Mike Truax blogs from press row at the state tournament in Columbus.
Check back for live updates during the tournament!
1:25 — Out come the platform people, ready to raise the mats. A team of about 60 people are here and ready for the big set up. There's no show in OHSAA sports quite like the parade of champions and the raised mats in wrestling.
1:10 — Back after a flurry of interviews. Recent results: Huron's Nino Majoy takes third, Kody Bellamy takes seventh, St. Paul's Mitchell Gross sixth, Edison's Jordan Cole eighth, Clyde's Billy Ward third, Bellevue's Chris Moore was 8th, Sandusky's Mike Brown 7th, Oak Harbor's Alex Bergman sixth … Sorry about the mass update — I was stuck in the back doing interviews.
11:41 — Port Clinton's Stephen Pastor finishes fourth after an 8-0 loss to Brent Fickel of Padua. The match was knotted at 0-0 after one. In the second, Fickel started on top, which is his specialty. He turned Pastor for a three-point near fall. In the third period, he reversed Pastor and earned three more points on a near fall. Port Clinton's last placer was C.J. Davids, who finished fourth at 140 in 2001.
11:28 — Edison sophomore Jude Michel takes 7th place, winning his final match 6-0. It's good that he placed, he said, after watching his brother Cam do it last year at 103. Jude expects to return next year and place again, higher.
11:27 — St. Paul's Mitchell Gross will wrestle for fifth after falling to Cody Rodgers of Mechanicsburg, 8-2 in his consolation semifinal.
11:14 — Huron's Nino Majoy returns with a 3-0 win over Zack Srock of Chippewa. The focused and angry Majoy was too aggressive for Srock. Majoy pushed the action for a first-period takedown. His relatively easy escape in the third was the final point of the match. He'll wrestle for third.
10:58 — Clyde's Billy Ward stacks his consolation semifinal opponent, Nathan Silvus of Springfield Shawnee, for a pin early in the second round. Ward will move on to the third place match in just a short while. My Flier wrestling fanatics in the crowd told me that was pin No. 34 this year.
10:50 — Just a quick update on the athletes we'll have this morning, and the matches they'll wrestle: Mike Brown (Sandusky, 7th-place match); Jude Michel (Edison, 7th); Kody Bellamy (SMCC, 7th); Jordan Cole (Edison, 7th); Chris Moore (Bellevue, 7th); Alex Bergman (Oak Harbor, 5th); Stephen Pastor (Port Clinton, 3rd); Nino Majoy (Huron, cons. semi); Mitchell Gross (St. Paul, cons. semi); Billy Ward (Clyde, cons. semi)
10:38 — Oak Harbor's Alex Bergman falls in his consolation semifinal match, and will wrestled for fifth. We'll get a word from these wrestlers after their final matches this morning.
10:28 — Port Clinton's Stephen Pastor does it! He upsets the higher-ranked Nick Hile of Lexington on a late — 8 seconds to go — reversal. Hile led, 1-0, on a second period ecape, and Pastor struggled throughout the third to break free himself. With ten seconds to go, he reached back and pulled Hile under, finishing with some back points, too. Pastor will wrestle for third. (Hile was No. 3 in the Brakeman, behind Walsh's DiJulius, going for title No. 3 tonight, and Padua's Fickel).
10:05 — This is the first time in three days that I've had the chance to just sit back and enjoy some good state-level wrestling. The area's first match will be Stephen Pastor (Port Clinton) in just a few moments wrestling in the consolation semifinals. When I actually have a chance to look up, I realized that I could have the best seat in the house: Front row, between the Division II and III mats.
Huron's Nino Majoy got caught in a bad spot in his semifinal match against Crestview's Clint Endicott. Endicott work Majoy onto his back for the pin. Just one mistake. Majoy, just a junior making his second trip to the big tournament and a smart wrestler, will have another shot next year.
Saturday is going to be packed: Oak Harbor's Tyler Hackworth, Ian Miller and Konner Witt are all in. So are Edison's Kyle Burns and Tyler Majoy. Hunter Stieber, Chris Phillips and Cam Tessari, too. Clyde's Trevor Strickland will be there, too. So far, none of the 11 area kids in the semifinals has lost. I have a busy day tomorrow, but it'll be worth it.
