Graham clinches state title


By Justin Miller - jmiller@civitasmedia.com



Graham’s Johnny Shafer (220) works to control his opponent’s position on Friday at the Division II state wrestling tournament.

Graham’s Johnny Shafer (220) works to control his opponent’s position on Friday at the Division II state wrestling tournament.


COLUMBUS – Twenty-two Champaign County wrestlers began Friday’s state wrestling tournament in the championship bracket.

By the evening, that number had dwindled by half. By the end of the day, only 10 remained – but all were in the finals.

In Division II, Graham cruised to another Division II state title – its 16th straight – with Jeffrey Thomas (113 pounds), Justin Stickley (120), Mitch Moore (126), Brent Moore (138), Rocky Jordan (145), Garrett Jordan (160) and Alex Marinelli (170) all qualifying for Saturday’s finals. Urbana’s Jack Harris (195) joined them.

As usual, with the team title out of the way, GHS Coach Jeff Jordan’s focus for Saturday will be claiming as many individual championships as possible.

“That’s the goal tomorrow. We try to crown as many guys as possible,” Jordan said. “We had 13 guys come down and all 13 placed in the top six. The guys stepped up. We just kept the ball rolling.”

Johnny Shafer (220) lost his semifinal match and fell to the consolation bracket.

Jordan Crace (106), Ryan Thomas (132), Joey Sanchez (152), Gage Braun (182) and Kavan Sarver (195) each lost their quarterfinals match, but were then victorious in the consolation ladder to advance to the evening session.

All five won their evening matches to stay alive heading into Saturday’s placement bouts.

In Division III, Mechanicsburg had a pair of wrestlers qualify for the finals.

Wade Smiddy (145) and Kaleb Romero (160) each won two matches to set the stage for Saturday night.

“Wade wrestled a really good match and pulled it out at the end. He just showed a lot of guts,” MHS Coach Cameron Doggett said.

Tyler Wetzel (113) and Tanner Smith (138) got to the semifinals, but then dropped that match to fall to the consolations.

Alex Rhine (120) lost his quarterfinal match and his first consolation match and was eliminated.

Nick Miller (132) and Corey Bogan (152) each lost their quarterfinals match, but were then victorious in the consolations to advance to the evening session. Triad’s Jacob Thompson (170) was in the same situation.

Each of the three lost their evening match.

“It was a rollercoaster man. Hopefully tomorrow we have an undefeated day,” Doggett said.

Graham’s Johnny Shafer (220) works to control his opponent’s position on Friday at the Division II state wrestling tournament.
https://www.urbanacitizen.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/36/2016/03/web1_JohnnyShafer030416.jpgGraham’s Johnny Shafer (220) works to control his opponent’s position on Friday at the Division II state wrestling tournament.

By Justin Miller

jmiller@civitasmedia.com

Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.

Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.