Tristin Greene sure knows how to make up for lost time.
Check that, the 152-pound Keystone junior knows how to make an enterance.
Last year, Greene qualified for Team Ohio, but a broken hip kept him from competing.
Fast forward a year and Greene is a 16U Greco-Roman national champion after he beat two-time regional placer Kalbe Shine 7-0 to claim his title.
“It’s incredible. It’s shocking,” Greene said. “I thought the Schottenstein Center (where the state tournament is held) was big, but this is a level up.”
From the competition to winning on the big stage, Greene couldn’t have been more in awe of the FargoDome.
He joined Jarrel Miller Jr. (2nd, 170), Phoenix Contos (5th, 126), Behlen Waugh (6th, 195), James Bechter (7th, 220) and Tyrel Miller (8th, 160) as an All-American for Team Ohio, which finished eighth in the team race.
“This is going to push me a lot,” Greene said. “I’m definitely looking forward to my high school season. Even more than I did this year. I know going into Greco last year my balance wasn’t good. I was lacking. Everyone could throw me if I got pushed a little too hard. Everything I’ve put into wrestling – and I put in a lot – a can do a lot more things now. It helps my shots a lot.”
Competing in his fourth straight Fargo final, Javaan Yarbrough (100) took home his second stop sign, this time winning Junior Greco when he beat Montana's Isaac Stewart with a 9-0 technical fall.
“Man, at first I was down bad after losing in freestyle,” Yarbrough said. “Coming back here, my coaches told me to clear my mind and do a good job. Trust them and you’ll get payback for last year [Yarbrough was second in Greco as a sophomore].”
It was the fourth time Yarbrough earn All-American status in Fargo. Aidan Fockler picked up his third All-America award when he beat teammate Bruce Wagers for seventh at 285.
When you’ve been there and done that, nerves go out the window.
Toledo’s Savannah Isaac knew that, which is why she didn’t flinch when she stepped on the big stage in the 16U National Championship.
It didn't happen at the Junior level either as the Whitmer junior won both titles at 200 pounds.
Isaac wasted little time in winning her 16U crown with a 20-second pin of Miriyah Brumley.
The Junior level championship went the distance, but the outcome was still all Isaac in a 3-2 match with California junior high state champion Sam Calkins.
Isaac is in some rare air as McKayla Campbell, who coached her this weekend, is the only Ohioan to sweep a weight class in Fargo in the same year.
"It feels special," Isaac said. "Especially with her by my side helping me. We got through everything in Fargo, so this means a lot."
In doing so, she took home her second and third major titles in a little over a year after winning the NHSCA National Championship in 2021.
“I’ve experienced it before, so it helps in the experience again,” Isaac said. “Putting in the work seven days a week made things better. That helped out a lot because it helps when you get to these bigger tournaments.”
Savannah Holderby (4th, 152) and Kira Cole (5th, 117) joined her on the podium for Ohio, which finished 13th.
And you better believe the experience on the big stage helped.
“Just getting out there and get out there with different girls and different styles helped,” two-time Fargo champion, six-time All-American and Team Ohio coach McKayla Campbell said. “Especially at this weight class a lot of these girls don’t have those tricks. They don’t have a shot. They don’t have a lace. They don’t have a gut. They have one half or the other. She’s been working on all of that and it’s made her better.”
That can’t be argued as Isaac finished third last year at 16U, which means she’s won her last match at Fargo three times in a row.
These two might mean a little bit more to the two-time state champion, who is ready to take things to the next level in the coming years.
“It feels phenomenal,” she said. “With the people working beside me, this makes me feel great.”
It should help Isaac in the coming years as she looks for more hardware as well.
“From my own experience, and soon she be able to find out, going into 16U and do well, it gives you that confidence,” Campbell said. “With juniors, I always looked at it this one is more for fun. I’ve already done my job at my level, now I can have fun with it. We’ve always talked about doing what you love, and she’ll have fun either way.”
The Juniors weren't done.
Makennah Craft (2nd, 100), Chloe Dearwester (4th, 106) and Cole (8th, 117) also finished as All-Americans.
That helped Ohio to an eighth-place finish.
As the saying goes, iron sharpens iron.
Don’t believe it? Look no further than Fargo.
Team Ohio went to the 16U National Freestyle Championships in Fargo, N.D., and once again showed why the Buckeye state is one of the best.
