Nine Div. III lower weight wrestlers reach state

Norwalk Reflector, Ohio
·5 min read

Mar. 7—ROSSFORD — Nine area wrestlers earned their spot at next week's Division III state championships in the lower weight finals on Sunday at the Rossford High School district site.

Edison's Max Hermes (106 pounds) and Casey Barnett (138) were individual champions, as was Monroeville's Ashton (113) and Alec (126) Homan.

Joining Hermes and Barnett from Edison to move on from the 106-145 weight classes were Jared Fantauzzi (113), Marcus Medina (120), Kohen Horvath (132) and Duke Hermes (145).

Also advancing out from Sunday's lower weights was St. Paul junior Will Stieber (145).

Hermes improved to 51-4 with four victories on Saturday and Sunday. The projected state champion by opened with a pair of pins in 55 seconds and 2:33, followed by a 16-6 major decision to reach the finals, where he topped Otsego's Trevor Wilcox (40-5) in a 7-2 decision.

Also ranked No. 1 in the state, Barnett won in similar fashion at 138. He opened with a pair of pins, both in 50 seconds, then used a 10-0 major decision to reach the finals.

Facing Archbold's Brodie Dominique (40-3), Barnett (53-1) was never threatened in a 9-0 major decision victory.

Medina and Horvath both placed third for the Chargers. Medina lost in the quarterfinals, 10-4, after opening with a pin in 1:20, then responded with four straight wins to improve to 43-10.

In the consolation bracket, the No. 5-ranked Medina won with a pin in 3:46, a 13-0 major decision, then topped Delta's Carson Chiesa with a 5-2 decision in the third-place match.

The No. 7-ranked Horvath (41-10) won his first two matches with pins in 1:18 and 1:49 before falling to Delta's No. 2-ranked Zack Mattin (48-1) by a 16-1 technical fall in the semifinals. He then beat Mohawk's Jace Margraf by a 7-1 decision, and topped Oak Harbor's Owen Miller with a pin in just 20 seconds for third place.

Rounding out the Edison contingent in the first seven weight classes was Fantauzzi and Duke Hermes both in fourth place.

Fantauzzi (18-8) used a 6-4 decision and a 20-4 technical fall to reach the semifinals, where he lost a 6-4 decision in sudden victory to Seneca East's Hunter Lacy.

In the consolations, the No. 12-ranked Fantauzzi defeated Eastwood's Bryce Maynard with a 5-1 decision to earn his state berth, then lost another tough 5-4 decision in the third-place match to Oak Harbor's Michael Judge.

Duke Hermes (38-18) opened with a pin in 2:43, then was edged 7-5 by Oak Harbor's Cade Petersen in the quarterfinals. He responded with three straight wins, capped by a thrilling 3-2 decision over Defiance Tinora's Andrew Helmke to earn his spot at state. Hermes then lost a 9-5 decision to St. Paul's Stieber for third place.

The No. 12-ranked Stieber (31-5) opened with a 17-2 technical fall win, then lost a 5-0 decision to Helmke in the quarterfinals. The junior standout for the Flyers then responded with four consecutive wins through the consolation rounds to place third.

He won with a 14-3 major decision and two consecutive 5-1 decisions, the last over Seneca East's Luke Bischoff to earn the trip to state, before topping Hermes in the 9-5 decision for third. Last week, Hermes had topped Stieber in a 6-4 decision in the championship match at the Plymouth sectional site.

Ashton Homan was the definition of dominant at 113, as the freshman ranked sixth in the state didn't allow a point in four victories. He opened with a pair of 15-0 technical fall wins before a 9-0 major decision over Oak Harbor's Judge in the semifinals, then improved to 38-2 with a 6-0 decision in the finals over Seneca East's Lacy.

Alec Homan (36-2) — ranked fifth in his weight — opened with a 6-0 decision and a pin in 3:10 and 3:13 to reach the finals, where he won a 6-1 decision over Firelands Conference foe Hayden Kuhn from Ashland Crestview.

Also placing on Sunday but just missing out on state was Monroeville sophomore Hunter Vogus (fifth at 132) and South Central senior Jayden Strickland (sixth at 126).

Vogus (32-5) won his first two matches, 4-3 and a pin in 3:52, then lost a narrow 3-1 decision to Eastwood's Gavin Owens in the semifinals. Needing a win to reach state, he lost another tough match, by just an escape point (1-0) to Oak Harbor's Miller. He capped his season with a 3-0 decision over Mohawk's Margraf and is a state alternate should any of the top four be unable to compete next weekend.

Strickland had a bye, then used a 9-1 major decision to reach the semifinals, where he was edged by FC nemesis Hayden Kuhn, 7-5. Kuhn topped Strickland by a 8-7 decision on Feb. 6 at the FC championships, then used a 9-8 double-overtime win last week in the semis at the Plymouth sectional — and also topped him 3-1 at the 2020 FC championships.

In the go-to match for state, Strickland then lost a tough 5-4 decision to Otsego's Joseph Manley. He was pinned in 4:32 in the fifth-place match by Tinora's Anden Ankney to finish his season at 20-6.

The Division III state championships will be held on Saturday and Sunday (March 13-14) at Marion Harding High School.