Wrestling 411 USA Rankings - Div.2

Ohio - Division II (HS) Rankings and Analysis
Wrestling411USA Staff         1/28/2008

Division II

103 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Ty Mitch

Aurora

9

Dustin Carter

Hillsboro

2

Johnni DiJulius

Walsh Jesuit

10

Wayne Garbrandt

Claymont

3

Nick Brascetta

Graham

11

Jake Cramer

Oak Harbor

4

Dakota Hayes

Ravenna

12

Jason Hunlock

Elida

5

Dan Mirman

Medina Highland

13

Brant Ward

Napoleon

6

Andrew Romanchik

Padua

14

Cody McGee

Minerva

7

Brandon Gambucci

Lexington

15

Ben Kazmir

Kenston

8

Jordan Burkhardt

Carrollton

16

Aaron Eiseman

Linden McKinley

17

Andrew Bertubin

Cambridge

Wrestling has always been a sport that is about pairs and also about communities. Therefore, it is of some coincidence that the pair of wrestlers battling it out for the state title in the Division II 103 pound weight class are both residents of the same town and have probably wrestled each other many a time over the years. A pair of Aurora residents – Ty Mitch (Aurora) and Johnni DiJulius (Walsh Jesuit) – is the leaders of the pack in this weight class.

Despite many transitive comparisons between the two wrestlers favoring DiJulius; common opponents Silver of Blair (DiJulius win, Mitch loss) and Hunter Steiber (DiJulius close loss, Mitch losing in somewhat convincing fashion twice); it was Mitch who prevailed in pretty dominant fashion in the Top Gun final by a 10-6 decision. At this point, Mitch is your state tournament favorite. However, the two wrestlers come out of the same sectional and district. Likely to be joining Mitch and DiJulius in Firestone District would be Hayes, though he has not competed since placing fourth at Brecksville; Top Gun placer McGee; and Avon Lake champion Kazmir.

The most likely threat to the Mitch/DiJulius duo would be Brascetta, who has placed at Ironman and Top Gun and was champion at the GMVWA. Other than Brascetta, the Goshen district is pretty thin with only Carter posing a legitimate threat. Overcoming significant physical disadvantage, Carter placed at the GMVWA and was champion at Bellbrook and Western Brown.

Arguably the most balanced district of the four in this division is at Fostoria. Leading the way here is the freshman Mirman, who has titles at the Gorman and the Dies to go with placements at North Canton and Medina. Right behind him are two other freshmen Romanchik and Gambucci. Romanchik was undefeated at the Bowling Green Duals and 3-2 at Brecksville. Gambucci was champion at Northwood and Eastlake North, with placements at Medina and the Gorman. Seeking that fourth qualifier spot would be the freshman Cramer, the senior Hunlock, and returning district placer Ward.

The thinnest of the four districts is the one at Steubenville. It is led by returning state placer Garbrandt; however, he is facing a significant battle to make the weight, and lost to Cramer in his only appearance at 103. Two other names meriting mention here are Eiseman and Bertubin.

112 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

David Taylor

Graham

9

Arizona Miller

Beaver Local

2

James Inghram

University School

10

Erik McLaughlin

CF Northwest

3

Nate Westfall

Perry

11

Zak Vargo

Akron SVSM

4

Alex Minnard

Fairfield Union

12

BJ Miller

Defiance

5

Bart Young

Medina Highland

13

Drew Stone

Oak Harbor

6

Kyle Ditcher

Claymont

14

Travis von Neumann

Dayton Carroll

7

Jake Strasbuagh

Orrville

15

Austin Brower

Bellbrook

8

John Worthington

Shelby

16

John Gould

Lexington

There are two things assured in life – death and taxes. However, it is arguable that David Taylor getting takedowns and turns against his Division II opponents in Columbus as up there for a potential third. In eight state tournament matches, Taylor has amassed six technical falls (including all four last year), a pin, and a 10-2 major decision. Therefore, a third state title may be a question not of if but when.

The two leading contenders to face Taylor in the state final both exit from Firestone – Inghram and Westfall. Inghram faced Taylor in last year’s state final and lost to him in the Top Gun final this year; Inghram was also champion at North Canton and runner-up at Brecksville. Westfall is a two-time state placer, and has titles at Kenston and Perry to his credit. Returning state placer Strasbuagh has placed at the Top Gun this year, and is likely third best here. The leading two contenders for the four Firestone District qualification spot include state qualifier McLaughlin and district placer Vargo.

In as much as you can call it a challenge, Taylor will be tested at the district by returning state placer Minnard, who has a title at Wadsworth to his credit this season. Also in that district at Goshen are von Neumann, Brower, and Stepp (Jackson).

The names of intrigue for the two spot behind Taylor continue into the Fostoria district with the presence of returning state placer Young – champion at the Dies, runner-up at North Canton, and third at Medina. State qualifier and Gorman champion Worthington is the primary source of competition for Young at the district level. Two returning state qualifiers – Miller and Stone – and state alternate Gould are contending for the last two spots out at Fostoria.