Ohio finished third, crowned champions in Marcus Blaze (120 pounds), Jarel Miller Jr. (170) and Aaron Ries (285) had All-American showings from Ayden Dodd (3rd, 194), Brodie Dominique (3rd, 152), Rylan Seacrist (5th, 100), Nick Bowser (5th, 285), Lincoln Rohr (6th, 94), Grayson Woodcock (6th, 138), James Bechter (6th, 220) and Tyrel Miller (7th, 160).
“The state is really good,” Blaze said. “The state tournament itself isn’t easy. Getting us all together in one camp is really the reason we do well. Wrestling the same partner can get old but going and picking the brains of other people in Ohio is beautiful. We have coaches with a lot of experience on the big stage and with wrestling in general.”
That was never more evident than in Miller’s title win. After falling behind early against Greco national runner-up Bryce Burkett of Minnesota, the sophomore bided his time, found the opening and scored late to win 7-4.
“That room at Ohio Northern prepared me even more,” Miller said. “I’m wrestling some of the best guys in the state and the country. I’m out there putting the work at the camp and we’re making each other better.
“I learned so much from the coaching staff. They’re one million on a scale of 10. The love they have for us wrestlers and the support they show, they’re hard on us because they know we could be something far greater. They’re willing to put us in the greatest position to succeed.”
Ries closed out the show and Team Ohio went 3-for-3 in the finals. It came in a thud as Ries pinned Georgia’s Jacob Levy in 98 seconds.
“It’s a big deal,” Ries said. “There’s a lot of great guys here. You can’t ask for better competition in practice.”
The Juniors pushed two into the finals and had eight total All-Americans.
Javaan Yarbrough (100) and Ismael Ayoub (138) reached the finals, but couldn't hold off late second period attacks by their opponents and finished second.
Dylan Russo (5th, 220), Omar Ayoub (6th, 132), Tyler Lillard (6th, 170), Camden McDanel (6th, 195), Jaxon Joy (7th, 132) and Dillon Campbell (8th, 126) all stood tall on the podium.
Team Ohio finished ninth in the team race.
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FARGO, N.D. — It may not have been the outcome the 16U and Junior Greco-Roman teams were looking for, but Team Ohio wasn’t shut out in Fargo, N.D. at Nationals.
The 16U team was highlighted by Javaan Yarbrough (88 pounds), who finished second and was a two-time finalist after winning freestyle.
Aidan Fockler (4th, 285), Ruben Pina-Lorenzana (5th, 120), Phoenix Contos (7th, 120), Jared Johnston (7th, 100) and Adam Butler (7th, 100) picked up All-American honors.
The junior team landed Gary Powell (220) among the All-American ranks with a sixth-place finish.
FARGO, N.D. — Team Ohio will tell you that its seventh-place finish at the Junior Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, N.D. wasn’t up to par.
What the Buckeye won’t say is just how dominant it has been in junior freestyle.
When Dylan Fishback (195) pinned teammate Seth Shumate to win the championship, the North Carolina State commit became the 68th junior freestyle champion from Ohio.
What’s more, Team Ohio has won 17 titles in the last decade and has had at least one champion in junior freestyle since 2005.
“This year, Ohio wasn’t as deep nationally, but we still finished top 10,” Fishback said. “We put two in the finals in the same weight class and it was a very deep weight. It was cool that a couple of Ohio guys got to the finals. At the same time, it sucks because someone isn’t going to win. It is what it is. We both competed hard and that’s all you can ask.”
Shumate jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, but Fishback cut the lead in half and then hit a five-point throw near the back left corner of the mat to make it 6-2 after the first period.
Undaunted, Shumate scored a point on step out in the second period, but when he had to push the action late, Fishback caught him and registered a pin with 35 seconds left.
The two weren’t the only ones to finish with All-American status.
Luke Geog (3rd, 170), Codie Cuerbo (5th, 113), Dillon Campbell (6th, 120) and Logan Shephard (6th, 220) also placed as did Sean Seefeldt (120) and Ben Vanadia (220), who both had to default out due to injury.
FARGO, N.D. — Anyone who thought Team Ohio was going to let the nation off the hook woke up to disappointment Monday.
The Buckeye state finished third at the 16U Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, N.D., to serve notice it wasn’t going anywhere.
