Canfield going for second in team play
Success in the upperweights have the Cardinals near the top
By ERIC MAUK
A quintet of wrestlers in the upper weight classes have given Canfield a chance to finish as high as second in the Division II Ohio High School Athletic Association state wrestling championships, as they are part of a three-way battle after two days of bouts in Columbus.
Paced by title hopefuls David Crawford (182) and Tyler Stein (220), the Cardinals head into Saturday’s final rounds in third place with 58 points, just one point behind Steubenville and 1.5 points ahead of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.
Sophomores Anthony D’Alesio (170) and Nick Crawford (195) will join their finals-bound teammates to wrestle for points on Saturday as they look to take second behind runaway leaders St. Paris Graham with 199 points.
“Everybody has been going after each other hard in the wrestling room and we are all better because of it,” Stein said after winning his semifinal match. “We work together to make this happen.”
Crawford, who won the 170-pound championship a year ago as a junior takes his role as team leader seriously, and is excited about where his team is headed.
“I know that I’ve taken more responsibility as a leader and our guys have worked really hard,” he said. “I’ve been trying to show all of them what they need to do to get down here (to the state meet) and it is paying off for the program. They deserve it.”
A Standup Title Hopeful
Beaver Local’s 113-pound sophomore Cole McComas doesn’t stand as tall as many wrestlers in the Schottenstein Center this weekend, but once his match starts, he knows that being on his two feet gives him the best chance for victory.
Using strong defense while in the stand-up position, McComas fought off a number of advances from Circleville’s Trey Finnerty before setting him up for a takedown with 25 seconds left to earn a 6-5 win. In his semifinal victory against West Branch’s Christian Wayt, he spent the first two periods on his feet and trailed 2-0 before hitting a reversal with 12 seconds left to send the match into overtime.
The two battled through two scoreless overtime periods before McComas scored another reversal, and fought off a last-second Wayt charge to earn a spot in the final.
“Standup is usually my best position but I fought a couple of really good scramblers today and luckily we work on that a lot in practice,” McComas said. “When it got late in the match, I was confident in what I wanted to do and relied on what we worked on.”
Along with the four locals gunning for the top step of the podium there are a handful of other wrestlers that will have a chance to leave Columbus with OHSAA medals.
Austintown Fitch senior Breylon Douglas (190) beat Mount Vernon’s Ashton Spurgeon 7-4 to keep his tournament alive, while Beaver Local’s Skylar Lasure (132) knocked off Jacson Muldrew from Steubenville 4-3 to earn a Saturday bout.
Warren Howland senior Brandon Matlock dropped a tough 3-2 match to Maumee’s Brandon Phillips after winning his first two matches, but has a shot to finish as high as third in Saturday’s action. Columbiana Crestview senior Andrew Hardenbrook also earned a shot at third place with a late pin of Dayton Christian’s Henry Danishek in the Division III 145-pound bracket.