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Conneaut's Edwards advances; Edgewood's Vencill looks to continue at state tournament

Mar. 9—COLUMBUS — Conneaut senior Scotty Edwards made his state tournament debut a good one, scoring a 3-1 victory over West Tuscarawas' Dylan Congdon ina Division III 285-pound opening-round match.

"It felt pretty good," Edwards said of winning his state tournament debut. "It feels like the puzzle pieces are coming together from all the hard work I put in."

Edwards returns to the mat today to go against Ashland Crestview's Caleb Cunningham. The winner will secure a spot in the championship semifinals.

"He's fast, he shoots, he's No. 1 seed," Edwards said of Cunningham. "What's nice, though, is he's probably favored to win, but I'm ready to pull off an upset. I feel pretty good."

Cunningham pin Madeira's J.J. Hoeffel at 2:58 to win first-round match.

VENCILL STAYS ALIVE

After wrestling a defending state champion in last weekend's district championship match, Edgewood senior Kyle Vencill had to figure things could not have been much tougher once he got to the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Think again, though.

The brackets were not kind to Vencill on Friday as he was matched up with Clyde High School's Lance Overmyer in a D-II 157 first-round match.

He defeated Vencill 10-2, forcing the Warrior senior into a win or go home situation much earlier than he anticipated.

"We knew all week the first match would be really tough," Vencill said. "I got a pretty rough draw, but I knew whatever happened I had to come back and reset my mind and come back fresh."

Overmyer took second at 144 in last season's state tournament.

Vencill did what he knew he had to do in the bottom bracket.

After a scoreless first period aainst Hughes' Malik Quiles, he got behind his opponent and throw him down for the first two points of the match.

Moments later, Vencill added three back points to take control of the bout, going on to an 8-2 decision and sealing a spot in the today's second day of the tournament.

In the first match, Edgewood coach Scott Blank said Vencill was not able to execute the script they were hoping to follow. The second bout went much more accordingly.

"He's a good kid," Blank said of Overmeyer. "Kyle worked his butt off all week to beat him. We scored the first takedown, but didn't wrestle three periods our style, we wrestled his. The second match, we scored his takedowns, scored his tilts and I was pretty confident that he was going to be fine."

Today is another day, though, and once again the brackets are not being friendly.

Vencill will await the loser of Hartley's Cooper Rathburn versus Columbus DeSales' Joel Welch.

Vencill lost to Welch 9-2 during the regular season.

"I took him down

to start the match,"

Vencill said. "But

then he got a couple of turns on top to score points."

The other option is Welch, a freshman.

"He'll study film tonight on the guys we have to wrestle," Blank said of Vencill. "He's really spectacular and I just hope he opens up for us a little bit tomorrow."

Whichever one

he meets on the mat, Vencill knows it is

going to be another incredible challenge.

"I know [today], my first match is going

to be a tough one,"

he said. "I'll just have to go out there focused and try to get the job done."