Javaan Yarbrough (88 pounds), Camden McDanel (182) and Luke Vanadia (182) all reached the finals. Yarbrough and McDanel took home titles.
Brock Herman (3rd, 132), Marcus Blaze (4th, 106), Carter Neves (4th, 195), Keegan Sell (6th, 170), J.T. Chance (8th, 138), Max Vanadia (8th, 220) and Aidan Fockler (8th, 285) also earned All-American honors.
“This is more motivation for us,” Yarbrough said. “We have more people winning. We made each other better.”
That was hard to ignore as 10 individuals in a field of 1,317 wrestlers finished in the top eight.
Yarbrough decked Wisconsin’s Haakon Peterson in the finals after giving up his first points of the tournament to the U15 national champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman.
While he yielded a four-point move to Peterson, Yarbrough left little doubt when he scored the pin and then finished with a backflip.
The 182-pound final was an All-Ohio affair and lived up to the billing.
Luke Vanadia scored the first two points and took a 6-4 lead heading into the second period, but McDanel roared back with five points in the final 1:43 to take the title.
“We’re working as hard as we can to make up for that last year (due to the coronavirus),” Yarbrough said. “We’ve been working in barns and trying to get better.”
That was evident throughout the tournament as the 16U team, which won the national duals a month ago, set the foundation for Tuesday afternoon’s Junior Freestyle finals.
It also showed the blueprint to the 16U Greco team, which begins action Wednesday, and the Junior Greco team, which starts its tournament on Thursday.
FARGO, N.D. — Ohio girls wrestling continues to make strides.
Over the weekend, they put an exclamation on that with 10th-place finish at the 16U Freestyle Nationals.
Team Ohio equaled its feat from two years ago when it had four All-Americans, but this time added a national champion in Cassia Zammit (132 pounds).
“This is amazing,” Zammit said. “This shows girls out there that there’s more than just wrestling in Ohio. We still have a lot to accomplish and I hope each and every one of them goes out and fights for it like I did.”
Zammit had company with Savannah Isaac (3rd, 180), Raegan Briggs (4th, 112) and Chloe Dearwater (6th, 106) all grabbing stops signs and finishing with All-American status.
Not bad for a team that is absolutely kicking the door down as the sport continues to grow.
“It’s amazing and I’m so happy I got the position to represent Ohio and show the other girls what I’m doing,” Zammit said. “I want them to follow and work as hard as I do. I hope Ohio sees how much work I put in and follows.”
If they do, it could mean another title.
In the finals, Zammit hit her signature four-point throw while on her way to beating Sydney Perry of Illinois.
That’s just how the state champion rolls and she proved it by outpointing her competition 35-10, while adding a pin in the semifinals along the way.
“It shows the team that there’s always a possibility to win,” she said. “In the semis, I was down by a lot (8-0) and never gave up. If I can do it, they can. This is a big confidence boost. Going to Juniors I’m going to wrestle knowing I’m as good as I think I am. I hope they use me as an example to just go out there and get it.”
Junior freestyle didn't repeat the feat with a champion, but it did have a finalist and four All-Americans.
Taryn Martin (180) finished second. Kendall Bostelman (144) was fourth. Zammit (132) finished fifth and Madelieine Wadesisi (225) was fifth.
FARGO, N.D. — The only thing better than grabbing one stop sign is snagging another.
Seth Shumate doubled his fun at the 16U Greco-Roman Nationals in Fargo, N.D. by taking first place.
To understand how big a feat that is, over the six tournaments (16U, Junior and women), 5,378 wrestlers from 47 states took to 25 mats and wrestled 10,575 matches.
They were officiated by 183 referees and 42 pairing officials with 15 medical staff members and three announcers on hand.
That gave Shumate (195 pounds) two national titles inside the FargoDome in a week he’ll likely never forget.
“It feels really good,” Shumate said. “I set a goal after the World Team Trials and finally accomplished it. I try to hold the highest expectations I can for myself. If they’re super high here, you accomplish a lot. I feel good about it.”
Shumate wasn’t the only one to double in Fargo as Riley Ucker (220) and Ryan Elrod (285) finished eighth in 16U Greco to go along with the podium performances in freestyle.
Nevan Snodgrass (170) was a third-place finisher in at the Junior Greco level and doubled as well.