Yet again, the district at Steubenville seems to be the weakest, and it is led by the final name in the five-headed monster seeking the spot opposite Taylor in the state final. That wrestler is two-time state qualifier Ditcher, who has placements at Medina and the Top Gun to his credit this year. The leading challenger to Ditcher is Miller, who has placed in three tournaments this year – Lorain Southview, Beaver Local (runner-up), and OVAC (champion).

119 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Zach Neibert

Graham

9

Michael Perez

Waueson

2

Johnny Papesh

Aurora

10

Mike Scavuzzo

Revere

3

Kyle Gilchrist

Jefferson

11

Jake Mellinger

West Branch

4

Cody Garbrandt

Claymont

12

Bobby Campbell

Marlington

5

Ian Miller

Oak Harbor

13

Mike Kendjorsky

Buckeye Local

6

Chandler Jones

Licking Hts

14

Nick Hile

Lexington

7

Jacob Garringer

Miami Trace

15

Jake Rininger

Medina Highland

8

Mitch Thompson

Beaver Local

16

Tommy Martin

Watterson

17

Tyler Alsip

Norwood

When the discussion turns to which of the three divisions is the best, deepest, and most competitive; there are many that argue Division II is the one that holds this status. It is weight classes such as this 119 pound weight class that catch the eye of fans. Leading the pack is a wrestler that has made a profound leap during this season from being just a state finalist to a potential state champion and nationally elite wrestler. Neibert has just one loss on this season, placing third at the Ironman and earning titles at GMVWA and Top Gun. This performance includes two one-point wins over his leading challenger in this weight class.

That leading challenger is Papesh, who is a three-time state placer but seeks his first state finals appearance. Papesh has placed at Ironman and Brecksville, was runner-up at the Top Gun, and champion at Hudson. Right in that Firestone district, Papesh will be tested by Gilchrist, who was a state finalist in 2006; Gilchrist has titles at the Dies, Riverside, and Lorain Southview on the season. Three wrestlers will lead those seeking the last two qualification spots – Scavuzzo, Mellinger, and Campbell.

Amazingly two paragraphs have been written in this profile without mentioning defending state champion – the sophomore Coby Garbrandt, who has a title at Medina this year. However, Garbrandt lost to Neibert’s teammate Armstrong at the Ironman in the seventh place match and was beaten by Miller at state duals. It should also be noted that Garbrandt may end up at 125 pounds, where he would become the third-ranked wrestler. Two wrestlers should be noted as his lead challengers at the district – Jones and Thompson, both of whom are returning state placers. Jones was champion at Midwest Classic and Licking Hts, placing at Medina; Thompson was runner-up at the OVAC. Three other wrestlers lead those seeking the last qualification spot – Kendjorsky, Martin, and Noll (Amanda-Clearcreek).

The freshman Miller has had a tremendous season to date with the afformentioned win over Garbrandt, a 3-2 record at Ironman, third place Medina, and championships at Oak Harbor and Perrysburg. He is the favorite at the Fostoria District. The other three wrestlers positioned to qualify would be Perez, Hile, and Rininger.

Back to the district at Goshen, in which Neibert is favored. His leading challenger is Garringer, who has had a mixed season – finishing with a low place at Brecksville and failing to place at the Top Gun, but with titles at SWOWCA and Miami Trace. Also ranked in this weight class at Goshen is Alsip. Returning state qualifiers Petrie (Lemon Monroe) and Williams (Wyoming) may be able to get the fourth spot in this district.

125 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Jacob Vaughan

Columbus DeSales

9

Justin Flores

Eastwood

2

Tucker Armstrong

Graham

10

Kyle Roddy

University School

3

Michael Baxter

Perkins

11

Paul Rose

Cambridge

4

John Konstandaras

Revere

12

Ricky King

Benedictine

5

Kyle Leek

Howland

13

Garrett Lay

Greenon

6

Tim Silvers

Eaton

14

Justin Wilbur

Hamilton Township

7

Scott Meyer

Ravenna

15

Rich Knotek

Walsh Jesuit

8

Ryan Nakama

Big Walnut

16

Codey Neff

Miami Trace

Remember the famous commercial with the jingle, “you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers?” Well, the Division II 125-pound weight class is one where this report cannot answer questions in a way that is either in general sensible or applicable. The favorite in this weight is two-time placer Vaughan, who was runner-up at Brecksville in the 130-pound weight class with wins over a pair of state runners-up in Fields and Hancock. Vaughan finished third at CIT with an OT loss to Pretty in the semifinal before dominating King in the medal round. He also defeated Armstrong at the state duals.

