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Old 04-16-18, 12:02 PM
McClearn7 McClearn7 is offline
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D-3 State Tournament Retrospective

Now that weíre a few weeks removed from the end of the season. I thought Iíd take a look back at each divisionís state tournament. Iíll make a few notes, convey a few opinions, and list some of my favorite performances. Please feel free to do the same.

106- Casey Barnett (Milan Edison)

This weight was in a great deal of flux throughout the season. There was uncertainty as to the availability of former middle school state champ Cole Skinner. The highest returning placer, finalist Wyatt Riddle switched schools and missed half of the year as a result. The Troy District wrestlers from #2-10 beat up on each other all year with little separation between #2 and #10.
When all was said and done, Casey Barnett was the king of this weight in D-3 after an exciting reversal at the end of his finals match with Brink to secure the victory. His only losses all year were at Brecksville to the D-2 state finalists (Decatur and Rowan), and he beat the wrestlers who finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th (twice), and 7th at the weight over the course of the season.
Congratulations to Aiden McAlexander (Antwerp) who was his schoolís first state placer. Heíll seek to become the schoolís first state champ as a senior next season.

113- Ethan Turner (Troy Christian)

Turner looked to be on a mission this year, winning a state title over defending champ Oscar Sanchez while avenging last yearís semifinal loss to the same wrestler. He gritted out a 3-2 tiebreak win in the finals after posting an 11-2 major and 2 first period pins in his first 3 matches.
Iím hoping for a rubber match between the two wrestlers next year at 120.
I completely underestimated Caleb Edwards. Much like Evan Hostetler, I didnít have him placing in my pre-state predictions, and he finished an impressive 3rd in the state as a freshman. His only loss was 5-1 to defending champ Oscar Sanchez. Thatís why they wrestle the matches.
I also overlooked the Heath district at this weight. Credit to Weaver and Guthrie who finished 5th and 7th as underclassmen.

120- Graham Shore (Miami East)

After watching Shore dismantle a quality field at Medina over the holidays, I knew he was where he needed to be to claim his first state title. The state title picture became a bit less clear once state finalist Julian Sanchez made the cut down to 120. The two wrestlers had split bouts over the past few years with Sanchez winning their state semifinal match in 2017. However, it would be the senior Shore who walked away with the win this time, as well as the gold medal that coincided with the victory.
Itíll be interesting to see if Sanchez ends up facing Mattin at next yearís state championship. Sanchez won their match-up 5-3 in sudden victory in the finals at Perrysburg this season.
Credit to Brian Palmer who finished 6th at this weight as a freshman for Buckeye Local. I wasnít even aware of him at the beginning of the season.

126- Cole Mattin (Delta)

Mattin pulled off the biggest upset of the state tournament when he knocked off 3x state champ Tommy Hoskins 4-2 in sudden victory in the semifinals. Mattin had already proven himself as one of the most improved wrestlers in the state this year, taking 4x state placer Matt Cardello and 2x state finalist Julian Sanchez into overtime. He also beat D-1 state finalist Mick Burnett and former D-1 state finalist Gio DiSabato.
Hoskins was coming off of a preseason injury earlier in the year when he beat Mattin 5-2 in the finals of the Rieman. However, a month and a week later, it would be Mattin who emerged victorious in the state semis. He closed out his year with a 9-3 win over 3x state placer Klay Reeves in the state finals to earn his first gold medal as a junior.
The win also garnered national attention for Mattin who ends the year ranked 19th in the country by Flo Wrestling. Heíll surely draw the eyes of multiple recruiters, especially after some of the wins that his brother posted on the college level as a true freshman this year.

132- Dylan DíEmilio (Genoa)

DíEmilio was one of the most dominant forces in D-3 at the state tournament as he posted a pin, and wins of 10-0, 12-2, and 7-0 while finishing up an undefeated season with his 3rd state title.
Iíd love to see him wrestle Mattin in the state finals next year, but Iím guessing that theyíll find themselves at different weights.
Brown wrestled impressively, placing 3rd as a freshman after beating the wrestlers who finished 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th. The 1-0 win over returning state placer Niko Chilson may have been his most impressive win of the tournament.

