By Chris Chaney
Despite an early setback, New Richmond’s JR Forsee fought back and wrestled his way through the consolation bracket to finish sixth in the state at 285 lbs, setting a school record in the process.
“(Forsee placing) means a lot,” New Richmond head coach Deron Shinkle said. “It was the first time that we’ve had a two-time placer in wrestling, so that’s something for us to work towards and build for and shoot for.”
Finishing seventh in the state as a junior, Forsee one-upped himself as he reached the fifth-place match as a senior.
Forsee dropped into the consolation bracket on Thursday, Feb 28 following an opening-round defeat to No. 2-seeded Connor Sharp from Beloit West Branch, the eventual fourth-place finisher. However, Forsee kept his state-placing hopes alive with a quick win over Jason Clinker of Dover, pinning him in just 18 seconds.
Friday, March 1 was a marathon for the 285-pound senior. Wrestling in two matches over six hours apart, Forsee earned his way into the placing rounds with a win over Hayden Bottorff from Miami Trace, a 3-1 decision.
After an extended break, Forsee wrestled TJ Lawrence from Oak Harbor in a match that was physically taxing on both wrestlers.
“The match he needed (to win) to get a shot at the third and fourth match, he wrestled Lawrence from Oak Harbor,” Shinkle explained. “(Forsee) won a 4-3 decision in the third period of overtime. He wrestled a lot that day, it seemed like.”
Whether or not the difficult task of getting past Lawrence drained Forsee, he lost to Chase Henderson of Franklin, getting pinned in 1:42. Henderson would go on to place third.
Relegated to the ffith-place match, Forsee had already assured himself of betting his 2012 seventh-place finish, the only obstacle that stood between him and fifth place was Jonathan Alder’s Dustin Kuhlwein.
Kuhlwein defeated Forsee by major decision 11-2 to take fifth place while the New Richmond man claimed sixth.
Forsee’s teammate, Nathan Dixon, the 220 lbs. district champion, came up one match short of placing, losing in the consolation bracket’s second round to Greenfield McClain’s Brandon Davis, whom Dixon defeated to win the district.
“Any time you have the caliber of athletes that we had this year, it just makes the program better because you’re always wrestling against kids who are pretty good,” Shinkle said of the state of the New Richmond program. “(Wrestling the best) always ups their game and hopefully we can continue on next year with the same (success).”
Other locals: Two other local wrestlers qualified for the state tournament – Glen Este’s Matt Sicurella and Bethel-Tate’s Chip Ratcliff. Both faced tough draws and lost to eventual state placers.
Sicurella, wrestling at 126 lbs. in Division I, dropped his first-round match before getting within one match of state placement. He would lose in the consolation bracket’s second round to Tommy Zeigler of Cleveland St. Ignatius, the eventual third-place finisher.
Ratcliff fell in back-to-back matches to eventual third and seventh placers, respectively, ending a successful senior season that saw him share Wrestler of the Year honors in the Southern Buckeye Conference with Forsee.