (Highland) but was ousted by Michigan state qualifier Parker O’Brian (Detriot C.C.) in the match to place. Cole suffered a head-scratchingly one-sided 14-4 loss to Seth Whitehead (Mass.Jackson) in the opening round at Top Gun. Like Medina, Woods would come back with three straight consolation victories, with the last one coming against district placer Travis Pidgeon (West Branch). However, Cole then lost a 10-3 bout to state champ Dustin Warner and missed out on placement. He suffered two more close losses to state qualifiers in Lane Peters and Cory Marshall during state duals matches, prior to earning a tournament title at the OCC. Woods defeated Jesse Todd (Clear Fork) 10-3 in the finals of the OCC but finished 3rd at the sectional tournament a few weeks later, losing to Cameron Camonico (Minerva) in the semis. Cole seemed to hit another gear at the Claymont district tournament where he followed an opening round pin of Dustin Martsolf (Beaver Local) with a 13-7 win over state qualifier Mike Stewart (S. Highland) and a pin over 2013 state qualifier Nick Hoffman (Amanda-Clearcreek) to storm through to the finals. Here he again fell to Dustin Warner in a 14-3 district finals match. Woods gutted out a tough 7-6 win over Sal Ferrise (SVSM) in the opening round of the state tournament, and then he advanced to the semis with a surprising pin of returning state placer Colin Ingram (Bath) in the quarters. Next, Cole would face one of the pre-tournament favorites in Graham sophomore Mario Kastl who had defeated eventual champ Dustin Warner in the state duals finals by a shocking 6-0 shutout. It would be Woods who would pull out the shocker this time, besting Kastl 5-4 and setting up a third match with Dustin Warner for the state title. Though the finals did not go the way Woods would hope, he battled to a respectable 8-4 decision after the previous two one-sided defeats. I don’t know if last season was Woods catching lightning in a bottle or if he is just a peak performer who wrestles his best when it matters most. Either way, Cole Woods can say that he is a state finalist, and he’s got two more chances to try and better that result by one podium spot.
Chance Haynes has made some nice improvements over his first two seasons. He was 6th at the district tournament in 2013 after finishing as a middle school state placer in 2012, and last season he made his first high school state tournament while finishing a match away from placement. Chance was 3rd at sectionals while posting a pair of 7-3 wins over 2013 state qualifier Nick Hoffman in the quarters and consolation finals. He lost a 6-5 semifinal bout at the sectional tournament to another returning state qualifier, Raymond Raimo (River Valley). Haynes opened his district scoring with a 13-1 major decision and followed it up with a quality match against state champ Dustin Warner (Claymont) before falling 4-0. Chance then went on an exceptional consolation bracket run that started with a close 2-1 win over Cameron Canonico, who defeated state finalist Cole Woods at sectionals the week before. Next was a surprising first period pin over Raymond Raimo, to avenge the sectional semifinal defeat. His third consolation win came in his third match of the year against Nick Hoffman, and like the first two matches, Haynes won the consolation semifinal. The win was a narrower 1-0 bout, but it locked up at state spot for the sophomore. He defeated Mike Stewart 4-2 in the consolation finals to finish as the district bronze medalist. Chance lost his first state bout 13-6 to Collin Dees (Perry) who had finished 4th in Columbus during the 2013 season. Next, he defeated Rosendo Beltran (Toledo C.C.) 8-0 to earn a second day of wrestling, but he was then pinned by senior Markus Cruz (Clearview) in his placement match to end his season on Friday. No worries. After demonstrating two years of consistent improvement, it’s only a matter of time before Chance makes the podium at state.
Like Haynes, Mike Stewart broke through and made his first state tournament in 2014. The Highland wrestler finished 2nd at his home tournament to D-3 state placer Carson Mills (Fredericktown), losing a close 3-2 finals bout. He kicked off his MIT with a nice 7-2 win over a solid Hunter Deshon (Hoover) and a 3-2 win over state alternate Nick Bergman (Oak Harbor). Stewart lost a narrow 1-0 bout with returning state bronze medalist Josh Heil (Brunswick) in his next match but earned placement with a bounce back 3-1 victory over a worthy Connor Gray (Wadsworth). Stewart closed out the tournament in 8th after a pair of losses to state qualifiers, but rebounded with a dominant tournament title at Heath where his closest match was 14-0. He finished 3rd at New Lexington after a loss to state placer Mario Kastl, prior to winning the sectional title with a 5-1 triumph over state qualifier Raymond Raimo. After an opening round pin to win at the district tournament, Stewart lost to Cole Woods in the quarters. He trudged back with consecutive wins over Jordan Ball, Adam Shaw, and Dakota Goff to punch his first ticket to state before falling to Haynes in the consolation finals. Unfortunately for Stewart, he drew the wrestlers who would finish 5th and 4th in the state for his first two matches and exited Thursday night. Mike is a solid all around wrestler who has shown steady improvement over the course of his high school career. We’ll see if that improvement can culminated in a state medal to end the 2015 season.
Dustin Martsolf was 6th at Cambridge early last year and finished 2nd to state qualifier Vince Zitiello (Bay) at Lorain over the Holiday break. He closed out his OVAC tournament at 3-2, after getting pinned by Dakota Groff in the first round and losing to state qualifier Rod Richter (Monroe Cen.) in the wrestle backs. Martsolf bounded back with a 3rd place finish at the EOWL tournament, and he later finished 2nd to Goff at the sectional tournament, besting Adam Shaw 4-2 in the semis. Martsolf conceded a pin to state finalist Cole Woods in the opening round at Claymont preceding a 4-2 win over Malique Elliott (Licking Valley) in the consolation rounds. He was stuck by state qualifier Raymond Raimo in the second consolation round, ending his season. Martsolf has a good core to work with around him at Beaver Local. He’s sandwiched between district placer Jack Dawson and state placers Jason Keyes and Daniel Hasson in the line-up, so he should continue to improve in what could be a state qualifying season.
A few years after placing at the middle school state tournament, Adam Shaw made an immediate impact on the high school district climate as a freshman. He went 2-2 at the brutal Top Gun tournament, beating a skilled Seth Whitehead (Jackson) 4-2 a match after Whitehead had knocked off state finalist Cole Woods 14-4. Shaw’s only losses at Top Gun were a respectable 7-3 defeat against Pennsylvania state qualifier Jarrette Carter (Ft. LeBoeuf) and a defeat in his match with D-1 state finalist Jake Newhouse (Perry). Adam finished 4th at sectionals, losing identical 4-2 matches to Dustin Martsolf (Beaver Local) and Andrew Murphy (Dover). After dropping his opening match at Claymont to state champ Dustin Warner, Shaw defeated Wesley Landrum (Big Walnut) 12-1 and won a rematch with Andrew Murphy 4-2 to advance to the consolation quarters. He would close out his season in a 7-3 loss to state qualifier Mike Stewart (S. Highland), finishing a match shy of placement but building a solid base for 2015.
Andrew Murphy acclimated himself nicely to varsity wrestling during his freshman year. The Dover wrestler flew under my radar until Top Gun were he gave state qualifier Juwan Minnifield (Perkins) a staunch test in a 2-0 second round defeat. Murphy would finish 2nd to 2x state champ Tyler Warner at the ECOL tournament, and take 3rd at the Buckeye Local Sectional a few weeks later. His most notable win at Buckeye Local was the 4-2 consolation finals victory over fellow tenacious freshman Adam Shaw (Carrollton). Murphy showed no signs of intimidation at Claymont, where he knocked off the hardy senior, Cameron Canonico 10-7 in the opening round of the tournament. In the quarterfinals, he lost a 4-2 overtime bout with 2013 state qualifier Nick Hoffman (Amanda-Clearcreek) and fell 4-2 in the rematch with Adam Shaw in the consolation rounds. Murphy exceeded my expectations as a freshman. What does the future hold for this talented young wrestler?

Last edited by McClearn7; 10-17-14 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:33 AM
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1. Jake Martinez-Licking Valley (SQ)
2. Tyler Jenkins-Meadowbrook (SQ)
3. Chandler Golec-Claymont (SQ)
4. Dakota Goff-Steubenville (5th district)
5. Luciano Mendicino-Granville
6. Eli-Ayoob-Jonathan Alder (5th district)

