COLUMBUS — While Elyria had three state finalists put the wraps on one of the greatest state tournament performances in program history — including a record nine placers and a record-high 143 points — six other Pioneers earned podium spots during the Saturday morning session.
Dylan Shawver (126 pounds) and Andrew Levis (220) won a pair of matches to finish third, Matt Zuckerman (138) and Jake Evans (170) lost close placement matches to finish fourth, Nate Burnett (120) finished fifth and Bryce Allison (113) took seventh.
“It’s a very satisfying season for me,” said Allison, who won 5-1 over Centerville’s Luke Acuna. “I didn’t even get out of districts last year, so to even get down here is a big accomplishment. It makes a big difference to come out of here with a win.”
Burnett opened with a 3-2 loss to Upper Arlington’s Mitch Herren in the consolation semifinals before bouncing back for a 3-1 ultimate tiebreaker overtime win over Lancaster’s Aiden Agin, who he beat 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
“It’s kind of weird because when I wrestled him the first time it was hard to score on him,” Burnett said. “Neither of us had a takedown in that match and I won it on a stall point. So you go out there knowing it’s going to be a battle.”
Zuckerman scored a 6-5 win over Brecksville’s Marco Regalbuto — the projected state champion — in the consolation semifinals before losing 6-4 to Austintown-Fitch’s Gus Sutton.
Evans pinned Youngstown Boardman’s Michael O’Horo in the consolation semifinals — his 10th pin of the postseason — before losing 3-1 to nationally ranked Nevan Snodgrass of Kettering Fairmont.
Shawver, who was upset 10-9 by Brunswick’s Logan Heil in Friday night’s semifinals, bounced back with a 7-3 win over Toledo Whitmer’s Jack Haskin in the consolation semifinals and a 10-2 major decision over Brecksville’s Jimmy Carmany in his placement match.
“It started off strong and then when I came here I didn’t do what I wanted but I bounced back and did something that I haven’t done yet … win my last match here,” Shawver said. “We came down here for everyone to place and everyone did that. Now we need to come back next year and do even better.”
Levis, who is ranked No. 9 in the state, wrapped up the morning session with a 5-3 sudden victory overtime win over Barberton’s Paul Zentiska in the consolation semifinals before winning 6-3 over Kettering Fairmont’s Jaeden Crowe.
“Those ranking are nice, but they drive you sometimes to prove that I’m better than what they say I am,” Levis said. “It’s been awesome actually. Putting in the extra work after practices really paid off.”
Finishes motivate Eagles
While Jack Roesch was waiting for his state championship match Saturday night, two Avon teammates were securing their spots on the Division I state podiums.
Sophomore Cael Saxton finished eighth at 106 pounds, while junior Jordan Greer took fourth place at 195.
“It was nice at first being a state placer, the first couple matches it was kind of surreal but losing those last two matches were not the way I wanted to end my season,” Saxton said. “But it’s good for the experience, I guess … it’s motivation for next year.”
Saxton lost a 5-3 decision in sudden victory overtime to St. Ignatius’ Johnny Novak, whom Saxton had beaten 7-4 in double OT in his opener.
“I’m already thinking next step, next season,” Saxton said. “Got to have a big offseason, come in next season and try to climb the ladder and improve on it, because I’m definitely not happy with the way this season ended.”
Greer opened with an 8-1 win over Harrison’s Max Boyle in his consolation semifinal, then lost 5-2 to Brecskville’s Ethan Hatcher.
“Not what I wanted obviously, I wanted to be in the state final, but the LaSalle kid I had in the semifinals was tough and Hatcher was tough,” Greer said. “I could have wrestled a little better, but at the same time, I have no regrets. I’m happy with the way I carried myself this year, coming back from the ankle (injury) … going into my senior season, that just helps me out.”
Firelands junior Payton Burgdorf became a three-time state placer at the Division II tournament, finishing fifth at 120 pounds.
He lost his consolation quarterfinal 6-4 to Goshen’s Josh Dunn before receiving a medical default victory over Lisbon Beaver’s Logan Ours.
“I’d like to go out with a win, but it’s one place higher than last year so you can’t complain too much,” Burgdorf said. “Being a three-time state placer, it’s a lot of kids’ goals, but it’s not my highest goal. I’m satisfied with it, but I still need to work to achieve my top goal.”
Midview junior heavyweight Daniel Bucknavich was in good spirits after placing fifth in the Division I.
“I did the best I could,” he said. “I was feeling a little sick this morning, but I pushed through.”
Bucknavich was pinned in 1:09 by Cincinnati Anderson’s Kevin Stone in the consolation semifinals, then pinned Cincinnati LaSalle’s Robert Brown in 1:26.
He said he felt better on the mats as the weekend wore on.
“That first match I was pretty overwhelmed, walking through that tunnel and seeing all the four-time state champions … I guess that was kind of intimidating,” said Bucknavich, who knows being a state placer makes him a target for opponents next year. “I thought I already had that bull’s-eye on my back this season, but no big deal. They can’t beat me.”
- It wasn’t the way Lutheran West’s Parker Watson wanted to finish his high school wrestling career. The Avon resident was injured in his consolation quarterfinal and had to default his placement match to Newark Catholic’s J.T. Brown on Saturday morning.
“Watson places 8th,” the Longhorns’ tweeted. “Had to default again in the match due to AC Sprain from his previous match. Had a tremendous career as a Longhorn wrestler. Looking forward to watching him in a Buckeye singlet next year.”
- Edison’s Jordan Keegan, a Vermilion resident who opened with a loss to Watson on Thursday night, battled back to take fifth place. Keegan lost his consolation semifinal 8-4 to Newcomerstown’s Logan Hursey before bouncing back with a pin in 4:39 over Austin Awan of Troy Christian.
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