Ohio HS Wrestling Ranks High In The US

Feb 12, 2017

St. Edward scored pins and turned away Massillon Perry for its third OHSAA state wrestling team dual tournament championship in the event’s five-year history.

(2-15-17) The most recent USA Today Top 25 Wrestling rankings came out today and it listed five Ohio schools.

Two of the schools were in the Top 5, Lakewood St. Edward (3) and Graham (5). The other three schools making the list, Massillon Perry (14), Elyria (15) and Olentangy Liberty (19). Add to that two schools are on the teams to watch list, Mason and Wadsworth.


  • No. 3 Lakewood St. Edward
  • No. 5 Graham (St. Paris)
  • No. 14 Massillon Perry
  • No. 15 Elyria
  • No. 19 Olentangy Liberty

Teams to watch:

  • Mason
  • Wadsworth

This past weekend the OHSAA held it’s team championships in Columbus.

OHSAA Recap Story

COLUMBUS, Ohio (2-11-17)  – Graham and Lakewood St. Edward were in familiar territory at the 2017 dual team wrestling state championships Sunday night at St. John Arena, Graham took home its fifth Division II title, while St. Edward claimed its third Division I title.


St. Edward defeated Massillon Perry 39-24 to win the Division I title. It is the Eagles’ 33rd overall OHSAA wrestling state championship (30 coming at the individual tournament). The Eagles beat Dublin Coffman 57-16 in the quarterfinals and Mason 35-24 in the semifinals before knocking off Massillon Perry in the finals. That improves the Eagles’ dual wrestling tournament record to 12-2 in five appearances. Massillon Perry now has two state runner-up finishes (2013, ’17) to go along with one state championship (2014) in five appearances.

Lakewood St. Edward is the top seed in the Division I state tournament for a fourth time in five years. Winning state last year and back in 2013, the Eagles are led by a pair of seniors in three-time state placer Allan Hart (132), a 2015 state champion, and two-time state runner-up Jared Campbell (220). Other returning medalists include state champion Bryce Andonian (120), Matt Kazimir (126), Michael Carpenter (160) and Tyler Stepic (182). Cody Howard (195) qualified for the individual state tournament last year, while Angelo Rini (106) was a Cadet freestyle All-American this past summer, despite being in reserve behind Andonian during the scholastic season.

From the preview of the State Team Finals, provided by the OHSAA:

Seeded second is Elyria, which has lost to St. Edward in each of its previous two state tournament appearances; 34-24 in the 2015 semifinal and 43-28 in last year’s final, with the Pioneers winning six of 14 bouts both times. Their advancement to this stage was keyed by an impressive 38-25 win over Wadsworth in the regional semifinal. Three-time state placer Kevin Vough (285), a 2015 state champion, is their best wrestler. Other notables include a pair of two-time state placers in state champion Brandon Fenton (120) and J.T. Brown (182), impact freshmen Mick Burnett (106) and Dylan Shawver (113), 2015 state qualifier Josh Breeding (126/132), returning state qualifiers Matt Zuckerman (126/132) and Brendan Price (160/170), along with state alternate Tristan Brady (152/160) and district placer Cameron King (195).

Massillon Perry, was  in its fifth straight dual team state tournament. The Panthers won in 2014, finished as runners-up in 2013, and advanced to the semifinals each of the last two years. Two-time state champion David Carr (152) is the anchor wrestler, while other notable wrestlers include state placer Zach Blackiston (182), 2015 state placers Joe Koontz (160) and Matt Carrick (285), state qualifiers Gary Define (138) and Emil Soehnlen (170), along with district placer Malachi Strickland (145).

Mason was seeded fourth, and returns to the state tournament seeking its first victory after losing in the quarterfinal round in both 2014 and 2015. The Comets feature six returning state qualifiers, including a pair of two-time state placers in Colin Schuster (120) and Zack Donathan (132). Others with experience in the individual state tournament include Jack Stein (160), Marcus Nasdusak (113), Jamien Hood (126) and Sam Glassco (120/126), while Chris Donathan (138) and Eric Vermillion (170) placed at the district tournament last year.

