ASHLAND — Somewhere, Corey Kline is beaming.
The last national champion at Ashland University just watched one of his understudies from Black River transfer to the Eagles following a year at Ohio State.
Jesse Campbell, a 2007 Black River graduate and Division III state champion, will start classes in the fall at Ashland after sitting out a redshirt year with the Buckeyes at heavyweight. He will receive nearly a full ride from the Eagles.
“It’s closer to home and with my dad being sick (Bruce Campbell has double pneumonia), it felt like the right thing to do,” Campbell said. “They have a new coaching staff at Ashland and it’ll be a new opportunity for me. It’s a fresh start to get back at it.
“Ohio State has a great coaching staff and has the right mindset, but it’s just not for me. I didn’t get that one-on-one. I’m not throwing stones at them. It’s just not where I wanted to be.”
Campbell went 45-2 with 31 pins his senior year. He is the school’s all-time win leader with 140.
The two-time state finalist will be reunited with longtime rival Frank Read, who clashed with Campbell many times over the years while at West Salem Northwestern. The Black River graduate never lost to Read in five matches.
“We built up a pretty good friendship over the years,” Campbell said. “It’ll be a good rivalry in the wrestling room. We wrestled so many times. It’ll be healthy for us.”
Campbell is majoring in education with a concentration in math and science.
Contact Brad Bournival at (330) 721-4045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.