COLUMBUS – The Northwest Ohio Athletic League, and also Fulton County, had a pair of teams finish in the top two at the state dual wrestling tournament which took place at St. John Arena in Columbus on Sunday.
To no one’s surprise, Delta won the Division III tournament for a fourth straight dual team title, while Wauseon placed second to St. Paris Graham in Division II.
“It never gets old,” said Panther head coach Anthony Carrizales on winning four in a row. “These guys put so much hard work into it. The parents put hard work into it. It doesn’t get old because that’s what you’re working for.”
Delta led by only eight, 29-21, heading into the final two matches of the championship dual against Mechanicsburg, but sealed their victory by getting a pair of pins. And even though they may not have wrestled their best all night, they did just enough to once again stake themselves as the best dual team in Division III statewide.
“This morning, I think it was a little bit hard getting going because they were looking to the finals,” explained Carrizalez. “It’s a hard thing. You tell them not to do it, and you know I think they maybe were a little bit. But man they amped it up.”
Devon Richard recorded the first pin for Delta at 220 pounds, then Chance Veller added one in 1:26 at 285.
“I think a few matches before that, we knew on paper that our big guys would be able to get it done for us,” said the Delta coach.
Prior to those pins, decision victories for Dylan Rogers (182) and Jaccob Wolford (195) extended the Delta lead.
The key stretch for Mechanicsburg came between 138 pounds and 170 where they won four of five matches, including two pins. Delta’s lone win was Jesse Beverly’s pin of Corey Bogan in 3:19.
Overall, the Panthers also got wins in the finale from Cole Mattin (106), Drew Mattin (120), C.J. Leffler (126) and Jake Spiess (132).
Although Dustin Marteney dropped a 3-1 overtime match to Mechanicsburg’s Tanner Smith, he wrestled strong all tournament long. He earned a pin in the Panthers’ opening dual with Shadyside, then got a technical fall victory over Brandon Huffman of Rootstown in the semifinal.
“He is a team leader. He is the type of guy that everybody wants to be like,” said Carrizales of Marteney. “That’s a match I expect him to get at the end of the year. He is coming off a little bit of a knee injury, but I think he is gonna be in form come the state (individual) tournament.”
In the semifinal against Rootstown, the Panthers ended on three straight victories by Wolford, Richard and Veller for a 40-19 win. Also picking up wins were Drew Mattin (120), Spiess (132), Marteney (138), Travis Barnes (145) and Beverly (160).
Delta opened their tournament run with a 54-19 win over eighth-seeded Shadyside. The Panthers pegged six pins to help lead them to victory.
Getting pins for the Panthers were Spiess (132), Marteney (138), Barnes (145), Beverly (152), Richard (220) and Veller (285).
Wauseon wrestles hard, falls to Graham in final
Wauseon made their first trip to the state dual tournament, making it all the way to the finals where they were defeated by St. Paris Graham, 62-4, as Graham won their fourth straight Division II title.
“Unfortunately, in Division II, it’s a steep, uphill battle against St. Paris Graham,” said head coach Mike Ritter. “They’re a nationally ranked team and would beat any team wrestling in that round.
“I was hoping for a couple more wins individually, but very proud of our kids for the effort they gave to get there in the first place and then against a team that competes for a national title every year. Hopefully that will not be the last time we wrestle in the state finals.”
In the final, Tre Campbell at 182 pounds grabbed the lone Indian victory with an 8-0 major decision over Graham’s Gage Braun. Wauseon’s Tony Banister dropped a close 3-2 decision to Kavan Sarver at 195 pounds, and back at 145, the Indians’ Sandro Ramirez lost only 4-0 to Rocky Jordan.
However, the Indians grabbed a thrilling 39-31 semifinal win over second-seeded Steubenville to advance.
Up 33-31 going into the 285-pound match, any decision for Steubenville’s Tyler Ely would result in a victory for his team. But Wauseon’s Alex Sosa had other plans.
Sosa trailed early on, but reversed a move and pinned Ely in 1:22 to send the Indians to the final.
“We weren’t sure what to expect in that match because Alex was just coming back from an injury,” said Ritter. “Alex got taken down early in the match, but came back with a nice reversal that sent their heavyweight to his back. Alex made a nice adjustment to prevent getting re-rolled and came away with the fall to put us in the state finals.”
Wauseon had to retake the lead after Steubenville’s Shawn Livingston pinned Aaron Harris at 182 pounds to put them ahead 31-24. The Indians then got a win by forfeit for Campbell who stepped in at 195 pounds, while Banister picked up a 3-2 decision at 220.
“They had a pretty tough 170 that they were wanting to move up to wrestle our two-time state placer, Tre Campbell at 182, but we moved in freshman Aaron Harris at that weight,” explained Ritter. “They ended up forfeiting to Campbell at 195, but again we traded 6 for 6 which still kept the team score within one. We moved state placer Tony Banister up to 220 and they moved their state qualifier up to 220 also. Tony gutted out a nice 3-2 win that put us ahead by two to set up the heavy weight match.”
The Indians got pins from Gavin Ritter (106), Alex Slattman (120), Ramirez (145) and Derek Schuette (160).
Wauseon, who was seeded third, defeated sixth seed Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 40-22 in the quarterfinal. The Indians were never really in trouble in this match, as they ripped off four straight wins in the middle of the action to take control.
Earning pins for the Indians was Hunter Yackee at 132 pounds and Campbell at 182. Ramirez (145) grabbed a major decision, while Slattman (120), Andrew Bailey (138), Xavier Torres (145) and Banister (195) each won by decision.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010