Oak Harbor's Tyler Hackworth in the area's first state finals qualifier of the day with a pin of Kenston's Tre Smith in 5:21.
6:30 — Edison's Jude Michel fell to Mechanicsburg's Austin Reese in his first match of the day, meaning that Michel will wrestle for seventh place tomorrow morning.
3:29 — Clyde's Billy Ward, entering tonight's consolation quarterfinals with a state-placing finish: "I worked my butt off all year for this," Ward said. "I'm proud that I got this far. It's amazing. I feel really confident. I stuck it out with the big guys, and it made me realize that I'm kinda good."
2:50 — That's it for the morning session. Check back here at 6:30 for the championship semifinals and consolation quarterfinals.
2:50 — After losing his first state tournament match, Bellevue's Chris Moore has won two in a row. He advances to the consolation quarters and reserves a place on the podium.
2:44 — Sandusky's Mike Brown worked his first consolation opponent,Canton GlenOak's Derrick Everett, 9-1. He led 4-1 on a throw, then collected some points on a near fall. He scored two more in the third period for the 9-1 lead, but his opponent was clearly gassed at that point.
2:34 — Oak Harbor's Ian Miller has Hilliard Bradley's Andrew Higgins in the D-II semifinals. Higgins, who defeated Port Clinton's Jared Fleming in the opening round, is 41-3. Higgins, the No. 1 seed from the Columbus East district, has family (that is politely yet firmly pressing for coverage) in Huron and Sandusky.
2:28 — SMCC's Kody Bellamy advances to the consolation quarterfinals with a 6-5 win over Jacob Coon of Nelsonville-York. (That was much earlier, but I was running around the back doing interviews.) Bellamy has Tinora's Mark Moser (49-5) next.
2:11 — Monroeville's Chris Phillips has a tough matchup tonight against Bryson Hall, 44-0, of Doylestown Chippewa. It's the toughest of the Eagles' semifinal matches. Many others on press row are highlighting that match.
2:06 — St. Paul's Mitchell Gross won his consolation match against, sending him to the consolation quarterfinals and earning a state-placement spot for the second year in a row. He has Sandy Valley's Parker Cole next. His Mitchell's freshman brother, Jesse, fell in the consolation round, ending his state run and his season at a solid 34-7.
1:55 — Port Clinton's Stephen Pastor won his second consolation match over Travis Raper of Fairless, giving the Redskins their first state placer in over a decade. "I want to go as far as I can, place as high as I can, no matter what," Pastor said. "It's probably going to be my last time wrestling." He was nervous in the opening round and tried to force too much, he said, but he settled down and returned to the moves that brought him to state. "It feels great," Pastor said. "It feels like I'm on the top of Mount Olympus like one of the gods." He faces Max Rohskopf of Millersburg West Holmes in the consolation quarterfinals. Port Clinton coach Adam Lohman: "I think both (Stephen) and Jared when they first came out, they were too nervous. Way too nervous for a wrestling tournament. I kept trying to tell them all week, it's the same wrestling, it's just another wrestling tournament. It's just a bigger show. A lot of bells and whistles, but it's the same thing. … Once you get that first win in, it really settles you down, it gets you pumped. Then you realize, 'I remember what got me here, let's just stick to it.' That's what Stevie did." … Has he adjusted to the tournament, or is he still wrestling nervous. "After that last match, that's Steve Pastor," Lohman said. "That match this morning was Steve Pastor. Even that match last night he came out slow, then he turned it on."
1:51 — Oak Harbor's Alex Bergman pulls out a one-point win over Eaton's Clayton Monbrake, assuring five state placers for the Rockets, which coach George Bergman believes could be a school record. But they're not settled — four are still in the championship round, while Alex Bergman plans on advancing.
1:11 — Edison's Jordan Cole, after falling to projected champion Cody Walters (Chanel) earlier today, pulls out a 7-3 win over Jimmy Spieth of Liberty Center. They were tied at 3-3 in the third, when Spieth got called for stalling. Cole earned a second point when they reset in neutral for the 5-3 lead, and then he was able to take an aggressive Spieth down in the final minute to secure the match. Edison's Cam Michel fell in his consolation match just a minute before his younger brother, Jude, claimed a win. earning a place on the podium.
12:29 — Sandusky's Mike Brown fell in his first match of the day to Doug Mayes of Massillon Perry, 2-1. Brown was called for stalling in the third period for the deciding match point. Sandusky coach Casey Harrington said that, as a coach, he'd take exception, but he understands why the referee called it.
12:17 — Edison’s Kyle Burns on his 6-1 victory over Josh Lawrence of Garrettsville Garfield: “I used last year as motivation to work hard this year. I’m just trying to get after it now and wrestle my match. Last year, when I lost (in the first round), I didn’t wrestle my match. I kindof stayed back and it showed. I’m just trying to get after it.” Burns (47-4) faces Cardington-Lincoln senior Lucas Cummins (46-4) in the semifinal round tonight. Burns has guaranteed he'll place in the state for the third year in a row.
12:08 — Monroeville has six matches and six wins so far, each with bonus points. Right now they're in second place with 30.5 points behind St. Peter Chanel with 41. Chanel "only" took seven wrestlers to state — they were decimated by injuries — which means that Monroeville may have a chance to take the team title again. They'll have to compete with CVCA, though, which is lurking with 29.5 points, two likely champions and a few others still "alive." To his credit, Monroeville coach Scott Bauer said earlier that it wouldn't be an open-and-shut win for Chanel. I took that as the underdog's optimism, but it looks realistic now.
12:03 — Another note about the Rockets: If Alex Bergman wins his consolation match, five Oak Harbor wrestlers will place, which would be a first. As a team, Oak Harbor is in third place after the second championship round with 39 points behind St. Paris Graham with 90 and Walsh Jesuit with 45
11:46 — Oak Harbor's Tyler Hackworth, Konner Witt, Ian Miller and Jake Cramer each moved on to the state semifinal round with wins in their matches on Friday morning. Witt and Miller defeated wrestlers from Mantua Crestwood, which started the day ahead of the Rockets in the team point standings. "I needed to get this first round out of the way, because I needed to concentrate on my semis match," Witt said. "I needed to get a good warm-up in and be prepared so I feel good for my semis match. It was really essential that I wrestle a good first match so I’m ready for the match tonight." Witt faces Chris Baker of Jonathan Alder, while Miller has Hilliard Bradley's Andrew Higgins. Ctramer handed Hebron Lakewood's Delane King (51-2) just his second loss of the season, and moves on to face Paul Gryniuk of Washington Court House Washington. Extra good news for Cramer: Nick McCall of Wauseon (who's had Cramer's number all season, with wins over the Oak Harbor senior in the sectional and districts) fell in the quarterfinals to Mantua Crestwood's Cody Ryba.
11:38 — Trevor Strickland is the only Clyde wrestler to survive the second championship round. Freshman Beau Minnick and junior Billy Ward fell. Minnick lost 6-4 to DJ Schoeppner of Canton South, who came into the match 41-2 on the season.
11:14 — SMCC's Kody Bellamy fell in a 10-2 major to Heath's Travis Drumm. "He'll bounce back," coach Rick Bellamy said. "That was a good kid there that he wrestled. He's in a good mindset. We just talked about it, and he'll be ready for the next round."
10:59 — Huron's Nino Majoy must like being in the spotlight. In his five career state tournament matches, he's gone to overtime five times. That includes a second-round win over Clinton-Massie's Mike Stenger in UTB, who defeated him last year, also in UTB. He scored the first point of the match on an easy escape in the second round, and knew he'd have his choice in the UTB. "I knew I had the choice in ultimate overtime, because I had the first stand-up," Majoy said. "I knew as soon as i got out real quick in the second period, I could get out in the overtime."
10:45 — The Monroeville wrestlers are through their first round of the day. Hunter Stieber scored a third-round pin and Cam Tessari a 16-1 tech fall. "I couldn’t pin him very easily," Tessari said. "We were still in the team race, so I needed as many points for our team as we can, so I had to go for a tech in the end."
