Girls state wrestling: Brush's Le'Naysia Dickson clinches top-eight finish

Mar. 9—COLUMBUS — When the state wrestling tournament started March 8, the News-Herald coverage area had never had a state placer in girls wrestling in an OHSAA-sanctioned tournament.

Granted, last year was the first such tournament, but nevertheless, the area had never had a state placer.

That's not the case anymore.

With a second-period pin of Whetstone's Grace Murphy on Day 2 of the state tournament on March 9, Brush's Le'Naysia Dickson clichea a top-eight spot on the podium. She'll find out just how high she'll finish when the tournament runs through its final day March 10.

Dickson lost her next match, which means she'll wrestle for seventh place March 10. Still, she's happy with her place in area history.

"When I first started this, I didn't think I'd be here right now," she said. "When I first started, I was scared. I've got to give it up for my parents, too, because they believed in me when I didn't believe in myself."

Dickson got her feet wet at the state level last March when she went 1-2 at her first event under the big lights. She came up big with the pressure on this time around, headlocking Murphy a trio of times and taking her to the mat. She was ahead, 11-1, when she got the pin with a headlock.

"That's my bread and butter," she said.

Coach Richard Hall wouldn't argue that point even if he wanted to.

"We're not going to fight her on what move she does," he said. "We're going to do that move she wants and we're going to perfect it."

When the match was over, Dickson slapped the mat with both hands and pointed to the stands at the large group of fans that were cheering boistrously for her.

"I fought hard for this. I did," she said. "I came a long way. I can't take all the credit. Coach helped me so much. This took all my strength."

The only other girls wrestler in action March 9 was Mentor's Lorelai Megery. She was pinned in 3:38 by Gibsonburg's Lilly Zwiefel and was eliminated one victory short of a podium spot.