LOGAN STIEBER and KYLE SNYDER
great success in the upcoming World Championships, August 21-26 in Paris France.
Vic Marcelli grabbed his fifth All-American honor in Fargo, N.D. He was the lone placer for Team Ohio in the Junior Greco-Roman National Tournament.
FARGO, N.D. — Thirty-five hopefuls from Team Ohio entered the Junior Nationals hoping to become a Greco-Roman All-American in Fargo, N.D.
When the 894-wrestler field was whittled down in the middle of the second day of the three-day tournament, only 182-pounder Vic Marcelli was left from the Buckeye state.
The Massillon Jackson senior could have looked at the situation and wilted under the pressure.
He could have packed his bags and set sights on his high school senior year.
Instead, Marcelli used the situation as a badge of honor and one where he defended the great name of Ohio wrestling by finishing fifth.
“I don’t feel too much pressure,” he said. “We have a lot of tough Greco wrestlers so I wanted to be able to get more.”
By beating Alabama’s Christian Knop, who was a Southeast Regional champ in both Greco and Freestyle, Marcelli nabbed his second All-American honor of the week and now has five with three coming in Greco.
It was the second time Marcelli doubled in Fargo, after doing it two years ago at 160.
Fast forward to this year and Marcelli finished things with a 5-0 win where he was never seriously threatened by Knop.
“It’s just wrestling to my potential,” Marcelli said. “Being able to double AA out there feels good.
“It was nine days plus the camp. It was really long and tough. You have to be versatile and just expand your realm of wrestling and how you compete.”
As he enters his senior season, Marcelli will take some time off as will most of the rest of Team Ohio, but knows he’s a better wrestler because of his time in Fargo.
Whether it was the regiment of controlling his weight, working through the rigorous practices Team Ohio coaching puts you through or just maneuvering your way through the minefield of competitors the competition puts you through, when you come out the other side, you’re better for it.
Marcelli has seen himself become a more refined, stronger wrestler every time he comes back from North Dakota. He also sees his game get strong mentally as well.
He knows it’s up to him to take that next step.
“I’m definitely way better,” Marcelli said. “Even from match to match, I’m stronger. More than anything, I’m better day to day. The four-day training camp plus the experience, the mat time, it just adds up really quick over nine days.”
Junior Greco finished Fargo off with 1 All-American:
Victor Marcelli (182) 5th
Victor was a double AA for the 2nd time in 4 years!
Cadet Greco Roman Team finished with 3 All-Americans:
Brett McIntosh (152) 7th
Matt Cover (195) 4th
Louden Haga (285) WVA/OH 5th
Autumn Gordon (left) and McKayla Campbell ended incredible careers with Team Ohio by finishing second at the Junior Freestyle Nationals.
Jr Women's Freestyle finished 12th in the country with just 9 girls on the team and had 2 National Runners-up!
McKayla Campbell (106) 2nd
Autumn Gordon (112) 2nd
FARGO, N.D. — McKayla Campbell and Autumn Gordon will head off to college in the fall to wrestle for Campbellsville University and University of Cumberlands, respectively, and unfortunately leave a hole in the Team Ohio lineup
While the duo didn’t grab a Junior Freestyle National championship in Fargo, N.D., the legacy the two have forged isn’t lost on anyone familiar with the wrestling.
“They showed what the expectation is going to be for Team Ohio,”coach Lauren Lourvie said. “They raised the bar and showed the girls how to do it. The other 15 girls we had on the team now see what it’s supposed to look like and what’s supposed to be done.
“They were examples for them in practice. They were just great leaders for our team. They were great examples on and off the mat of what a high-level athlete is supposed to look like.”
Campbell (106 pounds) has been the standard bearer in Fargo for a long time for Team Ohio. A six-time finalist, Campbell owns two titles from 2015.
Unfortunately, a 2017 title wasn’t in the cards for Campbell, who scored a late takedown to tie things with Pennsylvania’s Vayle Rae Baker, but lost on criteria.
