COLUMBUS – What they may have been lacking in quantity in terms of state qualifiers, Archbold and Delta made up for in quality of wins at the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Individual Wrestling Championships which wrapped up Saturday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
Sending three and four wrestlers respectively, the Blue Streaks and Panthers each had a pair of state placers, including a state champion in Division III for both schools.
Overall in the Division III competition, Swanton, who finished with three placers, tied for 11th as a team with 39 points. Delta took 15th with 34.5 points and Archbold tied for 19th with 27 points.
For Archbold, Gavin Grime took home the 145-pound state title. He held off Conan Becker of Galion Northmor 3-2 in the final match.
“I’m feeling great,” said Grime after the match. “It doesn’t really feel real yet. It feels like it’s just a dream still. Hasn’t really sunk in.”
There was some history between Conan Becker and Archbold with last year’s 138-pound state runner-up for the Blue Streaks, Noah Mattin, who took down Conan Becker in the state semifinal in 2017. Blue Streak head coach Brian Becher liked the match-up for Grime.
“This year, his goal was actually to make the finals (at state). So you wonder sometimes when they get there, you always want them to be a little bit more hungry,” he said of Grime. “But I think the style match-up was really nice for him. From watching the kid (Becker) in the past, we knew that he would be really aggressive but also, that he gets really tired later in the match and stuff.”
Grime’s hard work was on full display this weekend. For someone who placed eighth at 132 pounds a year ago, he finishes this season with just one loss and a state championship.
“It’s just really from the work that he did,” explained Becher. “Not just, obviously, during the season. He’s working all the time in the off-season. His really only off time from wrestling, is during football season. Other than that, he was practicing. Last year, we’d take a week off after the state meet and right back at it. So hopefully the younger kids see what he’s done, and they have to do the same thing to be able to get to that level.”
“Going out on a win, for sure is really good,” said Grime. “Last year, (I) finished on a loss. Finishing on a win, especially a state championship, it’s just amazing.”
Fellow Archbold senior Colton Soles went 2-2 combined between the championship and consolation brackets, putting him in the seventh place match. Soles fell to Matt Hall of Bethel-Tate 7-3, someone he defeated to open the tournament, to place eighth.
Delta was led by junior Cole Mattin, who became a two-time state placer by winning the championship at 126 pounds. To do so, he had to knock off three-time state champion Tommy Hoskins of Legacy Christian Academy in the semifinal match.
The highly anticipated bout with Hoskins went to overtime, where he earned a takedown to pick up the 4-2 victory. It was revenge from last year as Hoskins downed Cole Mattin 9-1 in the 120-pound semifinal. He also lost to Hoskins in the regular season this year.
Mattin steamrolled through the championship match, winning 9-3 over Klay Reeves of Johnstown Northridge.
His younger brother Zack Mattin was Delta’s other placer, taking seventh at 106 pounds. He defeated Brett Szuhay of Mantua Crestwood 15-7 in the seventh place match.
Swanton had three placers, led by seniors Chase Moore and Tommy Lytle who placed fourth and fifth respectively.
Moore won his first match at 152 pounds 3-1, then fell to David Cumberledge of Ashtabula St. John 5-2 to drop to the consolation bracket.
He won three straight matches in the consolation bracket, including a 3-2 victory over Soles, before falling to Conor Becker of Galion Northmor in the third place match.
Lytle finished fifth at 285 pounds with a pin in 1:32 against Derek Elrod of Ashtabula St. John.
Junior Ryan Marvin placed eighth at 160 pounds.
“All the way around the effort was there,” said Swanton coach Greg Hallett of his placers. “Going out on a high note for a lot of these guys is good. The attitude and the effort was there.”
Coming off a third place finish in Division II as a team at the state tournament last season, Wauseon was hoping to get higher this year. However, they had to settle for sixth, finishing with 58.5 points.
The Indians got placements from Hunter Yackee who took third at 132 pounds; Gavin Ritter (113) who placed fifth; Nolan Ray (126), Gage Grunden (145) and Xavier Torres (160) who each finished sixth; and Mauricio Barajas (138) who finished eighth.
They were hoping to get a state championship from three-time state placer and two-time state runner-up Sandro Ramirez, but the senior fell to Joey Sanchez of St. Paris Graham in the 152-pound semifinal. Then, he was slapped with two unsportsmanlike conduct infractions after the match which disqualified him from the tournament.
“Really, really proud of all of our placers,” said head coach Mike Ritter. “But, yeah I mean we had a little higher aspirations this weekend. So it’s a little disappointing end to an otherwise really successful year. We just had some really tough match-ups in some of those semifinal rounds and we lost some matches in those quarterfinals that we really weren’t expecting to lose. And having somebody not be able to finish the tournament, really didn’t help our cause either. But the guys that were able to bounce back after losses, incredibly proud of them. Because that’s a very tough thing to do.”
On the bright side, Yackee earned his second consecutive third place finish at 132 pounds to close his career. He won his first two matches, then fell 12-2 to eventual state champion Jordan Decatur of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in the semifinal round.
The senior bounced back with two wins to take third.
“Kind of fell short of my goal,” said Yackee. “But, you know, I’m just happy to get top three in the state and end my career with a win. Means a lot.”
“He had a really, really tough district final,” added coach Ritter. “Which put him in a position to match up with a guy (Decatur) that maybe we thought would be a state finals match. Had to wrestle him in the semis. But, again that’s a tough thing to do. Is to wrestle a semifinal match, lose, and then battle back hard like he did to finish third. Super proud of him. He’s been a team guy for his entire career. For as long as I’ve known him.”
Yackee trailed in the third period of the third place match, but eventually came away with a 5-1 win over Skyler Lasure of Lisbon Beaver.
“Just being determined and staying focused and in your match. Just never give up,” said Yackee on getting the win.
Another high note for Wauseon came from Gavin Ritter, who finished his junior campaign with a win over Tyler Masters of West Holmes in the 113-pound fifth place match. Ritter, Ray, and Torres were all first-time state placers.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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