COLUMBUS – The Wauseon wrestling team has a lot to be proud of as they finished third with 77.5 points in Division II at the OHSAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament, which wrapped up Saturday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
The Indians were third behind perennial power St. Paris Graham Local, which had 232.5 points, and Canfield, which had 87.
“It’s our highest finish since 1984, when we were state runner-up,” noted head coach Mike Ritter. “Our goal was to finish in the top two, and we fell a little short on that, but we have nothing to hang our heads about finishing third in our division. With a nationally ranked team like St. Paris Graham in our division, it’s an uphill battle for a team state title. So finishing in the top three is very respectable. It was a complete team effort in finishing in the top three.”
Wauseon’s performance was highlighted by Sandro Ramirez, who was the runner-up at 145 pounds. In addition, Hunter Yackee took third at 132 pounds, and Tony Banister finishes his career as a three-time state placer as he finished third at 195 pounds.
Ramirez earned a first round pin over Lane Householder of Thornville Sheridan in his first match, then got a 19-3 technical fall victory over Dylan Miller of Beloit W. Branch to reach the semifinal.
His 1-0 win against Steubenville’s Jashon Hubbard guaranteed him no worse than a runner-up finish for the second year in a row.
But he dropped a 7-0 decision to Kevon Freeman of Mentor Lake Catholic in the championship.
“He’s been on a mission for an individual state title since he came into high school,” said Ritter of Ramirez. “He was third as a freshman in a very tough weight class, and has now reached the state finals the last two years in a row. While he hasn’t been able to cross that last hurdle and be on the top of the podium, he still has one more year left. As I told him after the match…his story is not over.”
After falling to Mitch Moore of Graham in the semifinal, Yackee earned two impressive wins to place third. He pinned Wapakoneta’s Jayden Hefner to reach the third place match, where he defeated Luke Wymer of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 5-1.
“Hunter had a great tournament,” said Ritter. “He spent his first two trips to the state tournament winless, and then really turned it on this year and had a great run to the semi-finals. Unfortunately, he was matched up with a nationally-ranked kid, and now three-time state champ from St. Paris Graham. He really battled hard in that match, but fell short.”
What many said was a controversial stalling call helped Kavan Sarver of Graham defeat Banister 3-2 in the 195-pound semifinal match.
However, similar to Yackee, Banister rebounded with two wins.
He pinned Jerrell Martin of Alliance in just 30 seconds in the consolation semifinal, then followed that up with a 7-2 victory over Pete Abraham of Parma Padua Franciscan in the third place match.
“It was great to see him finish his high school career on a winning note. It definitely was not the place he wanted or anticipated finishing, but it takes a lot to bounce back from that,” said Ritter of the stalling call in the match against Sarver. “It’s tough enough to compete at the state tournament, let alone when you have some controversial officiating that you have to overcome. Even with that, he re-focused and completed a stellar high school career as a three-time state placer, along with a host of other accolades.”
Freshman Jarrett Bischoff (120) and senior Andrew Bailey (160) each finished sixth in their respective weight classes.
Bischoff earned a 14-6 major decision against Seth Taylor of Mt. Orab Western Brown and a 4-2 victory over Dalton Burcher of Gnadenhutten Indian Valley before dropping his next three matches. Bailey defeated Connor Dixon of Lewistown Indian Lake 14-5 and Granville’s Keegan Vanmeter 9-2.
Wauseon’s two other qualifiers, Gavin Ritter (106) and Xavier Torres (152), each won first-round matches but dropped their next two and were eliminated.
Delta senior claims third straight title
The Division III competition was highlighted by two area wrestlers who reached the state final.
For Delta’s Drew Mattin (126), it was familiar territory. It was his fourth straight trip to state, and he captured his third title in a row with a pin over Oak Harbor’s Bruce Hrynciw in the final.
“I fell a little short my freshman year. But, I mean that fueled me to get my three in a row,” said an exhausted Mattin after the match.
The senior also picked up wins over Jackson Hugentobler of Cincinnati Madeira, Blake Evans of Bainbridge Paint Valley, and Tyler Wetzel of Mechanicsburg en route to the title.
“He is our school’s second three-time state champ with Jake Spiess being the first one last year,” said Delta coach Anthony Carrizales. “You know, kids like Drew we like to think of as being poster children for the program. Kids that, they do it through hard work. They do it through intensity. Just wrestling the Delta style. Offensive, in your face type of style.”
Noah Mattin of Archbold also made the final at 138 pounds with a pair of overtime victories and a 3-2 win over Jared Ford of Troy Christian. In the final, he was defeated by Milan Edison’s Brady Barnett 7-1.
The Blue Streaks earned an eighth place finish from Gavin Grime at 132 pounds. Grime picked up a pair of one-point wins against Troy Christian’s Michael Sergent and Reilly Heater of Fairview.
At 120 pounds, Delta sophomore Cole Mattin once again placed at state. After placing fourth in 2016, he finished sixth this season.
He opened with a pin of Coshocton’s Blake Barrick and a 5-3 win over Dalton Leightner of Rootstown before dropping three in a row. His first blemish was to eventual state champion Tommy Hoskins of Legacy Christian Academy.
“Sometimes the chips don’t fall in your favor. I would say that’s the best way to sum up today for him,” said Carrizales of Cole Mattin’s tournament.
“He wrestled great. He made it to the semis. He avenged a kid that beat him last year, who ended up actually placing ahead of him. And then this morning he got beat in a real tight one. Then, in the wrestle back, the same type of deal. Just a rough situation. Rough call.”
Swanton had three qualifiers but only one placer, as Chase Moore took seventh at 145 pounds.
After falling in his first match, the junior wrestled his way through the consolation bracket, where he completed his run with a pin against Dawson Hoselton of Chillicothe Zane Trace in the seventh place match. The Bulldogs also sent Crew Oberheim (195), but he dropped his first two matches by pin and was eliminated.
Heavyweight Tommy Lytle dropped his first match, came back with a 4-0 victory against Brenton Stull of Cadiz Harrison Central in the consolation bracket, but was pinned by Troy Christian’s Seth Douglas to end his season.
Evergreen’s Jared Fahrer (106) picked up a win in his first three matches; however, his 4-3 defeat at the hands of Nelsonville-York’s Collin Yinger took him out of contention. His victory was a 17-6 major decision over Jake Edelman of Pymatuning Valley in the consolation bracket.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010