OHSAA Team Tournament – Division I – State


In Division II, Graham continued its run of perfection in the dual wrestling tournament, claiming its fifth duals title in five years, a perfect record of 16-0. The Falcons defeated Wauseon in the finals for the second straight year by a score of 48-9.  Graham stormed through the tournament, knocking off Washington Court House Miami Trace 65-12 in the quarterfinals and Mentor Lake Catholic 57-13 in the semifinals. The Falcons have also won every OHSAA individual wrestling tournament since 2001.

From the preview of the State Team Finals, provided by the OHSAA:

D2 145 Lbs. Finals Rocky Jordan- Graham dec. Sandro Ramirez-Wauseon 4-0—2016 Ohio State Wrestling Tournament, Columbus OH

Graham was the top seed for the fifth straight year. Next month, the Falcons are also well-positioned to win a 17th straight individual state tournament title. They feature nine returning state placers, including a pair of two-time state champions in Mitch Moore (132) and Rocky Jordan (152), though the status of Moore for this tournament is uncertain. Other medalists include Jordan Crace (120), state runner-up Jeffrey Thomas (126), Joey Sanchez (145), two-time placer Ryan Thomas (160), Gage Braun (182), Kavan Sarver (195) and Johnny Shafer (220).

OHSAA Team Tournament – Division II – State

Total attendance for the state tournament was 3,777, a record-high for the tournament.


Wapakoneta Wins Celina Lions Wrestling Invitational

(1-28-17) Wapakoneta won the 2017 Celina Lions Wrestling Invitational outdistancing 2nd place Napoleon 257-237. The host Bulldogs came in fifth with 191.5 points in the fifteen team tournament.

The Redskins picked up three titles in picking up the team title, Luke Beach (120), Jayden Hefner (132) and Landon Hall (220).

Celina didn’t have any first place finishers, but did have two second places on the day Logan Kever (126) and Tim Ferrell (182). Third place winners were Austin Hines (145), Nick Garwood (152) and Logan Muhlenkamp (160).

2017 Celina Lions Invitational Wrestling Tournament Team Scores


2017 Celina Lions Invitational Wrestling Tournament Results


Are There Too Many Forfeits In HS Wrestling?


from qctimes.com story

Pleasant Valley (Iowa) Wrestling Coach Jacob Larsen :

“Dual meets are what grow the sport, getting a packed house and getting after it. What people don’t want to see at those dual meets are forfeits.”

(1-27-17) Wednesday night in the OHSAA Team (Duals) Tournament Bluffton beat Parkway 43-30. The final score indicates a close match, but the results show that only five of the fourteen matches actually wrestled, the other nine were forfeits, one was a double forfeit. The result of these forfeits, eight wrestlers did not get to compete in the meet (five from Parkway, three from Bluffton).

Is it a problem? Eliminate weight classes? Have kids lost interest? To many other options available for students? Is there a solution?

OHSAA Team Tournament – Division III – Region 24-B
Quarterfinals – Versailles – January 25, 2017

