FOSTORIA, Ohio This was one heavyweight bout that needed no undercard.
Eastwood s Jeremy Foster and Oak Harbor s Cody Magrum have met with an individual district title on the line three years running.
The final installation of the pair s mammoth battles came last night at the Division II district wrestling tournament at Fostoria High School, and the matchup in the 189-pound weight class did not disappoint.
Magrum, the Ohio State-bound senior, avenged his loss to Foster in last year s district finals with a 4-1 decision, but it was the Eagles senior who would have the last laugh, as Eastwood claimed the team district title.
I m happy for these kids because no one thought we would be here and win this tournament, Eastwood coach Ralph Cubberly said. We thought we d be third.
Although senior Eric Cubberly was the lone Eastwood wrestler to win an individual district title, he will be joined by five teammates at the state tournament next weekend in Columbus.
The kids came together and wrestled as a team real well, Ralph Cubberly said. We had some unexpected guys really pick it up this week. The guys that were supposed to, they did what they had to do.
Magrum (44-1), a defending state champion, was upset by Foster in the 171-pound division championship last season but has not lost to him since.
They ve been wrestling each other since they were little kids, Oak Harbor coach George Bergman said. They re two great competitors, two great athletes. You know it s going to be a barn-burner every time they meet. They re the top two kids in the state.
Foster and Magrum met twice earlier in the season, with Magrum taking both bouts. This time around, Magrum wasn t taking anything for granted and jumped out to an early lead, one which Foster could never overcome.
It s a good rivalry, I guess, Magrum said. Even though those other two matches went my way, it was last year at this time when he upset me, so paybacks.
Senior Kirk Tank also did his part by earning Oak Harbor s first individual title of the evening with a 2-1 decision over Highland senior Steve Timoteo in the 152-pound division.
The win gave Tank back-to-back district titles after he claimed a decision in the 145-pound division finals last season.
I feel like I haven t been wrestling as good [and] actually I think I wrestled better last year, Tank said.
Defiance sophomore B.J. Miller and Napoleon junior Josh Lynch also picked up individual district titles. Miller earned a 5-2 decision in the 112-pound division over Highland senior Bart Young, while Lynch defeated Wauseon junior Michael Perez 3-0 in the 119-pound finals.
Miller finished fourth at districts last season as a freshman, but he has taken his success to a whole different level this season. With the win at districts, Miller moved his season record to 42-0.
I had a lot of nerves and a lot of anticipation heading into this match, Miller said. I was pretty pumped for it.
Miller said he had plenty of motivation to succeed heading into this season.
I went back to wrestling practice a lot harder because I wanted to do better this year, Miller said. Last year at states, I got stuck with the [defending] state champion in the first round, and I didn t want that again.
After finishing third last week at sectionals, Lynch was bound to perform better this weekend, a year after finishing fifth at districts.
I didn t want to lose anymore, Lynch said. I knew I could beat those guys. I ve wrestled them before, and we re neck and neck a lot. I just stepped it up this week and got hot when I needed to.
Central Catholic will have two representatives at the state meet after sophomore Dan Cook finished fourth in the 112-pound division and junior Dave Pickerel advanced in the 215-pound division with his third-place finish.
Other area wrestlers headed to states include Rossford senior Jordan Wray after a second-place finish in the 135-pound class, Maumee junior Mikkal Johnson after his win in the third-place bout in the 140-pound class, and Libbey senior James Reynolds was runner-up in the 285-pound division.
Contact Zach Silka at: firstname.lastname@example.org.