Disappointed, but undaunted, the Wauseon graduate knows she’s leaving the team in a good place.
“From where it started four years ago, it’s grown so dramatically,” Campbell said. “It’s crazy to see where I’m at right now with all these girls. I started with four girls on the team and now there’s 17. It’s crazy to see where they’ve come from and how hard they’ve trained to get where they are right now.
“I feel like these girls see what you have to go through to be the best. You’re going to fall short, but you have to keep moving forward and better yourself and get through it.”
Gordon (112) fell short in her bid in a 10-8 loss to Wisconsin’s Alisha Hawk, but knows the team is on the rise.
A national folkstyle champion, Senior Open placer and International Brazil Jiu-Jitsu Federation World champion, hard work and determination put her in the finals.
“I’m honored to be the standard, but it’s very nerve-wracking,” she said. “I want to be the best. Losing that championship was hard on me because I wanted to win it for them to show them you can do it.”
In the Cadet Greco-Roman Tournament, Matthew Cover (4th, 195) Louden Haga (5th, 285) and Brett McIntosh (7th, 152) placed for Team Ohio.
(Photo by Jeff Kullman) Drew Mattin (left) and David Carr won Junior Freestyle National titles in Fargo, N.D., to help Team Ohio to a runner-up finish.
With two champions and two other All-Americans the girls Cadet Freestyle team finished ninth at Fargo, N.D.
Wrestlers will go to the end of the earth to grab a stop sign.
The eight-sided plaque given to All-Americans at Fargo, N.D., the Junior Freestyle Nationals are arguably the pinnacle of high school wrestling.
Team Ohio pocketed them like they were candy Tuesday through hard work, dedication and a drive few have seen.
There was more fun to be had and it started with David Carr (160), who picked up the one thing he didn’t have. Well, two things he didn’t have.
The three-time state champion felt a little push with six technical falls among his seven wins. It ended with the big stop sign after a 13-3 win over UWW Junior Greco-Roman champion Tyler Dow in the finals and gave him the most outstanding wrestler award — an award Ben Darmstadt won last year for Team Ohio.
“It was so important to win in dominant fashion,” Carr said. “I just love wrestling and big events like this. It’s awesome.”
No one might have wanted it more than Drew Mattin. A runner-up at the Cadet level two years ago, Mattin lost in the quarterfinals last year at the Junior level.
That made his swan song at Fargo before heading off to the University of Michigan a pressure cooker.
Mattin came through in spades, knocking out Folkstyle Junior Nationals champion and returning runner-up Paul Konrath (126 pounds) of Indiana 8-1.
“It’s always been a steppingstone,” Mattin said. “Like Coach Eric Burnett said, you’re either winning, learning or having fun. These past few years, I didn’t win. I had fun and I learned. This year, it all added it up and I won, had fun and learned.”
Carson Kharchla (4th, 160), Antonio McCloud (4th, 220), Dakota Howard (5th, 195), Jon Spalding (6th, 285), Vic Marcelli (7th, 182) and Tommy Hoskins (7th, 120) made it an even dozen All-Americans as Team Ohio finished second.
Admiration for the stop sign shined through in the girls division as well as a Cadet Freestyle title was won by Olivia Shore (100).
The World team member and UWW Cadet National Champion handled Washington Freestyle champion Kenzie Cormier with a 12-1 technical fall.
“There’s no words too really explain the emotions that I feel,” Shore said. “To have the stop sign, a lot of work was put into it. It feels really good to have it all pay off. It all hasn’t hit me. When it does, it’s going to be great.”
Leilah Castro (117) breezed to her title as well. The Folkstyle national champ added a Freestyle crown to her resume with a 12-0 win over two-time Schoolgirl Folkstyle runner-up Sophia Smith.
Team Ohio showed strong in the team race as well. With its largest to date, it finished ninth with Taryn Martin (2nd, 94) and Cassandra Smith (7th, 138) also finding spots on the podium.
Junior Men's FS Team has 2 National Champs, 6 All-Americans, and finishes 2nd in the US!!