Semifinal 1 – Bluffton 43 – Parkway 30

106 Tristen McKee 11 (Parkway) forfeit (Bluffton) Forfeit 6
113 Abe Meyer 09 (Parkway) forfeit (Bluffton) Forfeit 6
120 Ryder Romick 11 (Bluffton) dec. Titus Meyer 11 (Parkway) Dec 10-6 3
126 Preston Browning 09 (Parkway) forfeit (Bluffton) Forfeit 6
132 Reid Etzcorn 11 (Parkway) forfeit (Bluffton) Forfeit 6
138 James Badial-Luna 11 (Bluffton) pin Ethan Meyer 10 (Parkway) 3:40 6
145 Reese Fokine 11 (Parkway) forfeit (Bluffton) Forfeit 6
152 Nathanial Staley 11 (Bluffton) pin Kaine Younker 09 (Parkway) 3:11 6
160 Austin Mault 12 (Bluffton) dec. Cody Kuhn 12 (Parkway) md14-2 4
170 Cole Wilson 12 (Bluffton) forfeit (Parkway) Forfeit 6
182 Landen Luginbuhl 9 (Bluffton) forfeit (Parkway) Forfeit 6
195 Deandre Nasser 10 (Bluffton) pin Joshua Puthoff 12 (Parkway) 3:49 6
220 Brett Basinger 10 (Bluffton) forfeit (Parkway) Forfeit 6
285 Double Forfeit

Parkway and Coldwater both wrestle as independents, since the MAC does not sponsor wrestling as a conference sport.  Parkway is one of the newest programs in the state, while Coldwater has had a program for many years.

Kevin A. Browning, Parkway Head Wrestling Coach

It is my opinion that we have the right number of weight classes as the 14 make for good competitive balance. I think the issue is that the sport is lacking in popularity for a couple of reasons, one being that there is no professional level (WWE does not count), and the stigma that goes with the sport.

The forfeits will take care of themselves if we can fix the attitude with the sport. There are schools that are not promoting and media is only covering the sport when there is an issue or a way to make it look negative. For example, an article on the growing number of skin diseases or serious injuries in the sport.

If we can find a way to promote the sport we will find a way to make the sport grow. The lack of a professional level to the sport hinders the growth of the sport. When a young kid comes home and tells their parents they want to join the wrestling team, the first thing that a parent thinks is that their child will be the next Hulk Hogan or Macho Man, and there is nothing farther from the truth. When a child comes home and says they want to join the football team or basketball team the parent is sure their child is the next NFL or NBA star. The promotion of the sport becomes very important.

Solutions to the problem are as complicated as they are necessary. School in the area such as Columbus Grove have modeled an event similar to schools in Cincinnati where there is a full school assembly the last half hour of the day and a team dual is conducted. The dual continues on beyond the school day, but the students get a chance to see the team in action. This helps a younger generation see the excitement and physicality of the sport. Currently Parkway is looking to schedule this event with a school in the area next season.

The National Federation has discussed options that extend from change in uniform to change in rules to fix the problem, but the real problem is that student athletes are becoming more focused on a single sport. I have asked football players if they would join the wrestling team and the number one reason to not join is that they are “lifting for football” all winter long. These same students are dropping baseball and track in the spring as they are trying to be ready for the highly competitive MAC football season.

One barrier that we have had to overcome at Parkway was the newness of the sport. We are only in the 5th season of competition and have seen our numbers grow. I think that good coaching and great parent involvement have helped us grow as a sport.

Rob Schmidt, Coldwater Head Wrestling Coach

No I firmly believe 14 is a good number of weight classes.

There are a few issues that are causing low numbers.

1. Club wrestling for youth at a intense level drives kids away before they get to Jr. high. If you think you need youth wrestling make it fun or do not even have it. Kids need to be kids.

2.Parents need to encourage their kids to try wrestling at the Jr. high level.
Both parents and kids would be surprised from all the benefits from wrestling.

3. Wrestling is a tough sport and a lot of kids do not to work that hard today.
Again ,kids need to be encouraged to try wrestling and work hard it . They will be very surprised at all the benefits.

No concerns and the solution is simple.We just need to make things fun and get some encourage from parents.

Celina, the largest school system in Mercer County,  is the only County school to be competing in a conference, the Western Buckeye League.

