TC’s Conley dominates opening match

Clyde’s Coleman, Bellevue duo get past their first-round bouts

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Columbian's Brody Conley (right) wrestles Lisbon Beaver's Skyler Lasure in the 145-pound weight class at the state wrestling tournament Thursday.

COLUMBUS — In a season where Columbian freshman Brody Conley seemed to record impressive victories every week, the state’s No. 4 ranked wrestler at 145 pounds may have saved his biggest one for the first day of the state meet.

Conley dominated Lisbon Beaver’s Skyler Lasure — the state’s No. 3 ranked grappler in the weight class — in his opening match Thursday.

About 10 seconds into the third period, Conley had secured a 16-0 technical fall on Lasure.

“When you tech fall the kid ranked third in the state 16-0, 10 seconds into the third period, I think you make a statement for yourself,” Tornadoes coach Travis Salyer said. “That’s the way I look at it. He said that’s what he wanted to do, and he did exactly what he said.

“It was picture perfect, just like he envisioned it, I guess,” Salyer said. “It was impressive. It was a good way to start your tournament.”

PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE Clyde's Derick Coleman (left) wrestles Streetsboro's Caiden Rodgers in the 152-pound weight class at the state wrestling tournament Thursday.

If Conley made a statement Thursday, he’ll get the chance to make another today in the quarterfinals, when he faces the top-ranked grappler in Division II, Jordan Crace of Bellefontaine. Crace came into the tournament with a spotless 35-0 mark. He did nothing to harm his reputation Thursday, taking care of Cuyahoga Falls’ CVCA’s Austin Prownall with a 9-2 decision.

When discussing the today’s showdown, Sayler began to say Conley will have to face Crace.

But then he caught himself.

“Actually, Jordan Crace has to wrestle him,” Salyer said. “We know who (Crace) is. He’s a good kid, a state champ from a couple years back … Brody’s ready.”

The TC freshman goes into today’s match with a 48-5 mark.

Conley was one of four area Division II wrestlers to win their opening match, thus keeping hopes for a state title alive.

At 152 pounds, Clyde’s Derick Coleman edged Caden Rodgers of Streetsboro 2-1. That sets Conley up for a quarterfinal against London’s Josh Colvin. Coleman now sits at 52-3, Colvin at 47-9.

No area team had as much success on the first day as Bellevue, which saw two of its three wrestlers stay alive in the opening match.

At 106 pounds, Gabe Alda scored a 15-5 major decision over Minerva’s Drake Decker. Alda (43-5) moves on to face Perry’s Kyle Rowan, who is undefeated this season. Rowan (38-0) scored a 20-5 technical fall over Monroe’s Caleb Thomas in the first round.

Meanwhile, the Redmen’s Justin Mayes, who took seventh here last season, powered past Ben Logan’s Steele Boyse 8-2 in his opening match at 160 pounds.

Mayes (43-5), a sophomore, will take on Aurora’s Will McGhee (35-7) in today’s quarterfinals.

One other area wrestler, Columbian senior Caden Blust, lost his first match but won his second to stay alive in the 138-pound consolations. In his opening contest, Blust was defeated by London freshman Antwaun Burns 8-3. Blust recovered in his next match, staying alive by nipping Thurgood Marshall’s Ayyoub Muhammed 4-3.

“He scored first in the first match, and things just didn’t go his way there for the last few periods,” Salyer said. “He wasn’t able to finish anything. He was able to rebound, you know, as a senior sometimes that’s hard. He showed a lot of composure, go out there and (found) a way to advance to Day 2.”

The other three area wrestlers in Division II saw their seasons end Thursday. Columbian 160-pounder Kaeden Hatlay was pinned in 5:35 by Goshen’s Zach Dunn. After the match, the TC senior was disqualified, meaning he was out of the tournament.

“Not what he wanted, but life lesson,” Salyer said.

Columbian junior Joey Simcoe, making his second straight state appearance, lost each of his matches Thursday, and finished the season with a 37-13 record. The 182-pounder lost 8-3 in the first round to Chaminade Julienne’s Hunter Johns. Johns is 40-1 and a returning state placer.

“(Simcoe) wrestled pretty tough,” Salyer said. “Wasn’t able to pull out the win.”

From there, Simcoe fell to Steubenville’s David Tuttle in a 10-1 major decision. Tuttle is now 42-6.

“He had some pretty quality competition, sometimes it’s just luck of the draw,” Salyer said. “He had two tough matches. Wrestled really well.”

Bellevue’s Collin Corapi also bowed out after going 0-2 in the 170-pound class.

Corapi lost a 12-4 major decision to Jackson’s Brice Parks in the first round, then fell 6-5 to Franklin’s Gage Johnson.

Corapi, a sophomore, finished at 32-12.