Jake Martinez is already an awesome wrestler, but the question remains, just how good can he be? Though he still has three full years to answer this question, we should get a clearer picture of what the future will hold for this stellar central district wrestler by the end of 2015. Martinez started off last season strong with a tournament title at Cambridge over Hunter Kosco (Northwest) who finished 5th in the state by the end of the year. He gained my respect last year when he wrestled up in weight against 2x state placer Ana Abduljelil (Whitehall-Yearling) during the state duals tournament. Martinez would lose the bout 3-1, but he showed that he was seeking out the top level of competition which is what champions do. Jake pinned his way to a sectional title and started off the Claymont District Tournament with a pin and a tech. Next came an 11-3 major over state qualifier Alex Potts (East Liverpool) to qualify him for his first state tournament. However, he would fall to 2x state champ Tyler Warner in the district finals to finish the tournament in 2nd place. Martinez impressively won his first match at state with a 6-0 shutout over Charlie Nash (Norwalk) who finished the tournament in 8th place. Next, Jake fell 4-2 in a heartbreaking sudden victory loss to state finalist Tony Decesare (Padua). In his first consolation bout, Martinez ended his season with a 5-0 loss to senior Noah Jay (Whitehall-Yearling) in the placement round. I’m sure he was disappointed with the way the year ended, but Martinez should be proud of his excellent freshman year, and I’d be surprised if he didn’t place at the state tournament in each of his final three seasons.
Tyler Jenkins started off last year with a 5th place finish at Cambridge, losing to D-3 state qualifier Hunter Pizzino (Harrison Cent.) 5-3 in the pool portion of the tournament prior to defeating a solid Tyler Gunn (River View) 10-9 in the 5th place finals. At New Lexington, Jenkins pinned his first three opponents in under a minute and then defeated the stellar freshman Luciano Mendicino 8-6 in the semis before falling to returning state champion Eli Seipel (Graham) in the finals. Tyler finished 3rd at the ECOL tournament, defeating state qualifier Chandler Golec 11-6 in OT in the quarters before losing to Samuel Grashel (River View) 4-0 in the semis. Jenkins emerged as a tournament champion at the brawny OVAC tournament, knocking off returning state qualifier Jason Keyes (Beaver Local) 10-4 for the title. He also claimed a noteworthy win in the semis over Austin Harris (Parkersburg S.) who finished 5th at the West Virginia state tournament. Jenkins placed 2nd to state placer Kollin Clark (Claymont) at sectionals and pinned his first district foe before falling to 3x state placer Chandler Minnard (Bloom Carroll) 10-5 in the quarterfinals at Claymont. Tyler soldiered back with two consolation pins including one over a tough Cody Oiler (E. Liverpool) to set up an advancement match against Eli Ayoob. Regulation wouldn’t be enough time to settle the affair, and the matched rolled on into overtime before Jenkins was able to gut out a 4-2 win. Though he lost his last three matches of the year, Jenkins demonstrated that he is a talent with placement potential. He’ll need to work hard this season to continue raising his game to the next level to fight for a spot on the podium.
Chandler Golec wrestled a man’s schedule last year despite only being freshman and likely wrestling up a weight class. Golec went 0-2 at Ironman and 1-2 at Medina, taking his lumps but earning valuable experience. He also finished 1-2 at Top Gun, but you could tell that he was becoming more and more competitive. His two losses were a 5-2 defeat at the hands of state qualifier Bryson Laytart (trace) and a 5-3 loss to district placer Michael Nagy (Lake), both very tough, upperclassmen wrestlers. Golec finished 1-2 at the ECOL tournament, but took both opponents into OT in the losses, including state qualifier Tyler Jenkins. It’s cool to watch freshmen like Golec gain momentum as the year goes on, and he certainly picked his game up for the post season process, earning the sectional title in his home gym. Chandler defeated Evan Reed (Cambridge) in the semis of sectionals, who had beaten Golec at the ECOL tournament, and in the finals he would beat Ruger Reeves (Maysville) who aside from having an cool name is also a tough wrestler. Golec won his opening bout at the district tournament with a 6-0 shutout of Connor Cua (DeSales), and then he lost a 3-1 quarterfinal match with state qualifier Garret Blackburn (London). This dropped him into a rigorous consolation climate, and he would square off against 2013 state qualifier Jason Keyes in his first consolation match. Golec fought through the tight wrestle-back bout to emerge with an impressive 8-7 victory. Next, he knocked off Ben Van Wey (John Glenn) 5-3 and Kody Driggs (Morgan) 6-3 to stamp his first ticket to the state tournament. Golec lost the consolation final match with state placer DeShawn Haynes (Buckeye Valley) 10-4 to finish 4th in his first high school district tournament. Chandler dropped his opening match at state to 3x state placer Aaron Gessic (Perry) but pulled out a nice 3-2 win over senior Carson Mengerink (Upper Sandusky) to advance to Friday’s action. Here Golec fell 7-1 to 2x state placer Connor Nemec (Crestwood) to finish his freshman year a match from placement. With the skill and perseverance Golec demonstrated in improving over the course of his freshman year, I have no doubt that he’ll be in contention for state placement in 2015.
Speaking of talented freshmen, Luciano Mendicino was extremely impressive over his first season. I didn’t know anything about him coming into the year, but he certainly made a believer out of me by season’s end. Mendicino finished 5th at Marion County despite only losing one match. The single set back was a tight 5-2 defeat against 2013 state placer Zac Tupps (Ashland) in the quarterfinals. Luciano also beat state qualifier Josh Clary (Dayton Chr.) 9-0 and state alternate Eli Ayoob 3-0 in the consolation rounds of the same tournament. He posted yet another impressive win during the state duals tournament when he bested state qualifier Chance Haynes (Buckeye Valley) 10-3. Mendicino would earn the bronze medal at New Lexington, while losing only to Tyler Jenkins along the way. The freshman finished 2nd to Chandler Minnard at sectionals and opened his district tournament with a 12-3 major of Lane Weaver (R. Edison). Mendicino faced district champ Kollin Clark in the quarters who would later place 5th in state a week later. Clark won a 4-2 overtime match to reach the semis, but just being so close to the district champ was a very impressive result for the Granville freshman. Unfortunately, he forfeited his first consolation bout to exit the tournament. I’m not sure if he missed weight or if there was another inciting incident for the forfeit, but Luciano is a talent that will continue to make his name known both at this district and around the state over his final three seasons of wrestling.
Dakota Goff went 0-2 at North Canton to start the year, an unimpressive result if context isn’t considered. However, when we take into account the fact that he was a sophomore wrestling two district placers, up a weight from where he ended the year, it doesn’t seem so bad. After making the drop to 120, Goff finished 2nd at the OVAC tournament, beating West Virginia state qualifier Dalton Wood (Cameron) 4-1 in the semis before falling 8-6 in the finals to West Virginia state runner-up Dallas Baciak (Wheeling Park). Goff then marched to a sectional title, defeating the sturdy freshman Andrew Murphy 7-0 in the semis and pinning Dustin Martsolf (Beaver Local) in the finals. He jumped into the district semis with an inspired 8-3 quarterfinal win over returning state qualifier Raymond Raimo. Goff then lost a 6-3 semifinal bout with state champ Dustin Warner and dropped a heartbreaking 2-0 OT match with Mike Stewart to descend into the 5th place bout. Dakota closed out his sophomore year with a 5-3 win over 2013 state qualifier Nick Hoffman in the alternate match.
Eli Ayoob placed 3rd at Nelsonville-York last season, falling to 2x state placer Cole Tawney (Gallia Academy) in the semis. He later finished 4th at Marion County while losing close matches to Mendicino and state alternate Shawn Murphy (Washington). He also placed 4th at Marion Pleasant where his suffered a pair of losses to state alternate Ethan Ice (Pleasant) in Ice’s home gym. Ayoob won the Madison Plains sectional with a pin over Austin Shannon (Amanda-Clearcreek) and carried that momentum into Claymont where he won his first two matches 6-1 over Ben Zbasnik (Minerva) and 6-2 in OT over Aiden Pasiuk (Carrollton). Unfortunately, Eli lost the next two matches to state placer Kollin Clark and state qualifier Tyler Jenkins to drop into a rematch with Pasiuk for the alternate spot. Ayoob left no doubt the second time around, pulling out a 14-1 major to close out the season on an upswing with a 5th place finish. Eli Ayoob was a mere match away from state last year, and though he lost bouts to both Jenkins and Mendicino, they were both by slim, reversible margins. If he can use that as a motivator to improve this year, we could certainly see Eli wrestling at the Schott this winter.

1. Jason Keyes-Beaver Local (SQ 2013)
2. Jesse Hubbard-Steubenville
3. Gabe Gibson-Bloom Carroll (6th district)
4. Ben Van Wey-John Glenn
5. Cody Oiler-East Liverpool
6. Aidan Pasiuk-Carrollton (6th district)

As a freshman in 2013, Jason Keyes qualified for the state tournament while wrestling down at 120, and last year he looked solid while wrestling most of the year up at 132. Jason was the tournament champion at Cambridge, earning a 3-1 win in the finals over D-3 state qualifier Hunter Pizzino (Harrison Cen.) to secure the gold. Keyes placed 5th at Lorain, losing a close 3-1 bout to state qualifier Joey Baitt (Jefferson) in the semis. Jason posted a commendable 8-6 win over district placer Brett Bailey (Southeast) during their state duals tournament showdown. Keyes briefly made the drop down to 126 for the OVAC tournament where he finished 2nd to state qualifier Tyler Jenkins (Meadowbrook). At this tournament, he claimed a notable 8-4 win over another state qualification contender Cody Oiler in the quarterfinals. Next, Keyes finished 2nd at the EOWL tournament (back up at 132), giving state qualifier and defending EOWL champ Joey Baitt all that he could handle in the finals before losing 4-3 in overtime. He won the sectional title at Buckeye Local with an 8-6 victory over Ben Van Wey but drew state qualifier Billy Shannon (Amanda-Clearcreek) in the first round at Claymont. Keyes lost that opening match 8-2 before earning a 9-1 major over Michael Guza (Watterson) to stay alive in the consolation rounds. Jason’s season ended on a tight 8-7 loss to state qualifier Chandler Golec (Claymont) in the consolation rounds. I expect a better finish in 2015. Keyes is a very good wrestler and has talented wrestlers like Hasson, Martsolf, and Dawson to train with each day, so I think he’ll return with a vengeance in 2015.
Jesse Hubbard didn’t wrestle in the post season process last year as a freshman but showed some early season potential at North Canton where he went 2-2 with a close 5-3 loss to a good Zane Speelman (Madison Comp.) and an 8-3 loss to Mino Trevino (Holt) who finished 6th at the Michigan state wrestling tournament. Jesse also placed 4th at the OVAC Tournament where he pulled off a pin over state qualifier Kolby Rayner (Caldwell) in the quarterfinals and defeated West Virginia state qualifier T.J. Lambiotte (Pakersburg S.) 7-0 in the consolation semis. Hubbard lost a close 3-2 semifinal match with Isaiah Hood (University) who finished 4th at the West Virginia state tournament, and he fell in another narrow 2-1 loss to state qualifier Hunter Pizzino in the consolation finals.
Gabe Gibson went 0-2 at Brecksville early last year while losing two tough matches, but he would grab a 6th place finish at the solid Dies tournament a month later. At the Dies, Gabe defeated D-3 state qualifier Bobby Bowen (Manchester) 10-5, a proficient Aaron Dantimo (Streetsboro) 6-5, and a solid Stephen Daprile (Canfield) 8-6 for three meritable wins. He also gave Alliance state alternate Nick Farmer (Norton) a run for his money in a 7-5 defeat in the 5th place final. Gabriel won the sectional title at Licking Valley over Michael Guza with a resounding 16-4 major decision. He then won an 11-8 bout over senior Evan Reed (Cambridge) and pinned Ben Van Wey to advance to the semis at the Claymont District Tournament. Gibson lost a narrow 4-3 match with Garrett Blackburn (London) in the semis and fell to state placer DaShawn Haynes (Buckeye Local) in the wrestle-backs. He ended the tournament with a 5-1 loss to senior Kody Driggs (Morgan) to place 6th at the district as a sophomore. All in all a very solid district performance for a young wrestler.
Ben Van Wey finished 2nd to Keyes at the Buckeye Local Sectional, majoring an up and coming Brenton Miller (Carrollton) 11-3 in the semifinals. He won a surprising first round match at Claymont by default over returning state placer Dashawn Haynes, before getting pinned by Gabe Gibson in the quarterfinals. Next Van Wey posted a 7-4 win over senior Kris Bailey (E. Liverpool), but he finished a match shy of placement after a 5-3 loss to state qualifier Chandler Golec in the consolation quarterfinals. He’ll definitely be a contender at these jumbled Heath middle weights during the 2015 season.
It’s hard to get a read on Cody Oiler based on my limited ability to find his results, but he seems to have the makings of a state qualifier. He finished 5th at the OVAC tournament last year losing only to Jason Keyes and West Virginia state placer Austin Harris (Parkersburg S.) during the tournament. It should be noted that Cody also pulled out a respectable win in the consolation quarters over a solid David Forrester (Harrison C.), before the loss to Harris. Oiler won the sectional title convincingly with two pins in the opening rounds and a 14-7 victory over district placer Aiden Pasiuk in the finals. Claymont was a different animal for Oiler as he pinned Ben Zbasnik (Minerva) in between two losses to state qualifiers Hayden Matheney (Morgan) and Tyler Jenkins (Meadowbrook). A more fortuitous bracket could have landed him a district medal in 2014, but 2015 is another year, and he’ll be among the favorites to place here in the upcoming season.
I was surprised to see Aiden Pasiuk place at Claymont last year, but I probably shouldn’t have been given the quality of Carrollton’s program and the solid 9-3 win that he posted at Top Gun over Bowling Green district placer Matt Salmon (Perkins) in mid January. He rolled into the sectional final before falling to Oiler last year and then kicked of his district tournament with a pin of Cameron Cua (DeSales). Aiden lost an overtime bout with Eli Ayoob (Jonathan Alder) in the quarterfinals but bounced back with a pin over Austin Shannon (Amanda-Clearcreek). His next match was a one-sided 12-2 win over a respectable Tyler Gaydosh (Indian Lake) to earn his first district medal. Pasiuk dropped his last two matches to Matheney and Ayoob, but he still did an impressive job to place at Claymont as a freshman.

