COLUMBUS - Given the benefit of knowing just how difficult last night would be, Van Buren's Chad Sonnenberg said his early-season decision to remain at 140 pounds and oppose one of the nation's top wrestlers would not have changed.
Sonnenberg entered last night's Division III state final versus Monroeville's Cam Tessari with zero losses - and he exited the bout with zero points, as Tessari dominated the Black Knight junior 10-0 on the floor of the Schottenstein Center.
Before the new year, Sonnenberg contemplated cutting to 135 pounds, but when Tessari moved from 135 to 140, Sonnenberg welcomed the opportunity to write history. It simply did not work out for him.
"I don't regret it at all," Sonnenberg (44-1) said. "I wanted to wrestle the best of the best, and of course he was. I give him all the props."
A junior, Tessari (53-0) scored a takedown midway through the first period and added three near fall points before the two minutes ended. Tessari picked up an escape and a takedown in the second period before adding a final takedown in the third. Sonnenberg's only true scoring opportunity came in the second period but Tessari defended the shot and scored a takedown of his own.
"He wrestles his style really well, and I wrestled mine," Sonnenberg said. "He came out on top."
Behind four individual title winners, including four-time champ Logan Stieber at 125, Monroeville grabbed the D-III team title with 116 points. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (76) was second followed by Bedford St. Peter Chanel (63.5).
Other area place winners were: Elmwood's Dexter Lee (seventh, 103) and Nick Goebel (third, 112); Liberty Center's Luke Kern (eighth, 119); McComb's Jacob Haas (fourth, 119); Patrick Henry's Alex Lopez (sixth, 130) and Xavier Dye (fourth, 171); Montpelier's Luke Boehm (sixth, 145); Cardinal Stritch's Kyle Gladieux (fifth, 160); Lake's Brandon Tantari (sixth, 189); and Swanton's Mimmo Lytle (third, 285).
Last year's state champ at 103, Goebel (57-2) avenged his quarterfinal loss to North Jackson Jackson-Milton's Vinnie Pizzuto, winning a tiebreaker, 1-0, in the consolation finals. Lee (47-7) reversed a district final loss to Edison's Cam Michel, prevailing 4-1, in the seventh place final.
Lytle (44-3) spent just 68 seconds on the mat yesterday, recording pins - in order - over Clinton-Massie's Mike Stenger in 56 seconds and another in 12 seconds against Akron Manchester's Kyle Kelly. The quickest pin in D-III state tournament history is eight seconds, a mark first set by Delta's Rob Sintobin in 1989 and matched in 1998 by Plain City Jonathan Alder's Randy Evans.
- Ryan Autullo