High school wrestling: Lake Catholic's Parker Pikor uses farming background for quarterfinal win

Mar. 9—COLUMBUS — Parker Pikor has been known to get into some tough situations as he goes through his second deep postseason run.

No matter if he is close to giving up a takedown, a reversal or nearfall points, Lake Catholic's senior 120-pounder says he can always rely on his training. No, not in the practice room, but rather on his family's Ashtabula County farm.

Pikor posted a 7-4 decision over Delta's Tyler Barnes in the quarterfinal round on Day 2 of the Division III state wrestling tournament on March 9. But as often happens, Pikor had to fight off some deep shots and potential reversals. As usual, he fought them off for the win that put him in the semifinal round late on March 9 against Legacy Christian's Eli Campbell.

Results of that match were not complete in time for the March 10 print edition.

Parker Pikor @LCCougarWrestle wins his quarterfinal

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

"I told you I had sheep," Pikor said of a recent News-Herald article about his musical talents and family farm. "It's the same thing as (handling) sheep. Put its head to its ass, pull down ... do it fluidly. You've got to be fluid and explosive. Don't hurt them, but do it with confidence and flow."

Pikor was the state runner-up at 106 pounds last season. His win in the quarterfinals guaranteed a top-six finish, but he said he wants more.

Parker Pikor wins his state semi because... well... he wins twitter today, @LCCougarWrestle

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

"My confidence is high," he said. "I'm ready."

So is his teammate Joey Romano. A year ago, Romano lost his quarterfinal match and ended up finishing in sixth place. But thanks to a first-period pin of Wayne Trace's Zane Pickerrell, Romano is headed to the semifinal round. Romano wrapped Pickerrell in a cradle and pinned him at the 1:37 mark.

Joey Romano with the stick in his quarterfinal.. the same round in which he lost last year. @LCCougarWrestle

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

"Last year I got upset in this round," he said. "It's a new year. I knew I couldn't slack at all. I had to go out and take it to him.

"My confidence is higher than ever. I fully believe I can beat anyone in the state. I'm out here to prove it."

Joey Romano of @LCCougarWrestle discusses his quarterfinal pin today

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

Three other Cougars — all freshmen — lost their quarterfinal bouts but won in the consolation round to guarantee top-eight finishes. That trio consists of Chance Wuhr (106), Tommy Slack (113) and Danny Zmorowski (215).

Zmorowski is the only freshman 215-pounder in the tournament, regardless of division.

Will Greenberg @HawkenAthletics with the stick in the quarters

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

While Pikor and Romano are The News-Herald coverage area's only two Division III semifinalists, three Division II wrestlers won their quarterfinals to clinch spots in the semifinal round — Benedictine's Chris Maloney (175), NDCL's Bryce Wheatley at 215 and Hawken's Will Greenberg at 285.

Maloney pinned Columbus DeSales' Andrew Warford in 5:20, and Greenberg pinned Granville's Ian Rutherford in 5:04. Wheatley's pin of Ontario's Landon Campbell was a biggie in that Campbell entered the tournament as the projected state runner-up according to

Bryce Wheatley @NDCLathletics with the stick in the quarters

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

"Borofan had him No. 2," Wheatley said. "I said, 'Screw that.' I want that to be me. I'm going for No. 1. I'm just going for the next guy. ... I'm right there with all of them. It doesn't matter who it is or what day it is, I'm going to go get whoever it is."

Bryce Wheatley of @NDCLathletics is fired up after pinning the projected state runner-up in the quarters

— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) March 9, 2024

Still alive in the Division III consolation bracket are Lake Catholic's trio of freshmen, Perry's Riley Rowan and Beachwood's Caleb Greenwood.

Rowan lost his quarterfinal in heartbreaking fashion, a 2-1 ultimate-tiebreaker loss to Milan Edison's Abe Hermes when Hermes rode out Rowan in the final 30 seconds. But Rowan bounced back to major Delta's Richard Flores to guarantee a top-eight spot on the podium.

Greenwood lost his quarterfinal, 19-4, to Barnesville's Reese Stephen, then came back for an 11-9 sudden-victory win over Seneca East's Will Bischoff to guarantee a top-eight spot on the podium. Greenwood tied it 9-9, at the end of regulation. The 11-9 final score was his only lead of the match.