1. Daniel Hasson-Beaver Local (SQ)
2. Christian Price-Granville (SQ)
3. Logan Hickenbottom-Cambridge (5th district)
4. Devin Hessler-River Valley (6th district)
5. Hayden Bullard-Johnstown-Monroe
6. Charley Bartz-Dover

Daniel Hasson has been a match away from a state medal both of the last two seasons, and I think he’ll achieve that goal of podium placement in 2015, though it will be no small task. The middle weights in Ohio were always very talent dense and are even more so now that a middle weight has been removed and an upper-weight added over the last few years with weight realignment. Hasson came on strong from the get-go last season, pinning his way to the tournament title at Cambridge, including a second period stick of state alternate Kody Driggs (Morgan) in the finals. He also posted a nice 9-6 dual meet win over D-1 district placer Zach Mackall (Fitch) in their EOWL dual meet showdown. Hasson hammered his way to another tournament title at Lorain, knocking off state qualifier Jacob Spino (Independence) 4-2 in the semis and pinning state qualifier Evan Francis (Kirtland) in the finals. Daniel suffered a 3-2 dual meet setback to Hunter McPeak (Southeast) in January but rebounded with a second EOWL title a week later. At the EOWL tournament, he pulled out a heart-stopping semifinal win over state qualifier C.J. Frost (Canfield) with a last second takedown and later claimed the title when he pinned Ed Sigurani (Girard) for the crown. Two weeks later, Hasson won the sectional title with a 5-3 win over Luke Miller (Philo) after a pair of pins in the first two rounds. He continued to roll at Claymont with a pin and a 14-2 major over Tyler Gunn (River View) to reach the semis. In the semis, Hasson defeated Christina Price (Granville), who would also qualify for state, by a 6-4 score. In the finals he met and was defeated by 4x state placer Cody Burcher (Claymont), placing him at the second spot on the podium. Hasson drew Zach Johnson (Wilmington) in the first round at state and scraped out a close 3-2 victory to reach the quarterfinals. Here he met eventual state finalist Josh Mossing (Toledo C.C.) and lost a 5-0 shutout to fall into the consolation bracket. Hasson fell 6-4 in the placement bout to Caleb Price (Chillicothe) ending his season. 2015 will be a big year for Daniel, not only is it his senior year, but the excellent Beaver Local wrestler will become a favorite to win the district title and claim a state medal.
Christian Price is also a force at this district, finishing a match from placement in Columbus, like Hasson, last year. He posted a nice result at a deep Marion County tournament, where he finished 3rd, racking up wins against state qualifier R.J. Martin (Big Walnut) 12-7, state placer Bret Yutzy (Jonathan Alder) 5-3 and state finalist Alex Becker (Dayton Chr.) 3-2 during his run. His only loss at Marion County was to D-3 state placer Grant Rathburn (Hartley) in the semis. He followed that tournament with a 2nd pace finish to state champ Kyle Lawson (Graham) at New Lexington two weeks later. Price won the sectional title at Licking Valley wile earning a second victory over R.J. Martin, this one being of the 7-1 variety. He started his district stint with a 10-5 over Joey Knipp (Carrollton) and followed with a 7-0 shutout of Logan Hickenbottom to reach the semis. Price was defeated by Hasson in the semis but powered back with a 15-5 major over Devin Hessler (River Valley) to secure a trip to state. Christian ended his tournament with the bronze after his third win of the season over R.J. Martin in a 9-2 match. Price lost his opening bout in Columbus to returning state finalist Preston Bowshier (Kenton Ridge) but then defeated Jon Watkins (Lexington) 12-6 on Thursday night to reach the placement match. He fell a shade shy of medaling, losing 8-2 to the 2x state placer Jake Zemaitis (Crestwood) ending his season.
Logan Hickenbottom kicked off the year with a 4th place finish at his home tournament where he pinned a respectable Chris Jackson (Northwest) in the quarterfinals while wrestling up at 152. Logan made the drop down to 145 where he finished 2nd at Sheridan to a capable Zach Carpenter (Sheridan) in his home gym, and Hickenbottom later pulled off a 4th place finish at the OVAC tournament. Logan’s run at the OVAC contained a 3-1 win over state alternate Zac Sowers (Union Local) and a pin over state qualifier Brett Kahl (Shadyside) in the consolation quarters and semis respectively. His only losses were to West Virginia state qualifier Hunter DeLong (Parkersburg S.) and West Virginia state champ Dylan Taylor (Wheeling Park). Hickenbottom made another drop in weight, this time down to 138 for the sectional tournament where he finished 2nd to 4x state placer Cody Burcher (Claymont). He won his first district bout before falling to Christian Price in the quarters. Hickembottom rebounded from the loss with a 5-1 win over Devan Boyer (Amanda-Clearcreek) and a pin over Charley Bartz to earn district placement. Logan lost a heartbreakingly close 7-6 match with R.J. Martin to qualify for state but mustered up the grit and determination to pull off a 2-0 win over Devin Hessler in the 5th place final to finish the season as the state alternate.
Devin Hessler also returns after earning district placement last year as a sophomore. He finished 3rd at Olentangy Liberty in early December last season and pulled off a 5th place finish at Nelsonville-York where his only loss was a 3-1 OT bout with state alternate Kody Driggs (Morgan). Hessler finished 1-2 at Marion County, though both losses were to state placers, and then he won the sectional title after a pair of tight victories to closeout the tournament. He knocked off Devan Boyer 3-2 and defeated Kyler Jacks (H. Lakewood) 6-5 in OT in consecutive matches to earn that title. Next, Hessler opened his district tournament with a win before losing a close 8-7 bout to R.J. Martin. In his first consolation bout, Hessler wrestled a rematch of that overtime sectional final with Kyler Jacks. Devin earned an emphatic pin as he marched onto the consolation quarters, winning a 5-4 bout with Luke Miller (Philo) in that match. Hessler fell to Christian Price and Logan Hickenbottom in his final two matches but still earned a district medal and will have two more chances to punch through to Columbus.
I have a gut feeling that I’ve ranked Hayden Bullard too low to start the season, but he’ll get ample opportunity to prove me wrong over the course of the year. Bullard finished 4th at New Lexington where he had a very nice 6-4 overtime win over Nate Henkle (Graham) which he followed up with an 11-7 win over another quality wrestler in Ben Van Wey (John Glenn). After a loss to state finalist Brent Moore (Graham), Bullard dropped a tight 3rd place match with state alternate Jake Maynard (Northridge) by a 10-8 score in OT. Hayden drew state qualifier Garrett Blackburn in the opening round of the sectional tournament and was quickly sent tumbling into the consolation rounds. Bullard would win two decisive consolation bouts (15-1 and 15-0) before squaring off against 2x state qualifier Austin Shannon (Amanda-Clearcreek) in the consolation semis. Bullard fell 8-4 to Shannon in the match and closed out with an 11-3 win over Devin Hopkins (River Valley) to finish as the district alternate. Although the talented young wrestler fell short of the district tournament due to a talent dense weight-class, I have no doubt that he’ll contend for qualification in 2015.
I wasn’t aware of Charles Bartz during most of last season, but he showed some fire in his end of the year results, making me take notice while pouring over last season’s scores. The sophomore finished 1-2 at Top Gun and 1-2 at the ECOL tournament before placing 3rd at the Buckeye Local Sectional. His only sectional loss would be to Daniel Hasson, and he followed up with a 6-1 win over Joey Knipp in the consolation finals. After an opening round loss to state qualifier R.J. Martin at Claymont, Charles won a 7-4 bout over Chase Campbell (W. Holmes) and then majored Tyler Gunn (River View) 12-0 to advance to the consolation quarters. The win over Gunn is even more significant knowing that Bartz had been pinned by Gunn at the ECOL tournament a few weeks prior. Charles exited the tournament with a loss to Hickenbottom, but still demonstrated the distinct ability to peak for tournament time, which is one of the most effective attributes in post-season wrestling.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:33 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Shawn Livingston-Steubenville (SQ)
2. Bailey Jenkins-Meadowbrook (SQ)
3. John Haines-Morgan (5th district)
4. Jimmy Galbraith-Carrollton
5. Efren Silva-River Valley
6. Dylan Wildman-Jonathan Alder

