COLUMBUS - A revenge win, a nervous win and a Seth win.
A win's a win, and three area wrestlers won, keeping the dream for a state wrestling championship alive Thursday on the opening day of the state tournament at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
In Division III, Seneca East's Damien Showman (126 pounds) scored a win to avenge a loss at last year's state tournament, while Fostoria's Tony Reynolds (170) overcame a bout with nerves to pick up a pinfall victory.
In Division II, Columbian's Seth Williams moved on thanks to wrestling, what coach Chad Long referred to as "a Seth match."
Williams, the lone local representative in Division II, moved on by winning a decision over Bradley Ponchak of McConnellsville Morgan.
It was a typical Seth Williams match. At least that's how Long labeled it.
"I think it was solid. We won 6-1 and basically dominated the whole thing," Long said. "The kid was bottling us up, grabbing a hold of our hands so we couldn't get any movement and couldn't hand fight with him as much. That was a struggle, but overall, two takedowns and a reversal and then one kick out, so, another Seth match."
"First win, it feels pretty good. Even though the first match is always a little weak, but I got that one out of the way and now I'll open it up a little bit more," Williams said. "(Ponchak) came out strong and I just wanted to play smart, play safe and let him wear himself out. And that's when I pulled out my attack."
Meanwhile, Division III was a tough road to navigate through for local wrestlers. Showman and Reynolds were the only two out of the 10 area athletes competing to move on in the championship bracket.
While the chance at a state championship is motive enough for most wrestlers, Showman also was fueled by a chance at revenge.
In his first round match, Showman drew Akron Manchester's Kyle Ferguson, the wrestler who beat Showman in the seventh place match a year ago at state.
"I was pretty prepared for it, because it was a rematch from last year's final match here at state, where he beat me in overtime," he said. "So I was mentally prepared and ready to go out and get him."
After a scoreless opening period, Showman responded with a 6-0 second period. He cruised in the third to score a 6-3 victory.
"I started relying on tilts, which has been one of my go-to moves this season," Showman said. "It worked on him twice, scored five points on him. I got a pretty decent lead and kind of sat with it."
Showman will be among the first to compete in the championship quarterfinals this morning. He matches up against Andrew Hoskins of Jamestown Greenview. Seneca East coach Matt Depinet is confident with how the draw looks for Showman.
"I think he's in a really good position; I think we got a really good draw," Depinet said. "I think we can get out to the semis at least. If he puts a couple tough matches like that out there, he can definitely get out."
While the rest of the Division III wrestlers were struggling in the opening session, Reynolds put another one in the win column for the area. He moved on thanks to a pinfall victory over Bobby Sunderhaus of Lima Central Catholic in 1:59.
According to Fostoria coach Nick Davis, before fighting off Sunderhaus, he had to fight off nerves.
"He turned to me and he goes 'coach Davis, is it OK if I'm nervous?' And I said 'Yeah Tony, it's fine,'" Davis said. "This is the state tournament, he's a junior, it's his first time down here, first time even seeing it. He went out there and wrestled really, really well."
Lakota's Ben Timmons (126), Carey's Cory Larick (145), Seneca East's Nick Hughes (160), Mohawk's Grant Price (160) and Calvert's Dan Kwiat (195) all are alive in the consolation bracket that could take as high as third place.
For some, moving on meant shaking off the struggles of an opening loss.
Timmons dropped a 7-6 decision in his opening match, only to respond with an 18-2 technical fall win in his second.
"You can't let one loss create another one. I'm not going just give up because I lost a match, because this is my senior year and one more and I'm done," he said. "So I'm going to come back and wrestle hard."
Larick picked up a pin in 4:59 against Barnesville's Mason Plumly in his consolation match, while Hughes scored a 10-4 win against Jacob McAdams of Jamestown Greenview.
Hughes said he is looking forward to coming out today and getting a win, which would lock up a spot on the podium.
"The main goal is just to win that first one so I'm guaranteed placing," he said. "After that, it's going to be all fun to see how far I can get it."
Price advanced due to an injury default in his consolation match. Mohawk coach Buddy Cook said Price still has the ability to make a run through the bracket.
"All the tools are there, it's just a matter of getting refocused," he said. If he can get refocused, I think he can do okay."
Kwiat probably had one of the toughest losses of the entire tournament in his opening match. He led Manchester's Lucas Dies 5-4 in the final period, but fell victim to a late reversal. Kwiat was in position to score an escape to tie the match, or get a reversal to win it. He managed to get on top of Dies, but couldn't break Dies' hands as time ran out.
However, Kwiat responded by pinning Connor Domsitz of Brookville in the first period.
"I kind of just knew that this was do-or-die," Kwiat said. "I knew what I had to do and I came out and went all out. I tried to go out hard-nosed and just get it done. Don't mess around; don't take it down to the last point. Finish it early."
Calvert coach Keven Rinaman labeled the day bittersweet. As happy as he was to see Kwiat move on, he also saw the end of the career of Joe Brodman, who was edged out in his consolation match 3-2.
"'Bittersweet' is the word to describe it after that round," Rinaman said. "Joe's probably one of the best athletes I ever coached in 10 years now of coaching. Sad to see a guy like that go. A great leader in the room. I know he's going to do bigger and better things once he graduates.
"Then you turn around and they're almost on the mat at the exact same time. Dan went out there and he wrestled fantastic. He did exactly what he's capable of doing and got the pin because of it. He went out there with a fierceness."
Also being eliminated on day one were Fostoria's Angelo Eufracio (138) who fell 4-2 in overtime in his consolation match, and Upper Sandusky's Kohl Johnson (182) who was pinned.
"It was exciting being here; it was more than I ever could have imagined," Johnson said. "I wish I could have done better because this is my senior year and now it's all over. It's tough, when I've done this for so long.
"I know it was a huge accomplishment. Even if I would've won, it still would have been devastating that it's over. All that is a lot to take in."
Wrestling resumes today with the championship quarterfinals in Division III starting at 10 a.m.