Winning a state championship isn't as easy as Hudson Jump made it seem.
The 195-pound junior for the Grandview Heights High School wrestling team cruised through four matches March 8-10 at Ohio State -- never trailing in any of the bouts -- to capture the program's first Division III state title in 12 years.
Jump defeated Bloomdale Elmwood senior Dylan Hinton by a 9-0 major decision in the final to become the first Grandview state champion since Chad Davis won at 215 in 2006.
"I thought if I got (Hinton) on the mat, I could win it," said Jump, who finished the season 41-1 overall. "He's one of the strongest guys I've wrestled all year. I just feel like I'm peaking at the right time, which is what you have to do if you want to be a state champion."
Jump's most difficult match at state in terms of score was his first. He defeated Columbiana Crestview senior Landon Talbert 5-0, but dominated the match. Talbert never threatened to score on an escape, reversal or takedown.
Jump then recorded a pair of second-period pins to reach the final. He defeated Oak Harbor junior Jake Sage in 2 minutes, 35 seconds in the second round before pinning Navarre Fairless senior Jake Shephard in 2:33 in a semifinal.
Shephard entered the semifinal at 40-0 and had pinned his first two opponents in 41 seconds and 48 seconds. However, Jump had two first-period takedowns before needing 33 seconds in the second period to punch his ticket to the final.
"The previous years, I wasn't ready yet for the (state) finals," said Jump, who placed seventh at 182 as a freshman and fifth at 195 last year. "The pressure just got to me every year, but I know I was ready this year. My coaches helped me a ton."
Coach Sam Mehling said it was a matter of Jump relaxing and just wrestling his match.
"That's one of the biggest things we talk about; it's not supposed to be scary, it's supposed to be fun," said Mehling, who completed his fourth season. "Hudson says that all the time. Once it's not fun anymore, it's time to get off the mat.
"As a freshman, it was like, 'this is new.' The limelight, it's hard to get used to, but he's been wrestling on a lot of big stages lately and I think it's paid off."
Jump was the only competitor at state for the Bobcats. He scored 27 points to tie Grandview for 19th behind champion Genoa Area (113.5) as 96 teams scored.
Despite winning a state championship, Jump wasn't planning to take any time off.
"I'm excited, I want to get back on the mat," he said. "I'm going to (the National High School Coaches Association) Nationals (on March 23-25 in Virginia Beach, Virginia). I just love wrestling. I love being a part of the sport. It's competitive, fun. It's not like any other sport."
Jump's only loss this season came in the Top Gun Invitational held Jan. 12 and 13 at Alliance. He lost to Austintown-Fitch's Breylan Douglas 6-4 in a semifinal, but went on to place third. Douglas went on to finish fifth in the Division I state tournament.
Jump won a district championship March 3 at Heath with a 20-5 technical fall over Stewart Federal Hocking's Colten Roark. Seniors Kyler Baker (1-2, 145) and Bryce Stanley (2-2, 152) and junior Derek Tullis (2-2, 120) also competed at district for the Bobcats, who finished 19th (41.5) behind champion Nelsonville-York (175) as 48 teams scored.
Jump also won an MSL-Ohio Division championship for the third year in a row and earned his second consecutive league Most Valuable Wrestler honor in the league tournament Feb. 3 at Whitehall.
Stanley also won a league title as the Bobcats finished fourth (133) behind Bexley (195), London (192.5) and Whitehall (161) and ahead of Columbus Academy (71).
"I thought it was a great season," Mehling said. "We had three seniors graduate and they were all hard-working kids. We were peaking at the right time in terms of the postseason.
"I love every one of them. They went through hell for me because of our agonizing practices. It's a brotherhood, and they always will be my brothers."
Wake-up call motivates boys basketball team
The boys basketball team was riding high after winning its first seven games, but things still didn't look right to 31st-year coach Ray Corbett.
He knew his team needed to be better, and three consecutive losses drove the point home. Grandview lost to Johnstown 61-40 on Dec. 29 in the championship game of the Bobcat Holiday Classic and then suffered two MSL-Ohio road losses, 49-33 to Whitehall on Jan. 3 after trailing 30-2 in the second quarter and 52-44 to Academy on Jan. 6.
Grandview then won 12 of 13 games before losing to ninth-seeded Johnstown 46-37 on March 3 in the second round of the Division III district tournament at home to finish 19-5 overall. The Bobcats won their final eight MSL-Ohio games to tie Whitehall for first at 8-2 and earn the program's first league title since 2009.
Academy and Bexley tied for third (6-4), followed by Worthington Christian (2-8) and London (0-10).
"I thought we had a great year, and anytime you win a league title it's a good thing," said Corbett, whose seventh-seeded team defeated 17th-seeded Fairbanks 49-36 on Feb. 26 at home in a first-round tournament game. "We started 7-0 and then lost three games to three tough teams and that made it gut-check time for our kids.
"When we were 7-0, I didn't think we could be a championship team the way we were playing. It's tough to convince the kids of that when they are undefeated. Then, Johnstown and Whitehall really slapped it to us. That first half of the Whitehall game was as thorough of a butt-kicking as I have ever been involved. We lost to Academy, but I saw some good things in that game. The kids did a good job of buying in to the staff, then I thought we were close to the team that I thought we would be."
Senior forward Justin Johannessen said it was a matter of the Bobcats taking the little things for granted.
"We got a little ahead of ourselves at 7-0 and we started slacking a little bit, thinking we were too good for ourselves," he said. "In practice you have to stay focused and make sure you know what you need to do in games."
The Bobcats had three seniors in forwards Eli Hall, Johannessen and James Lachey, who was honorable mention all-district and second-team all-league.
"We had some good seniors who not only were part of a league title, but they were part of the district title as sophomores," said Corbett, whose team won a Division III district title in 2016. "That's not a bad run. They are some good people who put in a lot of time with the program and they have had a lot of success."
Sophomore forward Luke Lachey was second-team all-district and league Player of the Year. Sophomore point guard Brian Collier was third-team all-district and first-team all-league, and junior guard Manny Day was honorable mention all-league.
Sophomore guard Adam Cincione was the first player off the bench.
"It's nice to have all three of our guards coming back and Luke was the (MSL-Ohio) Player of the Year, but we have to develop in other areas," Corbett said. "We have some nice pieces coming back, but we have to keep working hard to get better."
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
*Record: 19-5 overall, 8-2 (tied for first) in MSL-Ohio
*Seniors lost: Eli Hall, Justin Johannessen and James Lachey
*Key returnees: Aaron Cincione, Brian Collier, Manny Day and Luke Lachey
*Finishes: Fourth in MSL-Ohio, fourth at sectional, 19th at district, tied for 19th at state
*Seniors lost: Kyler Baker, Jory Lust-George and Bryce Stanley
*Key returnees: Hudson Jump and Derek Tullis