Beau Minnick put up a fight, but his opponent was just on a another level.
The Clyde senior extended his season as far as he could, qualifying for Saturday’s Division II 145-pound championship finals at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center, but was pinned by four-time state champ Micah Jordan with 16 seconds left in the first period.
Jordan became the 26th wrestler in Ohio history to win four state titles. His family owns 22 state championships. Jordan posted a career record of 193-9 and went 48-0 this season.
Minnick finished his career with his highest state finish to date.
“I think I had a pretty good career overall, and a pretty great season,” Minnick said. “It didn’t end the way I wanted to but it was still a good career.”
Jordan scored the first two points on a takedown but Minnick got an escape to get on the scoreboard. Jordan responded with another takedown and a few seconds later got Minnick on his back.
“He got in on my legs, just like I figured,” Minnick said. “I couldn’t fend it off and then he sunk that three quarters nelson on me and it cut off my airway and pinned me. He doesn’t ever stop moving. He never gets out of position. He’s strong and he’s just everything about him is pretty good.”
It was hard for Minnick to accept defeat, even to one of the top wrestlers in the country, but Clyde coach Rob Jennings said the experience is one Minnick will remember forever.
“I told him before the match, regardless of what happens, everyone in the arena is going to stand up and cheer when this is over,” Jennings said. “If we win, nobody is going to believe it and they are all going to go nuts. If we lose, they are going to go nuts because he won four titles and has earned that right to be in that position too. There is no shame in going out and battling the No. 1 ranked kid in the country and giving it all you got, which Beau absolutely did tonight.”
Minnick added that a second place finish has left him wanting more. He’s undecided where he wants to wrestle collegiately, but is leaning towards Kent State.
“I am still not content. I have a lot more to accomplish in my career,” he said. “It’s still been an awesome experience. It’s a great feeling. I am still one of the best in the state even though it didn’t end the way I wanted it to.”
Minnick ends his senior season with a record of 49-3.
“I don’t know if there is a whole lot of adjectives to describe the kind of kid Beau is,” Jennings said. “He’s been a kid who’s done everything we’ve ever asked him to do and he does even more. I think that’s shown with everything that he’s accomplished. He’s got some big dreams and having gone through this process and little bit as a wrestler and a coach he’s going to look back on this and really appreciate the opportunity that he had.”
Vermilion’s Mike Repko ended his roller coaster season with a close match in the state finals at 152.
Having wrestled for his first three seasons with various injuries, Repko quit at the beginning of the season. Worried about future regrets, he decided to forgo Tommy John’s surgery and join the team again.
He battled his way through the bracket before facing Toledo Central Catholic’s Alex Mossing in the final.
Mossing scored first on an escape, but Repko answered with a reversal. Mossing had the last word, maneuvering his own reversal to win the title 3-2.
“We were in a crab ride and he just got higher hips than me, and I sank down and he just hipped right over me,” Repko said. “It’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s a good accomplishment but you always want to win that title.”
Repko ends the season at 29-2.
“I honestly thought there was a point where he wasn’t going to return,” Vermilion coach Brandon Gilbert. “To end up where we are at, heck of an accomplishment. Hats off to Mike, that was a heck of a ride.
“You know when you have something special,” Gilbert added. “Mike was electric. Head and shoulders above everybody else. It made it that much clearer what you have. It was a special ride. It was fun. This is what we expected to happen. We wish he came out on the other side but hats off to Alex Mossing as well. He wrestled a heck of a match and had a great season.”
Ryan Schupe was Vermilion’s last state placer at fourth in 2008, while Frank Workman was the Sailors’ last champion in 1993.
Moises Lopez didn’t quite have enough to complete his Cinderella season.
The Willad senior fell 6-1 to Loudonville’s Ryan Weber (195) in the Div. III state finals.
“He came out with a little bit more fire,” Lopez said. “He didn’t stop going at all.”
Lopez found himself in a quick whole when Weber scored a takedown and then got back points to go up 5-0. Weber got an escape and Lopez answered with one of his own but Weber dominated the rest of the period.
“He was hard to control and very strong,” Lopez said. “I guess he just had a good day.”
Willard coach Kipp Cullin was visibly emotional after Lopez’s final match.
“It’s been a great year. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to these guys,” Cullin said. “I tell the kids all the time anything can happen and that rankings are just predictions. You can’t look into that and if you do look into it then prove people wrong.”
Lopez did just that all year long.
“He’s got a huge heart and a huge motor,” Cullin said. “He finally just started clicking and having success.
I think our last home dual, he had Doogan Bentley of Shelby who we were 1-1 against and had been close matches. Mo just came out on fire and really opened it up with a major decision. From that moment on he was a completely different wrestler. He really bought in. The last month of the season you could just see a difference there.”
Lopez ends his career with 79 wins.
“This whole experience, it was very exciting,” Lopez said. “The ceremony was phenomenal and I am glad I experienced it.”
The area went 0-3 in the state finals. It is the first year since 1969 that the area has failed to produce a state champ.