And now, the dart throwing and clucko-the-chicken officially comes into play. Ranked second in this manuscript is Armstrong, who has placed at Ironman and was champion at the GMVWA and Top Gun; but has lost to Roddy and Sergent in dual meets. There are three other Goshen district wrestlers ranked, including Silvers, Lay, and Neff. Silvers finished as runner-up to Armstrong at GMVWA losing in overtime, third at the Top Gun, and champion at Eaton. Lay placed at Medina, while Neff was champion at Miami Trace.

Ranked third is Baxter, who is a returning state placer, and took second place at North Canton and Brecksville. He is a very proficient counter-wrestler, and things could go very positively or negatively for him over the last month of the season. His primary challenge at the Fostoria District is likely to come from two-time state qualifier Flores, who was undefeated at the Bowling Green Duals but failed to place at Ironman or Brecksville.

The Firestone District – even with the movement of Randazzo up one weight class – is still the class of the four district tournaments in this weight class. Leading the way here are Konstandaras and Leek. Konstandaras has a Dies title and third at Brecksville to his credit in this weight class, and also placed at Solon in the 130-pound class. Leek was champion at Howland and Hudson (130), runner-up at Brooke (130) and Tool City. Two-time state placer Meyer placed third at the Hephner, fourth at Brecksville,and fifth at the Top Gun. Three wrestlers close out the list of those ranked from Firestone – Roddy was runner-up at Top Gun, placed at North Canton, but won just a single match at Brecksville; King was champion at Riverside and third at CIT; and Knotek has competed against the best with some quality wins, but has only placed at Mayfield.

The district at Steubenville in which Vaughan is favored also has Nakama – champion at Ashland and Marion Harding, Top Gun placer; OVAC champion Rose; and state qualifier Wilbur.

130 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Brian Stephens

Graham

9

Jeremy Maiwurm

Orrville

2

Tieler Severance

Sheridan

10

Dustin Osterloh

McClain

3

Anthony Melillo

Padua

11

Robert James

Norwood

4

Harrison Hightower

University School

12

Dominic Randazzo

Lake Catholic

5

Sean Collins

Coshocton

13

Griffin Brink

Buckeye Valley

6

Jeff Brown

Tallmadge

14

Colton Shaw

Minerva

7

Patrick McHugh

Bellbrook

15

TC Pazyniak

West Geauga

8

Seth Lucas

Fairless

16

Jon Reeser

Miami Trace

17

Doug Hayes

Holy Name

Many fans anticipate the Friday night state semifinal matches the most among any of the five sessions in Columbus. That is because of the prize on the line – the privilege to wrestle in the biggest showcase of Ohio wrestling, the state finals on the raised platform of “The Schott”. Last year, Brian Stephens lost a scramble in overtime of the state semifinals. In this 2008 season, he seeks to take that next step towards glory – first, to reach the state final, and then to win it. Currently, Brian has had a terrific season with titles at the GMVWA and Top Gun to go with placement at the Ironman. He is the favorite to win this weight class.

However, it is very possible that the lead contender could be a fellow Goshen district competitior. Tieler Severance is a returning state runner-up, who has wrestled in both the 130 and 135 weight classes this year. Severance was champion at Dublin Coffman at 130, and has titles at Sheridan and Miami Trace up at 135. He is also seeking to become the first state champion for Sheridan. McHugh is a third name to watch at Goshen, and has titles at Edgewood, Bellbrook, and Eaton to his name on the season. Three wrestlers lead those seeking qualification spot number four – Osterloh, James, and Reeser (Miami Trace).

Someone trying to play spoiler to an all-Goshen district showdown is two-time state qualifier Melillo, who went 3-2 at the Ironman and was a quarterfinalist at Brecksville before having to default out due to injury. He will be back in time for the postseason. Not much is there to speak of in the Fostoria district with just Hayes among those ranked, and other state qualification contenders include Munafo (Perkins), McClintock (Galion), Duckett (Toledo CC), and Kardasz (Lexington).

Stepping it up from what was a positive district placement as a freshman has been Hightower, who was 3-2 at the Ironman, second at North Canton, third at Top Gun, and seventh at Brecksville. Those also to eye at Firestone include Dies runner-up Brown, third at North Canton Lucas, and fifth at Top Gun Maiwurm. Two other wrestlers ranked in this district are Randazzo, who has won CIT and Eastlake North in his two tournaments up at 130; and Pazyniak – undefeated at Bowling Green Duals and champion at Kenston at 135, and then dropped down to place at Top Gun.

Weakest of the four districts is at Steubenville, where only Collins and Brink are ranked. Collins placed in Division III last season but has titles at Coshocton and North Union to his credit on the season to date. Brink was champion at Marion Harding and runner-up at Bellbrook.