10:45 — St. Paul's Gross brothers lost their first-round matches Friday morning, with Mitchell falling in overtime on a 9-7 decision. "We knew they would have (a hard morning)," Flyers coach Pat Welfle said. "Jesse had a harder one than I thought. They guy really took it to him good. He's got to come back in the consies against another kid from the same Garfield Heights district which is real tough." Mitchell has a better draw, though, said Welfle. "I'm hoping they can both make it in, but Mitchell has a little better shot."
10:10 — The second championship round didn't start so well for the area, with three — Edison's Jude Michel and Cam Michel and St. Paul's Jesse Gross — falling to the consolation bracket. They wrestle again early this afternoon.
8:02—Sandusky's Mike Brown opened with a big 16-3 win overVandalia Butler's Tanner Wright. After he started wrestling, he said, it became just another match. He will face a tough Doug Mayes of Massillon Perry in the second round. Huron's Matt King answers his first-round loss with a second-period pin in match consolation match. Both Huron wrestlers (with heavyweight Nino Majoy) advance to Day 2.
Watch the video of Thursday's interview with Brown below...
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6:49—Logan Reichert on his first-round 10-1 loss to Beachwood's Alec Jacober: "Coming down and seeing all those fans is real nerve-wracking. It gets your heart goin’. You’ve got to overcome the nerves, which I think will do. The first time out, you’re not really sure what to expect. I think I saw what to expect and I can be better prepared next round.” He faces West Jeff's Tyler Reichle in the second round. Reichle defeated Reichert 5-2 at the SMCC D-III Duals.
6:26—Earlier, Edison's Zach Rutherford fell to Bryson Hall of Doylestown Chippewa, 15-0. "You’ve just got to go in there thinking, ‘That won’t happen again,’ and just shake it off," Rutherford said. "Hopefully you just forget about it before your second match, or the exact same thing will happen again." He'll wreste again tonight against Steven Farrow of Sugarcreek Garaway.
6:00—Through the first round, Clyde went 3-1 (Trevor Strickland (285), Billy Ward (215) and Beau Minnick (103) won, while Blake Miller (112) lost to returning state placer Joey Morris (112)). The Rockets also had a good opener, going 5-2.
5:00—Just in: An OT win for Huron's Nino Majoy in the first round, 2-1; a late win for Clyde's Beau Minnick, 10-8; Chris Phillips also gets job done.
4:20—SMCC's Kody Bellamy comes out fast, leading 8-1 against Lehman Catholic's Matt Pulfer after the first period and 15-2 after two. But wait: The match isn't over. Pulfer scores a late reversal, catching Bellamy on his back, and is ONE shoulder blade from pinning Bellamy. Bellamy holds on for the win.
4:12—After the first championship round, the Chargers are 5-1 with their wrestlers. Couldn't have gone better, coach Davy Hermes said. He didn't know how some of the first-timers — Jude Michel, Tyler Majoy, etc. would respond. The answer? Well.
3:57—Other area winners: Cam Michel (Edison), Jesse Gross (St. Paul), Tyler Majoy (Edison), Kyle Burns. Stieber and Tessari are already done and getting dressed. Stieber's match lasted until the third period as he worked out his jitters. The first tournament match is the hardest, he said.
3:10—Edison's Jude Michel comes in for the first area decision of the day, a 12-11 win over Day. Northridge's Robert Carter.Michel trailed 4-2 early, but finished the first period tied at 4-4. He took a 7-4 lead into the third on a near fall, followed by another point on a kick out by Carter. Michel held off Carter's late comeback, for the one-point win.
3:08—CVCA's Nathan Tomasello barely got past Damon Outward of Martins Ferry in the first round, 2-1. Tomasello is a state champ and the No. 1-ranked 103 in the country.
2:45—Edison's in elite company in Division III with six wrestlers down in Columbus: CVCA, Delta and Nelsonville-York also have six here, while only Bedford St. Peter Chanel has more (7). Fifteen minutes until the show begins. Division III wrestlers called to the mats.