Add Alex Coleman (5th, 285) and Kevin Contos (6th, 152) at the Junior level and Colin Roberts (3rd, 126), Marlon Yarbrough (8th, 106) and Gunner Endicott (8th, 160) at the 16U level and it was a solid showing by the Greco team with nine All-Americans
“Last year we had three All-Americans,” Shumate said. “We have (10) now. We put in a lot of hard work at camp in Ohio Northern. I’m proud of them. We just pushed each other so much. We held each other accountable and it brought us up to do better.
“Every session at camp and here Erik Burnett would go out there and say, ‘You guys are from Ohio. You’re going to beat previous All-Americans because you’re from Ohio. It doesn’t matter if you’re a state qualifier or district qualifier. You guys are going to do what you do best and that’s wrestle. I liked that.”
That idea wasn’t lost on Snodgrass either.
“We took a big step in Greco this year,” he said. “By far. It feels like people learned how to hand fight better. We toughened up a little more and got it done.”
Ohio finishes 2nd, 3rd in freestyle, adds 19 All-Americans
FARGO, N.D. — Change the name of the tournament all you want. Bring in tougher competition. Team Ohio is still going to bring it.
The powers that be decided to make this year’s Cadet Freestyle Nationals, the 16U Freestyle Nationals. The Junior Nationals brought bigger names in a loaded field.
The outcome was much the same as Ohio finished second behind Illinois in the Junior ranks and third behind Pennsylvania and Minnesota in U16 to claim yet another top five finish in the most exclusive tournament in the U.S.
Angelo Rini (126) and Paddy Gallagher (160) won national titles at the Junior level and were helped by Mick Burnett (132), Vic Voinovich (2nd, 145), Manzona Bryant (3rd, 145), Nevan Snodgrass (3rd, 170), Ethan Hatcher (3rd, 195), Matt Cover (6th, 195) and Michael Baker (8th, 195).
"I love hanging out with these guys," Gallagher said. "We're all a family and make each other better."
Seth Shumate picked up a national title at 195 pounds in 16U and Dillon Campbell was runner-up at 94 pounds.
Add a third-place finish from Kyren Butler (126) and placings by Codie Cuerbo (4th, 94), Sean Seefeldt (4th, 106), Ismael Ayoub (4th, 126), Tyler Lillard (4th, 152), Gavin Brown (5th, 145), Riley Ucker (5th, 220) and Ryan Elrod (8th, 285) and it was easy to see Ohio meant business in Fargo, N.D.
“It feels great,” Shumate said. “I have a journal where I write down my goals. I didn’t accomplish one of those, which was making the world team. Fargo was that next one and I worked my butt off to get here.
“In Fargo camp everyone was mad we got second last year, so we all worked our tails off. We might not be first this year. We came up short, but that just means next year we’re going to have a lot harder training to get what we want.”
Let that be a warning to the rest of the nation with ideas of grandeur about knocking out one of the super powers in freestyle.
Falling one point behind Minnesota for second and 11 points in back of Pennsylvania has already lit the fire for the Buckeye State.
Talk has already begun and wrestlers are ready to return to Ohio Northern University to better themselves and climb the standings even higher in both divisions.
“I feel like in the coming years we’ll be able to take the trophy home,” Butler said. “The youth coming up are doing great things, too. Ohio is very strong. I feel like we’re the best.”
Women's teams come home with six All-Americans
FARGO, N.D. — Team Ohio doesn’t get shut out very often.
It happened last year at the Women’s Cadet level and got under the skin of many of the wrestlers.
Back in the FargoDome this year and ready to wreak havoc, the 16U freestyle team had All-Americans in Riley Banyas (5th, 100 pounds), Ayala Wolak (5th, 144), Makayla Young (7th, 94) and Cheyenne Meade (7th, 180) to right the ship and set the tone for the rest of the week.
What’s more, every wrestler won their last match to show the rest of the nation what’s up with a 14th-place finish despite having only having 10 individuals on the team in the 41-state field.
The Junior Freestyle team had All-American finishes from Leilah Castro (6th, 122) and Andrea Schlabach (7th, 127).
“That shows that even if we didn’t have our mojo last year, we’re going to come back and do better the next year,” Banyas said. “Nothing can break us. This will definitely prepare us. Now we know what we need to do and how we need to prepare. We have our confidence back and come and win this tournament if we wanted.”
McKayla Campbell is no stranger to Team Ohio having been a two-time world team member, eight-time national champion and 14-time All-American.