138- Nick Burgard (Ashtabula St. John)

Of all the brackets in the 3 divisions, this one may have been the biggest surprise to me. I figured that the final was bound to be Isbrandt against Ford for the 4th time this season, and I thought Morgillo and Burgard would meet in the consolation finals. Morgillo destroyed that possibility with a 4-2 win over Ford in the quarters, and Hostetler shocked the favorite with a 10-6 win over returning state finalist Isbrandt in the semis. Burgard pulled a big win over Morgillo in the semis and added even more electricity to this weight when he pinned Hostetler in the first period of the finals to earn the state championship.

145- Gavin Grime (Archbold)

For a second straight year, Archbold has had a senior in the state finals. This year Grime bettered Noah Mattinís finish and won an individual state title. He worked methodically through a dense bracket winning 3-1 in the first round and 7-0 in the quarters before knocking off undefeated Joey Caprella in the semifinals (8-4). Grime closed out his senior year with a 3-2 win over 3x state placer Conan Becker to seize the title.
Kissell earned his 4th state medal while Villarreal and Sumner claimed their 3rd.
Caprella was one of the more improved wrestlers in the state this year, and he will be the highest returning placer from this weight-class (5th) next year.

152- Gavin Stika (Norwayne)

Iíve been impressed by Norwayneís coaching staff and their ability to get their top wrestlers to the top of the podium. A few years back it was 2x D-1 All-American Kollin Moore. The past few seasons, it was 2x state champ Zach Steiner, who knocked off fellow 2x state champ James Handwerk in the finals as a senior. This year, Gavin Stika ended his career with a state title after placing 8th and 3rd previously.
After pinning David Cumberledge in the district semis the prior week, Stika again defeated Cumberledge in the state finals, this time by a closer 3-1 margin.
Cumberledge avenged an earlier loss to 3x state placer Chase Moore in the quarterfinals on his way to reaching the state finals as a sophomore. His 3 wins were over the wrestlers who finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Credit to Ryder who ended his year with a 5th place finish after getting a very late start to the season after returning from injury.

160- Colt Yinger (Nelsonville-York)

It felt like it was Yingerís time this season. After placing 3rd and 2nd at the state tournament the last two years, he closed out his senior year with a well deserved state title. He chopped up the vast majority of his competition throughout the year with only a 3-2 loss to 3x state champ Freeman separating him from an undefeated season.
I expected the final to be Yinger vs. returning state champ Limongi, but Kusic pulled off the quarterfinal upset to derail that showdown. Limongi came back through the consolation bracket to take 3rd, defeating Kusic in their rematch in the consolation finals. We could potentially see a rubber match decide a state title next year, as both wrestlers are underclassmen.
Sevi Garza is going to be a special wrestler. He already finished 7th in the state as a freshman, and his only losses were to state champ Yinger and returning state champ Limongi (3-1).

170- Jacob Lagoa (Ashtabula St. John)

Lagoa ended his season with a second straight state title. He trounced everyone in D-3 outside of Smucker who was able to keep their district and state finals bouts to decisions.
Earlier in the year, he tore up D-2 state finalist Ashton Eyler in the Brecksville semis, taking him down multiple times in the first period before securing the fall.
Iím intrigued to see what he can do at Ironman next year as a junior (assuming St. John is wrestling in the event again). Heís a special talent, and Iíd imagine that his state finals results will only get more lopsided over the next two years.
Smucker was another wrestler who returned from injury with a flurry, placing at his 3rd straight state tournament while reaching his first finals.
I was impressed with Rhamy in his first varsity season, placing 6th after missing his freshman campaign. He, along with Mendoza, and May will be legit state title threats if they can stay away from Lagoa next year.

182- Daniel Beemer (Ottawa-Glandorf)

Beemer navigated a tough weight-class to keep his undefeated record pristine, earning a state title along the way. He followed a pin and a tech with a 5-4 win over the previously unbeaten Stanley in the semifinals. Beemer then closed out the perfect season with a 9-4 win over 3x state placer Sam Stoll in the finals. I thought that any of the top 4 wrestlers was capable of winning this weight, but it was the undefeated Beemer who seized the opportunity and walked away with the gold.
Everyone that Beemer defeated ended up placing at the tournament; 2nd, 3rd, 7th, and 8th, in reverse order.