Steubenville has been another team like Claymont that has established a quality sustainable program in the southeast region of the state. From light weights like Devin Brown and Tariq Wilson, to middle weights like Shawn McGhee and upper weights like Branko Busick and Greg Moray, Steubenville has done an excellent job of producing a complete and quality line-up year in and year out. Their wrestlers continue to impress with the progress that they make over the course of their high school careers. Shawn Livingston impressed me with his progress last season. Early in the year he finished 2-2 at North Canton, though one of the losses was a 4-3 defeat against West Virginia state champion Dylan Taylor (Wheeling Park). Livingston later finished 5th at the deep OVAC tournament, losing another close match to Taylor (5-2). He also split two matches with Brett Kahl (Shadyside), winning the latter match in the 5th place final over the D-3 state qualifier. Livingston also defeated James Wise (Martins Ferry) at the tournament, who I think was the only Ohio wrestler to last a full match with Micah Jordan last season. He finished 2nd at the sectional tournament finishing as the runner-up to Jimmy Galbraith after an 8-4 finals defeat. Livingston shutout state qualifier Bailey Jenkins (Meadowbrook) 4-0 to start his district run before losing a squeaker in a 2-1 quarterfinal with district placer Zach Purdy (Granville). He achieved vengeance in his first consolation match with a pin over Jimmy Galbraith, reversing the sectional final loss. Next, Livingston earned a 13-4 major over Efren Silva and a 5-2 victory over John Haines (Morgan) to make his first state tournament. Shawn ended the tournament with a second win over Bailey Jenkins, this time by a 7-4 score to finish in 3rd place. Livingston lost his first match at state 8-1 to 2x state placer Heath Lange (Indian Lake) who ended the state tournament with a 3rd place medal, and then he fell 5-1 to Dallas Ambos (Wapakoneta) in the first consolation round to end his tournament. Livingston will continue to improve and thrive on the Steubenville wrestling team, and he’ll be one to keep an eye on as the ever improving team makes a push for the district title.
Bailey is the second Jenkins with state credentials from Meadowbrook as we proceed through the weights. He grabbed a 5th place finish at Cambridge early last season, losing only one match during the tournament, a bout with state qualifier Logan Johnson (Licking Valley). Jenkins earned a quality 6-4 win over district placer Zach Purdy (Granville) to make the finals atNew Lexington, earning him the thankless task of wrestling against 4x state champ Micah Jordan (Graham) in the finals. Needless to say, Jenkins didn’t walk away from that match as the victor, though he did earn a 2nd place finish, the same result he would post at the OVAC tournament. Jenkins defeated state qualifier Brett Kahl (Shadyside) 9-2 in the semis of the OVAC before losing a 6-1 bout to West Virginia state qualifier Hunter DeLong (Parkersburg S.) in the finals. This match was one bout after DeLong had pulled an upset over West Virginia state champ Dylan Taylor (Wheeling Park) in the semifinals. Jenkins finished 3rd at both the ECOL and sectional tournaments, losing to state placer Caden Herron (Claymont) in the semis of the latter tournament before besting state alternate John Haines (Morgan) for 3rd place. Bailey dropped his opening match at Claymont to Shawn Livingston, but showed his mettle with 4 straight consolation wins to qualify for the state tournament. The first two wins ended in pins, and Jenkins followed then up with a 4-0 shutout of Anthony Moran (Licking Valley) and another pin over Zach Purdy in the consolation semis. A second loss to Livingston set Jenkins up with a rematch against Micah Jordan in his first state tournament bout. The second match wasn’t much more favorable than the first, and Bailey was later ousted by state placer Ben Petersen (Oak Harbor).
John Haines had some nice wins last season, but he’ll be looking to do better during his final run at state qualification. He was very impressive in winning the Cambridge tournament last year with a 16-0 tech in the finals over Daniel Law (Belpre) who had majored state qualifier Logan Johnson 12-4 the semifinals. Haines had a rough go of it at the GMVWA tournament going 1-2, but he rebounded nicely with a tournament title over Ray Petros (Fairfield U.) at Nelsonville-York). Haines also majored Efren Silva 9-1 in the semis to punch through to the championship match. A tough sectional tournament saw Haines finish 4th after losses to district champ Dalton Hartshorn (Minera) and state qualifier Jenkins. He opened at Claymont with a 4-0 win over sectional champ Jimmy Galbraith and then advanced to the semis with a 17-1 tech of Nick Meyers (DeSales). Haines was pinned by Hartshorn in the semis and lost a 5-2 qualification bout with Shawn Livingston to drop into the alternate match. Here Haines ended his season on a positive note, defeating Zach Purdy 7-1 to finish as the state alternate.
Jimmy Galbraith went 2-2 at Top Gun last January with a win over a tough Logan Calvert (Sidney). His only losses during the tournament would be to state placer Caden Herron and state qualifier Walter Gibson (SVSM). Jimmy came away from the Buckeye Local Sectional with the tournament championship, defeating state qualifier Shawn Livingston 8-4 in the finals. A tough first round draw with Join Haines resulted in Galbraith’s exit the winner’s bracket after the previously mentioned 4-0 loss. He pinned his first consolation opponent, but was stuck by Shawn Livingston in the second round of consolation matches. Splitting the two bouts with Livingston shows that Galbraith can qualify out of this district but he’ll have to continue to improve to guarantee that he achieves state qualifier status this season.
Efren Silva defeated Matt Snyder (O. Liberty) to advance to the finals of the Olentangy Liberty tournament last December before falling to state qualifier Caleb Dimmerling (Mason) for the title. Silva later took 3rd at Nelsonville-York with 4 pins and a lone loss to John Haines. Efren won the Madison Plains sectional with three first period pins before earning another stick in his first match at Claymont. He was pinned in the quarters by Caden Herron before battling back with one more pin to reach the consolation quarters. Here, Silva lost a 13-4 match with Livingston to end the tournament at 2-2.
Dylan Wildman started last season at 160 before making the drop to this weight. He was 2nd at Nelsonville-York where he earned a 4-3 overtime win over Ben Kidwell (Buckeye Valley) in the semis but lost a 12-8 bout to state qualifier Hannibal Tate (Buckeye Valley) in the finals. After a few rough tournaments at Marion County and Pleasant, Wildman finished 5th at the Madison Plains sectional, losing by a narrow 2-1 margin in his match with state qualifier Steven Fearnow (Amanda-Clearcreek) prior to falling in another close 3-1 bout with Colton Winters (London) in the consolation semis.

1. Dalton Hartshorn-Minerva (SQ)
2. Ethan Fout-Licking Valley (SQ)
3. Justice Avery-Claymont (5th district)
4. Niko Moray-Steubenville
5. Nate Ketchum-East Liverpool
6. Colton Winters-London

