Six area wrestlers win first match, four more still alive heading into second day
COLUMBUS — Six area wrestlers won their opening-round match and four others got rebound wins in the first round of the consolations during the first day of the state tournament at the Schottenstein Center.
Four of the winners in the champion preliminaries came in Division II, with the Columbian duo of 132-pound junior Caden Blust and 152-pound sophomore Joey Simcoe leading the way.
“Winning your first round is only going to help propel you forward,” Columbian coach Daniel Gilbert said. “For both of them being done that quickly (with wins) on Day 1 was nice.”
Blust scored a 13-3 major decision over Ayyoub Muhammed of Dayton Thurgood Marshall.
Gilbert’s looking for more of that same effort in today’s matches as Blust pursues his goal of a finish high on the podium.
“We expect him to continue to see success this weekend,” he said. “Tomorrow he’s going to have a tough matchup with another state placer.”
Simcoe pinned Dayton Chaminade Julienne’s David Frederick in 2:28.
“First win at the state tournament was a pin and that was fantastic. Tomorrow, a new day and the goal tomorrow is to go undefeated. JoJo’s got himself in a good position now to be on the podium,” Gilbert said.
“He handled his business today. He’s really coming into his own,” he said. “We’re really seeing a lot of maturing in the last couple weeks of the season.”
Both Tornadoes advance to face juniors from Aurora in the quarterfinals.
Blust takes on Jack Gorman, who ended eighth at 106 pounds in Division I two years ago, and Simcoe tangles with Will McGhee.
The other opening-round winners in Division II were Bellevue 160-pound freshman Justin Mayes and Upper Sandusky 182-pounder Noah Clary.
Mayes upended Richfield Revere’s Stefan Farian 7-5, and Clary dominated Josh Balridge of Millersburg West Holmes with a 16-1 tech fall.
Mayes is pitted against Carrollton junior Brandon Daniels in the quarterfinals while Clay faces Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary senior David Heath, who ended third last year in Division II at 170 pounds.
The other two opening-round winners came in Division III.
Mohawk senior Daniel Price doubled up Coshocton’s Blake Barrick 6-3 at 132 pounds, and Carey 170-pound sophomore Tanner May pinned Lorain Clearview’s Julian Colbert (5:00).
Price will wrestle senior Jacob Edwards of Troy Christian, who ended second at 106 pounds last year after taking third at 113 as a sophomore.
May advances to face Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley senior Jackson Dunn.
The area’s five other state qualifiers each lost in the first round, with one of them suffering another loss in the first round of the consolations to be eliminated.
Bellevue senior Nick Smythe lost 12-3 to St. Paris Graham Local’s Joe Sanchez in the first round at 152 pounds in Division II, then edged Thornville Sheridan’s Jarrett Munyan 2-1.
Upper Sandusky senior Connor Johnston fell 10-8 to Warren Howland 220-pounder Brandon Matlock in another Division II match before pinning Uhricsville Claymont’s Kole Aubiel (2:16).
In Division III, Lakota 152-pound sophomore Trevor Franks suffered a 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker loss to Legacy Christian Academy’s Dillon Walker before bouncing back by beating Mogadore’s Nick Skye 9-3.
Calvert’s Connor Kwiat lost 15-0 to Smithville 170-pounder Riley Smucker, then pinned Martins Ferry’s Richard McFarland (1:51).
“He’s a resilient kid. We talked after the (first) match and he knew he had to get right again mentally and he did a nice job of that,” Calvert coach Paul Shoemaker said.
“The great thing about this tournament is everybody’s good and everybody can win, and you’ve always got a shot when you’re there,” he said.
Seneca East junior Teryn DeBold suffered two losses at 138 pounds, falling 14-4 to Astabula St. John’s Nick Burgard before getting pinned by Zanesville West Muskingum’s Carter Winegardner (4:30).