Tommy Hoskins (120) 7th
Drew Mattin (126) NATIONAL CHAMP
David Carr (160) NATIONAL CHAMP
Carson Kharchla (160) 4th
Victor Marcelli (182) 7th
Dakota Howard (195) 5th
Antonio McCloud (220) 4th
Jon Spaulding (285) 6th
David Carr was also voted MVW for the tournament!
Cadet Women FS Team has 2 National Champs, 1 runner-up and a 7th place to finish 9th in the USA!
Olivia Shore (100) NATIONAL CHAMP!
Leilah Castro (117) NATIONAL CHAMP!
Taryn Martin (94) Natl Runner-up
Cassandra Smith (138) 7th place
Leilah Castro (left) and Olivia Shore proudly display how they navigated their way to Cadet Freestyle titles in Fargo, N.D.
Mattew Cover (third from right) was one of 12 All-Americans for Team Ohio in Cadet Freestyle.
FARGO, N.D. — Based on what happened over the weekend, Team Ohio is ready to take that next step.
Competing in the Cadet Nationals at Fargo, N.D., the Buckeye State finished behind only Illinois and made its usual statement at the event.
While there weren’t any champions, Team Ohio had 12 All-Americans and proved once again if wrestling is the topic, it’s best to look towards the Northern half of the United States.
“It means a lot,” 195-pound runner-up Matthew Cover said. “We have a lot of good wrestlers on the team. We’re all training hard and putting our best work in. We all probably wish could have gotten first, but second isn’t bad in a national tournament.”
Louden Haga (285) echoed those statements with his runner-up finish.
Like Braxton Amos last year, Haga is from West Virginia, but represented Team Ohio because he did the same in the National Duals (West Virginia doesn’t have a duals team).
While Haga wasn’t able to figure a way around South Dakota state champ Nash Hutmatcher in the finals, he walked out impressed with what Ohio had to offer.
“It was a great experience,” Haga said. “I made a lot of friends. It was very helpful. I think they really made me a better wrestler. Honestly, at the end of my high school season, I never thought I’d be at this point.”
Cover and Haga had some company as Victor Voinovich (3rd, 132), Nevan Snodgrass (3rd, 152), Rowan Madison (4th, 94), Dylan Shawver (5th, 113), Christopher Donathan (5th, 152), Mick Burnett (6th, 120), Gus Sutton (6th, 138), Paddy Gallagher (6th, 138), Dustin Norris (7th, 100) and Brett McIntosh (8th, 152) made the podium a traffic jam of Buckeyes.
That’s just how Ohio rolls as it looks to stay in the talk for a national championship year after year.
“This tournament is the toughest in the country,” Cover said. “You get to see some of the best in the country. If you lose, you learn from it. If you win, you’re a national champion. Everyone helps each other. You wrestle the best.
“It’s a big momentum kick. If you’re able to wrestle Greco, it gets everything going. It’s great.”
More than that, what Team Ohio did was kickstart the high school season.
While many of the Cadets are expecting big things at their respective schools, lessons learned not only in Fargo, but especially in the camp at Ohio Northern prior to the season will go a long way come next March at state tournaments.
“I’m going to try and take all of it back,” said Haga, who will be a junior at Parkersburg South. “I feel a lot better. Everyone has been accommodating. I’m much better technique-wise. I can go hard for quite some time because of this.”
Cadet Men FS finishes 2nd in the US!!! Way to start us out in Fargo.
Kyle Rowan (94) 4th
Dustin Norris (100) 7th
Dylan Shawver (113) 5th
Mick Burnett (120) 6th
Gus Sutton (126) 6th
Victor Voinovich (132) 3rd
Padraic Gallagher (138) 6th
Devan Snodgrass (152) 3rd
Christopher Donathan (152) 5th
Brett McIntosh (152) 8th
Matthew Cover (195) Natl runner-up!
Louden Haga (285) (WVA/OH) Natl runner-up!