135 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Chase Skonieczny

Walsh Jesuit

9

Andy Stine

Richmond Edison

2

Brad Wukie

University School

10

Manuel Cintron

Alliance

3

Greg Ryan

Howland

11

Randy Henline

Coventry

4

Brendon Johnson

Milton Union

12

Dylan Moeglin

New Lexington

5

Jeremy Regula

Claymont

13

Nate Harmon

Indian Lake

6

Josh Schell

Greenon

14

Mitch Beemer

Wapakoneta

7

Mark Meyer/Dylan Bair

Graham

15

John Dittrich

Copley

8

Mike Fee

Lake Catholic

16

Jordan Wray

Rossford

Last weight’s manuscript discussed the elusive nature of a state finals appearance. Again in this weight, the top two names are a wrestler with multiple state placements but no finals appearance and another wrestler with a runner-up finish being their only medal. These two wrestlers will again do battle in the same district – in fact they could meet this Thursday night as well. Skonieczny and Wukie will both exit the Firestone District.

In head-to-head competition this year, Skonieczny has won both of the matches using strong mat wrestling and effective counter wrestling. On the season, Skonieczny has titles at Mayfield and Brecksville as well as runner-up finishes at Ironman and Top Gun. Wukie was second at North Canton, third at Top Gun, and fifth at Brecksville. The Firestone district is an absolute bear with five other ranked wrestlers – two of whom have also spent significant time in the 140 pound weight class; Ryan and Henline. Ryan was champion of four tournaments this year – Hudson and Tool City at 135, Howland at 140, and Brooke at 145. Henline was first at second at North Coast and fifth at the Dies at 140; but came down to 135, and went 5-0 at the Tuslaw duals. Also ranked here are Mike Fee, Cintron, and Dittrich. Fee was champion at Dublin Coffman and Eastlake North, fourth at CIT, and seventh at Brecksville; and also has a dual meet win over Cline. Cintron was champion at Riverside and the Hephner, and took eighth at the Top Gun. Dittrich was champion at Chippewa and third at the Dies.

A wrestler that has stepped up his game after failing to make the state tournament last season is Johnson, who was third at GMVWA, defeated Thome to win at Indian Lake, and first at Eaton. Also in the Goshen district are Schell, who placed at state last year but has been injured for much of this year; the Graham wrestler, either Meyer or Bair; Western Brown runner-up Moeglin; and Harmon.

Yet another who has stepped it up after failing to make state in 2007 despite doing so in 2006 is Regula, who was fourth at Medina and Top Gun already this season. Also in the district at Steubenville is Beaver Local and OVAC champion Stine.

Rounding out the four districts is the one at Fostoria, where the only ranked competitors are Beemer and Wray.

140 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Isaac Dukes

Ravenna

9

Ricky Starr

Franklin

2

Aaron Sulzer

Holy Name

10

Sam Delpra

West Geauga

3

Josey Neff

Miami Trace

11

Rob Eddy

Harrison Central

4

Matt Stephens

Graham

12

Sean Scaglia

Kenton Ridge

5

Dawson Riedy

Bellevue

13

David Hurley

Walsh Jesuit

6

Adam Fondale

New Lexington

14

Adrian Rich

Clyde

7

Andrew Gaskins

Sheridan

15

Jon McKee

Medina Highland

8

Jon Ray

Cambridge

16

Zach Van Wey

John Glenn

There are many wrestling matches for which watching paint dry and/or grass grow might be exciting by comparison. However, matches wrestled by the favorite in this weight class – Dukes – tend to be the polar opposite of that. The dynamic and explosive wrestler has waged many high-scoring battles this year, winning most of them. Dukes finished runner-up at Brecksville with notable wins over Sheppard (16-15) and Sulzer, and champion at Top Gun (9-7 over Messerrall) and the Hephner (12-11 over Lijoi). However, he should have a relatively easy time of it at Firestone with just state qualifier Delpra and Hurley of real substance behind him.

In a sport where opposites seem to attract, that is truly the case here as defending state champion Sulzer is the lead challenger in this weight class. Sulzer tends to wrestle very controlled and conservative matches that he is able to most of the time win, as shown by runner-up finishes at Ironman and CIT, and a fourth at Brecksville. The lead competition at Fostoria for Sulzer will come from Clyde champion and Brecksville placer Riedy, as well as Rich and Mckee.

Returning state qualifier Neff spend the first month-plus of the season at 152 pounds, where he failed to place at Brecksville and third at SWOWCA. Then, at 140 pounds, he has finished third at Top Gun and first at Miami Trace; quality wins include those against Trevor Nickolai (twice), Matt Stephens, and Gaskins. The lead challenger to Neff in the Goshen District will be Stephens, who placed at Ironman, was champion at the GMVWA, and fourth at Top Gun. Returning state placer Gaskins – champion at Sheridan and Barnesville, runner-up at Miami Trace – and Fondale are the other two in state qualification positions. Fondale has a head-to-head dual meet victory over Gaskins, placed at Medina, and was runner-up at Western Brown. Also in this district weight class are state qualifier Starr; champion at Franklin and Western Brown, third at Dublin Coffman, and Failing to place at Medina; and Scaglia, eight at Top Gun and failing to place at GMVWA.

