Williams returns to the mat

Most people like some time off. Especially this time of year, people enjoy a break from work, or school, or whatever else.

Not Seth Williams. He took time off and didn’t like it.

After being sidelined two-and-a-half weeks with a wrist injury. The Columbian senior made his return to action in front of a home crowd at the Reineke Family Dealerships Wrestling Classic.

“Feels really good, actually,” Williams said after making his return. “Sitting out as a senior, you don’t want to sit out, but I got to make sure I’m healed first. … But this is my senior year.”

For someone who wanted to get back out there, he sure didn’t spend much time on the mat. In the first round of the 170-pound bracket, Williams scored a 17-1 technical fall over Mason Hammond of Mohawk. He advanced to the semifinals with a pin of Andy Dickens of Oregon Clay in 1:01.

Both Williams and coach Chad Long said they’ll evaluate how he feels before deciding if he’ll wrestle in today’s semifinals.

“He’s still not 100 percent, you can tell that,” Long said. “We’re going to gauge and see how he feels tonight to see if he’s wrestling tomorrow or not. Nice, though, to see him out there wrestling in two matches with a tech fall and a pin.”

Three other Tornadoes will definitelyl take part in the semifinals of their host tournament. Lalo Ludwick (106), Roman Williams (145) and Mason Correll (152) all had first-round byes, then came back to win their second-round matches by pin.

Ludwick started things off pinning Leondre Cooley of Sandusky in the second round. Roman Williams followed up with a pin against Evan Lonsway of Holland Springfield, also in the second round.

“I knew it was going to be a match I could win,” Roman Williams said. “My brother wanted me to go out there and work some tilts. Couldn’t quite get it, went back to my legs and got it done.”

Correll needed just 1:17 to pin Austin Arnold of Port Clinton. Correll said he was ready to get on the mat, and made quick work of his opponent.

“I was surprised that I had a first-round bye. My second round, I had a kid from Port Clinton and I was ready for the match, because I had extra time to prepare,” he said. “I came out and wrestled my best and I pinned him in the first period. It felt good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. That’s the biggest day for me.”

It’s a big day for Correll because the senior is looking for his first high school championship. And for the returning state qualifier, his school’s host tournament is the ideal place to get it.

“I really want to win this tournament,” he said. “I’m hoping to become a champion. It actually would be my first championship in my high school career. It would be nice to get it at home.”

Columbian still has a good contingent alive in the consolation bracket, where a wrestler can finish as high as third place. Included in that group are two who picked up first-round wins before dropping quarterfinal matches – Drew Hoffman (113) and Kyler Lange (120). Hoffman stopped Sandusky’s Aliza Fisher 3:29 into their match while Lange scored a 6-0 decision over Nathan Beming of Clay.

“I thought we’d have a couple more in the semis,” Long admitted after the day was done. “(Lange’s second-round match) was a back-and-forth match. I thought maybe (Tyler) Mesnard might’ve had a chance to be in the semis as well, even though he was up against a seeded kid. I think we’re where I thought we would be at this point. We’re young. We got about seven good kids, the rest are young and learning every tournament that we’re in.”

Calvert’s John Brodman is alive in the semifinals of the 120-pound bracket. Brodman opened his day pinning Van Buren’s Noah Schumacher, then needed a third-period escape to edge out Ryam Camargo of Maumee 8-7.

“I don’t think they were my best two matches, but I got the wins, that’s all that matters,” Brodman said. “I think I was a little tired, I wasn’t hitting my moves hard enough; stuff I got to work on for next time. It’s a learning experience, it gets me ready for tomorrow. I think I got to work on setting up my shots better.”

“He just had to stay in good position, not give up any back points, keep his hands out in front of him, keep a good stance,” Calvert coach Travis Salyer said. “He did well, digging deep and fighting down a guy that was coming back. We did what we had to do to win by one.”

Calvert also has Phillip Boes (152) and Noah Francis (220) still alive in the consolation round.

Upper Sandusky has four in today’s semifinals, as Thurston Dyer (113), Derek Hansen (126), Alex Kenner (160) and Dylan Robertson (195) all advanced.

Ram coach Chris Rodriguez though says he feels the total could’ve been hirer.

“Not real happy, a little upset,” he said. “I feel like we can do better than we’re doing. … We’ll come back tomorrow and do better.”

Kenner built up a 19-7 lead after one period of his match against Mohawk’s Tyler Baird before pinning him in the second.

“I’m going for the [school’s] takedown record,” he said. “I tried to get as many takedowns as I could and pin him at the end.”

The record stands at 151 and Kenner is just over 100.

“I felt comfortable because I wrestled my match. I don’t let them have a chance to score,” the returning state sixth place finisher added.

Robertson was clinging to a two-point lead late in his match against Tristan Mallory of Port Clinton, before icing the match with a late takedown for an 8-4 decision.

“Dylan moved his feet real well and came out with a victory there at the end,” Rodriguez said. “From a year ago to now, Dylan Robertson is much, much improved.”

For Mohawk, the opening rounds weren’t kind as all the Warriors dropped down in the consolation bracket. But there, Warriors Hayden Tiell (138), Kevin Lonsway (152) and Hammond (170) scored pins to earn the right to come back and wrestle today.

“A lot of times, it’s just getting into the rhythm of things,” Mohawk coach Bud Cook said. “The first round was not kind by any means. I think the kids learned something from that and hopefully we’ll continue that cycle there. We need to wrestle hard. I think most of them, all of them, have an opportunity to fight their way back through and get some type of place.”

No win though may have been as dramatic as Tiell’s. He entered the final period with Sandusky’s Will Vanscoy tied at 10, but quickly fell behind 15-10. Tiell fought his way back and got a pin with 10 seconds left.

“Those are, well, I wouldn’t say great matches, but it’s a situation that it’s great for him,” Cook said. “You’d like to see things more technical, but it’s a good win for him because he fought the entire way.”

Seneca East has four wrestlers still alive in the consolation bracket, including 138-pounder Elliot Hoepf, who won his first round match by pin, but fell in the quarterfinals to Rico Puente of Fremont Ross.

“The kid from Ross is really good,” Seneca East coach Matt Depinet said. “We told him he just got to keep his head up, we’ll come back tomorrow and work our way through.

“He went out and did pretty much what we wanted,” Depinet said of Hoepf’s opening match. “We got to work on takedowns some more. But he’s coming along.”

Wrestling resumes today at 10 a.m.