James Miracle, Celina Head Wrestling Coach

I do agree with those that say forfeits are a problem for our sport. I love dual matches, but with most teams forfeiting 2 or more weight classes, it takes away from the match. Imagine being the kid who practices everyday and eats healthy and runs extra to make weight and then on match night you go out and get your hand raised without ever getting to earn the win. Hours of work for 3 seconds on the mat. I don’t think the number of weight classes are a problem, I could go for 13 to do away with all the tie breakers in dual meet wins, what I think needs done is a redistribution of the weight classes that mirror the kids we have. A few years back they redistributed the weight classes and essentially removed a middle weight class and added an upper weight class. We have plenty of kids that can be moved around to fill the middle weight classes, what most teams don’t have are enough small guys (106/113) or big guys (220/285).

I know personally that we do not get football players to wrestle anymore. There are many reasons for this, but I think state wide many coaches want their kids in lifting and spending time with their sport than they want to share their kids with another coach to teach them something different.

Some people think we should make forfeits count less than pins. I think this is the worst idea ever. If I have a kid that I know can’t beat a kid and is likely to give up 6 points, why would I send him out to cost the team more points when I could just void every weight unless I thought we could win. I think if forfeits counted for more points then coaches might actively get out there and recruit or get kids to recruit to help the team, in this case each kid would be more valuable to the team than having a forfeit.

We are fortunate at Celina, our numbers are the highest they have been at the high school level in 4 years (32). Now over half of these are freshmen that might decide not to return as high school is completely different from middle school. Our middle school numbers are larger than most at 26 and our youth numbers are some of the highest I have heard about (90), but I am concerned because many of the teams we wrestle against in MS have 2, 8, 5, 1 and Bath even cancelled their team. Long term is we have to travel for matches to locations like Taeys Valley where they have established club teams that compete year round. This is another problem with the sport. The top teams keep getting better and the divide seems to get worse every year.

It is hard enough to go out and wrestle all alone but to go out there and compete against a kid that has wrestled since 5 when you started at 13 or 15 is difficult. As smaller teams give up on the sport the middle teams move to the bottom and the top teams continue to feed on them creating more turnover for teams trying to establish themselves.

I would love to see a system set up that changes divisions of schools based on returning qualifiers or incoming freshmen credentials so that teams are competing with teams that they are competitive with. Graham beat us 84-0 in the state duals tournament (round 2) but won the state finals (round 6) vs Wauseon 62-4.

I like a proposal to allow kids to wrestle in MMA shorts and compression tops and I wish they would change the prohibitive hair cut rules or wear a hair cover. I also wish they would shorten the season. After next week (WBLs) we have two weekends off before sectionals on the 3rd Saturday, essentially we go 21 days until we wrestle again. When I wrestled in high school is was the next week, then they added another week, now we have added an additional week. This is a long time to keep your body at the same weight and compete in a grueling sport.

It’s not just an issue in Ohio, but other states are keeping an eye on the situation. On the west side of the Stateline in Indiana, programs like Jay County and Bellmont have some of the best programs in the Hoosier state.

Eric Myers, Jay County Head Wrestling Coach

I believe that there is reason for some concern as it pertains to the number of forfeits in high school wrestling. There are a variety of issues that a play a part. I don’t necessarily believe that we have too many weight classes.

Wrestling is a difficult sport. Practice is a grind, every day. We need to have more fun in wrestling. Let kids celebrate their wins, .bring out the spotlight for the finals, showcase the sport.

I believe that numbers are down at times because of lack of recruitment, and sometimes lack of support at home.

We have been fortunate to have solid numbers. Our kids enjoy being part of the wrestling team. Hopefully we can continue to have these numbers.

Bobby Cox, Commissioner, Indiana High School Athletic Association

Initially, weight classes are established to insure that like athletes are paired together in competition. This is a health and safety consideration and great thought has been invested in the establishment of weight classes. Secondly, a reduction of weight classes reduces opportunities for participation at all levels which I’m not a proponent.

Wrestling is a very demanding sport from a physical, mental and emotional perspective. It takes a great deal of sacrifice and dedication for young athletes to participate in this sport. Couple those factors with an increased variety of activities students may choose from and those could be contributing aspects if numbers of participants are truly decreasing.



