Jaden Mattox not only won his second Division I state wrestling championship, he exacted a bit of revenge.
The Central Crossing High School senior defeated Cincinnati Elder's Austin Murphy 6-4 in the 160-pound final March 10 at Ohio State, avenging his lone loss this season.
Murphy pinned Mattox early in the first period in the finals of the Rieman Invitational on Feb. 3 at Delaware. It was the only time Mattox was pinned in his prep career, and it didn't sit well with him.
"I was so (ticked) off that I only beat him by two points," said Mattox, who went 45-1 this season and will compete at Ohio State. "I easily had two sets of back points that I should have got and that was four more points, and I should have got that other takedown. I got the win so I'm happy. ... I'm real happy.
"I (wanted) to tech fall him. I (wanted) to embarrass him in front of a lot of people. He embarrassed me, so I (wanted) to do that to him. It is what it is."
Mattox reached state in all four seasons with the Comets, competing in a championship match each time, and became the program's career leader in wins in his fourth trip. He finished 173-6, surpassing the 169 victories by 2012 graduate Vince Pickett.
Last season, Mattox finished as state runner-up at 152, losing to Massillon Perry's David Carr 7-1 in the final. Carr repeated as the 152 champion March 10 to win his fourth state title.
"When the wrestling season ends, I think about those (losses)," Mattox said. "I feel like I should have been a four-time champion like David Carr. He got his third one on me, but it feels good to be a state champion again."
Mattox was runner-up at 113 as a freshman, losing the final 8-5 to Lakewood St. Edward's Allan Hart. As a sophomore, Mattox defeated Mason's Zackary Donathan 4-3 for the title at 132.
"Jaden's a heck of a wrestler," said coach Jamie Ramirez, who completed his eighth season. "To be a four-time finalist here in the state of Ohio in (Division I), that's remarkable.
"He's a four-time placer, a four-time finalist and a two-time state champ. Kids are going to go in there (in our practice room) and look at all of his accomplishments and know someone from their school is capable of doing those things."
Senior Devin Wood also competed at state March 8 and went 0-2 at 138. He lost to Elyria's Matt Zuckerman in the first round and to Harrison's Jacob Bernhardt in a first-round consolation match, both 4-2 in overtime.
The Comets finished 16th (25.5 points) behind champion St. Edward (170.5) as 70 teams scored. "It was fun," said Wood, who finished 36-11. "Losing isn't fun, but it was good to be here because I worked so hard to just get here.
"I gave it all I had. Two overtime matches are hard to take, but I still have a future. I want to wrestle in college. I'm talking to a few coaches right now and seeing what's the best fit for me."
Mattox won his fourth district championship March 3 at Hilliard Darby, and Wood was runner-up. Senior Noah Ross placed sixth at 106 for the Comets, who finished 11th (56.5) behind champion Lancaster (170) as 38 teams scored. Seniors Ryan Fahy (132) and Mason Morris (170), sophomore Derek Layne (145) and freshman Eddie Roberts (113) all went 0-2.
Central Crossing was 1-4 in the OCC-Central Division, finishing fifth behind Dublin Coffman (5-0), Marysville (4-1), Hilliard Davidson (3-2) and Upper Arlington (2-3) and ahead of Westland (0-5).
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
*Finishes: Fifth in OCC-Central, fifth at sectional, 11th at district, 16th at state
*Seniors lost: Chase Brooks, Ryan Fahy, Angel Gasca, Jaden Mattox, Mason Morris, Noah Ross and Devin Wood
*Key returnees: Derek Lane and Eddie Roberts