Area wrestlers have up and down Day 2 at state meet

Carey’s May reaches semis before loss, five others alive

PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS Columbian’s Joey Simcoe wraps up Aurora’s Will McGhee.

COLUMBUS — The second day of the state wrestling meet whittled down the local entries, but three area grapplers ended the day in the consolation semifinals and another three will compete for seventh today.

Five area wrestlers started the day in the championship quarterfinals, but only one of them, Carey 170-pounder Tanner May, reached the semifinals before falling into the consolations.

May started the day by doubling up Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley’s Jackson Dunn, 4-2 in a Division III championship quarterfinal.

The sophomore then fell 3-1 in the semifinals and will face Nelsonville-York’s Tyler Speelman in today’s consolation semifinals. The winner takes on the victor between Gibsonburg’s Brad Mendoza and Patrick Henry’s T.J. Rhamy, with the losers meeting in the match for fifth.

Carey coach Ryan Pratt said the plan today is the same as the one May started with on Thursday — attack.

PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS Carey’s Tanner May (left) celebrates his victory over Jackson Dunn of Zoarville Tuscarawas, to stay in the winners bracket Friday in Columbus.

“All in all, we’ve had a great tournament. Won the first two, beat a district champ. Now we’ve got to win the consolation semifinals,” Carey coach Ryan Pratt said. “We’re ready to go.

“I just keep his mind right and let him know he’s good enough to wrestle anybody,” he said. “He’s a good kid to do that with.”

The other consolation semifinalists come in Division II, with 132-pounder Caden Blust of Columbian and 182-pounder Noah Clary of Upper Sandusky.

Bellevue 152-pounder Nick Smythe and 160-pounder Justin Mayes will each compete for seventh, as will Upper Sandusky 220-pounder Connor Johnston.

Blust suffered a 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker loss in the championship quarterfinals to Aurora’s Jack Gorman, but bounced back to beat Norwood’s Casey Ragle 12-5 and St. Paris Graham Local’s Isaiah Stickley 9-2.

Calvert’s Connor Kwiat completes against Nelsonville York’s Tyler Speelman.

Columbian coach Daniel Gilbert called Blust’s loss to Ragle “heartbreaking.”

“I tell the boys, you gotta wrestle, and you gotta wrestle whistle-to-whistle,” Gilbert said. “It holds true, it truly does in this sport. You’ve got to wrestle whistle-to-whistle for as long as it takes. I think, for CB again, the regroup is the most difficult thing to do down here in Columbus.”

Blust did that in the second match.

“It’s a testament to CB and his growth,” Gilbert said.

He now takes on Wauseon’s Hunter Yackee in the consolation semifinals. The other semifinal has Gorman taking on Lisbon Beaver’s Skyler Lasure.

“For Caden, (today), we want one more, we could get in that third and fourth (place) match,” Gilbert said. “He’s already guaranteed to be fifth or sixth, so we’ve made an improvement from last year, but I think we’re gonna try to get as high on that podium as we can.”

Clary suffered a 5-2 loss in the championship quarterfinals to eventual finalist David Heath of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. The senior rebounded with a 16-0 tech fall win against Batavia’s Daniel Greiner and a 13-1 major decision win against St. Paris Graham Local’s Andrew Shaffer.

That last win puts him in today’s consolation semifinal against Norwalk’s Gabe Phillips. The other semifinal has Dayton Chaminade Julienne’s Hunter Johnson going against LaGrange Keystone’s David McCullough.

Smythe began the day by beating Columbian’s Joey Simcoe 6-2 in a consolation match before losing 3-2 in the consolation quarterfinals to Peninsula Woodridge’s Isaac Yoho. The loss knocked the senior into today’s bout for seventh against Mentor Lake Catholic’s Luke McKeon.

Simcoe had started the day with a championship quarterfinal match, but lost 5-3 to Aurora’s Will McGhee to fall into the match against Smythe.

“(Simcoe) wrestled a solid match, he just fell a little short,” Gilbert said of the match with McGhee. “The clock hit zero, and we were down in points.”

Gilbert said even though the TC sophomore bowed out of the tournament, he has a bright future.

“I love Joey to death,” Gilbert said. “I know he’s going to be phenomenal. I think the future for that young man is extremely bright. I know he’s going to take this experience with him, and he’s gonna learn from it, and come back next year. JoJo’s gonna be on that podium, and extremely high on that podium next year.”

Mayes dropped a 10-4 championship quarterfinal match to Carrollton’s Brandon Daniels, then beat Wilmington’s Isaac Allen 8-6 in a consolation match before losing 11-4 to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s David Johnson. Mayes now goes against McConnelsville Morgan’s Wesley Pauly in the match for seventh.

Johnston opened Friday with a default against Byesville Meadowbrook’s Jud Ramage in the consolation bracket, then lost 12-8 to Wapakoneta’s Evan Kaeck in the consolation quarterfinals. He faces New Lexington’s Luke Shively in today’s match for seventh.

Three other area Division III wrestlers — Mohawk 132-pounder Daniel Price, Lakota 152-pounder Trevor Franks and Calvert 170-pounder Connor Kwiat — were eliminated Friday.

Price suffered a 17-1 technical fall loss to Troy Christian’s Jacob Edwards in the championship quarterfinals before losing 9-0 to West Salem Northwestern’s Cael Rowland in the second round of consolations.

“It was just a tough day for him. He wanted it today, but sometimes you have to go out and wrestle and I think he was just a little flat-footed,” Mohawk coach Nate Lofay said.

“I had him as a freshman. This was my first class I’d had all the way through, so that’s why this was a little difficult. He absorbed everything. He was my best practice guy.

“If there was a kid that we’d say deserves it, it was Daniel Price,” he said of his senior. “It was heartbreaking. It was difficult. It was tough to see him lose and not get on that podium, especially since he wanted it so bad.”

Franks and Kwiat were knocked into the consolation brackets Thursday, and lost again Friday.

Franks fell 5-2 to Swanton’s Chase Moore, and Kwiat lost 9-1 to Speelman.

“(Kwiat) got a kid who was really good,” Calvert coach Paul Shoemaker said. “The Speelman kid is a good wrestler, and he took us down early. (Kwiat) wrestled as hard as he could for five minutes, and that’s all we could ask of him.”

Shoemaker said that Kwiat, a senior, had a lingering ankle issue.

“He was as close to 100 percent as he has been since the league meet,” Shoemaker said.

This is Shoemaker’s first year as Calvert’s coach, but he has been the school’s athletic director for the past several years. So he’s had the opportunity to watch Kwiat’s career in wrestling and football.

“He’s a great kid; he comes from a great family, they’re very supportive people,” Shoemaker said. “Very tough to see this be his last match.”

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