In a district loaded with the best teams from northern Ohio, Clay wrestling coach Ralph Cubberly said Saturday’s Division I district tournament at Perrysburg is the strongest in the entire state.
After the Eagles finished fourth in the team standings and advanced six wrestlers to next week’s state tournament in Columbus, Cubberly was excited.
“The kids rose to the occasion, they wrestled really well when it counted,” Cubberly said. “... This is the toughest district in Ohio, regardless of division, and if you can place top four in this district, you have got a shot to get on the podium and place down in Columbus.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Division I district wrestling at Perrysburg
St. John's Timothy Marshall, front, gets fingers in his face by Clay's Jacob Meek as they wrestle at 182 pounds during the finals of the district wrestling tournament at Perrysburg High School on Saturday, March 3, 2018.
Nick Daly was the top Clay finisher, taking second at the 285-pound weight class. The other five Eagles all took fourth in their divisions — Kyle Maville (120-pounds); Mike Daly (126); Garret Anderson (145); Troy Murphy (160), and Jacob Meek (182).
Lakewood St. Edward won the team title with a total of 284.5 points, followed by Brecksville (234.5 points), Elyria (161.5), and Clay (111). Fremont Ross finished eighth with 73.5 points, Findlay was 11th with 52, St. John’s Jesuit was 12th with 35.5, Perrysburg was 14th with 33.5, Whitmer had 26 points to finish 16th, Springfield was 17th with 22, Anthony Wayne was 19th with 20.5, and Bowsher and Northview tied for 27th with seven points.
For Cubberly, his joy at sending six wrestlers to state was increased by the four underclassmen who will represent the Eagles — Maville and Murphy are both juniors, Meek is a sophomore, and Mike Daly is a freshman.
“It’s really on the upswing in Toledo, we’ve got a lot of good youth clubs and junior high teams,” Cubberly said. “It’s just awesome to be able to coach kids, especially my Clay kids, that show so much promise in the future.”
Those Clay underclassmen will join Whitmer’s Jack Haskin, who became the first Panthers freshman to qualify for state when he placed second at 113. He came into the tournament hoping for a top-4 finish and a spot in the state tournament, so his 5-3 semifinal upset win over Lakewood St. Edward’s Scott Richter was a special moment.
“We had to write an essay about what’s our why, why do we wrestle, and I put I want to make it to state to build the foundation of wrestling at Whitmer,” Haskin said. “... People don’t think of Whitmer as a wrestling school. They think of football or basketball, but the culture in wrestling at Whitmer is on the uprise. It’s going to be interesting to watch over the next few years.”
Perrysburg's Alex Garee, left, and Olmsted Falls' Jihad Salti wrestle at 138 pounds during the finals of the district wrestling tournament at Perrysburg High School.
The lone individual district champion from the area was Fremont Ross’ Garrett Barth, who beat Ethan Hatcher of Brecksville 7-2. Barth was last year’s district champ as well, so there was extra pressure on him this season.
“A lot of people want to come and knock you down,” Barth said of being the defending champ. “It just kept me working harder so I stayed on top of the podium.”
He will be joined by Ross teammates Lamonte Champman (fourth, 138) and Caleb Wood (third, 195) in Columbus.
Area state qualifiers included a pair from St. John’s Jesuit, A.J. Savona and Timothy Marshall. Marshall finished third Saturday at 182, and Savona was fourth at 170. Findlay’s Boston Dubocq was fourth at 152.
Other placers from Saturday were Perrysburg’s Ricardo Oviedo (fifth, 120) and Alex Garee (sixth, 138); Springfield’s Mason Hakeos (sixth, 113) and Cade Chapetta (sixth, 285); Ross’ Jackson Weissinger (fifth, 160), and Dru Hernandez of Findlay (sixth, 160).
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