DATE CHANGE: The date will be Oct. 1, 2017
Ohio pairer, Debbi Kallai, received the Bernie Norris Award in Fargo. This award is given to the Pairing Master of the Year.
2017 USA Wrestling - Ohio Tournament Schedule
Greco-Roman (GR), and Freestyle (FS) Events
All three Greco-Roman and Freestyle STATE Championships (i.e., Kids/Schoolboy and Cadet/Junior/Open) are for Ohio residents only.
State Championships are listed in bold. National Events in Ohio are list in Italics
Fri., May 19 – Sun., May 21
See www.themat.com for more information; weights
Thurs, June 1 – Sun, June 4
UWW Cadet/University Nationals
University of Akron, Akron, OH
See www.themat.com for more information; weights
Ohio State Fair
Buckeye Sports Center,
717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH
Ohio State Fair
Buckeye Sports Center,
717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH
COLUMBUS — Do you have state dreams? Better get your USA wrestling card.
Those who succeed at the OHSAA state tournament know the mat isn’t a four-month process. It’s a year-round passion and many of those that found success on the mats last weekend began the summer either at Fargo, N.D., at Nationals or wrestled for USAW in the spring.
While that might sound like a public service announcement, facts are facts and USA Wrestling breeds champions.
The NCAA Division I Nationals where 28 of the 32 Ohio competitors wrestled in USAW aside, it starts at the high school level and it starts off in the summer.
Going into the state tournament, 52 percent of Division I wrestlers had USA cards in 2016, 43 percent in D-III and 34 percent and 34 percent in D-II.
What’s more, 29 of the 42 champs cut their teeth on USA Wrestling with 12 of the 14 coming in D-I. That’s 69 percent of all state champions.
Add in USAW card members from 2015 and it bumps up to 86 percent.
“It totally prepares them,” USAW and Elyria assistant coach Jack Gillespie said. “If you look at our program, everybody that has been a Fargo All-American pretty much has been a state champ. If you’ve been a FILA Cadet champ, you’ve qualified and placed.
“You look at the history of our program, guys that go to Fargo go to the state tournament. We’ve had three guys not go to Fargo that have been state placers since Erik (Burnett) has been the head coach.”
To put that in perspective, in 20 years, Burnett has had 42 wrestlers reach the podium and crowned 10 champions.
That’s 93 percent wrestling in the summer and that’s just one school.
But take the words of a coach, wrestlers feel the same way.
“It’s incredible,” Brecksville state champ Julian Tagg said. “I can’t even explain it. I learn the mistakes I’m making and what I need to fix.”
The 106-pound freshman isn’t just a state champ, he’s a cadet national freestyle champ, having won the title last summer.
La Salle’s Lucas Byrd, who Tagg beat in the semifinals, finished third and will return to Fargo next summer as a cadet Greco-Roman runner-up.
“It’s an incredible experience,” Byrd said. “You can’t really describe it. It has helped me a lot in every aspect, knowing what I need to work on, knowing what my faults are, knowing what I need to fix.”
More than that, winning or even placing on a national stage helps. Elyria’s Dylan Shawver (113) went out to Fargo and earned cadet freestyle All-American status. He beat returning runner-up Gabe Tagg, another USA wrestler, to open the tournament and finished fourth.
Tagg, by the way, exacted his revenge in the third-place match.
USAW breeds confidence as well.
When Spencer Berthold pinned his way to the championship match at 220 in Division I, it not only marked the first state placer for Midview since 1988 (Adam Duke, 4th), but the first state finalist since 1985 (Carlos Martin, 98 pounds).
He finished runner-up, but pointed to USAW as the catalyst.
“I’ve been lifting a lot,” Berthold said. “I didn’t ‘AA’ out (in Fargo) and that just pushed me even more. It made me want it even more. How can I do it if I don’t believe in myself?
“Before the semifinals, I was like, ‘Think about not making it and always finishing where I didn’t want to slip. It just burned and built up. I just released it. I guess I was surprised, but I always knew I could do it. I always believed.”