Dalton Hartshorn has already had an excellent high school career over his first three years. Now he will be training hard so that he can cap his tenure off with a well earned first trip to the awards podium in Columbus. Hartshorn waxed the field at Cambridge early last year, pinning all opponents who were willing and able to face him, including a fall in the finals over state qualifier Ethan Fout (Licking Valley) at the 3:17 mark. Dalton rebounded from a dual meet loss to state alternate Spencer Nagy (Alliance) to post a quality 5th place finish at the Top Gun Tournament. At Alliance he majored state alternate Garrett Poling (Mass. Jackson) 14-2, defeated state placer Kristian Jackson (Alliance), bested state qualifier Ben Knaus (SVSM) 8-1 and pinned a sturdy Jacob Henry (Mentor) in the 5th place finals. His only Top Gun losses were to state 5th place finisher Andrew McNally (Lake) and California state tournament top seed Dominic Kincaid (Clovis). Hartshorn earned an impressive pin over state placer Nick Wrobel (Crestwood) during their state duals match and a tech over district placer Colin Boswell (West Branch) in their NBC dual meet. After making the drop to 145, Dalton toiled to a sectional title, with a win in the finals over state placer Caden Herron (Claymont). Harsthorn reigned over the district tournament with a tech and two pins to make the finals before defeating Caden Herron a second time, this time by a 10-6 score to earn the district crown. Dalton gritted out a 3-2 win over Tyler Sowards (Kenton Ridge) in the opening round of the state tournament before falling to 2x state placer Andy Dobben (CVCA) 3-0 in the quarterfinals. Hartshorn was the victim of a brutally close 4-2 sudden victory consolation loss to Tyler Weiderholt (Bellbrook) ending his season. Dalton is already good enough to earn a state medal, and I’m sure he knows this. That motivation should provide a fire under his feet for the 2015 season that should see Hartshorn take his place on the state podium.
I like the youth potential at this Claymont district, and I’d love to see them get more and more state placers and champs over the next few years. The pieces are in place, now it’s just up to the wrestlers and their coaches to nurture their potential. Ethan Fout was only a freshman last year for Licking Valley but he’ll start this year having established some crucial state tournament experience. Fout finished 2nd to Dalton Hartshorn at Cambridge last November after beating state alternate Logan Hickenbottom 6-1 in the semis. Fout went 3-1 at the Licking Valley Sectional with 3 pins, but suffered a 17-2 setback to Dain Steffeny (Granville) who ended up finishing 4th at state. At Claymont, Fout was pinned in his first round bout with Justice Avery in the first period. That first round loss can break down some wrestlers and motivate others. Rather than seeing the loss as a foreboding omen of doom, Fout found a new beginning in the consolation bracket, pinning his first foe, majoring Kevin Scrudders (Cambridge) 20-7, and defeating Kendre Powell (Brookhaven) 13-7 to work his way back to the consolation semis. His opponent he would face for the right to wrestle in the state tournament would be none other than the foe that exiled him to the consolation bracket, Justice Avery. Undeterred by the first defeat, Fout won the rematch 12-6 to advance to his first state tournament and then defeated Alex Arbogast (Dover) 9-3 to close out the tournament in third place. Claiming those 5 straight consolation wins is a mighty impressive feat, and Fout certainly rose to the occasion. He would not be so fortunate in Columbus, losing to the wrestlers that finished 6th and 8th in his first two matches and exiting the tournament on Thursday night. Though his state tournament may have overshadowed his brilliant district run, Fout showed a great deal of promise last year, but that was only the beginning of the quest and not the end goal. He’ll have three more opportunities to build on that freshman campaign and bring home hardware from the state tournament.
I thought I remembered hearing that Justice Avery had almost no wrestling experience coming into the year, and if that’s true it makes his improvements over the course of his sophomore season all the more impressive. Avery started off the year at Ironman and went 0-2 in two lopsided losses to high quality wrestlers. He started to gain a bit of momentum at Medina, where he went 3-2 and earned a solid 6-4 win over a tough Brody Henning (Oak Harbor) in the third consolation round. Avery posted an 8-5 win over sectional champ Jimmy Galbraith (Carrollton) during the state duals and pulled together a solid performance at the ECOL tournament. Though he was pinned by Kevin Scrudders in the finals of the ECOL while finishing 2nd, Justice defeated state qualifier Alex Arbogast 3-2 in the semifinals. Avery also finished 2nd at his home sectional, again falling to Scrudders in the finals. Justice pulled out that great pin over state qualifier Ethan Fout to kick off his district tournament and snagged another impressive victory in the quarters, beating Niko Moray 10-9 to reach the semis. He was pinned by state placer Dain Steffeny in the semis and lost the qualification match with Fout, but he was able to churn out a 5-4 win over Tristan Stallard (Carrollton) to finish as the state alternate. The final win was even more impressive considering that Stallard had been a state qualifier in 2013. Avery made great strides in 2014, and I think he’ll be even better in 2015 during his junior campaign. The progress of wrestlers like Justice could play a huge roll in Claymont’s ability to repeat as district champions, and I think he’ll rise to the occasion.
Niko Moray is yet another talented underclassman in a Steubenville line-up that’s full of them. He finished 4th at the OVAC tournament while besting a solid Bryce Coleman (Martins Ferry) 4-3 in the consolation semis. His only losses at OVAC were a pair of decisions to Ryan Lopez (University) and Dylan Alexander (Parkersburg S.) who finished 3rd and 5th at the West Virginia state tournament. Moray won the sectional title with a 2-0 semifinal win over state qualifier Alex Arbogast (Dover) and a 6-4 overtime triumph over state qualifier Tristan Stallard in his final two matches. Niko pinned his first foe at Claymont before the previously mentioned 10-9 loss to Justice Avery. Moray then defeated another good young wrestler in Colton Winters 3-1 to stay alive in the consolation bracket, but had to default in his rematch with Alex Arbogast in the consolation quarters.
Nate Ketchum went 3-2 at the OVAC tournament and finished 4th at the Buckeye Local Sectional. His losses at the later tournament were an 8-4 match with state qualifier Tristan Stallard and an 8-5 affair with state qualifier Alex Arbogast. Nate lost his opening match at Claymont to state qualifier Steven Fearnow before rebounding with a pin and then ending his tournament with a 13-11 shootout loss to a capable Kendre Powell (Brookhaven).
Colton Winters lost his opening sectional bout to that same Kendre Powell before stringing together three straight consolation wins to finish in 3rd place. The best of the wins may have been the narrow 3-1 defeat of an adept Dylan Wildman (Jonathan Alder) in their consolation semifinal bout. Winters lost his first match at the Claymont District to Tristan Stallard, but he earned a 3-2 consolation win in overtime over Brandon Fort (Marion Franklin) before falling to Niko Moray in the wrestle-backs.

1. Brendan Scherer-River View (7th state)
2. Austin Brooks-Carrollton
3. Josh Barber-Beaver Local
4. Luis Hutras-Dover
5. Ben Kidwell-Buckeye Valley
6. Montrese Frazier-Mifflin

Brendan Scherer may have improved as much as anyone at this district last year, entering the state tournament undefeated and coming away with his first state medal. He leveled the field at Cambridge early in the year, pounding out 4 pins and earning a 6-0 shutout of district placer Kyle Myers (Northwest). Scherer continued his success, winning titles at the ECOL, sectional and district tournaments. He would defeat Eric Fox (Cambridge) in the finals of the former two tournaments and also pinned his opening foe at Claymont. In his next match, Scherer faced off against Caleb Horn (Amanda-Clearcreek) who also finished as a state placer. Brendan earned a second period pin over Horn to advance to the district semis, and then he won an 8-4 match with 2x state qualifier William Navin (Granville) to stamp his first ticket to state. Scherer was slated against returning state placer Owen Shoemaker (London) in the district finals and rose to the occasion with a 5-4 victory to earn his first district title. Brendan won his first match at the state tournament 14-7 over Mason Hughes (West Branch) before suffering his first defeat of the year in a 9-4 loss to 2x state bronze medalist Ben Schram (Bellbrook). Scherer’s match to place at state was a rematch of his district semifinal with William Navin. As it was the first time, Scherer emerged as the victor, claiming a 2-0 decision. He subsequently lost a tight 6-5 bout with Alliance District champ Alonzo Tuner (Harvey) in the consolation quarters but closed out his first state tournament emphatically with a 12-0 major over Caleb Horn in a rematch of their district quarterfinal bout. With as much as Scherer improved last season, I’m excited to see how much better he can get in another year.
Austin Brooks was a shadow away from district placement last year as a junior. He finished 2-2 at Top Gun while defeating an underrated Tyler Dempsey (Boardman) 4-3 and giving Travis Grooms (Trace) a tough test in a 6-5 loss. Austin won the sectional title with three pins and a 3-1 finals win over fellow contender Josh Barber. Next, Brooks opened his Claymont District Tournament with a second period pin before a 5-0 quarterfinal loss to Eric Fox in his first two bouts. Austin bested Louis Hutras (Dover) 3-2 to advance to the consolation quarters before ending his season on a 6-4 loss to state alternate Clayton Paisley (Claymont).
Josh Barber placed 3rd at Cambridge and 5th at Lorain before the start of the new year, wrestling up at 170 for his early season tournaments. He later made the drop to 160 where he wrestled at the OVAC Tournament finishing 6th while losing to district placer Eric Fox, West Virginia state qualifier Damon Gandee (Parkersburg S.) and West Virginia state finalist Eric Banks (Wheeling Park). Josh was 2nd to Austin Brooks at the Buckeye Local Sectional before opening his district tournament with a scrappy 5-4 win against Ben Kidwell (Buckeye Valley). Though his year ended on a pair of losses, Barber has placed himself in a group with the top contenders at this weight entering the 2014-2015 season.
Ben Kidwell is another underclassman to watch at this weight. Just a shade behind Barber based on the close district loss last year, Kidwell also finished 3rd at Nelsonville-York last season. He’ll face a stern test at Top Gun in 2015 with other district contenders like Brooks and Hutras there to test him as well as the rest of an always dense field. Kidwell finished 0-2 there last year but claimed a 3rd place finish at his sectional tournament. His two district bouts were both losses, but they were close matches letting his know how close he is to the top wrestlers at this weight.
Luis Hutras also wrestled at Top Gun last year, finishing at 2-2 with a legit win over Anthony Mazzola (Ravenna) and a close 4-3 loss to district placer Dalton Cox (Northwest). He finished 3rd at the Buckeye Local Sectional splitting two matches with the former middle school state placer Austen Deffenbaugh (Steubenville), who could also contend for state qualification around this weight. Hutras lost his first district bout 7-2 to state placer Caleb Horn prior to bouncing back with a 7-4 win over Garrett Robinson (Licking Valley). He ended his tournament on a narrow 3-2 loss to Austin Brooks.
Montrese Frazier wrestles for Mifflin who has one of my favorite high school mascots, the Punchers, and he represents the Puncher’s best shot at state qualification in 2015. Frazier dominated at the Columbus City League tournament with three pins and a tech on the way to the title. He later split two matches with Garrett Robinson, another contender at this weight, at the sectional tournament while finishing 3rd. Frazier lost their quarterfinal showdown but defeated Robinson in the consolation finals. Montrese lost his fist bout at Claymont to district placer Eric Fox but bounced back with a 15-9 win over Justin Townsend (River Valley). Frazier fell 10-6 to Caleb Horn in his next consolation bout to end the year.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:34 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Jordan Leasure-Amanda-Clearcreek (SQ)
2. Brandon Jones-Steubenville (6th district 2013)
3. Zach Baker-Sparta Highland (6th district)
4. Jared Torch-Dover
5. John Dunlap-Carrollton
6. Josh Sokolowski-Buckeye Local

