The Ohio State University played host to the OHSAA state wrestling tournament which marked its 75th anniversary this past weekend. The OHSAA sponsors one of the finest wrestling tournaments in the country and this year was no exception.
A few new frills added to the excitement this year and perennial powers Lakewood St. Edward and St. Paris Graham continued their winning traditions as each team captured another state title.
However, the performance of local participants reached levels never before seen in their school history. J.A. Garfield High School has never had an individual state wrestling champion, in fact, they have never had anyone compete in the state wrestling finals. That is until this year when they had not one, but two wrestlers make the championship round. 160 pound Aaron Yonker and 182 pound Kevin Stock were both vying for individual championships on Saturday night. Unfortunately, neither wrestler was able to bring home that coveted state championship as each lost a heartbreaking 3-2 decision in the finals.
Yonker was defeated by senior Zebulun Beam of Applecreek Waynedale, while Stock lost to a familiar foe in junior B.J. Toal of Troy Christian. The good news for the G-Men is that both Yonker and Stock are underclassmen and will have an opportunity to pursue that elusive title next year.
The G-Men had two other participants competing in the tournament, 170 pound junior Tanner Bontrager and 285 pound senior Devin Dressler. Bontrager went 1-2 and did not place in this year’s tournament, while Devin went 3-2 finishing in 7th place. Garfield also made a team statement with a top ten finish – 7th place.
Other local teams from Portage County competing in the state tournament were:
Crestwood which had 3 participants, Jake Zemaitis (7th place 106 lbs), Josh Hillier (126 lbs), and Dylan Kager (6th place 132 lbs.)
Rootstown with 3 participants, Travis Linton (3rd place 170 lbs), Garrett Linton (the schools first state champion at 195 lbs) and Jake Moore (4th place 220 lbs)
Southeast had 2 participants, Brandon James (8th place 152 lbs) and Tylor Brokaw (160 lbs)
Waterloo had 3 participants, Nick Hermann (8th place 126 lbs), J.J. Diven (7th place 138 lbs) and Brandon Brenes (220 lbs)
Complete results can be found at: http://www.baumspage.com/ohsaa/wr/2012/d3res.htm