Four local wrestlers are predicted to win state championships this season by wrestling guru Brian Brakeman, whose 40th annual state tournament forecast was published Wednesday.
Those expected to win titles in Columbus on March 5 are the Division II Oak Harbor duo of Ian Miller (152) and Jake Cramer (171); and in D-III, Genoa's Felipe Martinez (152) and Swanton's Mimmo Lytle (285).
Oak Harbor is picked to be runner-up to St. Paris Graham for the third time in four years. Graham, one of the nation's premier programs, has won the last 10 D-II titles and is expected to capture No. 11 overwhelmingly.
Also expected to do well for Oak Harbor are Tyler Hackworth (seventh, 125), Alex Bergman (sixth, 140), and Konner Witt (second, 160).
Brakeman said of the Rockets: "It seems that every year they have a great trio of wrestlers, and this year is no exception. Miller will have a tough struggle with [Matt] Stephens [of Graham], while Witt and Cramer may not even be most people's favorite. Add in Bergman, and maybe Hackworth, and that should get you 80 points."
Miller and Stephens nearly met in last year's 145-pound state final but Stephens was disqualified in his semifinal bout. Miller then won the title with a second-period technical fall.
Also in D-II, Wauseon is picked 10th and Central Catholic 13th. Wauseon placed three wrestlers in Brakeman's top 10 -- Dalton Nicely (fourth, 130), Luke Tanier (ninth, 160), and Nick McCall (fourth, 171). Central's D.J. Beauch (145) and Tony Martin (160) are ranked fourth and third.
Rossford's DJ Recknagel (ninth, 189) and Port Clinton's Jared Fleming (10th, 160) also cracked the top 10.
In D-I, Clay is picked to finish 12th with four individuals projected in the top 10. They are Mike Screptock (ninth, 112), Angelo Amenta (sixth, 130), Matt Kohler (ninth, 140), and Chico Cloyne (seventh, 171).
Fremont Ross's Tyler Trautwein (189) and Perrysburg's Micah Carter (215) are picked to finish sixth and fifth.
In D-III, the following wrestlers fell into the top 10: Elmwood's Nick Goebel (second, 119), Mitchell Emmitt (ninth, 130), and Jake Baker (10th, 189); Delta's Kyle Keller (ninth, 103), Luke Kern (eighth, 130), Jared Mattin (10th, 145), and Tyler Yant (ninth, 152); Woodmore's Evan Ulinkski (seventh, 103); McComb's Jacob Haas (sixth, 125); Archbold's Jordan Cowell (fifth, 145); Van Buren's Chad Sonnenberg (second, 145); Patrick Henry's Xavier Dye (second, 171); North Baltimore's Dalton Ishmael (sixth, 189); Liberty Center's Bryan Hefflinger (ninth, 215) and Swanton's Derek Johnson (10th, 215).
Elmwood is ranked 10th.
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