The local area will be well represented when the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Individual Wrestling Tournament begins on Thursday.
Athletes from Archbold, Delta, Swanton and Wauseon are set to compete.
Wauseon is coming off a district runner-up performance at the Division II district held in Norwalk over the weekend. They qualified four wrestlers, three of whom won district titles and another that was runner-up.
Sophomore Damon Molina is making his first appearance at the state tournament. Competing at 106 pounds, Molina begins with a bout against David Woolever of Carrollton (40-5).
The three district champions for the Indians just happen to be their returning state placers from a year ago.
Senior Gavin Ritter, who boasts a 48-4 record, returns to state after placing fifth at 113 pounds in 2018. Now wrestling at 120, he opens by facing Chanston Moll of Williamsport Westfall (39-5). A potential rematch from last year’s fifth place match awaits in the quarterfinal where he could meet Tyler Masters of Millersburg West Holmes (40-4).
Next the Indians have junior Nolan Ray at 126 pounds who is 30-3 on the season. He was sixth a year ago in the same weight class. Ray faces Jack Gorman of Aurora (24-7) in the opening round.
Senior Xavier Torres, fresh off a district championship at 170 pounds, brings his 47-5 record to the state competition. Like Ray, Torres also placed sixth in 2018. He opens with a match against Beau Smith of Lisbon Beaver (42-9).
In Division III, Delta is sending a quartet to state.
Sophomore Zack Mattin gets things started for the Panthers, advancing at 106 pounds for the second straight season. He was seventh at state a year ago.
He also seems to have vastly improved from last season, coming into the tournament with a 39-2 record while last year he was 35-10 prior to state. Zack Mattin begins by taking on Kaleb McFee of Zanesville West Muskingum (32-16).
Older brother and senior Cole Mattin looks to bring home consecutive state titles for the Panthers. He comes into the tournament with a 40-3 record, and will look to bounce back from a loss to Genoa’s Julian Sanchez in the 132-pound district final at Lakota over the weekend.
Cole had beaten Sanchez earlier in the season, but fell by a 3-2 decision Saturday. A potential rematch with Sanchez would not come until the state final. He begins his tournament run versus Jake White of Akron Manchester (35-9).
Next for Delta is senior Dawson Swicegood who qualified after finishing as the district runner-up at 145 pounds last weekend. Swicegood posts a 40-12 record. He will take on Carter Winegardner of Zanesville West Muskingum in his first match.
The last Panther competing will be another senior, Dalton Richard, who wrestles in the heavyweight division. He qualified at 220 pounds as a junior, but dropped his first two matches to eliminate him from contention. Richard (40-10) begins the 2019 tournament with a match against Brennan Davies of Harrod Allen East (39-10).
Archbold is sending three first time state qualifiers.
First for the Blue Streaks is senior Zach Rocha at 132 pounds. He is 49-12 on the season and was fourth at the district last weekend. Rocha begins by facing Trent Duvall of Rootstown (33-5).
One weight class up is Brennan Short who will compete at 138 pounds. The junior, who is 40-17 on the season, was also fourth at the district. He will take on 41-4 Niko Chilson of Rootstown to begin the tournament.
Senior Kasyn Schaffner advanced at 160 pounds for the Streaks. Schaffner brings a 27-11 record to state. He faces Seth Henderson of Miami Valley Christian Academy (32-3) in the opening round.
Swanton advanced a pair of seniors in Zach Schaller at 126 pounds and Ryan Marvin at 152 pounds. They are each coming off fourth place finishes at the district tournament.
Schaller (39-12) will open the state tournament against Gavin Weaver of Newcomerstown. Weaver, a junior, is 45-3 on the season and placed fifth in the state at 113 pounds last season. Schaller is a returning state qualifier but he did not place in 2018.
Marvin, who was eighth in the state last season at 160 pounds, opens with Keringten Martin of Covington. Marvin is 40-5 this season, while Martin is 50-2.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010