Wrestling: Thomas Worthington Cardinals' Brayden Jamison eager to build on state berth
Thomas Worthington wrestler Brayden Jamison made it to the Division I state tournament for the first time, but the experience March 13 at Hilliard Darby left him wanting more.
The junior finished 0-2 at 182 pounds, as he was pinned in 2 minutes, 34 seconds by Lakewood St. Edward’s Hudson Hightower and pinned in 52 seconds by Brecksville’s Anthony Rizzo. Hightower went on to place third and Rizzo finished sixth.
“I think I could have done better,” said Jamison, who qualified for state by placing third at district March 7 at Darby and went 20-8 for the season. “I feel like I let the stage get to me a little bit and was kind of looking at the names on the bracket and stuff.”
First-year coach Ross Sandridge said Jamison put together a good season and should learn from the state experience.
“I think it just comes down to that hunger, and that want and that desire. I think the biggest thing for him is understanding that he is on that level and he can compete with anybody,” Sandridge said. “I think the biggest thing for him coming out of state is just realizing what it takes and having that drive after what happened. Hopefully that motivates him and shows him what he needs to work on.”
Jamison said he aspires to win a state championship next season and plans to pursue more training before his senior year to accomplish that goal.
“I have to do a lot more in the offseason and wrestle a lot of higher-level guys at high-level places, and try to get the best guys I can to train with,” he said.
In addition to Jamison, the Cardinals had three other district qualifiers. Senior Mason Gates (195, 20-6) and sophomore Jaden Fields (170, 29-10) both placed sixth, and junior Channing Thornton (120, 28-7) went 1-2.
“I thought we had a great season,” Sandridge said. “Going into it I thought we had a solid lineup where we could win some duals here and there and compete in most of our duals.
“Overall I was proud, and as far as being a coach goes, I’m super happy about being a coach at Thomas Worthington.”
Other key wrestlers expected to return include juniors Charlie Erickson (126, 18-4) and Michael Blain (132, 28-6).
for Wolves’ Rojas
Kilbourne coach Jose Martinez said the sky is the limit for Iain Rojas next season after the junior finished 35-7 at 145.
Rojas went 3-2 at district, placing fifth to be a state alternate.
Martinez said Rojas already has begun offseason work and is competing in tournaments over the next couple of weeks.
“He’s already putting the work in to make sure he goes (to state) next year. He knows he has one year, next year, and that’s it,” Martinez said. “He’s doing what he needs to and putting his nose to the grindstone. I have no complaints about him. He put in the work and had a pretty phenomenal season for a junior.
“He’s gearing up for senior season, that’s for sure.”
Rojas was Kilbourne’s biggest bright spot from a relatively young roster. Martinez said junior Malcolm Saas (120, 5-30) and freshmen Jack Bialecki (152, 7-25), Hizi Eltoum (heavyweight, 6-21) and Nolan Pham (106, 13-19) are candidates to take a step up next season.
•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), Kilbourne (1-6), Franklin Heights (0-7)
•Senior lost: Lamin Mansaray
•Key returnees: Jack Bialecki, Hizi Eltoum, Nolan Pham, Iain Rojas and Malcolm Saas
•Postseason: Seventh (56) at sectional behind champion Marysville (247), 31st (11) at district behind champion Dublin Coffman (228.5)
•OCC-Cardinal standings: Marysville (5-0), Hilliard Darby (4-1), Olentangy Berlin (3-2), Dublin Jerome (2-3), Thomas (1-4), Olentangy (0-5)
•Seniors lost: Majed Ahmad and Mason Gates
•Key returnees: Michael Blain, Charlie Erickson, Jaden Fields, Brayden Jamison and Channing Thornton
Postseason: Sixth (104.5) at sectional behind champion Upper Arlington (241), 16th (38) at district behind champion Coffman (228.5), did not score at state