Now a coach for the Buckeye State, the Campbellsville junior sees a lot of the same fire in this year’s team as she did when she was tearing up the mats in Fargo, N.D.
“This was so important because all these girls came in with a different mindset,” she said. “We’re here for one thing and one thing only and that’s to represent Team Ohio and representative ourselves by placing as high as we can. Just seeing this big arena and how important it is to so many other people they feel like, ‘If I’m not that into this what am I doing here?’ It makes them not only want to be a better version of themselves, but a better wrestler.”
Cadet Greco sixth, crown two champions
FARGO, N.D. — Three All-Americans wasn’t cutting it for Team Ohio, so the Buckeye state doubled its fun.
With no finalists and just three All-Americans a year ago at the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals, Ohio went back to work and found its way to the podium with six All-Americans.
What’s more, Ohio crowned champions in Davin Rhoads (126) and Alex Coleman (285) and had six All-Americans.
Coleman’s was over before you could blink as the freestyle All-American pinned four-time All-American and freestyle runner-up Colby Whitehall of Pennsylvania in 14 seconds.
No sooner did the referee blow the whistle than the state alternate had Whitehall on his back looking for the fall.
“We have great coaches and great kids,” Coleman said. “We’re really building over the years. You can tell.”
That thinking is undeniable considering Seth Shumate (4th, 170), Aaron Morton (4th, 160), Daniel Sugura (5th, 145) and Brent Paulus (6th, 195) also reached the podium, proving that Ohio is on the way up after a down season in 2017.
“I think we have more coaches and more people helping us to succeed,” Rhoads said. “You can see it we’re getting better every day.”
For Ohio it’s more of a brotherhood as the one unifying factor in it all was constant practice to help improve each other both mentally and physically.
Rhoads, who missed out in the blood round of freestyle, refocused and looked at one goal. When that goal of being an All-American turned into being a national champion, instead of crediting himself, he credited the process.
"From my teammates from my home school and those from everywhere, we're just one big team,” Rhoads said. “We always support each other no matter what.”
Practice makes champions, but facing top-flight competition in the practice room is what brings home stops signs from the FargoDome.
“It helps quite a bit,” Coleman said. “You’re wrestling someone who is the same caliber of what you’re going to see here. It makes you the best. This week or two when we’re together, it’s everything to us.”
Team Ohio second in Junior Freestyle
FARGO, N.D. — Tug on Superman’s cape and you feel the pain.
Every year, Team Ohio comes out to the U.S. Marine Corps Nationals in Fargo, N.D., and every year, things turn sour for opponents.
While the national team title eluded Ohio again, the Buckeye state repeated its runner-up finish behind Illinois and crowned champions in Jordan Decatur (132 pounds), Bryce Andonian (145) and Carson Kharchla (170) with Gabe Tagg (138) finishing second.
“We’re just so deep in every weight, so when we come, especially at the junior level, all the guys are focused” Decatur said. “A lot of the guys start freestyle when they begin high school. When we roll into it by the time we’re all juniors, we’re always the top guys.”
That’s hard to ignore with Julian Tagg (3rd, 120), Connor Brady (3rd, 152), Dustin Norris (4th, 113), Colin Noel (6th, 100), Dylan D’Emilio (6th, 132), Jordan Crace (6th, 138), Nevan Snodgrass (6th, 160), Victor Marcelli (8th, 182) and Matthew Cover (8th, 220) grabbing All-American status.
“We push each other,” Andonian said. “Everybody wants to be the best. They say iron sharpens iron. It may seem like it’s overused, but it’s true. Everybody in Ohio pushes each other. During the high school season, we’re all against each other, but in the summer everybody comes together.”
That can’t be denied as the practice room at Ohio Northern University where the team trains looks like a who’s who among the state’s best.
“The camps are torture because you don’t get a break,” Decatur said. “Every single guy you’re going with a three-time state champ, a two-time state champ. You’re getting the best guys. We build off each other. The talent is through the roof.”
So is the coaching and that isn’t lost on the wrestlers.
“We’re in a really good spot as a state,” Kharchla said. “With other states around us being so strong, we all make each other better. I also think we have some of the best, if not the best, coaches in Ohio helping us. It’s really convenient if you want to get extra work. You don’t have to travel 20-plus hours to get in good work.”
