Locals battle at day one of state wrestling tournament

Milford's Jimmy Murphy lost both of his matches at the state tournament on Thursday, March 9 to end his season.

By Garth Shanklin
Sports Editor

Williamsburg’s Wyatt Lefker was the first local to hit the mat. Lefker drew Gibsonburg’s Hugo Villerreal, who placed eighth in the 138-pound class in Division III in 2016.

Lefker went down 6-2 after the first two minutes of the bout. The second round got a little heated, with Lefker lifting Villerreal into the air and earning a penalty in the process. Lefker did the same thing again with 18 seconds left in the match, resulting in a disqualification and a spot in the consolation bracket.

Williamsburg's Brian Stears lost his first-round match via pin with 15 seconds left, but rallied for an 8-1 win in the consolation bracket to keep his season alive.

Teammate Brian Stears took the mat next. Stears drew an undefeated foe, Defiance Tinora senior Derek Smith, who entered the match 55-0 on the season. The two were scoreless through the first period, with Stears striking first on an escape to take a short-lived 1-0 lead. A penalty tied the match at one. Stears took down Smith for a 3-1 lead. An escape made the score 3-2 entering the third. With less than 30 seconds left in the match, Smith took Stears down to take a 5-4 lead. Stears tried for a reversal, but couldn’t, losing the match via pin with 15 seconds left.

New Richmond’s Ryan Wolf took to the mat next, and was promptly pinned in 1:14 by Newark Licking Valley senior Jake Martinez, a three-time state placer.

Batavia’s Daniel Greiner wrestled in the 170-pound match in Division II, falling to undefeated New Lexington senior Dimitri Williams via tech fall (15-0).

The final local to wrestle in the quarterfinals was Milford’s Jimmy Murphy. Murphy faced off against Westerville Central’s Tre Bogetich, a senior who entered the match at 54-4. Murphy (47-5) trailed 2-0 after the first period and 3-2 after the second. He would lose the bout by that score, dropping to the consolation bracket.

Lefker got the night started in the consolation matches against Ashland Mapleton’s Ian Maund just after 7:30 p.m. He dominated Maund, picking up points in all three periods en route to a 6-0 win, keeping his podium hopes alive.

Stears was up next. He was never really troubled, winning the match 8-1 to advance to the next round of consolation play.

Wolf saw his season come to an end in the first round of the consolation bracket. Wolf dropped a 5-2 decision to Sandusky Perkins’ Jacob Maslyk, ending his season with a 40-17 record. Greiner’s season also came to an end, falling to Bay Village’s Josh Barr via pin.

Finally, Milford’s Murphy rounded out the night with a match against Akron Ellet’s Skyler Decatur.

Both wrestlers were scoreless in the first period. Decatur earned the first two points with less than a minute left in the second period. He would go on to eliminate Murphy 5-1.

Lefker and Stears return to action in the second session of wrestling on Friday, March 10. The session begins with the Division III championship quarterfinals at 10 a.m.

Milford's Jimmy Murphy lost both of his matches at the state tournament on Thursday, March 9 to end his season.