Shamrocks set for OCC showdown
By the time the weekend arrives, the Dublin Coffman High School wrestling team might be ready for some time away from the mat.
After going up against some of the top teams in Ohio during the Division I State Duals on Jan. 8 at Wadsworth, the Shamrocks have a match that could decide the OCC-Central Division title.
Both Coffman and Hilliard Davidson are 2-0 in the league heading into their showdown Thursday, Jan. 12, at Upper Arlington.
“We’ve got exam week and two days to prepare for them,” coach Bob Stoll said. “They’ve got everybody back and they just might win the district (title). They lost to Marysville in an early-season dual, but they didn’t have the football guys at that point.”
Coffman was ranked ninth in the Division I area coaches poll last week, behind No. 1 Olentangy. Davidson was sixth.
“Every year, it’s an intense rivalry,” said senior Ryan Murdock, whom Central District coaches ranked as the area’s best at 126 pounds. “Both teams have great wrestlers and we know it’s going to be close. It’s probably going to be within five points either way.”
The Shamrocks placed seventh in an eight-team field at Wadsworth behind champion Lakewood St. Edward. They lost matches to Cincinnati Moeller (65-3) and Marysville (39-28) and defeated Kettering Fairmont 34-32.
“This is the event with the top teams in the state,” Stoll said. “I was ecstatic about how we performed. We came within two matches of beating Marysville and they’re one of the top teams in our area. Kettering Fairmont is the No. 1 team in their area.”
Murdock, a two-time state placer, was the only Coffman wrestler to win all three of his matches, improving his overall record to 21-1. Stoll said he also has been impressed by Joe Schulze (132, 15-7), Jake Cline (145, 14-4), Markell Wooden (152, 19-6), Tyler McCourt (160, 14-8) and T.J. Armengau (160, 14-7).
•Three Scioto wrestlers were in last week’s area rankings before the team’s Kevin Cleveland Memorial Tournament on Jan. 7.
Scioto, which has struggled with a thin lineup in dual meets, took seventh (146) behind champion Pickerington Central (242) but Wes King won the title at 220. King was ranked second in the coaches poll and is 25-2 overall.
Brian Fox (170, 16-4) was ranked second and Yoshi Akutsu (heavyweight, 14-5) was ranked fourth.
“Basically, we’ve been fielding half a team at most of our tournaments,” coach Aaron McKenzie said. “But individually, we’ve been picking up a lot of team points. In our first two league duals (Jan. 5) we were giving up a lot of points through forfeits. We only lost to Westerville North 39-34, so I feel like we won that. We had four forfeits against Olentangy Liberty and lost 47-27.”
•Jerome coach Adam Huddle hopes to use the weekend down time to regroup after finishing 19th (47.5) in the J.C. Gorman Invitational on Jan. 6 and 7 at Mansfield. Lexington (225.5) won the tournament.
“It’s a good time for us to look at film and do some technique wrestling so we can get ready for late January and February,” Huddle said.
“We’re light in the heavier weights and that is hurting us in duals. We’re showing our youth and inexperience and that comes down to guys knowing the situation. Those are teaching moments for us coaches.”
Brett Mowery (220) has the team’s best overall record at 14-2, followed by Bennett Comfort (126, 15-6), Kyle Harness (160, 16-7), Josh Transue (106, 13-7) and Jack Austin (145, 17-8).