Team Ohio runner-up in Cadet Freestyle
FARGO, N.D. — Grab the sunscreen, the future is once again bright for Team Ohio.
Competing in Fargo, N.D., at the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet Freestyle Nationals, the Buckeye state repeated the feat and finished second in the team race.
While it didn’t collect an individual title, it did put 14 individuals on the podium as All-Americans in a field of 1,181 wrestlers from 46 states
“I think the cadets are slightly overlooked because of how good the junior team is,” runner-up Mick Burnett said. “I’m not knocking them at all because they’re a great group of kids. To come out here and perform how we did, it’ll help on how the nation looks at our younger guys.”
Burnett (126 pound) and Luke Geog (138) paved the way with second-place finishes, while Jake Niffenegger (132) and Alex Coleman (285) were fourth.
Marlon Yarbrough (88), Derek Fields (132) Seth Shumate (170) and Ethan Hatcher (182) finished fifth and Sean Seefeldt (100) and Kyle Rowan (106) finished sixth.
Riley Ucker (220) was seventh with Noah Ewen (152), Brent Paulus (182) and Garrett Lautzenheiser (113) finishing eighth.
“We wanted to push really hard to get that team victory,” Geog said. “Everybody came together with the thought of getting that individual victory. It worked together to build one strong team.
One of the most intriguing teams in the field, Team Ohio fell behind only Pennsylvania, who had the same amount of All-Americans but had two state champions.
Undaunted, Team Ohio formed a brotherhood and came together as a solid unit.
“We’re one of the best teams in the country and we show that every year,” Geog said. “We just have to prove that to others and ourselves. Every day in practice, we’re like brothers together. We come together and strive to meet our max potential.”
Junior Duals National Champions!!!!
By BRAD BOURNIVAL
TULSA, Okla. — Call it a warning.
Label it a wonderful team effort.
But one thing is for sure, the rest of the country was put on notice at the Junior National Duals in Tulsa, Okla., as Ohio blitzed the 34-team field and walked home with the national title.
With the UWW Nationals just around the corner, the message was sent that stop signs may be the color of a buckeye as Team Ohio heads to Fargo, N.D. next week.
“We just showed the rest of the country that we can win a title at Fargo to go along with the duals title,” 145-pounder Vic Voinovich said. “We just went out there and each guy tried to set a high pace and show everyone what Ohio is about.”
That scenario played out over and over as Voinovich joined Logan Agin (113), Lucas Byrd (120), Jordan Crace (138), Colt Yinger (170) and Antonio McCloud (220) as undefeated wrestlers.
With five state champions and nine other state placers crowding the lineup, Team Ohio blurred through pool play by beating North Dakota 53-15, Washington 46-17 and the Oklahoma Outlaws 38-30.
“It’s a good feeling,” Crace said. “We kind of have a target on our backs now, so you know kids are gunning for you. You have to be ready to wrestle.
“Team unity helped a lot. If one kids loses, you knock it out and start the ball rolling and give it to the next guy. That’s something we were pretty good at.”
It showed as Team Ohio continued through the bracket with Kyle Rowan (100), Cole Skinner (106), Agin, Dustin Norris (113), Byrd, Conor McCrone (126), Dylan D’Emilio (132), Crace, Voinovich, Kevin Contos (152), Nevan Snodgrass (160), Yinger, Trey Sizemore (182), Matt Cover (195), McCloud and Jordan Earnest (285) using the momentum to roll.
A 57-8 quarterfinal win over Colorado was a precursor to a 53-13 semifinal win over Missouri.
That brought a tough Minnesota team that gave Ohio everything it had before falling 33-32. The match was still in question until McCloud beat Cole Filbranz, 13-2.
““I think it’s all that more special to win it as a team because it’s not just you anymore,” said Earnest, who went 6-1. “You have to have all your teammates working together. Everyone is wrestling so that the team can win.”
The idea to win it all wasn’t fostered in pool play or as the team advanced in the brackets, but in the Greco-Roman tournament where Ohio finished fourth.
With freestyle up next, it was more a matter of when and less about if the team could do it.
“We weren’t a Greco team so the way we pulled together to place higher than most people saw it, we felt we had what it took to win a freestyle title,” Crace said. “That’s what we trained for.”
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.”
Autumn Gordon (left) and McKayla Campbell ended incredible careers with Team Ohio by finishing second at the Junior Freestyle Nationals.
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.
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!
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.”