Fulton County will look to show off its wrestling prowess at the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships which begin tomorrow.
A total of 21 county grapplers are set to compete for a state title in their respective weight classes.
Wauseon is at the forefront in Division II as the Indians qualified nine for the state competition. They set a school record for qualifiers, which was two more than last season when they sent seven to state.
The Indians cruised to a district title this past weekend in Norwalk, winning the team title by well over 100 points. They finished with six district champions and one runner-up.
If they were in Division III, the Indians would likely be the favorite to take home a state title. But, with St. Paris Graham still in Division II for the individual state competition, Wauseon is likely to finish second.
Both Sandro Ramirez and Hunter Yackee are making their fourth trip to state for the Indians. Ramirez, who has been state runner-up the previous two seasons, is looking for the title that has eluded him so far. He will be competing at 152 pounds and will begin with a match against Zane Nelson of Washington Court House Washington High School.
Yackee had his best finish a season ago when he took third at 132 pounds. He begins his quest for the 132-pound title against Isaiah Stickley of St. Paris Graham.
Wauseon also has Defiance transfer Gage Grunden (145) who is looking for another placement. He finished third in 2016 and was runner-up last season. Grunden kicks off his tournament with a match versus Beau Smith of Lisbon Beaver.
Xavier Torres (160) qualified for state last year but did not place, competing at 152 pounds. He has a match with Quinton Kelley of Archbishop Hoban to begin his tournament.
Other qualifiers for the Indians are Gavin Ritter (113), Alex Slattman (120), Nolan Ray (126), Mauricio Barajas (138) and Trent Davis (170). Both Ritter and Barajas are previous state qualifiers, including Ritter last season.
In Division III, Delta has four chances at a state title. Zack Mattin is competing at 106 pounds, followed by older brother Cole Mattin (126), Dylan Rogers (195) and Dalton Richard (220).
Cole Mattin, a three-time state qualifier, placed sixth last year at 120 pounds. He was fourth at 106 pounds in 2016. He is hoping to stop Tommy Hoskins of Legacy Christian Academy from becoming a four-time state champion.
Cole Mattin begins the tournament against Ethin Hoffman of Arcanum.
Rogers has experience at state from two years ago, but he did not place. He will open up with Levi Morrison of Greenon.
Swanton is bringing five wrestlers. It is a group that includes Chase Moore (152) and Tommy Lytle (285), fresh off their district championships at Defiance over the weekend.
Also representing Swanton are Zach Schaller (120), Trevor Schaller (126), and Ryan Marvin (160). Trevor Schaller, Moore and Lytle are all previous state qualifiers.
Moore is a two-time state placer, placing eighth at 120 pounds in 2016 and seventh at 145 pounds last season. He will take on Keringten Martin of Covington in his first match.
Lytle’s first round opponent is Josh Robinson of Shadyside. Trevor Schaller, who was district runner-up to Cole Mattin, opens with Kaleb Nickels of Miami East.
Archbold has three heading to state, led by Gavin Grime at 145 pounds. Grime, making his third trip to state, finished eighth at 132 pounds a season ago. He will take on Dylan Schenck of Milton-Union in his opening match.
Other qualifiers for the Blue Streaks are Colton Soles (152) and Mason Babcock (182). Both are first time qualifiers.
The 2018 OHSAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament starts Thursday with the Division III Championship Preliminaries at 3 p.m. Action in Division II begins at 4:10 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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