COLUMBUS – Two of the best wrestling teams in the area are from Fulton County and both had good showings at the state wrestling tournament held Thursday through Saturday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
Delta went four for four in the finals to finish with four state champions while on their way to winning the state title in Division III for the second time in three years. Wauseon finished sixth in Division II with a pair of state runners-up and a third place finisher.
The Panthers got individual titles from Drew Mattin at 120 pounds, Jake Spiess (132), Dustin Marteney (138) and Jesse Beverly (152).
“The boys had a great weekend,” said Panther coach Anthony Carrizales of his team’s performance. “It wasn’t perfect, and there are some things that I would have liked to (have) been able to get back, but overall nobody can complain about four state champions, a pair of thirds and a fourth.”
Drew Mattin started his run to the 120-pound championship with two pins, then earned an 11-4 decision over Seth Hayes of Rootstown to reach the final match. He then got a 2-1 tiebreak win against Lima Central Catholic’s Hunter Lucas to take home the title.
This was his second straight state title as he won at 106 pounds in 2015.
“It’s great. This is what I’ve worked for all year long,” said Mattin. “It’s a long process. This one is just as sweet as the first one.”
Bloody nose and all, Mattin fought through it to come out on top.
“The blood time was getting to me,” he said. “I wasn’t bleeding half the time, and I just felt like it was a breather for him, and I was ready to go.”
At 132 pounds, Spiess won his third individual title. He earned pins in each of his first three matches heading into the final against Milan Edison’s Brady Barnett.
Spiess closed out his career by blanking Barnett 7-0 for the title.
“It feels great. It’s been what I’ve been working for since I was a freshman,” said Spiess after the match. “I had tough loss my sophomore year, came back strong the last two years and if feels great to end my season like this.
“I’m a senior, and it’s my time to shine. I came with that attitude that I was coming here to win, came in here and won.”
Next up for Delta was Marteney at 138 pounds. Marteney won in every which way in his first three matches, then clipped Brendan Fitzgerald of Grandview Heights 7-6 for the first title of his career.
He fell behind 5-0 in the first period but battled back to get the win.
“I was thinking, ‘Dang, I did exactly what I wasn’t supposed to do. It’s time to go to work.’ And I did,” he said of his thoughts after he fell behind.
“I was definitely worried, but then I just looked over in the corner and realized that Delta has all this tradition, all the pride and I sucked it up and got the win.”
Beverly won the 152-pound title, his first title after finishing as state runner-up in 2015, with a 6-4 win over Nick Vestal of Dayton Christian. Prior to that, he picked up two pins, then a major decision against Doylestown Chippewa’s Garrett Hall.
“I’m ecstatic. I get to enjoy it with my family and friend(s),” he said after the match. “I could not do it without my coaches and drill partners.”
“We thought, going in, that all four were favored,” said Carrizales of his wrestlers being perfect in the finals. “We thought they were all, not just winnable matches, but matches that our guys had the upper hand on. It’s something that the average person who’s never been in the state finals doesn’t realize the pressure and how hard it is to stay focused. The way they went out and wrestled hard, I was proud of them.”
Also for the Panthers, Devon Richard placed third at 220 pounds after he was fifth in 2014 and sixth last season. Chance Veller did not defend his state title at 285 pounds but instead took third, pinning Brandon Cox of Richwood North Union in the third place match.
Freshman Cole Mattin placed fourth at 106 pounds.
For Archbold, David Bell (170) defeated Bellville’s Austin Delk 6-3 and Belmont Union Local’s Matt McFarland 12-7 in his first two matches. After dropping his next two matches, a forfeit earned him a fifth place finish.
Noah Mattin went 1-2 to finish his season at 126 pounds for the Blue Streaks. Swanton’s Trevor Schaller bowed out of the tournament after finishing 1-2 at 106 pounds.
Wauseon places three in D-II
In Division II Wauseon had three of their four state qualifiers place.
The Indians were led by junior Tony Banister (195) and sophomore Sandro Ramirez (145) who were both runner-up in their weight class.
“A lot of mixed emotions for the state tournament,” said Wauseon coach Mike Ritter. “While we wound up with three wrestlers finishing in the top three of their weight classes, we came very close to having two state champs. Sandro Ramirez became our first sophomore state finalist, but ran into a pretty tough wrestler from Graham High School. He’ll head into the off-season on a mission to return to the state finals and change that runner-up medal into a championship medal.
“Junior Tony Banister really took a huge leap forward over the last two years. As a freshman, he failed to qualify for the district tournament, followed that up with an 8th place finish at the state tournament last year, and wound up a state finalist this year.”
Ramirez garnered a pin, plus a 5-0 win over Jason Keyes of Lisbon Beaver. He then topped Joe Boley of Mentor Lake Catholic 5-1 to reach the final where he fell to Rocky Jordan of Graham 4-0.
Senior Tre Campbell of Wauseon added a third place finish for the Indians at 182 pounds, making him a three-time state placer.
Campbell won convincingly with a pin and 19-1 technical fall in his first two matches. His 5-3 loss to Bellbrook’s Tyler Wiederholt eliminated him from contention for a state title.
However, he responded with a pair of wins, including a 5-0 shutout over John Szep of Mentor Lake Catholic to finish third.
“Tre had a tough semifinal match and ended up dropping a two-point match. As disappointed as he was, he did a great job bouncing back and finishing his career with two solid wins. He also ends his career at Wauseon with 179 career wins, which is the most in Wauseon wrestling history,” explained Ritter.
Banister began his run with a technical fall win, then won 2-1 in overtime against Graham’s Kavan Sarver. After reaching the championship match with a 10-3 win over Joe Fornaro of Chesterland W. Geauga, Banister dropped a 3-0 decision to Urbana’s Jack Harris to finish as state runner-up.
“Like Sandro, Tony ran into a very good wrestler from Urbana High School and came up just short,” said Ritter. “Tony will go into his senior year hungry to finish at the top of the podium.”
Also for the Indians, Hunter Yackee made his second straight appearance at state. However, the sophomore dropped his first two matches, including a narrow 2-1 loss to Alliance’s Parkar Utley in his second match to eliminate him.
1. St. Paris Graham 253, 2. Canfield 83, 3. Mentor Lake Catholic 72.5, 4. Steubenville 69, 5. Toledo Central Catholic 58, 6. Wauseon 56, 7. Uhrichsville Claymont 53.5, 8. Carrollton 47.5, 9. Sandusky 40, 10. Ashland, Parma Padua Franciscan 35.
1. Delta 159, 2. Dayton Christian 92.5, 3. Mechanicsburg 86.5, 4. Oak Harbor 67, 5. Rootstown 59, 6. Genoa 57, 7. Milan Edison 55, 8. Apple Creek Waynedale 50, 9. Akron Manchester 45, 10. West Jefferson 40.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010