Coach Davy Hermes was asked the key for Edison's success on the mat this season, and the reply was quite simple.
"The schedule. We beefed it up this year and I really believe it paid off," Hermes said after his team won the Division III district wrestling crown Saturday at Owens Tech Community College. "We went to the North Canton Hoover and Brecksville tournaments, met Chanel and all the top teams along the way and I believe that helped prepare us so much for this."
The Chargers finished with 146.5 points to outdistance Archbold (119.5) and Delta (118) for the third district championship in the school's history.
"We have a banner hanging in school showing the years we won it and I know our kids looked up at that this week with a goal of adding this year to that," Hermes said.
"This is the first time in 19 years (1992) we've won a district and it's a credit to the kids for all the hard work they put in. I know this, it's a great feeling and we are sending six to the state and I'm pretty happy about that. Like any other coach, we would have liked more, but we lost a couple of tough matches. Cam Michel is the only senior in the group."
Edison's contingent consists of district champions Cam Michel (112) and junior Kyle Burns (145) and runner-up performers Jude Michel (103), Tyler Majoy (135) and Jordan Cole (160). In addition, junior Zach Rutherford (171) came through the consolation rounds to earn a fourth place finish for a coveted state bid while Dalton Howard (119) placed fifth, one spot short of qualifying.
"Zach's win in the match that he needed to quality punctuated the day for us. He gave it all he had and pulled out an overtime decision to earn his spot and that just shows what a young kid can do when so much is on the line. That gave us the sixth wrestler and I know all of the others were so happy for Zach. They were right by watching every move he made and I'm sure it meant a lot to him (Zach). That also shows what kind of team we have," Hermes said.
"Our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top five in the state, and I firmly believe we can do that, and maybe place even higher," Hermes said.
Burns (45-4), who won his title with a win over Austin Maneese of Clear Fork, is off to the state for the third time.
"I was 8th my freshman year, third last year and now I want to go for it all," he said. "It also feels good to win the district as a team. We (team) felt good about our chances and to realize that is something special."
Majoy talked about his semifinal win over Logan Harless of Clear Fork. "The key was my technique and I'm happy to get to the state for the first time," said the junior standout who gained a 5-3 decision, then lost to Hunter Stieber of Monroeville in the finals.
The Michel brothers were beaming after their semi-final victories.
Jude, a sophomore, scored a 6-5 decision over Kyle Keller of Delta to reach the finals, and secure his first berth in the state. Cam handled Cade Mansfield of Ayersville in a hotly-contested match, 8-6, and Mansfield was runner-up in the state a year ago. He also lost later on in the consolations to be eliminated.
He then came back in the chamionship match against rival Jesse Gross of Norwalk st. Paul and scoed an 8-6 overtime victory for the district crown. a week ago, in the sectional final, Michel rolled to a 10-1 major decision.
"It feels awesome to get back to the state," said Cam Michel who was eighth at 103 a year ago. "My goal today was to slow him (Mansfield) down and just wrestle my match and I did that," Cam said.
"I concentrated on attacking and attacking today. It's cool for us (Cam and Jude) to win back-to-back matches to qualify for the state," Jude said.
In the finals, Jude lost to Evan Ulinski of Woodmore, 7-4 Saturday after falling to him 3-2 in the sectional title match at Huron.
Cole also had a solid performance in the semis with a 4-2 decision over Jim Spieth of Liberty Center, but ran into undefeated Xavier Dye of Patrick Henry in the title match and was pinned at the 2:42 mark.