One might be inclined to believe that Matt Odierno of the New Albany High School wrestling team would have been at his peak physical condition coming off an 11-game football season.

One might be inclined to believe that Matt Odierno of the New Albany High School wrestling team would have been at his peak physical condition coming off an 11-game football season.

Not necessarily, the senior said before pinning down his third individual title in as many tournaments last Saturday at the Falcon Invitational at Clinton-Massie to retain his perfect record at 215 pounds.

"I'm definitely stronger and better conditioned than I was last year starting out (in wrestling), but it's two totally different kinds of conditioning," he said. "You have time to get your composure in check in football between plays. Wrestling, it's just a grind for six full minutes. You don't get the breaks like you do in football and a lot of people don't realize the difference that makes."

Odierno, who started at both outside linebacker and offensive guard as the football team posted an undefeated regular season before losing to Dresden Tri-Valley 30-27 in double overtime in the first round of the Division II playoffs, improved to 17-0 with five more victories last Saturday.

Best of all, he barely worked up a sweat. He pinned all five of his opponents in a combined 7 minutes, 9 seconds. He never had to come out for a second-period whistle and stopped Toledo St. John's Brody Sloan in 1:48 in the final.

Odierno also pinned Sloan in 1:56 in his opening match. In between, he stopped Jonathan Alder's Derek Fullen in 1:10, Logan Elm's Kyle Eveland in 1:54 and Athens' Travis Taylor in 1:01.

"I've never had a tournament like that," Odierno said. "I went out there each time expecting a full match. I did a good job putting guys on their backs and just finished them off from there."

Odierno previously won titles at the Lee Spitzer Invitational on Dec. 4 at Upper Arlington and Dec. 11 at the Olentangy Liberty Classic.

"He's doing really well," coach Marc Cofer said. "The big thing with Matt was just his conditioning coming out of football, but he's made the transition fairly easily and that's a testament to his work ethic. He's definitely taking on a big role on our team now as a senior."

Odierno finished with a 31-9 record last season and was a state alternate in New Albany's first season competing in Division I.

"My first couple of years, I was more of a football player and wrestling came second," he said. "Then I started to realize how good I could be and I started taking wrestling a lot more seriously. But I knew I needed to get stronger, so I hit the weight room pretty hard for football. I felt that held me back some last year.

"Honestly, though, I kind of wish I was wrestling some tougher matches. You have to be able to win the tight ones once you get to the sectional and district meets if you want to keep moving on."

Odierno's older brother, Frankie, was a Division II state qualifier at 135 for the Eagles as a senior in 2009.

"I really learned a lot from his experiences," Matt said. "My goal is to get there, too."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the New Albany wrestling team:

Dec. 8 - Defeated host Galion 56-18 and def. Crestview 66-6 in tri-meet

Dec. 11 - Finished ninth (80) at the 16-team Olentangy Liberty Classic, behind champion Liberty (221). Matt Odierno won the title at 215 and was the Eagles' only finalist.

Last Saturday - Finished fourth (253) at the eight-team Falcon

Invitational at Clinton-Massie, behind champion Athens (351). Winning were Odierno at 215 and Drew Auld at 135. Also placing in the top four were Nick Fluty (second, 112), Ryan Cao (third, 152), John Kim (fourth, 160) and Harry Seward (fourth, 125).

Dec. 30 - Johnstown Duals