(March 13th and 14th, 2015) – COLUMBUS: Against a field of eighty-two, the Indians of Wauseon proved to be the fifth best team present at the State Wrestling meet, held on the campus of Ohio State University. They accomplished this with their six competitors present for the event totaling a respectable 53 points.
In the 113 pound division, Mauricio Barajas represented the Indians admirably. After losing his opening round match to Mitch Moore, of state power St. Paris Graham, by technical fall, he came back in the losers’ bracket to defeat Plain City’s Zane Johnson 2-1. He would fall in the next match, however, going down in a tough 5-3 battle with Poland Seminary wrestler Dante Ginnetti, eliminating him from the competition.
At the 126 pound level, Sandro Ramirez had a remarkable couple of days. Taking a convincing 11-5 decision over Dominic Vagnier, of Circleville Logan Elm, he suffered a tight 6-3 loss at the hands of Mogadore Field’s Cory Simpson. He went on to win four consecutive matches in the losers’ bracket, including a 4-3 victory in a rematch with Simpson in the finals, earning a third place finish in the weight class.
Freshman Hunter Yacke struggled a bit in the 132 pound class. Facing off against Lisbon Beaver’s Jason Keyes, the first year participant dropped the match 12-3. He regrouped in the losers’ bracket, giving Cayne Bennett, from Thornville Sheridan, all he could handle. Yackee lost the match 2-1, but showed he deserved to be in Columbus with his ability to rebound from his first round woes.
Wade Hodges was looking for more than a first place finish in the 145 pound weight class. He was looking for a rematch with St. Paris Graham’s Brent Moore, who took him down last year at State. That wasn’t meant to be, however, as, upon pinning Pepper Pike Orange representative Adam Kirsh in 3:19 and beating Spring Shawnee’s Wade Smiddy 3-0, the senior standout fell at the hands of Kyle Kaminski, of Parma Padua Franciscan in the semi-finals. By a 4-2 margin. Hodges went on to defeat both of his opponents in the losers’ bracket, giving him a third place finish.
In the 182 pound division, Tre Campbell had an impressive showing. Controlling his opening match against Salem’s Jesse Slocum in a 10-2 win, the junior faced a difficult 3-1 defeat to Jack Harris, of Urbana. He went on to win his next four matches in the losers’ bracket, including an impressive victory over Hayden Bronne, of power St. Parris Graham, by pin in 1:20. Campbell took home third place.
Rounding out the Wauseon wrestlers was Tony Banister, competing in the 195 pound weight class. Winning his first round match-up with Washington C.H. Miami Trace representative Jerimiah Jones 3-1, Banister suffered a loss to Perry’s Kyle Kemiller by a 7-1 score. In the losers’ bracket, the sophomore took down Tanner Walker, of New Lexington, 6-2. Lisbon Beaver’s Josh Barber edged Banister out by the narrowest of margins, 4-3, in the next round, eliminating the Wauseon boy from contention.
Overall, the Indians were exceptional at the State level. What’s more scary than how well they performed is the fact that five of the six competitors from Wauseon will be back next year, as Barajas, Ramirez, and Hunter are just freshmen, Banister is a sophomore, and Campbell a junior. Hodges ends his high school career on a high note, and leaves the program in great hands as he heads to the University of Maryland to continue his wrestling career.