Westland Roundup: Cougars wrestler Jakob Hurley to strive for higher state finish in 2022

Frank DiRenna
ThisWeek group
Westland's Jakob Hurley placed sixth at 152 pounds in the Division I state tournament. The junior went 37-10 for the season and is 113-23 in his career.

As Westland junior wrestler Jakob Hurley sat on the sixth-place step of the awards podium, he reflected on returning to the Division I state tournament next season and placing higher. 

Hurley battled back from a 3-1 loss in overtime to Perrysburg’s Alex Garee in a quarterfinal to finish sixth at 152 pounds. He secured a spot on the podium by pinning Marysville’s Erryl Will in a consolation match in 2 minutes, 24 seconds. 

The tournament was held March 13 and 14 at Hilliard Darby after Ohio State declined to play host to the event because of COVID-19. Junior Tyler Jude also competed for the Cougars.

Hurley and senior Bryson Palmer qualified for state last season, but the event was canceled because of the pandemic. 

“Last year after it got canceled, I was disappointed, but it really fueled my inspiration for this year,” Hurley said. “All I did was train all summer long, all fall. (March 14) is where it showed off. I performed (and) I hung with all these guys, which makes me excited because I still have another year.” 

Hurley, who finished the season 37-10, became the program’s first state placer since 2005 when Jake Farrell finished eighth at 119.  

“We thought Tyler was going to be here too (on the second day), but we’re definitely proud that Jakob showed up this weekend,” coach Brent Allerding said. “He wrestled loose and wrestled tough against top guys in the state. Him being a junior, it’s great getting on the podium, but I think he realizes that he can beat anybody. 

“He can achieve his goal of being a state champ next year. This is going to help his confidence in the next year, which is exciting.” 

Hurley accounted for the Cougars’ 11 points as they tied West Chester Lakota West for 43rd behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (184.5) as 78 teams scored. 

Competing in his first state tournament, Jude went 0-2 at 106 to finish the season 35-4. He was a top seed after winning a district title a week earlier at Darby. The district title was Westland’s first since 2005.

Palmer, the team’s only senior, saw his prep career end at district, where he finished fifth at 132 to be a state alternate. He went 4-2 at district, 29-7 on the season and 120-41 for his career. 

Junior Jacob Mullens went 3-2 at 195 at district to finish fifth and be a state alternate. He was 25-13 on the season. 

Junior Trent Jude, Tyler’s twin brother, went 1-2 at district at 113 to finish the season 32-4. 

The season included Palmer, Hurley (113-23) and Tyler Jude (109-33) reaching 100 career wins. Trent Jude is 94-26, so he should reach the milestone next season. 

Others eligible to return are junior Colby Lightfoot (138) and sophomores David Ivan Medina (138/145) and Collin Crosier (160). 

Competing with just eight wrestlers, Westland went 0-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division to finish sixth behind champion Grove City (5-0). 

“We’re excited about ... all the guys we have coming back,” Allerding said. “I think we can compete for a place pretty high in the district at least and improve our position at state. We have some elite guys coming around, so we’re excited about that.”

WRESTLING

OCC-Ohio standings: Grove City (5-0), Gahanna and Westerville Central (3-2), New Albany and Pickerington North (2-3), Westland (0-5) 

Senior lost: Bryson Palmer 

Key returnees: Jakob Hurley, Trent Jude, Tyler Jude and Jacob Mullens 

Postseason: Fifth (107) at sectional behind champion Marysville (247); sixth (75) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (228.5); tied for 43rd (11) at state behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (184.5) 

fdirenna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekFrank