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Conneaut's Edwards takes turn in state wrestling tournament

Mar. 8—Conneaut wrestling coach Keith Sherman said he was not concerned about Scotty Edwards not having the bulk to tangle in the 285-pound weight class.

What Sherman really wanted him to add was a few measures of confidence.

Edwards may only tip the scales at around 245, but being a little light on the scales has not hindered him too much this season,.

He brings a 38-8 record into the state tournament, ane will wrestle at 285 in Division III.

Wrestling is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

A year ago, Edwards was at the Schottenstein Center as a spectator, watching teammate Daren Christine wrestled his way to a third-place finish. Now, it's his turn.

"It means a lot," Edwards said of qualifying for state. "It's really a culmination of all my hard work and I'm really excited that I can get down here and show people what I'm all about."

In the postseason, Edwards has an 8-2 mark.

He won six straight matches before dropping a 3-1 decision in the semifinals of last Saturday's Division III district tournament at Independence.

But Edwards bounced right back with a pin and 3-1 decision to lock up his spot for today.

Sherman said Edwards'

ability was never in question, the key was getting him

to realize just how good he was.

"We always knew he had the ability, it was just getting him to believe it." the coach said. "This year, he started focusing on not so much winning, but doing the things that he needed to do to win ... the training, the confidence, a lot of that came out in him early in the season."

Sherman knew the confidence would more than compensate for the weight he was giving up.

"He wrestles like a typical heavyweight," the coach said. "He's quick, strong and extremely powerful. He lifted year round, He's extremely strong, even guys that weigh up around 280, he can handle."

Nerves may have been a factor last weekend. Needing just one more win to punch his ticket for Columbus, Edwards gave up a takedown which is a rarity and led to a loss.

"He wasn't himself," Sherman said. "He nerved himself up. He was kind of feeling the pressure. But, after that loss, he wrestled like himself and beat two tough kids to qualify. He had that letdown, but sometimes those letdowns refocus on you and get you back on track."

Edwards will look to be on track today when he meets Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley junior Dylan Congdon, who has a 30-15 record.

Edwards admitted that nerves may be a factor, but he feels ready to get on the mat and compete.

"Everybody here, there's no bad kids. Every match is a good match, a tough match," he said. 'I just have to take it one match at a time and let everything go. I'm pretty excited, I'm a little nervous too, but I'm ready to get out there and rock and roll."

Edwards will be of three Ashtabula County wrestlers and two from Madison who will be compete tournament. He's one of four advanced to the state tournament for the first time.

Only Madison's Noah Blough has been to the state tournament before. His teammate Izaiah Siler (157), Edgewood's Kyle Vencill (157) and Jefferson's Johnathon Bissell (138) will make their state tournament debut.