State dual wrestling tournament begins
Northmor cruised past Fredericktown on Wednesday to advance to the regional semifinals in the first ever OHSAA state dual meet tournament in wrestling.
The Knights, who were the top seed in their half of Division III’s Region 22, had a first round bye and then took on Fredericktown, who had edged Johnstown 30–28.
The Freddies got off to a fast start in the meet, winning two of the first three weight classes to take an 11–4 lead, as Northmor’s Griffin Jenkins won by major decision at 113 pounds to provide his team’s early scoring.
However, the Knights would not lose again in taking a 57–11 win.
At 126 pounds, Sam Neer overcame having to take injury time to pin his opponent — a win that sparked the Knights and their crowd, according to head coach Scott Carr.
“The crowd noticed Sam was banged up a bit and when he sucked it up and got the pin, the fans got motivated and it lit a fire under us.”
Over the rest of the meet, Northmor claimed five pins, two forfeits and a win by technical fall. Mitchell Whisler (132), Jamie Baldridge (145), Jacob Walker (152), Cody Ross (170) and Lane Foster (182) all took pinfalls from the Freddies.
Jake Farley won by 21–5 technical fall at 138 pounds, while both Tyler Beck (195) and Adam Barrett (220) win via forfeit.
Northmor will compete at home for the semifinals this Wednesday. In the opening round of matches, the top seeds will take on fifth-seeded North Union, while second-seeded Northridge goes up against sixth-seeded Mount Gilead. The winners of those two matches will then challenge each other to see who moves on to compete again next week.
In action from last week, Mount Gilead didn’t have to compete as their opponent, Newark Catholic, withdrew from the event. Also withdrawing was Cardington, who would have faced Heath for the right to compete against Northridge.
Carr noted that one nice thing about the dual meet tournament is the focus on team competition. In the regular postseason, the emphasis lies on getting individual through sectionals and districts into the state meet. Here, the entire team advances as long as they keep winning, meaning that all members of the varsity team are equally important.
“For sure — after every practice and meet when we break the huddle, we say ‘team’,” he said. “It makes it more special when it’s not one kid, but 15 or 20.”
Highland advanced to the regional semifinals of the Division II state dual meet tournament last Wednesday.
The Scots topped Shelby by a 61–16 margin, collecting seven pins in the process.
Mike Stewart (113), Lucas Kafka (126), Jake Limings (138), David Fisher (160), Jeremy Johnson (170), Zach Rowe (195) and Ed Kontul (285) all claimed wins via pinfall.
Jeff Shell won by major decision at 182, while Dustin Baker took a decision at 220. Also, both Trevor Meade (145) and Connor Price (152) picked up forfeits.
Highland will travel to Lexington on Wednesday. The third-seeded Scots will take on second-seeded River Valley with the winner moving on to confront either the top-seeded host school or fourth-seeded Buckeye Valley.