Sunday, March 11, 2018
By ERIC MAUK
An interesting Saturday evening at the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships at the Jerome Schottenstein Center saw a little bit of everything, including a 25-minute delay that forced Canfield junior 220-pounder Tyler Stein to re-work his preparation just minutes before his title match.
On finals night, the OHSAA will wrestle two or three weight classes, then will stop to award the medals to the top-eight finishers in two or three classes.
The break to award medals came just prior to Stein’s championship bout with Maumee’s Brandon Phillips and made him wait an extra 10 minutes.
That’s when things went sideways.
The audio system shut down during the awards, forcing officials to troubleshoot the problem while the wrestlers — and the crowd — waited.
In the ensuing 15-minute break the crowd started a fairly successful wave, shone their cell-phone flashlights like a rock concert had broken out and chanted, “Let them wrestle!” in a scene that harkened back to the second of the “Bad News Bears” movies.
After what became a 25-minute break, the OHSAA resumed wrestling without audio, forcing Stein to alter his routine. Fortunately, the junior showed no ill effects as he earned his first state championship with a 7-3 victory.
“I have a same cycle and routine every time I wrestle and when we had the break, I cooled down,” Stein said. “I had to go warm up again before I went out. It was weird, but it ended up OK.”
That’s a Wrap For Wayt
West Branch’s Christian Wayt finished fourth in the 113-pound Division II bracket, dropping a narrow decision to Beaver Local’s Cole McComas on Friday and then falling 1-0 to Jake Gentry of Hamilton Ross in Saturday’s third-place match.
But the effort he showed in defeat was even more impressive if you were matside, as the junior fought through a badly bloodied nose in both matches. He had to stop twice in Friday’s match and wrestled with cotton plugs stuffed in his nostrils to staunch the blood flow, and the injury returned Saturday.
When two stoppages failed to remedy the problem, Wayt told the trainers to wrap athletic tape all the way around his head, completely covering his nose, so that he could continue.
“My nose got busted up and it just wouldn’t stop bleeding,” Wayt said. “But it’s wrestling and you just have to focus on the match. I thought that wrapping it up might affect my breathing and I was so caught up in a tough ending to the match that it didn’t affect me.”