COLUMBUS — Many area wrestlers gave it their all during the state wrestling tournament this weekend at Value City Arena, but Lorain sophomore Devione Edwards truly left his blood and sweat out on the mats.
There is no official record, but Edwards might have spent more time being tended to during blood timeouts than any wrestler in state tournament history.
“I couldn’t breathe, then they started wrapping (bandages) up around my face and I could barely see,” he said. “It was hard wrestling. My conditioning had to be good.”
After a loss in the quarterfinals to Massillon Perry’s Tommy Genetin, the Titans lightweight won four straight matches to capture third place at 106 pounds in Division I.
Edwards opened Saturday morning’s placement session with a 3-0 decision over Mason’s Zack Donathan, then won 5-2 over Aurora’s Jarrod Brezovec in the placement match.
“It was good — better than last year being disappointed from not coming down here,” Edwards said. “First or second would have been better, but third works out fine … at least I placed.”
Titans first-year coach Mark Moos was complimentary of Edwards’ performance in Columbus.
“He controlled most of his matches,” Moos said. “I really thought he’d be in the finals, and he was just 17 seconds short. But he bounced back like a champ.”
The bloody nose issue started in the district final, when Edwards couldn’t get the blood to stop and used up his allotted five minutes of recovery time.
“He went to the doctor Monday and we thought we got it fixed, but apparently not,” Moos said.
Edwards will have the offseason to heal, and then he’s ready to get back to work for another trip to Columbus.
“Next year, I plan to keep going,” he said. “I plan to go for first or second … well, first, not second.”
Elyria freshman heavyweight Kevin Vough made sure that Friday’s quarterfinal loss was the only blemish during his first trip to Columbus.
Vough won a pair of matches during Saturday’s placement session to take third at 285 pounds.
“It was a nice experience and a real nice tournament,” he said. “It was really nice having three (Elyria) guys go. It would have been nice having three in the finals.”
Vough opened with a pin in 2:22 over Troy’s Alex Dalton in the consolation semifinals, then beat Perrysburg’s Cale Bonner — the same wrestler he pinned to win the Division I district championship at Cleveland State last weekend — 4-2 in double overtime of the placement match.
“I like having rivalries because it pushes me to beat that guy and pushes me to work harder,” Vough said. “I’m looking forward (to wrestling Bonner next season).”
With three years left in his high school career and knowing the Pioneers have many other underclassmen returning, Vough is excited about the future of Elyria wrestling.
“I’m looking forward to seeing where we’re going to be in a couple of years,” he said.
A good place
Lutheran West went 2-for-2 in putting its wrestlers on the Division III podiums, with junior Tim Mecklenburg finishing fourth at 126 pounds, and senior Jake DeLorge grabbing sixth at 152.
“We did it together, every step of the way,” Mecklenburg said. “We both won titles at sectionals and we both finished third at districts. We both lost in the first round here (at state) and we then each won the next three matches.”
Mecklenburg opened the placement session with a pin in 4:31 over Caleb Ohl of Newark Catholic in the consolation semifinals, then lost 4-2 to Northwood’s Devon Dunbar in the placement match.
“It feels good — empowering actually,” Mecklenburg said. “I feel I have to defend my title (as a state placer) next season. I have to go out and take it to them in every match.”
DeLorge lost 2-0 in overtime to Nelsonville-York’s Dakota Mays in the consolation semifinals, then lost 6-2 Apple Creek Waynedale’s Dakota Stanley in the placement match.
“I’m not happy that the last match of my high school career is a loss, but I just can’t believe it’s all over,” DeLorge said. “I’ll never forget any of these moments.”
Key to victory
It wasn’t nearly high enough on the podium to appease the Keystone junior, but Jacob Worthington became a two-time state placer after splitting a pair of matches in Saturday’s placement session.
“There were a couple matches throughout the tournament that I wish I could have back,” he said. “Like my semi consolation match, I guess I just left it up to the ref’s hand and that was a bad call. I’m still missing my goal of getting to the finals and getting first.”
Worthington opened with a 5-2 loss to Perry’s Alec Schenk in a 182-pound consolation semifinal, then rallied for a 4-3 win over Columbus Marion-Franklin’s Jhulyis Monroe in the Division II placement match to finish fifth.
The win upgrades his performance from last season — a sixth-place finish in Division III — and provides some motivation for his senior season.
“I’m expecting to get into the finals and trying to win it,” Worthington said. “I’m going to hit the weight room and hit the weights really hard this offseason – that’s one of the things I’m lacking.”
Two area wrestlers managed to end their senior seasons in style, landing on the podium and winning their final high school wrestling matches to finish seventh.
Clearview’s Markus Cruz captured a 5-3 decision over Lima Bath’s Colin Ingram in his placement match.
“It’s bittersweet … I’ve just started thinking about it right now,” Cruz said of his career coming to an end. “It was a great experience and I kind of wish that I could go back and do it all over again.”
Olmsted Falls’ Adam Salti pinned Madison’s Ryan Montgomery in 2:48 in his placement match.
“I definitely didn’t want to go out and lose the last match of my career,” Salti said. “My goal was to place at state, ever since I just missed going last year. I wanted to end this on a good note, and that’s what I did.”
- A pair of area St. Edward wrestlers split their placement matches Saturday morning — North Olmsted’s Gabe Dzuro won 6-4 over Cincinnati Moeller’s Dakota Sizemore to finish third at 182 pounds, and Columbia Station’s Parker Knapp lost 3-1 in overtime to Massillon Perry’s Stefano Millin to finish sixth at 220. The Eagles wrestlers declined interview requests after their matches.
- Westlake senior Yousef Mustafa lost 5-4 to Holland Springfield’s Ross Lonsway to finish in eighth place at 195 pounds in Division I. Mustafa suffered a leg injury in the closing seconds of the match, and declined an interview request.
- Lorain’s Tom Bauer was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Officials Association Hall of Fame. Bauer is a former Lorain High wrestling coach and a Lorain County wrestling official for the past 38 years.
- Massillon Perry captured the Division I title, beating Perrysburg 185-90.5. St. Paris Graham won the Division II title, outpointing Uhrichville Claymont 185.5-137.5. Delta captured the Division III title over Dayton Christian, 141-122.5.