Tony Jameson won the 103-pound state title to finish 38-3.
COLUMBUS -- Austintown Fitch High wrestling coach Brett Powell thought he had been sufficiently impressed by his freshman wrestler, Tony Jameson.
Then the youngster went to the mats at the Schottenstein Center over the weekend and proceeded to increase the respect level even higher, winning the Division I 103-pound state championship in impressive fashion.
Jameson completed a 38-3 season Saturday night with a 7-3 decision over Ryan Fields of Lakota West in the championship match.
Jameson was the only area state champion, but it was still an impressive finish for area athletes.
13 on podium
Of the 30 wrestlers from the Valley who qualified for the state tournament, 13 finished on the podium Saturday night, eighth place or better.
Four other wrestlers finished as state runners-up, including Jameson's teammate, Anthony Gigiliotti (36-5), who lost to Dustin Schlatter of Massillon Perry, 25-10, in the 145-pound final.
In Div. II, junior Kyle Gantz of Howland (37-4) lost to Jason Marshall of St. Paris Graham 6-1 at 215 pounds, and West Branch sophomore Nathan Sharp (35-3) was pinned in 4:37 by Matt Guhn of Clyde. Sharp suffered a knee injury late in the match trailing only 2-1.
In Div. III, Jackson-Milton's Nick Dierkes was decisioned by Jamison Moss of Delta 6-1 in the 145-pound final. Dierkes, a senior, finished 41-2 and was state runner-up for the second consecutive year. He was runner-up at 140 in 2004.
Howland's Rob Holbert (275) and West Branch's Andy Lamancusa (140) each finished third, while Max Pearce of Poland (125), Anthony Duffield (112) of East Liverpool and Matt Walker of Alliance (215) were all fifth.
Fitch's Nick Bodnar (135) and Eric Morrow (119) of West Branch finished sixth; Steve Wall (112) of Howland and Brookfield's Brad Harnett (130) were seventh, and Brandon Rydarowicz (275) of Hubbard, John Rozum (160) and Adam Keck (171) of Jackson-Milton, and Joe Knopick of Southeast (189) were eighth.
Powell he was impressed by Jameson's state of mind in Columbus.
"It's such a big atmosphere and I've seen a lot of older guys get nerved up," said Powell. "Tony was pretty composed; he approached it as just another tournament."
Powell predicted Jameson would end up on top of the podium after watching him "pretty much hammer everyone" at the prestigious Top Gun Tournament in Alliance in January.
"I told my assistant coach [that weekend] Tony will win," he recalled.
Powell expects Jameson to grow into the 112-pound weight class for next season and be a contender for another state title.
"He goes year-round at [practice]," Powell said. "I watch the kid work like he does and puts in the hours that he does, he's going to get the results."
Gigliotti battled a shoulder injury he suffered in the Eastern Ohio Wrestling League tournament throughout the state tournament, said Powell, and it affected him Saturday night.
"We got him beat was his condition, not his technique," Powell said. "I would like to see him wrestle Schlatter again with both of them healthy. It would be a much closer match."
Gigliotti also has asthma, said Powell, which flared up during the state tournament.