COLUMBUS — Wilmington wrapped up its historic wrestling season Sunday at the OHSAA Division II State Wrestling Championship tournament at the Schottenstein Center.
Wilmington sent a school record four athletes to the tournament and three of them reached the podium, signifying at least a top eight finish in their respective weight classes.
Thane McCoy finished sixth at 138 pounds, Thad Stuckey fourth at 165 pounds and Brett Brooks eighth at 285 pounds.
Stuckey and McCoy were named All-Ohio based on their finish.
Brooks earns the top eight finish in just his second year of wrestling. For Stuckey and McCoy, the juniors will have something to build on going in to their senior season.
“I thought Stuckey and McCoy could get here,” Tolliver said. “But you just don’t know, anything can happen when you get up here.”
“What a season of breaking records,” Wilmington coach Kelly Tolliver said. “We got one after another… break a record, break another record. Just wow.”
Stuckey was the lone county wrestler to win his first match. He had several thrilling matches. The first was a 10-9 win over Steven Duffy of Woodridge. In the final seconds, Stuckey had a one point lead and earned two nearfall points. However, the official wasn’t clear on the scoring and Duffy immediately scored on a reversal, seemingly beating Stuckey in the last seconds.
But the nearfall was credited to Stuckey for a three-point lead and, ultimately, a one-point win.
In his next match with Max Ray of Tiffin Columbian, Stuckey scored a sudden victory pin in just 10 seconds.
“I expected to be a state qualifier but didn’t expect to do this good at state,” he said.
With a 4-2 record in Columbus, Stuckey learned plenty about himself as a wrestler.
“He likes to fight,” Stuckey said. “He doesn’t like to lose.”
McCoy finished the year with a 40-10 record. Stuckey was 46-10 and Brooks was 40-11.
McCoy wrestled six matches, all of which went the distance. He lost 6-5, won 6-4, 5-4, 4-3, then lost 10-6 and lost 7-5.
“Close matches used to scare me early on but now I’ve had so many I feel comfortable with them,” McCoy said.
With the sixth-place finish, McCoy is ready to build upon his season.
“I’m happy with it,” he said. “I’ve been in every match. I can wrestle with the best of the best.”
Brooks dropped his final two matches, finishing eighth in the state in just his second season of wrestler.
“It’s all right,” he said. “It could have been better. Losing is part of every sport, you just have to accept it.”
Brooks will be the ultimate what if story for WHS wrestling. He played basketball most of his youth and only started wrestling his junior season. He qualified for state both years.
Despite a short wrestling career, Brooks set an example for others to follow.
Tolliver said the successful season only raises the bar for future WHS wrestlers.
“We want a freshman state qualifier … never had that,” he said. “We want taking four, five, six to state in a year, we should be expecting that, not surprised by it.
“We have kids here (at state) who aren’t wrestling in it. We have parents here who don’t have kids wrestling in it.”
The foundation, with McCoy, Stuckey and fellow state qualifying junior Carson Hibbs returning, is solid.
“Just the talent coming back to the (practice) room, pushing each other,” Tolliver said. “We have strong wrestlers as the junior high and youth programs feeding us.”
March 11-12-13, 2022
OHSAA D2 State Wrestling Championship
@Schottenstein Center, OSU
• Carson Hibbs was pinned by Donovan Paes (Streetsboro) 5:43 was de by Zane Van Voorhis (Copley) 7-2. Did not place.
• Thane McCoy was dec by Egidio DiFazio (Dover) 6-5; dec Kyle Bizjak (Aurora) 6-4; dec Mark Emmerling (Beaver) 5-4; dec Dylan Strouse (West Holmes) 4-3; was dec by Tristin Greene (Keystone) 10-6; was dec by Grime (Wauseon) 7-5. Finished fifth.
• Thad Stuckey dec Remmington Myers (Indian Valley) 8-5; was tech fall by Max Kirby (Fairless) 18-0; dec Nick Chaddock (Minerva) 8-5; dec Steven Duffy (Woodridge) 10-9; pinned Max Ray (Columbian) 5:10; was dec by Dylan Newsome (Hartley) 19-6. Finished fourth.
• Zane Panetta was dec by Kylan Knapp (Miami Trace) 6-0; was dec by Brady Welch (Ashland) 6-1. Did not place.
• Brett Brooks was pinned by Cameron Brazek (Louisville) 1:49; dec Cael Rostorfer (Wapakoneta) 9-3; dec Peyton Tuttle (Steubenville) 5-1 TB; was pinned by Gage Gibson (Howland) 1:56; was pinned by Todd Allen (Buckeye) 2:00. Finished eighth.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports