By JAMIE BAKER
COLUMBUS — You might be surprised to find out that some of the toughest high school kids you’re ever going to meet, OHSAA state wrestling tournament placewinners, aren’t afraid to shed a tear now and again.
It’s especially the case when they know their wrestling careers have come to an end.
Four seniors saw their wrestling careers end in the placement round Saturday on the final day of the 82nd OHSAA state wrestling tournament at Value City Arena.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Danny Rosales finished his career at Ottawa-Glandorf as a two-time state placewinner, after finishing sixth in the 182-pound weight class.
He dropped a 10-0 major decision to Barnesville’s Brylan Clouse in the consolation quarterfinals. Rosales wrapped his season with a 30-9 record as he was pinned by Wickliffe’s Doug Byrne in 1:30 in the fifth-place bout.
It wasn’t the day Rosales had mind, though.
“I had bigger goals, but things happen. Wrestling is my first love, I’m just not ready to let it go,” said Rosales, who was trying his best to keep his emotions in check.
“I was just trying to enjoy the experience and accomplish my goals. I didn’t really feel any pressure this weekend — I just went out and wrestled. I just gave everything I have when I was out there.”
Isaac Hernandez also finished off his wrestling career for the Titans. Hernandez (35-7) fell to Johnstown Northridge’s Klay Reeves 5-1 in the 132-pound seventh-place match.
It was the second straight year Ottawa-Glandorf had two state placewinners in a season.
It was also the final weekend of wrestling in an Elmwood singlet for Garrett Wright and Kain Brossia.
Brossia, a senior making his second appearance at state, showed plenty of grit and guts over the tournament’s final two days.
Brossia (43-8) won four straight 285-pound consolation matches, including a 3-1 OT win against Columbus Grove’s Jeff Meyer who beat Brossia 7-1 in Thursday’s first round, to reach Saturday’s third-place match. He was unable to make it a clean sweep of the consolations as he dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to Genoa’s Noah Koch.
“You work hard for this stuff down here, so it means a lot to you. I tried to leave it all out there because you want to finish as high as you can,” said Brossia, who got a little misty as he hugged and thanked his coaches after finishing his finals match.
“You put a lot into it and sometimes you fall short and it hurts.”
Wright, who made his state tournament debut this weekend, finished his wrestling career with a win.
He followed up a semifinal loss with a 5-2 defeat by Rittman’s Sevi Garza in the 170-pound consolation semifinals. Wright (48-10) closed his career by pinning Middletown Madison’s Devin Oligee to end up in fifth place.
Here are some other nuggets from this year’s tournament:
ROYALS RULE: A total of 13 of the 17 area wrestlers who qualified for state finished in the top eight and earned all-Ohio honors.
Elmwood had a weekend to remember.
In addition to Brossia’s fourth-place finish and Wright’s fifth-place effort, Will Bechstein was fourth at 220 pounds.
Bechstein whipped Richwood North Union’s Dylan Thompson 11-3 in the consolation semifinals before dropping a 7-1 decision to Patrick Henry’s Wil Morrow for third place.
Bechstein, who finished 44-12, was just a point away from reaching the state final, losing to Van Buren’s Kaleb Snodgrass 3-2 in overtime in the championship semifinals.
The Royals finished 10th in the team standings with 39 points and had three state placers for the first time since 2012. Elmwood has had a total of 36 state wrestling placers over the years.
PH TOUGH LUCK: The luck of the draw was not on Patrick Henry junior Wil Morrow’s side.
The Patriots’ junior 220-pounder defeated the semifinalists on the other side of the bracket at sectionals and districts the previous two weeks. But his side of the bracket in Columbus featured four-time state placer and defending state champ Hudson Jump from Columbus Grandview Heights.
Morrow lost to Jump 23-7 in Friday night’s semifinals. He put together dominating wins against South Range’s Anthony Czap (7-0) and Bechstein (7-1) to finish third.
Morrow, who’s a bundle of positive energy, finished the season with a 35-2 mark.
“The kid I lost to is really good and I wrestled my heart out. I couldn’t have done anything more,” Morrow said. “Hey, I finished higher than last year. You always need to be improving, and I think I am. Hopefully, it will be my turn next year.”
Classmate TJ Rhamy also bettered last year’s state tournament showing by placing fourth in the 160-pound class.
Rhamy, who has an entertaining style on the mat, knocked off Apple Creek Waynedale’s Max Lemon 5-2 in the consolation semifinals. Bridgeport’s Mason Kuneff came out on top of a second period scramble with a takedown to hold off Rhamy for third place.
He ended the season with a 35-5 record.
BAD TASTE: Columbus Grove sophomore Jeff Meyer took a step forward by placing sixth in the 285-pound division.
Meyer, who fell a match short of placing last season, was a win away from a spot in the state final but was pinned by unbeaten Noah Price from Fremont St. Joseph.
Meyer lost a 3-1 overtime decision to Elmwood’s Kain Brossia in the consolation semifinals and was caught and pinned by Delta’s Dalton Richard in 46 seconds in the fifth-place bout.
“I want to come back next year and make the final. To be that close and to finish sixth? I’m not happy with that,” Meyer said. “It wasn’t my day today. The biggest thing now is winning on Saturday down here.”
Meyer, the school’s first state placer since Cory Blankemeyer won a state crown in 1999, finished 45-11.
FINAL FINISH: Lakota’s Trevor Franks finished as an all-Ohioan in his second trip to Columbus. But Franks was unable to compete on Saturday.
A 10-2 loser to Massillon Tuslaw’s Kyle Rider in Friday’s consolation quarterfinals, Franks defaulted to Indian Lake’s Hayden Pummel in the 160-pound seventh-place match.
He completed his junior season for the Raiders with a 34-8 record.
THEY’LL BE BACK: The future looks bright as just six of the 19 area state qualifiers were seniors.
Columbus Grove’s Dakota (195) and Dylan Sargent (220) will be back, as will Cory-Rawson’s Deontae’ Davis (160), Liberty-Benton’s Nathaniel DiRe (182) and Mohawk’s Morgan Price (152).
Saturday’s Consolation Semifinals
160 — T.J. Rhamy, Patrick Henry dec. Max Lemon, Apple Creek Waynedale 5-2
170 — Sevi Garza, Rittman dec. Garrett Wright, Elmwood 5-2
182 — Brylan Clouse, Barnesville maj. dec. Danny Rosales, Ottawa-Glandorf 10-0
220 — Will Bechstein, Elmwood maj. dec. Dylan Thompson, Richwood N. Union 11-3
220 — Wil Morrow, Patrick Henry dec. Anthony Czap, N. Lima South Range 7-0
285 — Kain Brossia, Elmwood dec. Jeff Meyer, Columbus Grove 3-1 OT
138 — Jonah Smith, Findlay pinned Connor DeBoe, Mentor 1:37
160 — Mason Kuneff, Bridgeport dec. T.J. Rhamy, Patrick Henry 3-2
220 — Wil Morrow, Patrick Henry dec. Will Bechstein, Elmwood 7-1
285 — Noah Koch, Genoa Area dec. Kain Brossia, Elmwood 3-2 OT
170 — Garrett Wright, Elmwood pin Devin Oligee, Middletown Madison 2:07
182 — Doug Byrne, Wickliffe pin Danny Rosales, Ottawa-Glandorf 1:30
285 — Dalton Richard, Delta pin Jeff Meyer, Columbus Grove 0:46
132 — Klay Reeves, Johnstown Northridge dec. Isaac Hernandez, Ottawa-Glandorf 5-1
160 — Hayden Pummel, Lewistown Indian Lake over Trevor Franks, Lakota default