Top-ranked Stein among six Division II state qualifiers for Cardinals
By Brian Dzenis
Tyler Stein still has to win one more tournament to defend his state title and status as the best 220-pounder in Ohio, but it appears he can handle any challenge the state’s next-best wrestler can throw at him.
In Saturday’s marquee bout of the Division II district wrestling tournament in Alliance, the Canfield senior beat No. 2-ranked Blake Robbins of Louisville, 2-1, for the third time this season for a district title. Stein has beaten Robbins four times in their prep careers.
“I’ve wrestled him a few times, but it’s always different. We both have been making adjustments,” Stein said. “I know how he is. He knows how I am and it’s tough because he’s a great competitor. If me and him are blessed enough to [get to the state final], I’d like it. He’s a cool kid.”
The pair were scoreless heading into the third period when Stein hit a reversal from bottom for the deciding two points.
“In the second period, I didn’t know if I wanted to ride him and use all that energy but [coach Stephen Pitts] said, ‘Ride him,’ ” Stein said. “So I rode him and fortunately, when I stood up, he grabbed my leg and I saw an opportunity to spin behind him.”
Stein was one of Canfield’s three district champs for the most by one school in the Mahoning Valley this season. Anthony D’Alesio (182) pinned all but one of his opponents en route to the title and Nick Crawford (195) also advanced as a district champ. Canfield is sending six wrestlers to Columbus, two short of Beaver Local for having the most state qualifiers in the Valley.
Illness and a long postseason on the football field have shortened Jack DelGarbino’s season, but the Girard heavyweight remains undefeated. He pinned Akron St. Vincent-Saint Mary’s David Hooks to be 24-0 as he tries to repeat as a state champion.
“I missed a lot of tournaments, but I still felt like I was working hard enough to get to the state tournament,” DelGarbino said. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised [I’m still undefeated]. I worked really hard in practice to make sure I was ready for all this.”
West Branch’s Christian Wayt (120) was on the wrong end of an upset because of a stalling call on Saturday. The No. 1-ranked Wayt lost 2-1 to Louisville’s Garrett Lautzenheiser.
Lautzenheiser is no slouch as he’s ranked No. 3 in the state, but the bout between the two featured little action. Wayt collected a point when Lautzenheiser let him stand up from the down position in the second period and was called for stalling twice in the third period — with the final call coming at the end of the bout.
West Branch coach Chris Dorris exchanged words with officials, but his protest was unsuccessful.
“[The official said] Christian made no attempt to circle in. I get the rule, but at no point did Garrett Lautzenheiser ever take a shot,” Dorris said. “There was no aggression, all he did was push Christian off the mat. He attempted to circle in at times and the official has to understand the distinction between a push and a shot of aggression.
“The Louisville kid did exactly what he needed to do and we didn’t. When the ref interjects himself in a match like that — especially that caliber of a match — that shouldn’t happen.”
ACROSS THE AREA
Liberty’s 17-year state tournament drought is over.
Leopards senior Zion Matlock (160) took fourth place at Garfield Heights to become his school’s first state qualifier since 2001.
In that same tournament, South Range did the best among D-III area teams by sending three wrestlers to Columbus. The Raiders’ Anthony Czap (220) was the lone D-III district champion from the Valley, but teammates Michael Markulin (120) and Kyle Keenan (126) will join him in Columbus.
Columbiana’s Brandt Virden (113) and Nathan Whitehead (195) and Crestview’s Trey Wonner (132) also qualified for state
At the D-I tournament at North Canton Hoover, Boardman’s Michael O’Horo (170) made state for the first time in his senior season, advancing as district finalist. The Spartan with a football scholarship failed to make state last year after missing weight in his junior season. As a sophomore, he had to have his appendix removed.
In Heath, the other D-II district tournament, East Liverpool’s Sylor Wooley finished as a district runner-up. Among Beaver Local’s eight qualifiers, Logan Ours (120) was the only one to make state as a district champ.