New Lexington’s Dimitri Williams wrestles Friday, March 13, 2015, during the Division II State Wrestling Tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
COLUMBUS – It wasn’t the fairy tale ending everyone was hoping for Friday at the Ohio High School Athletic Association state wrestling championships.
However, for three local wrestlers, there still is a lot to be won on Saturday.
Sheridan seniors Evan Loughman and Nathaniel Kehn, along with Tri-Valley senior Kade Kowalski, each can finish as high as third in their respective weight class with two wins Saturday in consolation matches.
The 285-pound Loughman won by injury default in the first period over Alliance’s Shawn Barnes in his quarterfinal match, but was upended by Galion’s Deaken McCoy, 12-4, in his semifinal.
Loughman got a first period takedown that led to a Barnes’ knee injury, which was severe enough for him to end the match.
“I tried to force something that wasn’t there and actually made a mistake during that move,” Loughman said. “In the process, I felt his knee go out while I was taking him down.”
In the semifinals, Loughman trailed most of the match but was within 5-3 with 1:30 left. However, he couldn’t get anything going to overcome the deficit.
Sheridan assistant coach Drew Carpenter, who was a state heavyweight champion for the Generals in 2010, thought Loughman just didn’t wrestle his best match.
“Evan has proven this weekend that he can wrestle with the top guys in the state, but he didn’t wrestle his style and played into his opponent’s strengths in the semifinals,” Carpenter said. “Hopefully we can drill into his head that he can still get third and he can come out Saturday ready to wrestle.”
Just like Loughman, Kehn (113) and Kowalski (145) also will wrestle for as high as third.
Kehn was able to grind his way to a 3-1 win over Poland Seminary’s Dante Ginnetti in his quarterfinal match, but lost 9-4 to Parma Padua Franciscan’s Tony Decesare in the semifinals.
Kehn was disappointed to not have a chance to wrestle for a championship, but is looking forward to avenging that semifinal loss.
“I really felt like I was in control most of the match (against Decesare), but the other kid was the one getting the points,” Kehn said. “I know that if that kid can get second in the state, I can get third if I’m at my best.”
The Friday shocker was Broadview Heights’ Sonny Lucas earning a 1-0 win over defending Division I state champion Kowalski in each wrestlers’ first match of the day.
Despite the crushing defeat, Kowalski bounced back to defeat Chardon’s Mike Connick 3-1 in his first consolation match and earned a 1-0 win over Pickerington North’s Cody Notestine in his final match of his day.
The trio is each guaranteed to finish no worse than sixth, which still is good enough for All-Ohio honors.
Several other wrestlers had a chance to earn All-Ohio as well, but their season came to an end.
Sheridan’s other qualifier, 145-pound Zachery Carpenter, lost a tight 5-2 quarterfinal match to Parma Padua Franciscan’s Kyle Kaminski, and then was defeated 7-0 by Lexington’s Joe Watkins.
In other D-II action, Bellevue’s Luke Leonard took down Sheridan senior Cayne Bennett by pin at the 4:13 mark at 132, Springfield-Greenon’s Corey Williams beat New Lexington sophomore Dimitri Williams 3-2 at 160, and Wauseon’s Tony Banister beat Panthers senior Tanner Walker 6-2 at 195.
In D-I, 220-pound Zanesville junior Leo Crosby was unable to keep his season going as Mason’s Sheldon Sims pinned him at the 4:04 mark in a consolation match.
Crosby just missed All-Ohio, but did win the second state match in school history on Thursday when he beat Austintown-Fitch’s Jake Franks.
Despite the disappointment, Crosby thinks this was a great learning experience and he hopes to make a run at All-Ohio next season.
“The nerves really got me on Thursday because there were so many people and it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” he said. “It was disappointing to lose my final match knowing I was that close to All-Ohio, but it definitely makes me hungry to get back here next year.”
Consolation matches begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the finals set to start around 5:45 p.m.