Ray, Eddy, and Van Wey lead what is an overall thin district weight at Steubenville. Ray is a returning state qualifier, runner-up at Barnesville, and was third in the OVAC up at 145 pounds.

145 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Ben Jordan

Graham

9

Ryder Dynes

Claymont

2

Kirk Tank

Oak Harbor

10

Ben Pearce

Poland

3

Dustin Fraley

Miami Trace

11

Drew Leonard

Norton

4

Chris Canty

Columbus DeSales

12

Shane Gifford

Logan Elm

5

Tyler Hoover

West Holmes

13

Nick Stine

Richmond Edison

6

Jon McGookey

Perkins

14

Seth Hoffman

Eastwood

7

Seamus Szucs

Holy Name

15

Corey Dulaney

Whitehall

8

John Piechuta

Marlington

16

Jared Shockey

Fairless

17

Sam Shiff

Fostoria

When Clint Musser came up short in the state final against defending state champion Jon Vaughn in 1993 after winning state titles in his first two seasons, the 1994 season became one of the defining senior seasons for an Ohio wrestler. In that season, he won his third big-school state title with a 23-9 major decision, took home an NHSCA Senior National title, and finished second at the Junior FS Nationals. In this season, it is Ben Jordan who tries to make a like comeback from a runner-up finish after winning state titles in 2005 and 2006. Already this season, Jordan was champion at GMVWA and Top Gun after a third straight Ironman runner-up finish. He also has two wins over state champion Toal, and a 9-8 victory over Jameson in a finals bout at the Top Gun that was probably Ohio match of the year to date. He is my pick for a third state title.

However, standing in his way will be a formidable opponent that is trying to make his way up the podium after fourth and second place finishes the last two years at 145. Tank spent the first month of the season at 152, finishing fourth at Ironman and Medina. He then dropped to 145 as he won his home Oak Harbor tournament. Back at 152, Tank was champion at Perrysburg. The two leading challengers to Tank at the Fostoria district are a pair of state placers in McGookey and Szucs. McGookey has placed at North Canton (152) and Brecksville, also losing a recent 2-0 match to Tank. Szucs wrestled at the Ironman and the Strongsville Duals, but then did not compete until CIT where he placed fifth. Seeking that fourth spot at Fostoria is Hoffman and Shiff.

The Steubenville District has a formidable presence in this weight with a pair of two-time state qualifiers in Canty and Hoover. Canty was champion of the CIT and placed at Beast of the East and Brecksville. Hooever placed in the state in 2006 was runner-up at Medina this season. Other ranked wrestlers in this district are state qualifier Dynes, who placed at Medina and Top Gun; OVAC champion Stine; and state alternate and Perrysburg champion Dulaney.

Firestone would appear to be thinnest of the four districts in this weight class with the leading name being Piechuta, who has yet to make his drop to the weight, but he has placements at North Canton, Top Gun, and the Hephner up at 152 to date. Pearce ranks next here with titles at Solon, Beaver Local, and Kenston to go with placements at Top Gun and the Hephner. Rounding out the ranked lot in this weight is Leonard, who was runner-up at Solon but champion at the Dies with a win over state champion Stiltner.

Within Jordan’s district at Goshen, the lead challenger will be state placer Fraley; who was third at Top Gun and Brecksville, and champion at SWOWCA and Miami Trace. Also in the district is state placer Gifford, who defeated former state champion Nelson at Grandview Hts.

152 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Coby Boyd

Graham

9

Tucker Gregor

Buckeye

2

Steve Timoteo

Medina Highland

10

Tony Karaffa

Ravenna

3

Corey Carlo

Fairview

11

Brent Mellor

River View

4

Billy Painter

Aurora

12

Lee Drummond

Napoleon

5

Jerry Boso

Akron Springfield

13

Mike Emery

Indian Creek

6

Michael Gallik

Lexington

14

Mike Mallernee

Oak Harbor

7

Blaine Bailey

Washington CH

15

Mitch Bidwell

Conneaut

8

Adam Rubesich

Howland

16

Thomas Bohrer

Logan Elm

Arguably the current most feared neutral position move in Ohio belongs to this defending champion and favorite to repeat as state champion Coby Boyd. That cowcatcher, which is kind of a very nasty whipover/pancake has pinned many an opponent during Boyd’s four year career – including Tank in last year’s state tournament final. The lot of challengers within the Goshen district is very limited with only Bailey and Bohrer among those ranked. Look to Lee (Vincent Warren) and Blakely (Benjamin Logan) as wrestlers that could occupy the fourth qualifying spot.

The likelihood of someone upsetting Boyd in the state tournament is one that could make the person picking such an upset very rich if Vegas ran lines on such stuff. However, the two wrestlers ranked right behind Boyd both exit the Fostoria District. Ranked second in this weight is Timoteo – who took fifth at North Canton and Medina, and has titles at the Gorman and the Dies. Third in this weight is Carlo – champion of Lorain Southview, and a returning state placer. Also in this district is Gallick; champion at Eastlake North, third at Northwood, and eighth at Medina; Gregor – champion at Oak Harbor, third at the Dies, and failed to place at Medina; Drummond – second at Perrysburg, failing to place at Medina; and Mallernee.

