MARION — A trio of Fulton County wrestlers made the finals with two emerging as state champions at the Division III portion of the OHSAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament which started Saturday and ended Sunday night.
Crowned champion were Archbold senior Carson Meyer at 182 pounds and Delta junior Austin Kohlhofer at 220.
Meyer had trouble finding the right words to describe his feelings following a 3-2 win over Trevor Stewart of Greenon in the state final. He just knew he was happy.
“Nothing but joy. I don’t know I can’t explain this feeling. It’s amazing,” he said.
Meyer earned a 17-1 tech fall win over Brennon Braud of Kirtland in his first match, then got a pin in 3:36 over Adam Myers of Springfield Shawnee.
From there it was an uphill battle as he took on Lucas Stoddard of Berkshire in the semifinal and then Stewart — both of whom were unbeaten on the season.
“My first two matches weren’t really that tough for me. And then, got to my semis and the kid (Stoddard) was 45-0 coming into this tournament. So that’s pretty good obviously. I had to come back and I beat him. Same thing in the finals match,” said Meyer on the difficulty of his bracket.
Having to earn the final two wins late in comeback fashion did not make it any easier, either.
“It would have been a lot easier if I was just up the whole time. But I got the job done,” he said.
Delta ended up with four placers and a third place team finish. Legacy Christian was first with a score of 128, Milan Edison second at 117.5, and Delta third at 73.5. Archbold took 17th (30.5) and Swanton tied for 35th (16).
Kohlhofer was able to cap his undefeated junior season with an 11-4 win over Cade Limes of Otsego for the 220-pound state championship. He closes the year at 52-0.
“It means a lot,” said Kohlhofer on winning a state title. “Last year at districts I had the number two kid in the semis and the number one kid in the finals. Was able to beat both of them so I felt like I had a good chance to win it last year but then it got ended. So it feels really good to win it this year.”
Kohlhofer earned his title in convincing fashion. He reached the final with pins over Gvynn Mendenhall of Columbus Academy, Chase Cottrell of Grand Valley, and Julien Griffith of Marion Pleasant.
Then, in the final against a familiar opponent, he ran away with a seven-point victory.
“Against that kid (Limes), I wrestled him three times already and won every time, but they were always somewhat close matches. That one I felt I was dominating the whole time,” said Kohlhofer on closing out his tournament strong. “It’s the last match of the year; I ain’t got nothing else after this. Put it all out there now so you have nothing to regret later.”
The Panthers’ other finalist was senior Zack Mattin, looking to repeat on his 2019 state title. But, pitted against the only wrestler to defeat him this season in the final, Camron Lacure of Legacy Christian, Mattin suffered a 7-2 defeat.
Mattin pinned Jonathan Karasek in his first match, then after a narrow 5-1 decision over Wayne Trace’s Hunter Long in the quarterfinal, he rolled into the final with a pin of Mike Prikryl of Rootstown in the semi.
“My mindset was just go out and score points and the right things will happen as long as I’m on the gas. In the quarters I kind of shut it down a little bit and I just wanted to make a point that I can score some points,” said Mattin following the match with Prikryl.
Mattin was encouraged by his performance in his first three matches. “I feel good,” he said. “First match pinned my kid, wrestled well I thought. Second match I (faced) a good kid in Hunter Long. I wrestled really well until the third period and, I don’t know, I stopped trying to score and just kind of coasted. Which is not acceptable. But, I thought I wrestled great in the semis and did what I said I was gonna do. Go out there scored some points, and then barred him up and pinned him.”
He finishes his senior season 51-2. For his career, Mattin was a four-time state qualifier and three-time placer — although he likely would have been a high placer if the 2020 tournament took place.
The Panthers also got a fifth place finish from senior Gabe Meyer (138) and sixth place from junior Carson Chiesa (120) as each had to respond after dropping their first matches Saturday.
For Chiesa, placing at state is all he could have hoped for.
“My goal (after) last year, at districts I fell short. So then my goal was to make it to state next year. I made it, and I was like why not place?” he said.
Gabe Meyer won four of his final five for fifth at 138 pounds. After trailing early, he fought back to earn a 10-5 win versus Micheal Harris of Smithville in the fifth place match.
“This year barely getting out of the district placing fourth. Just turning it up at the state tournament with Delta. It just feels great. I’m just glad I was able to touch up and place,” Meyer said.
Prior to that, he got a big win over a familiar foe, Brodie Dominique of Archbold, in the consolation quarterfinal. He had dropped two previous matches to Dominique.
“I faced him in league finals and sectional finals. He beat me both times 3-1 and I just adjusted my game plan in the room in the weeks coming up to the state tournament. I worked with my coaches and my wrestling partners and they gave me the best looks they could. I really wanted it this time,” Meyer said of the match with Dominique.
The Blue Streak freshman went on to take seventh after a 3-1 overtime win over Kaden Blair of Fairview in the seventh place match.
Brodie Stevens made the Swanton faithful proud, as the senior heavyweight closed out his career with a third place finish. His only loss came by pin in the semifinal to the eventual champion, Jeff Meyer of Columbus Grove.
Stevens bounced back with a 3-1 overtime win over Billy Reed-Bodey in the consolation semifinal, then a 10-3 victory over Cadman Roose of Benjamin Logan to take third.
“It feels really good actually,” said Stevens of his placement. “To end up winning my last match for my senior year — especially with not having it (state) last year — it feels really good.”
Stevens left everything on the mat during his match with Roose.
“Going in I knew it was my last match, so I knew it was my last opportunity to show how I wrestle. So I just went in, wrestled as hard as I could, gave it 110% and I knew that was the best that I could do,” he said.
1. Legacy Christian 128.0; 2. Mil. Edison 117.5; 3. Delta 73.5; 4. Miami East 65.0; 5. Mechanicsburg 51.0; 6. Rootstown 46.0; 7. Wayne Trace 40.0; 8. Columbus Grove 35.0; Waynedale 35.0; 10. Eastwood 34.5; 11. Oak Harbor 33.0; Sandy Valley 33.0; 13. Barnesville 32.5; 14. Otsego 32.0; 15. Pleasant 31.0; South Range 31.0; 17. Archbold 30.5; 18. Allen East 29.0; 19. Dalton 27.0; 20. Indian Lake 26.5; 21. Greenon 26.0; 22. Newcomerstown 25.0; 23. Monroeville 24.5; 24. Rittman 24.0; 25. Buckeye Local 23.0; 26. Covington 22.5; 27. Norwayne 21.0; 28. Gar. Garfield 20.0; Versailles 20.0; 30. Ash. Crestview 19.0; 31. Berkshire 18.0; Westfall 18.0; 33. Luth. West 17.0; Seneca East 17.0; 35. Columbia 16.0; Swanton 16.0; West Jefferson 16.0; 38. Gibsonburg 15.0; Kirtland 15.0; McNicholas 15.0; Mogadore 15.0.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.