By Ben Stroup
The opening day of the OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament was a productive one for area standouts as most stayed alive with solid showings Thursday at OSU’s Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Of the 14 state qualifiers who call Delaware County home, half advanced in their respective championship brackets and 10 still have solid shots at reaching the podium.
Liberty’s Brakan Mead (106), fresh off last weekend’s district championship, cruised past Mayfield’s Johnny Craker 9-1 in his opener. The Junior, who nabbed runner-up honors at the state showcase a year ago, will face Cincinnati LaSalle’s Lucas Byrd in today’s championship quarterfinal.
Mead set the tone with a strong opening match … and he wasn’t alone.
Three other Patriots won their openers, too, as did a pair of Pacers.
Liberty sophomore Jordan Rosselli (120) beat Uniontown Lake’s Chase Sommers 8-2 in his opener. Next up, he’ll take on Fremont Ross sophomore Lamonte Chapman.
The Patriots’ Kyle (160) and Trevor (170) Lawson both advanced with solid wins as well. Kyle, a junior, pinned Cleveland St. Ignatius’ Cal Miller in 1:07 while Trevor, a sophomore, handled Kettering Fairmont’s Mark Kimbrell 3-1. Kyle will face Elyria’s Mikah Price in today’s quarterfinal while Trevor will square off against Stow-Munroe Falls’ Joey Andrassy.
Hayes’ Greg Brusco (152), a four-time state qualifier, blanked Perrysburg’s Josh Herhold 8-0 in a first-round showdown. He’ll face Barberton’s Gary Wokojance in today’s quarterfinal.
The Pacers’ Chris Martinez (195), meanwhile, was also sharp in his opener, shutting out Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller’s Trevor Hankins 6-0 to get his state run started in style. He’ll face Elyria senior standout Ben Darmstadt in the quarters.
In Division II, Buckeye Valley junior Wes Cochran (285) beat Franklin junior Colvin Turner 8-3 in a first-round showdown. Next up, he’ll take on Bellevue senior Jared Hoy, the top seed from the Fostoria District, in today’s championship quarterfinals.
Hayes’ Max Wright headlined a handful of area standouts who kept their seasons alive after dropping first-round matches. Wright, after falling to Austintown-Fitch’s Adam Green 4-2, beat Perrysburg’s Leo Pomp 13-3 to stay alive in the consolation bracket.
Liberty’s Connor Brady (132) and Trey Grenier (145) also went 1-1. Brady, after falling to Mason’s Zachary Donathan 2-1, pinned Austintown-Fitch’s Andrew Fairbanks in 2:50 to roll on. Grenier, meanwhile, pinned LaSalle’s Hunter Perdue in 3:18 to advance in the consolation bracket.
In other action, Hayes’ Zach Williams (106) lost a pair of matches to see a solid freshman campaign come to a close. Liberty’s Zach Furnas (126) and Connor Thomas (152), along with Olentangy’s Xander Gore (138), also lost each of their two showdowns to see stellar seasons end.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.