Jordan Leasure has already made it to state twice in his high school career, a rarity for a wrestler in his junior season, especially an upper-weight. His most impressive win last season may have been the 2-0 victory he notched over Colt Crall (Claymont) in the state duals, a month before Crall finished 4th at the state tournament. Leasure won his sectional tournament with a pair of pins and a 7-1 decision over Jordan Hale (River Valley) in the finals. Jordan pinned his first foe at Claymont and then majored a good John Mercer (Cambridge) 14-6 to reach the semis. Here he lost a razor thin semifinal to state placer Jhulyis Monroe (Marion Franklin) 6-5, but pinned Jordan Hale in a rematch of their sectional final to punch through to the state tournament. He ended his district tournament with another pin, this one over Matt Tom (John Glenn) to finish 3rd at the district. Leasure drew returning state bronze medalist Alec Schenk (Perry) in the opening round of state and fell 12-4. He bounced back with a proficient pin over Dallas Lazear (Athens) to stay alive in the consolation rounds, but subsequently lost a 10-8 shootout with 2x state placer Jacob Worthington (Keystone) to end the season. This year, Jordan will contend for a district title whether he opts for 182 or 195, and winning the district title outright could be a huge help for Leasure as he works to grab his first state medal.
Brandon Jones snared a nice 5th place finish at North Canton Hoover early last year, defeating state qualifier Jake Gladwell (Green) 7-6 in the quarterfinals and besting state alternate Kyle Myers (Northwest) 4-3 in the 5th place finals. Jones later finished 2nd at the OVAC tournament where he defeated West Virginia state qualifier Matthew Dixon (Parkersburg S.) 4-3 in the semis to reach the championship match before falling to state qualifier Leo Herrmann (Steubenville C.C.) in the finals and finishing as the runner-up. Brandon teched Tyler Kelly (Beaver Local) 25-10 in the sectional semifinals, but lost 6-5 in the finals to state qualifier Steven Frazier (Philo). Jones finished 2-2 at Claymont, losing to the wrestlers that would finish 5th and 6th in the tournament. After an opening round win, Brandon fell 8-4 to Mack White (Amanda-Clearcreek) in the quarters. He came back from the quarterfinal loss with a pin over Tyler Kelly, prior to being ousted by 2013 state qualifier Matt Dennis (Claymont) in the consolation quarters. Jones’s ability to qualify for state will be a major factor in the success of the Steubenville team that will be looking to supplant Claymont as the district champions.
Zach Baker earned his first district medal in 2014 as a freshman. If he demonstrates the typical type of progress that a wrestler displays from his freshman to his sophomore years, we could see multiple state qualifiers out of Highland at these upper weights. Baker finished 6th at New Lexington last season before going 3-1 at the sectional tournament to finish in 3rd place. His lone loss was to state alternate Jordan Hale in the semis, and he rebounded with consecutive pins to take the bronze. Baker made the district semis with a 9-3 quarterfinal win over Jonathan Dunlap but was pinned by state placer Colt Crall in the opening period. The freshman posted a hard fought 11-8 bout with Matt Tom in the consolation semis, but ultimately came up short in the go-to-state bout. Baker ended his season with another defeat at the hands of Hale, though he was able to go the distance the second time around. Hopefully, the fabulous Baker boys (Zach and Dustin) will push each other to greater heights as they both look for their first state qualification in 2015.
Jared Torch is another up and coming young wrestler at these upper weights. Not only does he have a sweet last name, but he finished just a match shy of district placement last year, going 2-2 at Claymont. Torch went 1-2 at Top Gun where he lost an 8-6 match with state qualifier Jim Brittsan (Buckeye Valley) and a 5-1 bout with another excellent freshman in state alternate Anthony Perrine (Nordonia). Jared placed 3rd at the Buckeye Local sectional, defeating Tyler Kelly 8-0 in the consolation finals after a semifinal loss to Steven Frazier. Torch lost his first district bout to state qualifier Zach Gibson (Bloom Carroll) but defeated Evan Martin (River Valley) 7-1 and Jack Rusher (H. Lakewood) 8-7 in a tiebreak to advance to the consolation quarters. Here he would lose to Jim Brittsan by a 3-1 score to end the season. Still all in all it was an impressive result for a sophomore upper weight. Torch will be right in the middle of this young contingent of talented upper weights making a push for qualification out of Heath in 2015.
Jonathan Dunlap won the sectional title at Buckeye Local last season, and I’ll be surprised if he isn’t even better this year. He has the advantage of training every day with a state qualifier (Tyler Dodd), a luxury not many wrestlers have around this weight. The win at Buckeye Local included a 6-0 semifinal win over state qualifier Matt Tom and a 4-2 finals victory over Tristan Jones (Buckeye Local) for the title. Dunlap pinned Nate Shedron (Tuscarawas Valley) in the opening round at Claymont but fell to Zach Baker and Mitchell Wells (R. Edison) 9-3 and 5-2 in his next two bouts.
Josh Sokolowski didn’t wrestle in the post season tournament process last year, but should be a placement contender around this weight in 2015. He finished 8th at Independence, and could have finished higher if he hadn’t defaulted in his last two matches. Sokolowski finished a worthy 6th place at Wadsworth, losing an 8-5 bout in the 5th place match to state qualifier Zach Donatelli (Darby).
Another name to consider around this weight class is Austin Fooce (Jonathan Alder). He won a middle school state title in 2013, but did not show up on my radar last season despite the fact that he was allegedly wrestling for Jonathan Alder. He could play a major roll at the upper weights if he is indeed wrestling this year.

1. Tyler Dodd-Carrollton (SQ)
2. Nate Gray-Claymont (SQ)
3. Tim Albertson-Steubenville (6th district)
4. Leeland Lauvray-River View
5. John Mercer-Cambridge
6. Tristan Jones-Buckeye Local

Tyler Dodd inched closer to state placement in his second trip to Columbus, but finished a match shy in 2014. This season, he’ll be the favorite at this district and among the favorites for state placement. Dodd placed a solid 5th at the outstanding Top Gun Tournament last year, pinning a respectable wrestler in district placer Andy Eckhart (Field) in the quarterfinals. He lost a 7-4 bout in the Top Gun semis to Tyler MacLellan (CVCA) who would later win the D-2 state title. Tyler hammered out pins against both Leeland Lauvray and Nate Gray during the state duals tournament, and he also claimed a notable 11-6 victory over Tim Albertson in the sectional semis on his way to the title at Buckeye Local. After an opening round pin at Claymont, Dodd scraped out two close wins over Grayson Miller (West Holmes) and state placer Blake Owens (Licking Valley) to make the finals. Here he would square off against the undefeated returning state placer Clayton Bullard (Johnstown-Monroe) who pinned Dodd in the second period. Tyler drew John Workman (Perkins) in his first bout at the state tournament and fell in a heartbreakingly close 4-3 tiebreak loss. Dodd had a similarly close scoring match in his first consolation bout, but the Carrollton wrestler would rise as the victor in a 9-8 bout with Cody Jenkins (Woodridge). Unfortunately for Dodd, his next match would be a second showdown with Clayton Bullard. He lost the rematch but went the distance the second time around. It’s difficult to know who will make the jump to this weight, but Dodd is the highest returning district placer at 195. If he can continue his climb to glory and success in 2015, we will see him earn his first district title and his first state medal.
Claymont has been one of the better public school teams in the state in recent years, and the progress and development of wrestlers like Nate Gray speak volumes to the quality of the program. As a sophomore in 2013, Gray wrestled well but was unable to escape the sectional tournament, finishing in 5th place as the district alternate. A year later, and the same wrestler not only qualified for the state tournament but finished a match away from bringing home a state medal. Now an elder statesman for the Mustangs, Gray will be one of the experienced seniors leading a skilled squad with some young talented newcomers as they hope to keep a stranglehold on the district title. Aside from coaching and depth, the schedule that Claymont wrestles is the single greatest contributor to the priming of the Mustang wrestlers for their run at the end of the season. They wrestled at Ironman, Medina, and Top Gun, three of Ohio’s premier tournaments, and also made a deep run in the state dual meet tournament advancing to the finals before falling to Graham. Though Gray didn’t place at any of the previously mentioned tournaments, he gained valuable experience and pulled out some quality wins along the way. Nate took district placer Chad Ely (Riverside) into overtime before falling at Medina, bested state qualifier Chris Meffert (Lake) 4-1 in the opening round at Top Gun, and pulled out a huge 4-3 win over state placer Josh Couchman (Graham) in the finals of the state duals to provide the Mustangs with a spark in a brutal finals showdown. Gray showed that he could pull out close matches on his way to the title at the ECOL tournament, where he bested a tough Nick Antalis (Cambridge) in the semis and Leeland Lauvray in the finals by identical 2-1 overtime wins. Gray again defeated Lauvray and conquered Grayson Miller in the sectional semis and finals on his way to the title. After tow pins to start his district run, Gray was stuck by Clayton Bullard in the district semis, setting up a rematch of his sectional final with Grayson Miller. Gray again won a close bout, pulling out a 3-2 victory to secure his first state qualification. After finishing 4th at the district, Nate would draw returning state finalist Isaiah Margheim (Sandusky) in the opening round of the state tournament and slide into the consolation rounds after a second period fall. He came back with a nice 9-5 victory over Jeremiah Jones (Trace) to stay alive in the wrestle-backs on Thursday night but fell to one of the pre-tournament title favorites, Bailey Faust (Lexington), in his next consolation bout. 195 will be no cake walk in 2015, but Gray has the tools and the coaching staff to get him over the hump into placement as he pushes himself to the next level this season.
Tim Albertson was only a match away from state as a sophomore last year, which bodes well considering the quality of Steubenville’s wrestling program and the fact that he seems to be at the sharp end of the learning curve. Albertson was 2-2 at Hoover early in the year, and was pinned by Leeland Lauvray during the state duals. He started to turn things around at the OVAC tourney where he finished a solid 4th at the huge conference tournament. Albertson’s two losses were a pair of 3-1 bouts with Tyler Newhart-Koreski (Parkersburg S.) who would go on to finish 4th at the West Virginia big school state tournament. He continued to round into shape at sectionals, where he finished third with an 11-6 setback to state qualifier Tyler Dodd as his lone blemish. Albertson advanced to the district quarterfinals where he was pinned by Clayton Bullard, but he pulled out a pin over Leeland Lauvray in his first consolation bout to avenge the earlier loss. After another pin, Albertson fell to state placer Blake Owens 6-3 and stalwart senior Grayson Miller 9-5 in his final two bouts to close out the district tournament in 6th place.
Leeland Lauvray posted the previously mentioned pin over Albertson in their state duals showdown, and pinned his way to the ECOL tournament finals before falling in a 2-1 OT championship match with state qualifier Nate Gray. Unfortunately for Lauvray, he drew Gray in the opening round of the Claymont sectional and was sent into the consolation bracket immediately. He soldiered back with two straight pins to claim 3rd, including one over the respectable Nick Antalis in the consolation finals. Leeland would be pinned in his opening district bout before notching a 10-3 consolation win over Cody Riddle (Beaver Local). He closed out his season with the loss to Albertson, though the fact that he pinned the Steubenville wrestler earlier in the year should provide some confidence to Lauvray that he is state worthy if he continues to improve.
John Mercer won his home tournament to kick off last season, and finished 3rd at Sheridan a few weeks later. He was 3rd at the ECOL tournament where he was pinned by state placer Colt Crall (Claymont) in the semis before battling back and pinning middle school state placer Blake Bollon (New Philadelphia) in the consolation finals. John would also claim a 5th place finish at the OVAC tournament where he defeated Tristan Jones (Buckeye Local) in the quarters, albeit by disqualification. Mercer pinned his way to the sectional final before suffering the same fate in a loss to Colt Crall in the title bout. He opened his district tournament with a respectable 9-6 win over Mitchell Wells, but suffered a 14-6 setback against state qualifier Jordan Leasure (Amanda-Clearcreek) in the quarterfinals. Mercer had one more win in him as he claimed a solid 7-2 victory over Nate Shedron (Tuscarawas Valley) before being pinned by state qualifier Matt Tom (John Glenn) in the consolation quarters. Cambridge is a quality program that churns out good wrestlers consistently but flies a bit under the radar in the state. Mercer seems like the type of wrestler with potential that the Cambridge staff can mold into a state caliber performer. We’ll have to wait till February to find out.
Mitchell Wells like Mercer was a single match away from district placement in 2014. He looked good at Nelsonville-York last January, finishing 2nd and losing a 4-3 finals bout with D-3 state finalist Joey Meek (W.S. Northwestern) in the title match. Wells would have an up and down sectional tournament, losing in overtime to Tristan Jones in the semis, but pinning eventual state qualifier Matt Tom in the consolation finals. After the opening match loss to Mercer, Wells majored Evan Watkins (Big Walnut) 8-0 and defeated Jonathan Dunlap (Carrollton) 5-2 to reach the consolation quarterfinals. Here his run would end with a pin at the hands of state alternate Jordan Hale (River Valley), setting a respectably high bar to exceed in 2015.
Tristan Jones finished a meritable 5th place at Independence last year, losing a one point bout with a robust Jeff Christian (Solon) in the semis. He knocked off Mitchell Wells in sudden victory to advance to the sectional finals, before falling 4-2 to Jonathan Dunlap (Carrollton). Jones started his district tournament off with a nice 6-4 win over Zach Mullett (West Holmes) before losing a high scoring 14-9 bout with state placer Jhulyis Monroe, and bowing out against state qualifier Matt Tom 5-2 in his first consolation bout.
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Old 10-16-14, 11:35 AM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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1. Troy Caldwell-Jonathan Alder (1st state)
2. Dustin Baker-Sparta Highland (5th district)
3. Cole Genders-Amanda-Clearcreek (SQ)
4. Bo Redman-Licking Valley
5. Steven Pelletier-Brookhaven
6. James Prater-DeSales