There is solid overall depth in this weight at Firestone, though there is not overly much quality with any of it. Leading the way are state placer Painter and former state qualifier Boso. Painter was champion at Hudson, second at Top Gun, and fifth at Brecksville. Boso was second at the Dies. Others among the ranked are Rubesich, Karaffa, and Bidwell.

Rounding out the four districts is the one at Steubenville where only Mellor and Emery are ranked wrestlers. Carfagna (Col DeSales) is a wrestler that could sneak out with a qualifying spot from that thin district.

160 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Eric Cubberly

Eastwood

9

Hunter Pool

Benjamin Logan

2

James Mannier

Graham

10

Adam Walters

West Geauga

3

Erik Schott

Marlington

11

Darren Tate

Akron SVSM

4

Jon Bittenger

Beaver Local

12

Brent Sexton

Franklin

5

Cody Cheatham

Walsh Jesuit

13

Cody Bragg

Morgan

6

Riley Kilroy

Padua

14

Ian Giachetti

Oak Harbor

7

Aric Thurn

Clyde

15

James Swanson

Columbus East

8

Zach Garbrandt

Claymont

16

Ben Brown

Medina Highland

In the last weight, the discussion was on dominance from the neutral position. With this weight, we can redirect our conversation to dominance from the top position. Possessing a tremendous tilt series, defending state champion Cubberly has technical falls in over one-third of his matches this season – and limiting his opponent to one point or less in most matches. In addition to his tilt series, Cubberly is very proficient in scoring the takedown(s) he needs to succeed – and to ultimately repeat as state champion. He has titles at Brecksville and Top Gun in dominant fashion to his name, and had dominated his first three matches at Ironman before sustaining an injury in the semifinals and having to default to sixth.

A pair of wrestlers will likely be battling at Fostoria for the opportunity to face Cubberly in the district final, state qualifiers Kilroy and Thurn. The other two ranked wrestlers – Giachetti and Brown – are seeking that fourth qualification spot.

Yet another silver and black Graham singlet could easily be seen in the state final. Mannier is ranked as the leading challenger to Cubberly. This season, he was champion at GMVWA, third at Top Gun, fourth at Ironman, and has losses to Wilson and Kline in dual meets. Two other ranked wrestlers are found within the Goshen district. State placer Pool has titles at Franklin, Xenia, and Tipp City to his credit. State alternate Sexton was champion at Dublin Coffman, runner-up at Franklin, third at Western Brown, and eighth at Medina.

The next rated challenger to Cubberly is Schott, who has titles at the Hephner and North Canton to go with a runner-up finish at the Top Gun. Rumor has it that Schott may drop down to 152 – that would move him into second place in that weight class. Also at Firestone is state placer Cheatham, who went 3-2 at Ironman, finished fourth at Brecksville, and was champion at Mayfield. Walters and Lee are well positioned to be the other two qualifiers from the Firestone district in this weight class.

Rounding out the four districts is the one at Steubenville, where Bittenger is the likely favorite with titles at Lorain Southview, over Michaels, and Beaver Local to go with a runner-up finish at the OVAC. Next is fellow state placer Garbrandt, who was runner-up at Medina and fourth at Top Gun in his competition at 160 pounds this season. Two others ranked at this district weight are Bragg and Swanson.

171 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Zac Thomusseit

Graham

9

Greg Rhoads

Hillsboro

2

Nick Mills

University School

10

Brice Griffin

CF Northwest

3

Keith Witt

Oak Harbor

11

Aaron Donze

Tallmadge

4

Evan Roth

Eastwood

12

Lionel Woods

Claymont

5

Danny Michaels

Clyde

13

Tyler Shipp

Wapakoneta

6

Mike Nino

Toledo CC

14

Dan Lochtefeld

Lexington

7

Chad Teague

Cambridge

15

Kyle Stygler

Columbus DeSales

8

Trey Michael

Valley View

16

Robert Van Sickle

West Holmes

Moving from the junior to senior year of high school, it is not normal for true transformations to occur when you are talking about relatively veteran and seasoned wrestlers. However, that is what precisely has happened this season for Zac Thomusseit. A two-time state placer, fifth in 2005 and fourth in 2007, who started out 103 pounds has transformed into a state and national force at 171 pounds. He is undefeated against people that would not be described as Mozart’s in their craft (i.e. his only loss is to Chris Phillips); including wins against major names like Corey Peltier of Blair, Roddy, Yant, Mills (twice), and Witt. Zac finished third at Ironman and followed that up with titles at GMVWA and Top Gun. Two wrestlers could pose some challenge to Thomusseit at the Gosehn district – Michael and Rhoads.

