MADISON TOWNSHIP – Madison lightweights Mikey Baumberger and Brad Silliman found out the hard way last winter that the scale isn’t their friend. In fact, it may have been their toughest opponent.
Baumberger failed to make weight for the Division II sectional tournament after advancing to state the year before as a freshman and winning one match in Columbus. Silliman, ironically, was at the same weight — 113 pounds — and had the same issue at the beginning of last season.
In the lineup together now, they took out any lingering frustration by winning titles in the season-opening, 11-team Tom Ellis Classic at Madison Middle School.
Baumberger pinned Mansfield Senior’s Nick Troutman at 2:46 to win the 126-pound title. Silliman, just a sophomore, didn’t give up a point in the entire tournament at 113, knocking off defending champ Avery Winans of Wooster 12-0 in his final match.
Kyle Matern, who bumped up from 138 to 145 to fill a hole in Madison’s lineup, also won a title by pinning Lodi Cloverleaf’s Kaleb Cass, and Carson Speelman went 5-0 at 120 as the Rams took runner-up honors in their own invitational with 335 points. Cloverleaf won the title with 360 points, with Mansfield Senior (276), Shelby (220) and Wooster Triway (175) rounding out the top five.
“We have a good group of young men,” Madison coach Doug Mosier said. “Our success will be in the light weights and our heavyweight is pretty good. Our other kids will have to win for us to win titles in tournaments like the OCC (Ohio Cardinal Conference).”
Baumberger is looking forward to making a new home at 126.
“I realized I had to bounce back and complete the whole season,” he said. “At 126, it’s easier for me to get down in weight. And I hit the weight room after last season, so I’m a little stronger.”
Baumberger went to state two years ago as a 106-pounder, but found getting down to 113 a year later to be a real challenge.
“Even tournaments leading up to sectionals, I felt weak,” he said. “So I’m trying to make a new name for myself at the state meet and, hopefully, some teammates will be going with.”
Silliman plans to join him after going 15-5 last season as a fill-in for Baumberger and finishing second in the OCC. He also came within one point of making it to the district tournament.
So does winning your home tournament make up for just missing out on districts?
“Not yet,” Silliman said, smiling. “The only thing that will make up for it is when I make the (awards) podium at state. Last year I couldn’t wrestle in this tournament because of my weight, so this year I made sure that wouldn’t be a problem. I knew I had to go out and bring the team a first-place trophy today.”
Three of Silliman’s five matches ended in pin. He didn’t learn until the tournament was nearly over that he had beaten the defending champ.
“I’m the new defending champ now,” he said. “I definitely feel better, just working on staying in shape. Occasionally I would go to open tournaments. I’ve made it down to 113 and I’m here to stay.”
Madison and Mansfield Senior each had five finalists, with Devin Marsh winning the 195 title for the Tygers by outlasting Crestview’s Chandler Prise 14-10. Shelby had two champs as Braham Ginter edged Mansfield Senior’s Tyson Dancy 8-6 at 170 and Devin Williams won by injury default over Tyger heavyweight Jacquille Fletcher.
In a marquee matchup at 220, South Central’s two-time state placer Cameron Conaway pinned Mansfield Senior’s sectional champ Brandon Myers at 3:01.
It’s easy to picture Marsh sacking a quarterback or making a touchdown catch as a tight end, but unlike three of the Tygers’ runners-up — Dancy, Myers and Fletcher — he didn’t play football for the playoff-qualifying Tygers. The last time he put on a football uniform was sixth grade.
“I’m a win-it-for-yourself guy; I don’t like team sports,” Marsh said. “I was lifting, running and conditioning during the fall. I came in during the summer a little heavy, but with a diet plan (heavy on celery and peanut butter, with no soft drinks) I actually weigh 193. Wrestling for Billy (Stevens, the Tygers’ head coach) is awesome.”
A broken collarbone his freshman year and neck infection last year kept Marsh from competing in the biggest local tournament, the J.C. Gorman Invitational, but he was a district qualifier last season and finished 19-6. This year he’s got a Gorman title — and more — in his sights.
“Normally I get ’em (wins) in the first or second period, but this guy (Prise) was tough,” Marsh said of his high-scoring finale Saturday. “When that happens, I hook my double-unders and get my offense going.”
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TOM ELLIS CLASSIC
Site: Madison High School
Team scoring: 1. Lodi Cloverleaf 360; 2. Madison 335; 3. Mansfield Senior 276; 4. Shelby 220; 5. Wooster Triway 175; 6. South Central 153; 7. Bucyrus 150; 8. Crestview 114; 9. Wooster 101; 10. Ontario 89; 11. Akron Kenmore 85
106: (Round robin) 1. River Daunahaurer, Cloverleaf 5-0; 2. Jorge Gabriel, South Central 4-1
113: (Round robin) 1. Brad Silliman, Madison 5-0; 2. Avery Winans, Wooster 4-1
120: (Round robin) 1. Carson Speelman, Madison 5-0
126: Mikey Baumberger, Madison pin Nick Troutman, Mansfield Sr. 2:46
132: Mike Yacapraro, Triway pin Kaleb Gibson, Madison 4:34
138: Brian Persinger, Triway dec. Greg Briggs, Cloverleaf 3-1
145: Kyle Matern, Madison pin Kaleb Cass, Cloverleaf 1:58
152: Cory Stallings, Cloverleaf dec. Dallas Tolliver, South Central 6-0
160: Bryce Hart, Cloverleaf pin Michael Bentley, Shelby 2:56
170: Braham Ginter, Shelby dec. Tyson Dancy, Mansfield Sr. 8-6
182: Marcus Kruit, Triway dec. Hunter Coppock, Kenmore 4-0
195: Devin Marsh, Mansfield Sr. dec. Chandler Prise, Crestview 14-10
220: Cameron Conaway, South Central pin Brandon Myers, Mansfield Sr. 3:01
Hwt: Devin Williams, Shelby by injury default over Jacquille Fletcher, Mansfield Sr.