With rise in forfeits, are 14 weight classes too many for high school wrestling?

Jay County’s Huey Named SSN Wrestler of the Week

Kyndel Huey of Jay County

This week’s SSN Wrestler of the Week is Jay County’s Kyndel Huey. Huey helped to make Indiana Girls High School Wrestling History, placing  3rd at 106 lbs in the first ever Indiana HS Girls Wresting State Finals held at Hamilton Heights this past Friday.

Huey pinned Emma Mensendiek of Columbus East,  to earn third place.

Huey advanced to the State Finals after taking 1st place at Regionals.

Indiana High School Girls Wrestling State Finals Results

HS Girls – 106
1st Place – Markaela Pugh of Hamilton Heights
2nd Place – Willoe Cunnington of Daleville High School
3rd Place – Kyndel Huey of Jay County
4th Place – Emma Mensendiek of Columbus East
5th Place – Amelia Pellman of Salem
6th Place – Leah Partin of Madison Consolidated
7th Place – Jaylyn Lawrence of Madison Consolidated
8th Place – Ruthie Satchell of Lafayette Jefferson

3rd Place Match
Kyndel Huey (Jay County) won by fall over Emma Mensendiek (Columbus East) (Fall 2:51)

Jay County’s Kyndel Huey – 3rd place at State


Bellmont’s Shaw Named SSN Wrestler of the Week


(1-3-17) Bellmont Junior Braiden Shaw is this week’s SSN Wrestler of the Week. The Junior, wrestling at 285 lbs,. took third place this weekend in Mishawaka at the Al Smith Classic.  Shaw won the third place match over the Cavemen’s Alex Faulkner in a 4-3 decision. With the win Shaw moved to 18-4 on the season.

The Junior is presently rated by Indiana Mat as the the #5 wrestler in the Ft. Wayne Semi-State and 13th in the State.

2016 Al Smith Classic Wrestling Invite

285 Results

1st Place – Jessie Lawson of Carroll (Ft Wayne)
2nd Place – Brandon Streck of Merrillville
3rd Place – Braiden Shaw of Bellmont
4th Place – Alex Faulkner of Mishawaka
5th Place – Robert Samuels of Lawrence North
6th Place – Gio Murillo of Portage
7th Place – Nick Conner of Elkhart Central
8th Place – Erik Contreras of Goshen

1st Place Match
Jessie Lawson (Carroll (Ft Wayne)) 27-2, Sr. over Brandon Streck (Merrillville) 17-1, Jr. (Fall 3:54).

3rd Place Match
Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) 18-4, Jr. over Alex Faulkner (Mishawaka) 17-4, Jr. (Dec 4-3).

5th Place Match
Robert Samuels (Lawrence North) 23-4, Sr. over Gio Murillo (Portage) 13-8, Sr. (Dec 3-0).

7th Place Match
Nick Conner (Elkhart Central) 21-4, Jr. over Erik Contreras (Goshen) 21-4, Sr. (Fall 3:34).

Championship Round

285 Champ. Round 1 – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Dillon Estepp (Warsaw Community) (Fall 1:12)
285 Quarterfinals – Robert Samuels (Lawrence North) over Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) (Dec 6-2)
285 Cons. Round 5 – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Erik Contreras (Goshen) (Dec 7-5)
285 Cons. Semis – Braiden Shaw (Bellmont) over Gio Murillo (Portage) (Dec 3-2)


Celina’s Hines Wins SSN Wrestler of the Week

Celina’s Hines Wins SSN Wrestler of the Week


(12-25-16)  This week’s SSN Wrestler of the Week is Celina’s Austin Hines (Senior),  wrestling at 145 lbs.and competing with an injury, won his class with five pins at the Parkway Holiday Invitational and was awarded for his effort with the  Celina Moving and Storage Mental Toughness Award.