By Garth Shanklin
Eight Clermont County wrestlers and one from Western Brown made the trip through the snow to Columbus to compete in the first day of the OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Championships at the Schottenstein Center on Thursday, March 8.
Bethel-Tate’s Trey Sander was the first local to hit the mat, and he got things started on the right note. Sander pinned Kirtland’s Konnor Duncan in the 120-pound bout in 2:32, advancing to the quarterfinals tomorrow morning.
The sophomore will take on Marion Pleasant’s Carter Wolf, who won his match via 16-7 major decision over Swanton’s Zach Schaller.
Bethel-Tate’s Matt Hall hit the mat next. Hall fell behind 3-1 entering the third period, but rallied late to tie the bout at five. His opponent, Archibold’s Colton Soles, escaped late in the third period to win the bout 6-5.
Hall dropped to the consolation bracket, where he faced off against Newcomerstown’s Owen Meek. Hall defeated Meek in a 2-1 sudden victory to stay alive in the consolation bracket entering day two.
The third Bethel-Tate Tiger to wrestle on Thursday was Bradley Lewis in the 220-pound class. Lewis fought, but fell to Gahanna Col. Academy’s Josh Pearson via pin at 3:54.
The loss dropped Lewis to the consolation bracket, where he faced elimination against Orrville’s Sam Auble. Lewis’ season came to an end with a pin by Auble at 4:54.
Clermont’s final wrestler in Division III was a successful one. Williamsburg’s Brian Stears narrowly avoided a first-round upset, holding on late to defeat Pymatunig Valley’s Caleb Bean 4-3.
Stears advances to the quarterfinals to take on Genoa Area’s Noah Koch, who won his first-round match 3-1 in the tiebreaker.
Goshen’s Chase Huff started his Division II match strong, jumping ahead 6-1 early. He faltered late, and ended up heading to overtime tied at six against Bishop Hartley’s Michael Petrella.
Huff defeated Hartley 10-6 in the extra period to advance to the quarterfinals against Perry’s Kyle Rowan.
Teammate Josh Dunn also had to go to extra time to settle his match. Dunn fell to Wauseon’s Gavin Ritter 7-5 in extra time, falling to the consolation bracket.
His opponent in the consolation opener was Louisville’s Ryan Jakubiak. Dunn jumped on top early, picking up six quick points to take a 6-1 lead after one period.
From there, it was a matter of hanging on, sometimes literally, as Jakubiak rallied but eventually fell 7-4.
Batavia’s Daniel Greiner was next up in Division II. Greiner had a tough draw, opening with defending 170-pound champion David Crawford of Canfield.
Crawford wasted no time showing why he was a defending champion, pinning Greiner in 37 seconds and dropping him to the consolation bracket.
Greiner’s next opponent came from Carrollton High School: sophomore Alex Carrothers. Greiner stayed alive by pinning Carrothers in 1:50 to advance to day two of competition.
Goshen’s Andrew Arnold was the final Clermont wrestler of the championship round. He battled Steubenville’s Tyler Ely in his championship opener, but fell to Ely 7-0.
He moved to the consolation bracket, where he faced Lexington’s A.J. Adams. In yet another close match, Arnold went to sudden victory before Abrams escaped, pulling out a 3-2 win.
The final wrestler on the mat for the day was Western Brown’s Brandon Lucas, a two-time state placer. Lucas placed fifth at 106 in 2015 and 4th at 113 in 2017.
In his first-round match, Lucas faced Lancaster’s Jacob Reed. Lucas and Reed battled, needing four overtimes to determine a winner. The Bronco senior prevailed, winning the match 3-2 and advancing to the championship quarterfinals against
The second day of the tournament begins tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with the championship quarterfinals and the second round of consolation wrestling. The semifinals and consolation round three begin at 6:30 p.m.