Colton Doyle is disappointed he didn’t get a chance last season to wrestle in the state tournament.
After qualifying as a sophomore, Doyle came back and earned a spot on the bracket for the OHSAA Division II State Wrestling Championship last season.
The coronavirus pandemic ended that dream for Doyle. But he has made good on his final chance this year as a senior.
His teammate Robby Frederick didn’t get that chance.
Frederick qualified last season but when the tournament was cancelled, Frederick’s season and career ended.
“Whenever I catch myself complaining … state’s not like it usually is or I only get four tickets for my whole family I think of last year and my teammates Robby who was a senior and didn’t get the chance to compete,” Doyle said. “It’s easy with everything going on to complain but I’m extremely thankful to have one last ride to compete and see what happens.”
Doyle will be joined this season by Braden Rolf in the state tournament set for Highland High School in Marengo. Competition begins 4:30 p.m. Saturday for the Falcon duo.
Rolf (30-12), fourth at 145 pounds in the Division II Southwest Regional tournament last weekend at Wilmington, will face Colin Koenig (26-1) of Perry in his opening match. Koenig is projected third place by the wrestling website borofanohio.net.
Doyle (28-4), runnerup at 182 pounds at last week’s regional, will get Brenden Severs (34-3) of Louisville in his first match. Severs is projected to finish sixth by borofanohio.net.
Rolf didn’t wrestle as a freshman or sophomore but came back this season as a junior.
“It took some time to get back in the swing of things again,” he said.
He admit his main sport is football but he’s also an accomplished pole vaulter. Rather than focus on one sport, Rolf chooses to be a well-rounded athlete.
“I feel like everything helps in different ways,” he said. “Wrestling helps football and my tackling. Track helps my speed. Football is my main goal but I like every (sport) and every (sport) works together.”
Rolf said he wrestle to win come Saturday. “You can’t wrestle not to lose,” he added. “This will be a good experience. Next year I can come back and hopefully go further.”
Doyle wrestled at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State campus his sophomore season. This time around, each of the three divisions will be held at a high school facility.
“The stakes are the same but the atmosphere is definitely going to be different,” he said. “State is as much a spectacle as it is a sporting event. This year it will be a similar atmosphere to districts.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports