Wrestling: Five central Ohio competitors capture state titles

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Bradley Weaver of Hilliard Darby beat Aidan Fockler of Massillon Perry in the heavyweight Division I state final March 14 at Darby.

DIVISION I

Hilliard Darby senior Bradley Weaver made history to conclude the Division I state wrestling tournament March 14. 

Competing in his home gym, Weaver captured the program’s first state championship by beating Massillon Perry freshman Aidan Fockler 7-1 in the heavyweight final. Weaver finished the season 32-0. 

Dublin Coffman’s Seth Shumate, Dublin Scioto’s Ty Wilson, Westerville North’s Connor Euton and Olentangy Liberty’s Dylan Russo also won state titles.

The state tournament was moved to three sites after Ohio State declined to play host to the event because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. 

“It was nice here,” Weaver said. “It was a little overwhelming having all of the people know me. They were like ‘Hey, you can’t lose this. You (have to) win.’ You get a lot of thoughts like that going through your head with high expectations. 

“It’s my home, but I had to keep them blocked out and find my own fight space. I know what I have to do. I trained for it, and I felt good coming in.” 

Although his team was the highest area finisher, Coffman coach Chance Van Gundy wasn’t totally satisfied. 

The Shamrocks tied Cincinnati La Salle for fourth (97) behind champion Lakewood St. Edward (184.5) as 78 teams scored in the two-day tournament. 

Coffman finished ahead of North (eighth, 51.5), Liberty (ninth, 49.5), Scioto (11th, 40) and Darby (tied for 14th, 26). 

“We were hoping we would get that second spot,” said Van Gundy, whose team qualified nine wrestlers for state. “It wasn’t all roses. We had some disappointment, but we also had a couple of kids step up.” 

Seth Shumate of Dublin Coffman beat Clay Ours of Delaware Hayes in the 195-pound Division I state final March 14 at Hilliard Darby.

Shumate, a junior, led the Shamrocks by winning the title at 195 pounds, pinning Delaware Hayes’ Clay Ours in 1 minute, 42 seconds for his second state championship. He won as a freshman at 195 but lost a chance to repeat last year when the tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.

“I'm confident with the work I put in,” said Shumate, who finished the season 30-1. “I know if I take them in deep waters and drown them things should go my way. Just push the pace and break his, be physical and even if you’re getting tired, they’re going to be as tired or more tired, so it’s basically who quits first and I don’t quit.” 

Ours closed the season 31-6. 

Ty Wilson of Dublin Scioto beat Omar Ayoub of Dublin Coffman in the 113-pound Division I state final March 14 at Hilliard Darby.

In a battle of Dublin freshmen, Scioto’s Wilson avenged losses to Coffman’s Omar Ayoub at sectional and district for a 3-0 win in the final at 113. 

Wilson, who lost to Ayoub 3-2 by ultimate tiebreaker in a sectional semifinal and 2-1 in a district final, scored all three points in the third period. Wilson finished 39-2 and Ayoub went 34-1. 

“Nothing was different, it was just the hard work that I’ve been putting in. The extra minutes after practice start to add up,” Wilson said. “They turned into hours, days and years. You just have to go out there and put it all on the mat. It was the last six minutes of wrestling this year and just leave it all out there and show him what I’m made of.” 

Euton, a junior, capped a 29-0 season by beating La Salle’s Darnai Heard 9-2 in the final at 145. 

“I knew I had to stay to my inside position,” Euton said. “This guy is good, not a chump. He’s long, fast and quick. He got the first shot and I had to slow him down and hand fight him. I was hand-fighting him so hard he was like slapping the mat. Any shot he was trying to take was like a bad shot. That was the main goal: To hand-fight him so hard he couldn’t take a shot.” 

Euton is North’s first state champion since Josh Demas at 171 in 2010. 

Russo earned Liberty’s seventh state title by beating Fairfield’s Brandon Smith 3-2 in the final at 220. 

“This feels fantastic,” Russo said. “It’s been what I’ve been working for my whole life. I was really hungry from last year. Last year I had three months off where I couldn’t wrestle, so it was pretty tough for me. I went through a lot. School has been weird and so has practice, but it feels really good.” 

Russo, who finished the season 34-4, also qualified for state last season before the event was canceled.

—Frank DiRenna

Connor Euton of Westerville North beat Darnai Heard of Cincinnati La Salle in the 145-pound Division I state final March 14 at Hilliard Darby.

DIVISION II

Two area competitors reached the awards podium in the Division II state tournament at Sparta Highland. 

Hartley sophomore Dylan Newsome was winning his semifinal at 170 against Painesville Harvey’s Jayden Jackson when Jackson was forced to forfeit, sending Newsome into the final against Tiffin Columbian’s Brody Conley. 

A Cornell commit who was fourth as a freshman at 145 and qualified for state last season at 152, Conley rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the final period to beat Newsome 7-4 for the championship. 

Newsome finished 46-1. 

“I was up in the third period and I kind of stalled, stayed off the attack and he got in deep on his shot toward the end and I couldn’t scramble out of it,” Newsome said. “Conley’s a beast. I knew for sure I was going to be wrestling him in the finals, ever since the beginning of the season.” 

DeSales freshman Max Shulaw lost to Aurora’s Dylan Fishback 5-0 in a semifinal, pinned Mansfield Madison’s Trenton Osborne in 2:07 in a consolation semifinal and was pinned by Winterville Indian Creek’s Austin Starr in 3:34 to finish fourth. 

Shulaw, who trailed 2-0 for much of the third period against Starr, finished 27-4. 

“I tried to force a stand-up, got my head too close to my knee and couldn’t get out,” Shulaw said. “It was definitely a goal to get to state and execute. I knew my goal even though this wasn’t exactly how I wanted to end it. My aggression and pace (carried me during the season). I kept it on guys the whole time and used my strength and quickness.” 

Hartley freshman Cooper Rathburn lost his opening match at 113 but won twice in the backdraw before losing to Louisville’s Dan Adams 5-1 in a consolation quarterfinal. 

Rathburn then beat Millersburg West Holmes’ Mason Taylor 2-1 to place seventh and finish 40-11. 

Also competing for DeSales was sophomore Owen Eagan, who went 0-2 at 120 to finish 21-8. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

Dylan Russo of Olentangy Liberty beat Brandon Smith of Fairfield in the 220-pound Division I state final March 14 at Hilliard Darby.

DIVISION III 

In the Division III state tournament at Marion Harding, three area wrestlers competed March 13 but didn’t advance to the second day. 

Columbus Academy junior Gyvnn Mendenhall (220) lost his opening match, pinned Carlisle’s Jayden Sweeney in 3:45 in his first match of consolation and then lost in the next round to finish 17-5. 

Ready had two competitors in senior Aiden Aiello (138) and junior Paul Martello (145). 

Aiello beat Massillon Tuslaw’s Joe Viront 8-7 in his opening match but lost to Milan Edison’s Casey Barnett by pin in 2:33 and to Covington’s Cael Vanderhost in 4:03 to finish 25-3.

Martello went 0-2 to finish 22-7. 

—Jarrod Ulrey 

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