Wrestling returns to Covelli Centre
IF YOU GO
Grade school wrestling state championships
Weigh-ins: Start at 6:30 p.m. on Friday
Competition: Starts on Saturday at 8 a.m. Continues on Sunday at 8 a.m.
Admission: $15 per person. Go to wrestling.ohioathletics.com, or call 419-515-5325. Doors will open 75 minutes before the start of the event each day.
By Greg Gulas
Covelli Centre executive director Eric Ryan expects another full house for this weekend’s Grade School state wrestling tournament.
Last weekend the junior high state tournament attracted an estimated 8,000 in attendance on Saturday and Sunday.
“Last week was a major success,” said Ryan. “From concessions to parking to the many area establishments, it was a great first time out of the gate for this type of program.
“We now hope to duplicate, if not exceed those numbers of a week ago,” he said.
The championships on Saturday and Sunday will feature grades Kindergarten thru 6 with the Division IV (5th and 6th graders) wrestlers taking center stage.
On Saturday evening, 41 champions will then be decided.
“The talent at the grade school level has vastly improved over the last several years,” Jared Opfer, Ohio Athletic Committee business development director stated.
The 110, 70 and 65-pound weight classes will be featured events.
The 110-pound class returns 2010 state champions Kaden Russell of Akron and Stephen Deluse of Lancaster, as well as returning state runner-up Marcus Williamson of Westerville.
In the 70-pound class, returning state champions Quade Rasmussen of Aurora and Jaden Mattox of Columbus are back along with last year’s state runner-up, Mitch Moore of Urbana.
The 65-pound class welcomes back returning champion Jordan Crace, also of Urbana and the two runners-up from last year; Brandon Lucas of Cincinnati and Dylan Demillio of Genoa.
Prior to Saturday’s finals, a special presentation for the 2011 scholarships recipients will take place.
To be honored with $1,000 scholarships by the O.A.C. when they are ready to further their education will be Mitchell Gross of Norwalk, Angelo Calderon of Sandusky, Dom Barlow of Heath, Zach Walker of Napoleon and Lucas Cummins of Cardington.
Last weekend 18 state champions were crowned. Austin Myers (209) of the Elder Kids Club was awarded the tourney’s Most Valuable Wrestler Award as he captured his second state title.
With his title in the 96-pound class, Matthew Kolodzik of Miami Valley joined an elite group of three-time state champions.
Previous three-time winners include Logan Stieber of Monroeville and David Taylor of St. Paris Graham High, both of whom are four-time high school state champions, and junior Felipe Martinez of Genoa, who will go after his fourth title next year.
Stieber currently wrestles for Ohio State while Taylor wrestles at Penn State.