A state qualifier in 2005 for Carlisle, Michael has taken well to the adjustment to Division II with a fifth at GMVWA and titles at Bellbrook, Valley View, and Eaton. Rhoads was fourth at GMVWA, second at Bellbrook, and first at Western Brown.

The quest for the number two ranking is among a group of four or five wrestlers, three (or four) of which exit the Fostoria district. Those are Roth, Witt, Michaels, and Nino. Roth was a two-time state qualifier for Division I Toledo Whitmer before moving onto Eastwood this season; in which he made the round of 12 at Ironman, placed third at Brecksville and Top Gun, avenged his Ironman to Witt with a dual meet victory, and is 1-2 against Mills. Witt is a returning state placer, took fifth at Ironman, second at Medina, and has titles at Oak Harbor (beating Shipp) and Perrysburg (beating Yant). Michaels was runner-up at Lorain Southview in the 160 pound weight class, champion at Dublin Coffman here at 171, and lost 3-2 to Witt at the SBC Duals. Nino is a returning state qualifier and has titles at Sylvania Southview, Tiffin Columbian, and CIT to his credit. It is very likely that returning state qualifier Shipp and alternate Lochtefeld will not see “The Schott” without a ticket from this district tournament weight class.

Mills – the other contender – will exit from the Firestone District. This year, Mills won North Canton, took second at Brecksville and Top Gun, placed seventh at Ironman, and has a 2-1 record versus Roth. Also ranked in this district are Dies runner-up Griffin and state placer Donze. Look to Rice (Conneaut) as a potential candidate for the fourth slot in this thin district.

The Steubenville district has overall balance and depth but is lacking in terms of top names. The three ranked wrestlers are Medina and Top Gun placer Woods, CIT placer Stygler, and Medina and Top Gun placer Van Sickle.

189 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Cody Magrum

Oak Harbor

9

Kirk Wetherell

Cambridge

2

Jeremy Foster

Eastwood

10

Hayden Angelotta

West Geauga

3

Kevin Bailey

Walsh Jesuit

11

Brad Gallik

Lexington

4

Max Thomusseit

Graham

12

Mike Markakis

Steubenville

5

Bubba Andrews

Clyde

13

Mike Talbert

Akron Springfield

6

Nick Anthony

Greenon

14

Julian Rosen

University School

7

Matt Marshall

Indian Lake

15

Garren Dilley

Amanda-Clearcreek

8

Cody Wittkamp

Elida

16

Jake Henderson

Toledo CC

Lost in the midst of this stellar senior class is a wrestler seeking his fourth state placement and third state title. Magrum has had a very positive senior campaign with a runner-up finish at the Ironman followed by titles at Medina, Oak Harbor, and Perrysburg. In addition, he has convincing dual meet wins against three wrestlers in the rankings – Foster (4-2), Bailey (8-3), and Max Thomusseit (P 5:19). The leading competitor for Magrum also exits the Fostoria District – Foster.

In fact, last season, Foster had a major decision victory against Magrum at the district tournament, only to lose in the state semifinals to David Thompson 3-2; Foster had beaten Thompson during the season. That piggybacked a disappointing 2006 state tournament, where he went 1-2 losing a pair of one point decision to opponents he had very little business losing to. This year, Foster has a fourth place finish at the Ironman, a second at Brecksville, and a title at the Top Gun. Foster also has 11-6 and 12-6 wins over #3 Bailey. Also at that Fostoria district is state qualifier Andrews; Tiffin Columbian runner-up Wittkamp; and Northwood, Gorman, and Eastlake North champion Gallik; and CIT/Tiffin Columbian third place finisher Henderson.

The district with most top-level quality other than Fostoria is the one at Goshen. Leading the way there is state placer Max Thomusseit, who has shot all the way up from the 130 pound weight class – though part of that is because he could not win wrestle-offs for 160 or 171 pounds. In this season he was second at GMVWA, third at Top Gun, and 3-2 at the Ironman. Anthony was a state alternate last year but took fifth at MIT, including a win over Gallik. State placer Marshall had a disappointing GMVWA failing to place; however, he was champion at Indian Lake and third at Marion Pleasant. Other names to watch are Miller (Springfield Shawnee) and McIntosh (Miami Trace).

State placer Bailey leads the cast at the Firestone District – and he has been solid this year with runner-up finishes at Mayfield and Top Gun, as well as a fourth at Brecksville. Angelotta was champion at Kenston, third at Mayfield, and fifth at Top Gun. Rosen has placements at North Canton, Brecksville, and Top Gun to his name; while state alternate Talbert placed at the Dies.

Rounding out the districts is the one at Steubenville, where OVAC champion Wetherell leads the way. Markakis, who beat Wetherell at Steubenville but failed to place at the OVAC, is also ranked; and Dilley, who has championships at Licking Hts and New Lexington.