Troy Caldwell’s sensational junior year seemed to follow the archetype of the modern day action movie. The story begins with the hero having a defining goal that arches over the span of the movie and serves as the backbone for the plot. In the middle is a portion of the story where our hero faces adversity and it becomes murky whether or not the protagonist will be able to overcome the odds and achieve his ultimate goal. But in the end, the hero emerges triumphantly against all odds. Though Troy Caldwell didn’t save the world, America, or Gotham City, he did win his first state title in a dense 220 weight class last year. He made his presence felt immediately last season, pinning his way to a tournament title at Nelsonville-York and winning another impressive championship at Marion County. The latter tournament saw Caldwell defeat D-3 state bronze medalist Travis Jaramillo (Archbold) 7-1 in the semis and 2x state placer Kordell Chaney (Perkins) 5-1 for the title. At this point in the season, Caldwell looked like one of the prohibitive state title favorites at the open 220 weight designation. He ran into his first snag at Pleasant, where he posted a close 2-0 quarterfinal victory over a stout Chris Williams (Harvey) in the quarters and a 4-1 win over state qualifier Jared Croswell (Hartley) to reach the finals. Here, Troy experienced his first defeat of the season in a narrow 2-1 loss at the hands of Tylor Pritchard (Upper Sandusky), a talented wrestler who would go on to finish 5th in the state. Fast forward to the sectional tournament, and Caldwell would suffer another setback, this time against state alternate Dustin Baker (S. Highland) by a 5-4 score. Very few wrestlers win a state title after failing to win their sectional tournament, though it does happen on occasion. Caldwell came back strong a week later at Claymont, in what was one of the most talent dense district weight classes of any of Ohio’s three divisions. He opened with a first period pin of James Prater to kick things off, and then he bested returning state qualifier Austin Bentley (Carrollton) 8-6 in the quarterfinals. On a side note, Bentley beat Caldwell for third place at the district tournament the previous year. In the semis, Caldwell pinned returning state alternate Garrett Harding (Claymont) in the first period, and in the finals Caldwell re-cemented his place as a state title contender with a 7-6 win over state placer Harrison Hoppel (Minerva). In Columbus, Troy started to slowly but surely work his way through the championship bracket. He posted a 5-3 win in the first round over skilled freshman Reece Human (Carlisle) and followed that win with a 3-1 victory over a very good Deaken McCoy (Galion) in the quarterfinals. Caldwell really caught fire in the semis where he had a rematch with Tylor Pritchard, one of only two wrestlers to defeat him during the season. Caldwell powered his way into the state finals with a resounding pin of Pritchard, setting up a rematch of his district semifinal bout with Garrett Harding. Though Harding lasted longer this time around, the result was ultimately the same. Troy Caldwell picked up his second straight pin to earn his first state title. Winning the state championship the way he did, Caldwell placed himself into two rare groups. He won a state title after losing a sectional final, and he won a state title by pinning his last two opponents after a pair of 2 point decisions in his first two matches.
Dustin Baker was excellent last year as well, but finished a shade shy of the state tournament at a robust district tourney. He looked impressive from Jump Street last year, defeating Camron Conway (S. Central) 4-2 and Kyle Lhamon (Bath) 12-8 at Highland. Conway finished 4th in the state in D-3 last year and Lhamon was a district placer as a freshman in 2013. Baker finished 2nd to a worthy Deakon McCoy at Marion Harding, losing a 4-3 tiebreak match in the finals after beating D-1 state qualifier James Ford (Thomas Worthington) 7-6 in the semis. Dustin walloped the fields at Heath and New Lexington pinning every opponent while earning championships at each tournament. After a first period pin in his first match at sectionals, Baker hammered out another first period fall in the semis against Cole Genders who would qualify for state the next week at Claymont. Baker posted his biggest win of the season in the sectional final, where he was one of only two wrestlers to knock off state champion Troy Caldwell in a 5-4 victory. Dustin began his district run with a pin at Claymont, but was tripped up by Christian McKee (River View) 5-4 in the quarterfinals. Baker bounced back with a 4-0 win over James Prater in his first consolation bout and a pin over Bo Redman in his second. His go-to-state match with the dangerous Garrett Harding would end quickly, though not in Baker’s favor, as Harding pulled off the pin in 15 seconds. Harding would go on to make the state finals the next week losing to Caldwell, while Baker would be the alternate after avenging his loss to McKee in the 5th place final with a 5-1 win. I’ll be very surprised if anyone can keep Baker out of the state tournament in 2015, but the bigger question will be just how high he can place once he gets there.
Cole Genders was one of the focal points for a talented and deep Amanda-Clearcreek team that made the jump from D-3 to D-2 last year. Now a senior, Genders will be called upon to be one of the leaders of this program. He finished 3rd at the Madison Plains Sectional after getting pinned by Dustin Baker in the semis. Genders had a noteworthy pin over Steven Pelletier in their consolation final bout at sectionals, and he started off his district run with a pin over a solid Tim Howard (Bloom Carroll). Cole gave state finalist Harding a battle in the quarters before falling 12-9, but he then posted a 21 second pin of Pelletier in his first consolation bout to stay alive. His next win was even more impressive and with a third period pin, he would eliminate returning state qualifier Austin Bentley from the tournament. Genders would then triumph over senior Christian McKee 5-2 in the consolation semis to make his first state tournament. A second showdown with Garrett Harding in the consolation finals ended with Harding securing the pin and Genders finishing in 4th place. This set him up with a first round state bout with district champ Michael Crockett (Franklin). Undaunted, Genders climbed into the quarters with a 7-2 win over Crockett. Next up was Tylor Pritchard who would have Gender’s number in a 5-1 defeat to send Cole sliding into the consolation rounds. Genders wrestled a close placement match with Adontis Watson (Alliance), but fell 3-2 to the state 6th place finisher. Finishing a point from state placement is surely an excruciating way to end a season, but fortunately Genders has another opportunity to improve upon that finish in 2015.
Bo Redman was a mere match from district placement last year, and the talented junior will have his sights set on state in 2015. Redman was 4th at Cambridge early last year, losing an 8-3 bout with 2x state placer Harrison Hoppel in the semis. He pinned his way to the sectional title, sticking James Prater in 40 seconds in the semis and pinning Tim Howard for the crown. Bo opened his district scoring with a pin of Steven Pelletier, but was pinned by Harrison Hoppel in the quarterfinals with 9 seconds left in the match. Redman pinned Howard a second time to advance to the consolation quarters, but ended up getting stuck by Dustin Baker. It was a tough draw considering the fact the Redman had to wrestle a 2x state placer and the last wrestler to knock off the eventual state champ (Dustin Baker) both before the placement matches. However, this sport isn’t about easy roads or the path of least resistance, and a tough tournament provided Redman experience which will make him all the more ready for the district tournament next year.
Steven Pelletier is another state contender at this weight. He was 3rd at Heath last year, and pinned his way to a Columbus City League title. In fact all of Pelletier’s matches seem to end with a pin. He finished 4th at the sectional tournament, pinning in all of his wins and being pinned in all of his losses. To be fair to Pelletier, the losses were to state champ Caldwell and state qualifier Genders. Steven was pinned by Bo Redman in the opening round at Claymont but rebounded with a pin against Jevin Leggett (R. Edison) in the first consolation round. Pelletier’s season would come to an end with yet another pin in a rematch with Cole Genders.
James Prater also won a district bout at 220 last year, pinning Tommy Moore (Cambridge) in between his matches with state champ Caldwell and state alternate Dustin Baker. He was 3rd at the sectional tournament after losing to Redman in the semis and could make significant strides with an excellent upper-weight wrestler like Nick Preston for his coach.