195- Hudson Jump (Grandview Hts.)

Jump has finished 7th, 5th, and 1st in his three years of high school wrestling, thus far. Heís climbed to new heights every season, and appears of jump levels over the course of each year.
Jump overcame former state finalist Dalton Hoover in the district semis after falling to him in the past, and then he rolled through the state tournament with a 5-0 shutout, 2 pins, and a 9-0 major over Dylan Hinton in the finals. Itíll be interested to see if he stays at 195 next year, where he could potentially meet Nasser or Langguth in the finals, or jumps to 220 where he could potentially meet Price or McCollister.
The finalists at this weight entered the state tournament with a combined 3 losses. 2 of those 3 losses were to Breylon Douglas who finished 5th in D-1. One of the most improved wrestlers in the state, he beat Hinton at Medina and Jump at Top Gun.

220- Gaige Willis (Pymatuning Valley)

This weight was highlighted by Gaige Willis capping off a second consecutive undefeated season with a state title. Heíll wrestle at Edinboro for his college career, which is a school that is notorious for plucking talented, yet unheralded wrestlers, and turning them into All-Americans.
The other subplot at this weight had to do with a controversial semifinal between Chris Kuhn and Paul Skye. Skye kicked out Kuhn to go down 5-4 before being awarded the winning takedown (which would have made it 6-5). The St. Mary coaches protested that Kuhn did not turn and face Skye, and therefore, an escape and takedown should not be awarded. The refs removed the takedown and the escape and put ďbad timeĒ back on the clock and Skye once again kicked Kuhn but was not able to secure the takedown despite appearing to secure it at the edge.
Noah Price defeated Donovan McCollister 5-1 in the consolation semifinals in a match-up of the highest finishing underclassmen. We could potentially see the rematch decide the state title in 2019.

285- Brian Stears (Williamsburg)

Stears entered the season as the highest returning state placer at this weight in Division 3 (4th). He ended the year with an undefeated record as well as a state title. He had some tight matches, winning by 1 in the first round, sudden victory in the semis, and in the tiebreak in the finals. His only pin of the tournament was in the quarters where he stuck 3rd place finisher Noah Koch.
Koch will be the highest returning placer at heavyweight next year for a Genoa team that returns all 6 state placers from this season.
Hurlbut had an impressive consolation run at this weight after losing to Koch in the first round. He came back with an OT win and 3 pins to reach the consolation finals before falling to Koch again for 3rd.

Team: Genoa

Genoa capped their state title run with an individual title, two 2nd place finishes, and three 3rd place finishes, all of whom return next year. Add in former state placer Contos who should be healthy and this team should roll to another state title in 2019. Iíll be pulling for Julina Sanchez to close out his career with a state title after a pair of runner-up finishes.
I was impressed by how well the St. John wrestlers were able to peak for the state tournament. I knew Lagoa would win, but Cumberledge finished 2nd after reversing an earlier loss, and Burgard won a state title in a loaded weight as a junior. Derrick Elrod also had a great season, placing at the state tournament after winning a district title and racking up 5 wins over state placers over the course of the year.

Other Notes:

-7 of 14 state champions return next year.

-Antonio Lecki and T.J. Rhamy placed the highest of the wrestlers who finished 4th at their respective district tournaments the prior season. Both wrestlers placed 6th as underclassmen.

-I counted 9 freshmen state placers, with Casey Barnett being the lone titlist.

-Gaige Willis, Brian Stears, Daniel Beemer, and Dylan DíEmilio all finished as undefeated state champions.

-106 and 113 return all 8 state placers next year, while 145 only returns one (Joey Caprella).

-State champs Genoa and state runner-up St. John each return 3 state finalists next season.

-Sophomore Conor Becker lost in the first round before coming all the way back to take 3rd. He was the only D-3 wrestler to accomplish that feat.