215 pounds

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

RANK

NAME

SCHOOL

1

Matt Fisher

Perkins

9

Justin Gidcumb

John Glenn

2

Dave Pickerel

Toledo CC

10

Logan White

Graham

3

Zach Pummill

Valley View

11

Joe Whitehead

Columbus DeSales

4

Oney Snyder

Hillsboro

12

Terry Ford

Circleville

5

Tyler Houska

Medina Highland

13

Tom DeRoia

Walsh Jesuit

6

Thomas Taylor

Indian Lake

14

Andrew Williams

Norwalk

7

David Schlarb

New Philadelphia

15

Tony Renwand

Bellevue

8

Branko Busick

Steubenville

16

Zak Poucher

West Geauga

Lost in the midst of fellow class of 2008 upper-weights from Northwest Ohio Magrum and Foster, Fisher seeks to win a state title after being second and fourth the last two years. He is undefeated in matches he has wrestled this year – titles at Ironman, North Canton, and Fremont Ross; to go with a dual meet victory over Pickerel (mid-January). The second place finish was at Brecksville, when Scales won the final due to injury default. The leading threat to a state title for Fisher is state placer Pickerel – whom he will see again at Fostoria in the distirct. Pickerel has titles at Sylvania Southview and Tiffin Columbian, as well as a runner-up to Scales at CIT to his credit this season. Another leading contender from this district is Houska, who was runner-up at North Canton to Fisher, third at Medina and the Dies, and champion at the Gorman. Also ranked at Fostoria are Williams and Renwand.

The two other key contenders in this weight, and four of the overall top ten, reside in the Goshen district. Pumill and Snyder have wrestled each other two times, and Pummill has won both meetings by a takedown margin (3-1/3-2). Pumill has titles at Franklin, GMVWA, Bellbrook, Valley View, and Eaton. Snyder was runner-up at GMVWA and Bellbrook with a title at Western Brown. Taylor is a two-time state qualifier at 285, but is now down at 215; this year, he was fifth at GMVWA with titles at Indian Lake and Marion Pleasant. White is a tremendous talent, but rather inconsistent – eighth at Ironman, fourth at GMVWA, but failing to place at Top Gun. Also ranked in this weight at Goshen is state alternate Ford.

The Steubenville district is led by state alternate Schlarb, who was champion at Willard and Smithville. Others ranked include OVAC champion and state qualifier Busick, state qualifier and New Lexington runner-up Gidcumb, along with CIT third and Brecksville sixth Whitehead.

Firestone is incredibly weak in this weight with just DeRoia and Poucher among the ranked.

285 pounds
RANK NAME SCHOOL RANK NAME SCHOOL
1 John Hiles Columbus DeSales 9 Derek Wolfe Beaver Local
2 Adam Walls Graham 10 Chris Holcomb Wilmington
3 Storm Klein Licking Valley 11 Vince Magestro CF Northwest
4 Tyler Hawkins West Holmes 12 Chris Ciraldo Walsh Jesuit
5 Doug Donna Tiffin Columbian 13 Dalton Britt Clear Fork
6 Matt Betz Marlington 14 Josh Jackson Claymont
7 Robert Sanchez Napoleon 15 Brad Hager Ravenna
8 Darnell Williams Toledo Woodward 16 LJ Windom Lexington
The old PBS special “3-2-1 Contact” that was on around the time of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street comes to mind for me here. Hiles is seeking to step up the podium from third as a sophomore, second as a junior, to first as a senior. He is currently favored to do so during a season in which he was champion at Brecksville and CIT, and runner-up at the Beast; he also beat Walls in a dual meet match. In addition, to Walls, there will be some solid wrestlers within his district at Steubenville. All-state football player – Ohio State verbal commit in this just his junior season – Klein is a returning state placer. Hawkins was champion at Medina and Smithville, and runner-up at the Top Gun. Wolfe was champion at Beaver Local and the OVAC. Ironman and Top Gun placer Jackson is likely the odd man out in this district weight.

As mentioned previously, the junior and now three-time Ironman placer Walls is the leading challenger to Hiles this season. Walls finished runner-up at GMVWA and champion at Top Gun. His only true competiton at Goshen will come from Holcomb – champion at Edgewood, runner-up at Sycamore, and third at GMVWA.

The Fostoria district is total muck at this weight as there are many kids very close to one another with comparative results that read more like tea leaves than anything too reasonable. Donna is the returning state placer, and was runner-up at Tiffin Columbian to state placer Southwick. Sanchez is a somewhat undersized heavy, but has wrestled well this year with championships at Perrysburg and Sylvania Southview and a third-place finish at Medina. Williams is a returning state qualifier from Division I, whose team moves down to Division II this year. Britt is a returning state qualifier and finished third at the Gorman. Windom was champion at the Gorman and Eastlake North, but placed fourth at Northwood and failed to place at Medina.

Leading the competition at the Firestone district is returning state qualifier Betz, who has titles at North Canton and the Hephner to his credit along with a runner-up finish at Top Gun. Others in this district include Magestro, Ciraldo, and Hager.