NORWALK — After missing practice much of the week with an illness, Vermilion senior Jakob Koleszar didn’t exactly come in the with the proper state of mind when the Division II district tournament started Friday.
Once he got out on the mat, Koleszar persevered and became one of only two Lorain County wrestlers to go 2-0 heading into today’s semifinals.
“I didn’t really wrestle how I wanted to today,” Koleszar said. “That first match was a real eye-opener for me.”
Koleszar pinned Bellevue’s Jared Weaver 50 seconds into overtime in his first-round match, then pinned Otsego’s Ian Kress exactly three minutes into their quarterfinal match.
“During the first match I was just thinking, ‘How am I going to do this?’” Koleszar said. “I was down with 30 seconds to go but I stayed mentally strong and I overcame everything. I was really scrambling because I didn’t want to lose in the first round and have to try to battle my way back. Right now I love where I’m at. I’ve got a tough match coming up, I’m just going to wrestle how I wrestle and see how it goes.”
Koleszar (26-12) will face Van Wert’s Gabe Steyer (38-2) in the semifinals.
It was just another day at the office for Firelands junior Payton Burgdorf (120). The two-time state qualifier was as dominating as ever with a pin 32 seconds into his first-round match with Tiffin Columbian’s Simon Viengmany. In the quarterfinals, Burgdorf (43-3) advanced with a 16-1 technical fall over Clear Fork’s Isaiah Thomas.
“I was happy with how I wrestled today,” said Burgdorf, who will face Bellevue’s Noah Alda (31-9) in the semifinals. “I just need to win one more and I’m back in Columbus, so it should be easy to keep my head up when I come back tomorrow.”
Although Burgdorf only needs one win to get to Columbus, he has his eyes on the district title, knowing it will give him an easier path at the state tournament.
“It’s always nice to go into Columbus with that No. 1 seed as district champion,” Burgdorf said. “Sometimes that high seed can make a difference at state.”
Five local wrestlers — Vermilion’s Brandon D’Egidio (113), Brookside’s David Ocasio (126) and Matt Thompson (182), and Keystone’s Nick Hickman (195) and Luke Moore (285) — each won their opening-round match but fell into the consolation bracket with quarterfinal losses.
Other wrestlers who are still alive going into today: Eric Saddler (Brookside, 106), Charlie Yonts (Firelands, 138) and Ryan Healy (Keystone, 145).
Perkins leads the team standings after Day 1 and has four wrestlers in the semifinals. Bellevue sends the most wrestlers to the semifinals with five.
1. Perkins 61, 2. Padua 52.5, 3. Norwalk 52, 4. Sandusky 50, 5. Bellevue 49.5, 6. Wauseon 47.5, 7. Tiffin Columbian 40.5, 8. Ontario 35, 9. Bowling Green 34, 10. Wapakoneta 29
21. Vermilion 15, 24. Firelands 11.5, 25T. Keystone 11, 28T. Brookside 8.5
106: Logan Cravatas (Buckeye) vs. Damon Molina (Wauseon)
Gabe Alda (Bellevue) vs. Max Oprzadek (Perkins)
113: Jake Manley (Otsego) vs. Cameron Deiter
Rico Cunningham (Sandusky) vs. Caleb Henderson (Napoleon)
120: Noah Alda (Bellevue) vs. Payton Burgdorf (Firelands)
Jimmy Balazy (Padua) Gavin Ritter (Wauseon)
126: Josh Lyons (Mansfield) vs. Matt Kaufmann (Fairview)
Nolan Ray (Wauseon) vs. Anthony Ashley (Buckeye)
132: Cameron Pollard (Otsego) vs. Elijah Hunter (Sandusky)
Logan Schoen (Perkins) vs. August Eschedor (Bowling Green)
138: Jacob Koleszar (Vermilion) vs. Gabe Steyer (Van Wert)
Caden Blust (Tiffin Columbian) vs. Elan Sherman (Sandusky)
145: Ethan Turnbaugh (Ontario) vs. Brody Conley (Tiffin Columbian)
Isaiah Bretz (Van Wert) vs. Sam LoFaso (Padua)
152: Ethan Phillips (Norwalk) vs. Derek Coleman (Clyde)
John McNulty (Padua) vs. Colton Turnbaugh (Ontario)
160: Ethan Hernandez (Norwalk) vs. Kaeden Hatlay (Tiffin Columbian)
Austin Willlard (Padua) vs. Justin Mayes (Bellevue)
170: Noah Vogel (St. Mary’s) vs. Lucas Salmon (Perkins)
Mason Cover (Bay) vs. Xavier Torres (Wauseon)
182: Matt Abraham (Padua) vs. Tai Carter (Perkins)
Gabe Phillips (Norwalk) vs. Cody Mies (Ontario)
195: Terion Stewart (Sandusky) vs. Matthew Cover (Bay)
Trevor Plaugher (Wapakoneta) vs. Aiden Nunez (Bellevue)
220: Noah Eikenbary (Kenton) vs. Alec Maloney (Norwalk)
Dylan Adkins (Bellevue) vs. Max Fausnaugh (Bowling Green)
285: Jonah Schlegal (Defiance) vs. Kyler Capizzi (Perkins)
Jacob Jackson (Toledo Central Catholic) vs. Brenan Knueve (Wapakoneta)