Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers' Clay Ours places second in state tournament

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Delaware Hayes' Clay Ours placed second at 195 pounds in the Division I state tournament, which was held March 13 and 14 at Hilliard Darby. He finished the season 31-6.

The Delaware Hayes wrestling team’s lone state qualifier made the most of his opportunity. 

After placing third at 195 pounds in the Division I district tournament to qualify for state, senior Clay Ours advanced to a championship match March 14 at Hilliard Darby. He was pinned in 1 minute, 42 seconds by Seth Shumate of Dublin Coffman to finish the season 31-6.

“Making it to the state final was an unreal feeling,” Ours said. “All those countless hours on the mat and in practice finally paid off.”

En route to his state runner-up finish, Ours defeated Centerville’s Gunnar Pool 8-2, Perrysburg’s Ryan Musgrove 10-3 in a quarterfinal and Wadsworth’s Jon List 8-3 in a semifinal.

According to co-coach Kevin Rieman, Ours was the first Delaware state finalist since Bruce Hambrick in the 1972-73 season. His performance put the Pacers in a tie for 23rd place (18) behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (184.5) as 78 teams scored.

“It was really exciting,” Rieman said. “He wrestled his best tournament ever by far.”

Ours, who also qualified for state as a junior, said his state run was particularly special because it was inspired by the Pacers’ five senior state qualifiers from 2020. Last year’s tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“Last year it was so cool to be a state qualifier, but it was heartbreaking when they canceled the tournament the day before it was supposed to happen,” Ours said. “I had to watch all five seniors from our team that were also state qualifiers not get to wrestle their last time at states, so what I did this year was for them.” 

A group of those former Pacers came to watch Ours compete in the state final. 

“All year his mantra has been, ‘I’m going to do it for all those guys. For all the guys that didn’t get to compete last year, this year’s for them,’ ” co-coach Josh Lamb said. 

The Pacers expect to return four of their eight district qualifiers in juniors Cannon Cavazos (182, 6-8) and Maddox Edwards (170, 22-9) and sophomores Devin Halliday (160, 22-8) and Brian Beal (220, 14-10). 

Lamb said other key returnees should include juniors Tom Ross (132, 11-17) and Paolo Sferrella (138, 7-6).

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

WRESTLING 

•OCC-Capital standings: Westerville North (7-0), Delaware (6-1), Big Walnut (3-2), Canal Winchester (4-3), Dublin Scioto and Westerville South (both 2-3), Worthington Kilbourne (1-6), Franklin Heights (0-7) 

•Seniors lost: Payton Eakins, Tamas Eder, Ross Jeffers, Marshall Klingel, Sean Mavis, Jude Miller, Clay Ours, Jacob Stewart and Wilson Zembo 

•Key returnees: Brian Beal, Cannon Cavazos, Maddox Edwards, Devin Halliday, Tom Ross and Paolo Sferrella

•Postseason: Third (192) at sectional behind champion North (275), 13th (44) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (228.5), tied for 23rd (18) at state behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (184.5)