Wrestling: Dublin Scioto's Dylan Le eager to make another push for state
Dublin Scioto senior Dylan Le still wonders “what if” when he thinks about the cancellation of the Division I state wrestling tournament last March because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Le, who competed at 113 and 120 pounds last season and is expected to compete at 120 this year, will be attempting to earn his third state berth.
He was supposed to be joined at state a year ago by 2020 graduates Daniel Segura (152), Deron Pulliam (182) and Donovan Hardin (heavyweight). They lost out on a final chance to compete during their prep careers because of the pandemic.
Le won sectional and district titles at 113 and finished 37-11. He is 112-30 for his career.
“It was heartbreaking,” Le said. “For the first couple of weeks it was really on my mind. I regretted it not being able to compete, but I’ve been thinking and I just need to focus on this season.”
Coach Adam Huddle, who is in his seventh season, believes Le is prepared for the challenge.
“Dylan is extremely disciplined,” Huddle said. “From a mental standpoint of anybody I’ve ever coached, he does everything with a purpose. Mentally, he might be one the best kids I’ve ever coached and he got to learn from Daniel. Daniel was great at that.”
With a roster depleted by graduation and also missing athletes who decided not to compete because of the pandemic, Huddle has several holes to fill in the lineup.
Other returnees include junior Matthew Howard (145/152), who was a district qualifier at 145 and finished 17-13, and sophomore Johnathen Segura (138), who finished 14-12 at 132.
Daniel and Johnathen Segura are brothers.
Huddle also believes freshman Ty Wilson (113) will contribute.
“He’s a great athlete,” Huddle said. “He’s a very talented wrestler. He’s an experienced wrestler. He’s been to big national tournaments.”
Other key wrestlers should be juniors Maxwell Avery (160/170), Tahah Jawad (160), Colin Sink (182) and Kobe Thompson (heavyweight) and sophomore Can Saygan (195).
Scioto is competing in the OCC-Capital Division with Big Walnut, Canal Winchester, Delaware, New Albany, Pickerington North, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne.
The start of the season was delayed by the pandemic, with the Irish scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 19, in a quad match at Olentangy Liberty.
Daniel Segura, who became the program’s first four-time state qualifier, finished with a career record of 175-20, representing the most wins in program history. He is wrestling at George Mason.
Pulliam, who was a three-time state qualifier, is wrestling at Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, Iowa.
Hardin, a two-time state qualifier, is a preferred walk-on for the Alabama football team as an offensive lineman.
“I feel like I need to step up and really lead the team, especially since Daniel, Deron and Donnie are not here anymore,” Le said. “I have to be here and lead these guys now.”
Of the seven Coffman wrestlers who qualified for last year’s Division I state tournament, four have returned.
Junior Seth Shumate, who was looking to defend his title at 195 when the state tournament was canceled, is the top returnee from a team that won sectional and district championships.
The other returning state qualifiers are senior Jimmy Baumann (145/152) and juniors Ismael Ayoub (126/132) and Riley Ucker (heavyweight).
“I really like this team,” ninth-year coach Chance Van Gundy said. “We’re a program that trains year-round with built-in breaks during the offseason. When COVID hit, we had to take a much larger break than we would’ve liked. Unfortunately, we missed our spring and summer freestyle season.
“We’re grateful to finally be back at it. I’m proud of how the kids have handled the adversity so far. With wrestling and life, the challenges will keep coming and we have to learn to keep accepting those challenges.”
Shumate, who went 50-1 and won state as a freshman at 195, was 43-0 after breezing through sectional and district competition last winter.
He led the way as the Shamrocks went 5-0 in the OCC-Central to win their fourth consecutive league title and reached the quarterfinal round of the state team tournament for the second consecutive season and fourth time in five years. The OHSAA is not holding a state team tournament in 2021.
Baumann went 36-6 a year ago and enters his final prep season with a career mark of 109-18 for the Shamrocks, who are scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 19, at Lakewood St. Edward.
Ayoub went 20-7 and Ucker was 40-8 last season.
Other returning district qualifiers are juniors Mitchell Broskie (182) and Rupert Moore (138) and sophomore Rahul Raghuram (113/120).
Junior Dez Gartrell (160) is a transfer from Hilliard Davidson who was a state qualifier at 152 and finished 42-6 last season.
Freshmen Omar Ayoub (113/120), Joseph Baumann (106) and Ethan Birden (132) are expected to be immediate contributors, while senior Casey Magyar (170) was first-team all-league last season and junior Dillon Halter (heavyweight) was sixth at sectional.
