STATE CHAMPION … Adam Mattin of Delta reacts after winning the state title at 106lbs by pinning Parker Pikor of Lake Catholic. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF RACHEL NAGEL)
STATE CHAMPION … After finishing as state runner-up last season, Archbold’s Brodie Dominique (144) knocked off Boede Campbell from Legacy Christian for the title.
By: Mike Reeves
COLUMBUS – The Schottenstein Center, “Schott” for short, was the scene of some fantastic matches and many successes for local wrestlers from NW Ohio at the 86th State Wrestling Championships.
In Division II the Indian grapplers from Wauseon sat on the leader board in 5th place with 68 points behind St. Paris Graham in first.
Bringing in seven wrestlers and five would end up placing. Starting things off was sophomore Zavian LaFountain (106) who finished in 7th place, losing in the first round, and recovering well in the consolation founds to earn his placement by beating Jake Landis from Graham Local 2-0 in the 7th-8th place match.
At 120, senior Larry Moreno would win his opening round bout and then drop a tough decision in the quarterfinals match dropping down into consolations.
There he would turn into a possessed wrestler and place 4th with a loss in the third-place match to Graham Local’s Colt Ryan 5-2.
Senior Collin Twigg (126) turned in a powerful performance wrestling into the semifinals and dropping a tough match there, he would then dominate in the consolation rounds winning by a major decision for a bronze medal against Adam Heckman from Howland ending his final Indian season at 38-4.
Senior Zadan Torres (132) had a tough tournament run as he won his first match before dropping his next two, ending his season with a 36-19 record.
At 165, Zaidan Kessler scored a solid 3rd place finish by winning his first bout dropping the next one to an eventual finalist like Twigg had done previously and then turning on the quickness and speed to defeat Luke Schlosser from Clear Fork in the 3rd place match to bring home his bronze medal.
Chance Snow at 175 would go 1-2 in a tough weight bracket and just miss qualifying for a podium spot.
Austin Kovar (190) had a brilliant tournament after missing the entire ‘22 campaign with major knee surgery. This year he stood on the podium in 4th place in one of the toughest weight classes contested in Columbus.
After advancing to the semifinals, Kovar fell by major decision 12-1 to Kyle Snider of CVCA and then won his first consolation match by a score of 9-6 over Bryce Whatley from Chardon NDCL to move on to the 3rd-4th place match.
There, he would fall to Kaiden Haines from Minerva 9-3 to garner 4th place.
At 285lbs, Bryan senior Zain Bell brought home an 8th place finish, becoming the Golden Bears first state placer in 10 years.
Bell lost his first match of the tournament, 2-1 to Isaac Asiedu of Hartley, before fighting his way back through the consolation bracket to earn a spot on the podium.
Division III would again see what has become “the norm” at the state championships, a Mattin from Delta in the finals.
Sophomore Adam Mattin (Delta), who as a freshman would finish his season in finals, faced Parker Pikor from Legacy Christian and recorded a pin, just 1:14 into the first period to secure a state championship.
Tyler Barnes (113) grabbed an 8th place finish for the Panthers, dropping the 7th-8th place match by fall (3:51) to Antony Hoty of Westfall.
Delta had their third state placer of the tournament at 126, as senior Evan Hanefeld wrestled back through the consolation bracket after dropping his opening match to take 7th place by ending his Panther career with a win by fall (2:29) over Zane Pickerrall from Zane Trace.
Sophomore Landon Lintermoot (132) finished 1-2 in Columbus while fellow sophomore Conner Sintobin (190) placed 5th with after a fine tournament at the Schott winning 2-1 over Alexander Finsley of Martins Ferry in his placement match.
The Archbold Bluestreaks would show up in Columbus trying to prove that they were truly the Division III team state champions.
Mason Miller a junior qualified but ran into a tough weight class at 106 and went 0-2, senior Gabe Chapa at 132 would put team points up going 1-2 to drop out after a fine senior campaign, and Dylan Aeschliman (215) went 2-2 at state to end his season.
The 144-pound weight class would see Bluestreak returning state runner-up Brodie Dominique dominate his way into the finals where he would face senior Boede Campbell from Legacy Christian winning 7-2.
Two familiar foes met in the 175 finals with Archbold senior Hayden Dickman, turning in the tournament of his career reaching by the finals, wrestling Liberty Center junior Xander Myers in the finals.
Myers would rally from an early deficit to defeat Dickman 6-3 to give the NWOAL three state champions on the weekend.
And finally at 190 was Wyat Ripke, the third Bluestreak to reach the finals, finished as state runner-up after falling 6-4 to Keegan Sell of Garretsville Garfield.
Archbold finished fourth as a team, Liberty Center was fifth, and Delta was close behind the Tigers in sixth place to wrap-up a solid weekend of wrestling for the NWOAL.
GIRLS TOURNAMENT … Makaya Crisenbery from Montpelier (top) ended her high school career by taking fourth at 110lbs in the first ever OHSAA Girls State Wrestling Championships.
The OHSAA has sanctioned girls wrestling this year as an official sport and the young ladies represented well.
Archbold sent down freshman Gabby Oregon with a 20-10 record at 235 and she went 0-2 while Bryan High School brought in 24-8 junior Marlee Yoder at 145 and she was 1-2 on the weekend.
Evergreen was represented by Kristine Hockenberry touting a 9-2 record at 235 and she would go 1-2 on the weekend.
Montpelier brought in two young wrestlers in 29-6 senior Makaya Crisenbery at 110 and junior Jacee Altaffer at 30-10 in the 120-pound weight class.
Crisenbery would finish 4th after dropping the 3rd-4th placement match by fall (1:23) and Altaffer wrestled to an 8th place spot after going 2-3 for the weekend.
In Division I, Wauseon resident and Toledo St. John High School 190-pounder Gage Yackee ended his fine junior season with a 2-1 victory over Lukas Stiles from Medina Highland for a 7th place finish and a 40-2 record on the year.
TEAM SCORES: 1. Graham Local 157.0; 2. Columbus DeSales 120.5; 3. Buckeye 83.5; 4. Watterson 81.5; 5. Wauseon 68.0; T43. Napoleon 9.0; 51. Defiance 7.5; 57. Bryan 5.0
AREA STATE PLACERS: 106: 7th Place – Zavian LaFountain (Wauseon); 120: 4th Place – Larry Moreno (Wauseon); 3rd Place – Collin Twigg (Wauseon); 165: 3rd Place: Zaidan Kessler (Wauseon); 190: 4th Place – Austin Kovar (Wauseon); 285: 8th Place – Zain Bell (Bryan)
TEAM SCORES: 1. Legacy Christian 115.5; 2. Milan Edison 82.0; 3. Barnesville 76.0; 4. Archbold 71.0; 5. Liberty Center 57.0; 6. Delta 49.0; 10. Ayersville 40.0; 34. Tinora 18.5; T52. Fairview 8.0
AREA STATE PACERS: 106: 1st Place – Adam Mattin (Delta); 113: 8th Place – Tyler Barnes (Delta); 126: 7th Place – Evan Hanefeld (Delta); 144: 1st Place – Brodie Dominique (Archbold); 175: 2nd Place – Hayden Dickman (Archbold); 190: 2nd Place – Wyat Ripke (Archbold), 5th Place – Connor Sintobin (Delta)
GIRLS STATE PLACERS: 110: 4th Place – Makaya Crisenbery (Montpelier); 120: 8th Place – Jace Altaffer (Montpelier)