1. Jacob Packwood-Bloom Carroll
2. Jaqui Vanmeter-Licking Valley (SQ)
3. Micah Campbell-Carrollton (5th district)
4. William Poplowski-Steubenville (6th district)
5. David Praul-Buckeye Valley
6. Gary Tidwell-Meadowbrook

It’s unfortunate that Jacob Packwood was unable to wrestle at the district tournament last year. He had legitimate state aspirations, but was unable to participate for one reason or another. The week prior, Packwood had claimed the sectional title at Licking Valley, where he pinned his first two opponents in the first period before downing state qualifier Jacqui Vanmeter 7-2 to claim the sectional crown. Jacob was 2nd to state placer Evan Loughman (Sheridan) early in the year at Sheridan before going 2-2 at both Brecksville and the Dies tournaments. His two losses at Brecksville were to 2x state champ Billy Miller (Perry) and state placer C.J. Kinzer (Teays Valley), and the two at Dies were to state qualifier Jordan Lee (Olmsted Falls) and state alternate Curtis Burns (Canfield). Packwood did pick up a pin over a solid Justin Coon (Nelsonville-York) at the former tournament and a stick against a capable Ben Cipa (Tallmadge) at the latter. Of the Bloom Carroll wrestler’s previously mentioned losses, only the Loughman defeat was to an underclassmen. Heavyweights seem to make greater jumps in progress than other weight-classes given the nature of the weight. Packwood will continue to face stern in-season tests at Brecksville and Dies that should have him prepared for the tournament process. If he can participate in the district tournament this year, Jacob could very well win the whole thing and eventually climb onto the podium in Columbus.
Jaqui Vanmeter has impressed in his first two seasons of varsity duty. After finishing a match away from state and placing 6th in the district as a freshman in 2013, Jacqui made it to his first state tournament last season after taking 3rd at the Claymont District. Vanmeter was 3rd at Cambridge last November, besting district placer Jerrad Cox (Northwest) in OT and defeating district champ Joshua Kempf (River View) 6-3. His only setback at Cambridge was to state placer Evan Loughman in the semis. Vanmeter would earn two first period pins to make the sectional finals before dropping the championship bout to Packwood. He started his district tournament with a first period pin and followed up with a 7-1 victory over fellow state qualifier Cody Martsolf (Beaver Local). Vanmeter would fall by that same 7-1 score in the semis, dropping to the consolation semis after the loss to senior Kyle Henry (Claymont). Jaqui earned a pivotal 3-2 wrestle-back victory over Micah Campbell to power through to his first state tournament, and then he closed out with a second victory over Cody Martsolf to finish as the district bronze medalist. Jaqui opened his state tournament with a 9-2 loss to Nate Tample (Lexington) who would finish 7th, and drew Brandon Pahl (Warren) in his first consolation bout, eventually falling 7-1 in OT. Pahl would close out the tournament in 4th place. His 2014 state tournament result should both provide validation and motivation for Vanmeter. He should feel validated that he belongs with the state’s elite heavyweights since he was so close to Pahl last year and motivation to exceed that result from first state tournament.
Micah Campbell pulled together a respectable season last year, finishing as the state alternate out of the Claymont District. He went 1-2 at Top Gun, losing a 2-1 bout to state qualifier Kyle Henry (Claymont) in the wrestle-backs. After losing close 3-2 matches to district finalists Henry and Joshua Kempf during the state duals, Campbell would grab a second place finish at the Buckeye Local Sectional. He defeated district placer William Poplowski 3-2 in the semifinals before falling 3-1 to state qualifier Cody Martsolf in the finals. Campbell bested Derek Ridder (River View) 6-2 in the opening round at Claymont, but was overpowered by district champ Joshua Kempf in a 4-2 tiebreaker loss in the quarterfinals. He came back with a 5-1 win over Seth Hollett (Amanda-Clearcreek) and a pin over Richard Cox (Tusky Valley) to place him into a go-to-state match with Jaqui Vanmeter. It was not to be for Campbell who lost a 3-2 bout with Vanmeter before rounding out the tournament with a 3-2 tiebreak win over Poplowski to finish 5th. Campbell demonstrated the ability to keep his matches close even with state caliber competition. None of his losses at Top Gun, sectionals, or districts was by more than 2 points. If he can improve just a shade, he’ll be winning those close matches in 2015, and a district title is certainly not out of the question.
William Poplowski is the bookend for a young, talented core of wrestlers at Steubenville who could make some serious noise at state in 2016. This season should provide a good barometer for just how much progress they are making. Poplowski was 6th at the OVAC tournament last season, pinning his first two foes before getting stuck by D-3 state placer Jon Bodkin (Martins Ferry). He pulled out two consolation wins before being pinned by top seeded Thomas Hall (Parkersburg S.) who was 3rd at the West Virginia state tournament, in the consolation semis. Poplowski’s last match was a 3-1 defeat at the hands of state qualifier Cody Martsolf in the 5th place final. William finished 3rd at sectionals, losing the previously mentioned 3-2 quarterfinal to Micah Campbell, but pinning his three other opponents. Poplowski had a close match right off the bat at Claymont, where he defeated David Praul 3-1 in overtime, and he followed up with a 7-1 defeat of Richard Cox to march onto the semifinals. Poplowski was pinned by state placer Kempf in the semis and lost a close 3-2 tiebreaker rematch with Cody Martsolf in the consolation semis. He would close out in 6th after the overtime loss to Campbell, positioning himself as one of the favorites to qualify in 2015 during his junior year. The Steubenville team will be a fun mix of young and experienced talent this year that could see over half of the team make it to state, and they’ll need wrestlers like Poplowski to step up and answer the call if they are going to meet that goal.
David Praul will also be right in the mix for state qualification at this weight. Praul was 3rd at Marion Harding early in the year. After getting pinned in his first match, Praul would not lose again, claiming 5 straight victories on the way to the bronze. It’s also worth noting that Praul pinned Nate Schroeder (St. John) in the consolation semis after getting pinned by Schroeder in that first round bout. He also finished 3rd at Nelsonville-York where his only loss was to D-3 state qualifier Matt Hunter (W.S. Northwestern). Praul finished 2nd at sectionals, where he lost a 3-2 OT bout with Eddie Kontual. He lost the previously mentioned overtime bout to Poplowski in the opening round of the district tournament, and closed out at 1-2 after a one point loss in a rematch with Eddie Kontual (S. Highland).
Garry Tidwell is an intriguing prospect here at Claymont. The Meadowbrook wrestler qualified for the district tournament at heavyweight last year as a freshman. Tidwell had a bit of an up and down season, as freshman heavyweights tend to do. He went 2-2 at Cambridge and placed 6th at New Lexington before finishing 4th at the ECOL tournament. Tidwell finished 3rd at sectionals, earning a solid victory over Richard Cox in the consolation semis. Cox is another wrestler to watch at 285, he went 2-2 to finish a match shy of placement at Claymont last year.

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

-Max Pearce
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Old 10-16-14, 11:44 AM
heavybcat heavybcat is offline
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Great Job.
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Old 10-16-14, 02:00 PM
wash.c.h.legend wash.c.h.legend is offline
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carrollton looking like a helluva dual team
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Old 10-16-14, 03:52 PM
shaggy71 shaggy71 is offline
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WOW Awesome write up! Can you send it to me in word or pdf format?


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Old 10-17-14, 10:41 AM
Twolegger41 Twolegger41 is offline
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Look for Ashton Eyler freshman @ 145 or 152 this year for west holmes....little brother of Max Rohskopf from west holmes. Will see some of the kids you have listed at Cambridge early.
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Old 10-17-14, 12:46 PM
knuck97 knuck97 is offline
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Thanks for time and effort u put into this great read!!!
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Old 10-17-14, 01:20 PM
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Brookhaven high school closed, Bonner goes to Walnut Ridge.
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Old 10-17-14, 01:23 PM
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McClearn7, great stuff again this year...When will your D1 Hilliard Darby district preview be out ?
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Old 10-17-14, 01:49 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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Originally Posted by BACKBEND View Post
Brookhaven high school closed, Bonner goes to Walnut Ridge.
Thanks for the update, and I'm guessing that Darby will likely be out in 4-5 weeks. I've got the old BG D-2, Mentor, and Cleveland State districts done, and I'm working on Darby and Wilmington currently.
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Old 11-02-14, 02:58 AM
landy landy is offline
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Thanks for the incredible amount of time and effort put forth in all of these previews. It lets you really have an idea of what is happening thru out the state. Wrestling looks like it is getting stronger each year. The threat of removal from the Olympics looks like it has boosted its growth. I hope Central Ohio wrestling catches up to Cleveland.
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Old 11-03-14, 04:50 PM
TrIbExTimE TrIbExTimE is offline
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Very impressive brother
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Old 11-03-14, 09:39 PM
cruiser_96 cruiser_96 is offline
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cruiser_96 will become famous soon enough
Punchers was the Cow Punchers (cow branders). When the city outgrew the area, they dropped the cow portion.
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Old 11-03-14, 09:40 PM
cruiser_96 cruiser_96 is offline
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cruiser_96 will become famous soon enough
BACKBEND: shortly after he checks with the guys at InsideTheCircle.
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