Michael Blocher (220), Adam Gluck (170), R.J. Mohammed (220), Lohith Savardeckar (138), Brady Walsh (182) and Chase Wolfingbarger (113) are seniors looking to crack the lineup.
Others hoping to contribute include junior Cruz Komine (138), sophomores Tahseen Aldulaimi (160), Brady Broskie (126), Connor Duvall (152) and Noah Huth (145) and freshman Nick Lawrensen (106).
The biggest losses were 2020 graduates and state-qualifiers Davante Cooper (120), Nick Copley (182) and Corey Crawford (138).
“We want kids to continue to develop daily,” Van Gundy said. “We need our guys to push each other. If that happens, the sky is the limit for this team. As always, we want to have our guys ready for the postseason while using the regular season to develop and jell as a team.”
Celtics hope quality
trumps lower numbers
After losing 16 wrestlers to graduation, Jerome expected to have a different look this winter.
There are a few fixtures in the lineup, though, as the Celtics look to build on a season in which they finished fourth (4-3) in the eight-team OCC-Cardinal. There are only six teams in the league this winter, with the top three finishers last season all moving to other OCC divisions.
“Despite the small numbers, mainly due to concerns related to COVID, the group of guys we do have are committed and have been working hard,” fourth-year coach Matt White said. “It’s shown in the level of intensity of our practices. … Everyone understands these guidelines are necessary steps in order to be able to hold our season. Some of these boys have wrestled their whole life to get to this point, so we’re going to do what’s necessary to be able to help them reach their goals.”
The Celtics are scheduled to open Saturday, Dec. 17, at home against Lancaster, which won last year’s OCC-Ohio title, and are planning to begin league action Jan. 7 at home against Thomas Worthington.
The only returning Division I district qualifier is junior Othman Taha. He went 0-2 at district at 160 to finish 18-18 and is now competing at 170.
Junior Brady White was a Division II district qualifier at 170 last season for Watterson and finished 38-16.
Senior Austin Wagner is at 138, a year after he went 2-2 and placed fifth at sectional at 120 to finish 28-12.
Also placing fifth at sectional last year were juniors Luke Milanovich and Coleton Fleury. Milanovich will be at 145 after going 28-17 at 132, and Fleury has moved up to 195 from 182 after finishing 27-19.
Senior Anthony Sarosi (160) and junior Eli Vilkinofsky (113) were sixth at sectional, and seniors Stephen Lenker and Omari Kiss are at 152.
Sophomore Brandon Kramer (120) and freshmen Ian Cho (132), Edson Garcia Velasco (182), Thomas Leonard (126), Mason Rice (126) and Ben Zeoli (106) are looking to fill spots in the lineup.
Joe Huber led last year’s senior class, finishing 38-8 and qualifying for state at 220 to become the program’s first state qualifier since 2016.
“We’re a much smaller team as compared to those of the past couple of years,” White said. “Our season mainly consists of duals, tris and quad meets this year, as many tournaments have canceled, so our goal is to be as competitive as possible. Our ultimate goal is to remain as healthy as possible and have these guys make it to the postseason.”
•Coach: Chance Van Gundy, ninth season
•Top athletes: Ismael Ayoub, Jimmy Baumann, Mitchell Broskie, Casey Magyar, Rahul Raghuram, Seth Shumate and Riley Ucker
•Key losses: Leo Alvarez, Erik Arndt, Cam Callahan, R.J. Carpenter, Davante Cooper, Nick Copley, Corey Crawford, Niko Gonzalez and Nick Hoskinson
•2019-20 OCC-Central standings: Coffman (5-0), Upper Arlington (4-1), Marysville (3-2), Westland (2-3), Hilliard Davidson (1-4), Central Crossing (0-5)
•2020 postseason: First at sectional, first at district
•Coach: Matt White, fourth season
•Top athletes: Coleton Fleury, Luke Milanovich, Anthony Sarosi, Othman Taha, Eli Vilkinofsky, Austin Wagner and Brady White
•Key losses: Alex Boukheir, Konnor Gay, Jay Halsey, Joe Huber, Drew Kavinsky, Mason Lee and Jack Viola
•2019-20 OCC-Cardinal standings: Delaware (7-0), Hilliard Darby (6-1), Hilliard Bradley (5-2), Jerome (4-3), Olentangy Berlin (3-4), Scioto (2-5), Thomas Worthington (1-6), Worthington Kilbourne (0-7)
•2020 postseason: Sixth at sectional, 23rd at district
•Coach: Adam Huddle, seventh season
•Top athletes: Matthew Howard, Dylan Le, Johnathen Segura and Ty Wilson
•Key losses: Donovan Hardin, Deron Pulliam and Daniel Segura
•2020 postseason: Third at sectional, fourth at district