D-3 Nationally Ranked wrestlers (Flo Wrestling):

126-
Cole Mattin (19th)
Tommy Hoksins (20th)

132-
Dylan DíEmilio (7th)


D-3 Wrestler of the Year: Dylan DíEmilio

DíEmilio finished the year undefeated as the highest nationally ranked D-3 wrestler (Flo Wrestling). He blitzed the field at the state tournament to claim his third consecutive state championship. Iím eager to see how he does at Ironman next year as a senior. Heíll be a substantial favorite to win his 4th state title next season, and Iíll be interested to see if Cole Mattin will attempt to deny history a second time and wrestle in DíEmilioís weight after ending Hoskinsís quest for 4 titles this year.
Gaige Willis deserves to be mentioned here after completing a second consecutive undefeated season with a state title.

Best Finals Bout: 120-Graham Shore vs. Julian Sanchez

There were a number of tight finals bouts including overtime matches at 113 and 285, but my favorite was at 120. Both wrestlers have been nationally ranked at different points in their career, and they have had a history, squaring off at both of the last two state tournaments.
It would be the senior Shore winning the title after picking neutral to start the 3rd period while down 1-0. The gamble paid off as he almost immediately got the initial takedown, kicked out Sanchez and worked methodically for the winning takedown before finally securing it.

Best Weight: 138

This weight had all sorts of excitement surrounding it. I figured that it was primarily a two horse race between returning state placers, but there were upsets galore. We saw the sophomore Dustin Morgillo post wins over both of the returning state placers, and even the finals bout was electric, as Burgard earned a first period pin to claim his first state title.

Freshman of the Year: Casey Barnett

Only one freshman ended his season on top of the D-3 podium, and it was Barnett. Some late match heroics in a closely contested final earned him the gold at the end of his first season.
In 2017 Caseyís brother (I assume itís his brother) earned his first state title as a senior after finishing 2nd to a pair of 3x state champs the previous two seasons.
It only took one more year for the Barnett family to earn another state title, and Casey will continue the mythic quest for 4 next season as a sophomore.

Most Entertaining Wrestler: Jacob Lagoa

Lagoaís tenacity is evident in every match that he wrestles, and that ferocity was on full display at the state tournament this season. After a first round tech, he pinned his next two opponents in under a minute to reach his second straight state finals. He closed out the year with a definitive 10-3 win over a very good wrestler in 3x state placer Riley Smucker.

Surprise Wrestler of the State Tournament: Evan Hostetler

Man did I underestimate this guy. I figured that he would have a hard time placing at a loaded weight in Columbus. After shelling a tough Max Neiling 13-2 in the opening round of the state tournament, Hostetler reached the semifinals with a 7-1 win over district champ Dallas Scott. The big surprise came in the semifinals where he knocked off pre-tournament favorite Alex Isbrandt 10-6 to secure a spot in the finals.
I watched Isbrandt go toe to toe with nationally ranked Luke Baughman at Medina in an overtime match that could have gone either way. Isbrandt earned the first takedown of the semifinal match against Hostetler before the Waynedale wrestler stormed back with a pair of Petersons to dig a hole that Isbrandt was unable to climb out of.

Surprise Wrestler of the Season: Cole Mattin

It may be the wrong call to go with a 3x state placer as the surprise wrestler of the year, but I donít think anyone outside of Delta saw his upset of 3x state champ Tommy Hoskins coming at the beginning of the year. He placed at Preseason Nationals where he knocked off multiple state placers from other states, and you could tell that he made great strides in improvement one the regular season started.
Aiden McAlexander deserves mention here after jumping from District qualifier to 3rd place at state (while twice beating returning state finalist Wyatt Riddle in Columbus).

Congratulations to all of the competitors on another phenomenal high school wrestling season. Weíre truly blessed to live in one of the best high school wrestling states in our country. It is these exceptional young men and women that make it so special.


-Max Pearce
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  #2  
Old 04-16-18, 09:49 PM
jmog jmog is offline
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Your description of the Skye semifinal match isn’t totally accurate.

They only removed the TD, they kept the escape. This is the major MAJOR contention/problem/controversy in the match. When they restarted neutral with Skye down 5-4 Skye did not stand him up. He would have rode for 24 seconds to OT.

The decision was that the escape was kept but the TD was removed. That was the controversial part of the call.
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