A day of champions
Mason Correll has earned a nice collection of awards and accolades throughout his time with the Columbian wrestling program.
But one award has always eluded him: a varsity championship.
Not any more.
Someone needs to clear some room for a new addition to Correll’s collection. The TC senior got the championship he long coveted, winning the 152-pound weight class at the Reineke Family Dealership Wrestling Classic.
“It feels awesome,” he said of winning his first title. “Last year I almost had it at NOLs, lost it by one point. It feels pretty good.”
Adding to the meaning of the title was the fact that he earned his first championship in his school’s own tournament.
“It means a lot. All my fans are here. I had a lot of family and friends come out to watch me. It means a lot I could show them my best wrestling,” he said.
Correll breezed through his first match of the day, a 15-0 technical fall in the semifinals over Lorenzo LeVally of Oregon Clay. The finals were a bit tougher against Jordan Weissinger of Fremont Ross.
Correll took a lead with a takedown in the first period, added to his advantage by scoring back points in the second, and rode out the final period to score a 4-1 win.
“I was ready for (the semifinal) match,” Correll said. “I had a lot of time to prepare. I warmed up really early so I was ready to go. I just came out and wrestled my best. (The finals) was a tough match, but I’m glad I came out on top. I wrestled him before and I knew his style and moves he liked to hit, so I was able to defend them. The last 30 seconds were pretty tough. I was starting to get a little tired there, but I pushed through it and came out on top.”
Correll joined teammate Seth Williams (170), and Upper Sandusky’s Thurston Dyer (113) and Alex Kenner (160) as local athletes claiming championships.
Williams was unsure if he would wrestle Saturday as he is still recovering from a wrist injury that kept him out for two weeks.
“I talked to my coaches my dad, everyone else, but winning is addictive,” he said. “Being a four-time champ at the Wendy’s and Reineke tournament, it felt good. I can deal with the pain. Winning is addictive.”
Columbian also had a pair of runners-up in Lalo Ludwick (106) and Roman Williams (145).
“Having four kids in the finals was very nice,” Columbian coach Chad Long said. “Lalo being at 106, he wrestled good all the way up until the finals. Roman Williams beat a great kid in the semifinals, a state qualifier. We knew what we were getting ourselves into wrestling Trey Grine [in the finals]. He won his fourth title here.”
Roman Williams opened his day with a 9-0 decision in the semifinals against Sandusky’s Gene Porter. In the championship match, though, he ran into Ross’ Grine, a returning fourth-place state finisher. Grine beat Williams by technical fall. He had two technical fall wins and a pin on his way to being named the tournament’s Most Valuable Wrestler.
Ludwick advanced to his first varsity championship match by beating Mike Handy of Clay 11-3. He was stopped in the finals by Madison’s Mike Baumberger 18-2.
“I thought I did pretty good. The last kid was a tough match. I congratulate him,” Ludwick said. “I worked hard just to get up there. I’m excited to get up there. It’s my first championship match that I’ve been in.”
“He works hard. Sometimes he’s so out of control when he wrestles he puts himself in bad situations,” Long said of his sophomore. “He had a very, very solid tournament all week long. You can tell the jitters got to him there in the finals. He was not the Lalo that was wrestling the whole tournament. He has to get some experience and realize he’s going to be in the finals a lot. He can’t act like that, be all nervous and gun-shy on a lot of things he could’ve did and didn’t do.”
Columbian also got fifths from Drew Hoffman (113) and Kyler Lange (120) and a sixth from Tyler Mesnard (160) to beat out Upper Sandusky 128 1/2-126 for fourth in the team standings.
Otsego took the team title with 146 points followed by Madison (140 ) and Ross (136 ).
For Upper Sandusky, other than the two titles, the Rams got a second from Dylan Robertson (195), thirds from Derek Hansen (126 and Carson Mengerink (132), and a sixth from Collin Brown (285).
Dyer had a tough finals against Travion Scott of Ross. The two were scoreless until Dyer scored an escape with 30 seconds left. Dyer had to hold on for the win, despite already having a warning for stalling earlier in the match.
“I knew it would be close,” he said. “I had to wrestle hard the entire match. And when I got out with about 30 seconds left, I knew with a stalling call, I had to stay hard and square for those last 30 seconds.
“I just know when I’m wrestling a good kid, got to keep it close, don’t let them get any points early on. Just do whatever you got to do when it’s towards the end though.”
Kenner stormed into the finals with a second-round pin over Tommy Wendling of North Ridgeville. His finals match with Peyton Geary of Ross was tight early before Kenner got a pin 24 seconds into the second period for the win.
“I had to push the pace and get him tired,” he said. “I knew if I went at him and pushed the pace, he’d wear out before I would.”
Seneca East’s Elliott Hoepf took the long way to his third place finish. After dropping a second-round match Friday, Hoepf came back Saturday to go 4-0 to earn his spot on the podium. Hoepf had two wins by pin Saturday, and two more by decision.
“I’ve been working legs, getting some tilts and turns,” he said when asked what was working for him. “Keeping on them, not letting them get the chance to get out and score points themselves.”
“He finished up real good, came back from that loss the other day,” Seneca East coach Matt Depinet added. “In that loss, he tried to muscle that kid because he just dropped down. I told him we need to go back to our technique, and work good technique to get shots. After that he came back and wrestled really good the last couple matches.”
Calvert got a fourth from John Brodman, who went 1-2 on the day with a pin over Lange in the consolation bracket. Brodman fought back from being down 4-1 to Maumee’s Ryan Camargo in the match for third place by getting back points in the third period to tie the match. Brodman nearly got the pin, but couldn’t put Camargo away, who then scored a reversal to win the match 6-4.
“We got to work on getting a pin from there,” Calvert coach Travis Salyer said. “I knew when he evened it up, I thought we would be able to turn him again, just got in bad position and was unable to recover and get back on top.
“Last year he went 0-2 at this tournament, so I say it’s a huge improvement. We got to get better on bottom. We got to be able to score points from there, which we can’t do. We got to be able to move our feet a little better and take kids down.”
Mohawk got a fifth place from Cole Draper (182) and sixths from Chet Margraf (132) and Aaron Cook (195).
“I think as far as assessing the weekend, the guys, the three placers, especially, really fought back with somewhat of a road to hoe to get back in contention for a place. I think they did that,” Mohawk coach Bud Cook said. “I think overall, we’re turning that corner and seeing the maturity from match to match.
“With an event like this, it lets them know where they’re at. Even with the losses to state qualifiers and things like that, taking away bits and pieces each an every match whether it’s a win or a loss is the biggest thing to take from it.”