Wilmington wrestlers Carson Hibbs and Brett Brooks couldn’t be more different.
Hibbs is a 120-pounder. Brooks wrestles at 285.
Brooks started wrestling this season. Hibbs started when he was 4 years old.
Regardless of their differences, the two will end their season at the same place, the OHSAA Division II State Wrestling Championship tournament. With the state tournament being held at three different facilities based on division, the Division II wrestlers will compete at Marengo Highland High School, north of Columbus.
With the sessions splits in to two time frames by weight class, Hibbs and wrestlers from 106 to 145 will begin competition 10 a.m. Saturday.
Brooks and wrestlers from 152 pounds to 285 pounds will have their session begin at 4:30 p.m.
Hibbs (34-7) was runnerup at 120 pounds at the Division II Southwest District tournament last weekend at WHS. He’ll face Levi Pidgeon (28-8), a freshman from Carrollton, in his opening match.
Brooks (20-11) was fourth at 285 pounds at last week’s district tournament. He meets Todd Allen (45-1) of Buckeye in the opener Saturday. Allen is projected to finish third at 285 by the wrestling website borofanohio.net.
Hibbs made the state junior high school tournament as an eighth grader. His goal was to make state in high school and compete at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State campus.
“I was looking forward to that,” he said.
Despite the location, Hibbs was “super excited” to earn a berth to the state tournament when he pinned Owen Eagan of Columbus St. Francis DeSales in 4:57 in the semifinal round last weekend. Hibbs then lost a 19-10 slugfest to Batavia’s Brandon Sauter in the 120-pound district title match.
Hibbs said he feels the mental part of wrestling is his strength. “I just feel like I can dictate the match and keep it at my pace,” he said. “I like a slower pace. I try to bring them down to my tempo and be the one to apply the pressure.”
Brooks is still trying to figure all that out. A long-time basketball player in the winter, Brooks decided to wrestle this year.
“My coaches said it would help me for football,” he said. “I just wanted to do my best and see how far I get.”
But, he nearly hung up his singlet mid-season.
“I thought about quitting after the Bellbrook Invitational after getting beat two times in a row,” he said.
He reconsidered and continue his run for a state berth.
“I can’t say (state) wasn’t a possibility,” he admits. “I was always thinking it could be but wasn’t thinking it would be this year.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports