COLUMBUS – Blanchester started the 2019 OHSAA State Wrestling Championship with a pair of victories.
Clayton Schirmer a 152 pounds and James Peters at 220 pounds won their opening round matches Thursday afternoon in the Division III tournament at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center. The pair will wrestle again in the championship quarterfinal round which begins 10 a.m. Friday.
Clinton-Massie’s Colton Doyle was decisioned 15-5 by Kenny Bodnar of Steubenville in his first match at state. The sophomore then came back with a loss to Kenny Marra of Beloit West Branch to end his season at 29-10.
Schirmer (51-4 on the year) was a 4-2 winner over Carlton Roberts of Rossford. The two met in the first round last year with Schirmer coming out on top 6-3.
“It was a little different,” said Schirmer, a returning state qualifier. “But pretty much the same deal (as last year).”
The match was scoreless after the first period but Schirmer scored a quick reversal to start the second period.
“A couple of things weren’t working for me,” Schirmer admitted of the slow start. “The reversal got me feeling a little bit better.”
In the third, the lanky BHS senior went up 4-0 and knew the match was his as long as he “wrestled smart the rest of the way.”
He gave up a reversal but held on for the 4-2 win.
Peters (47-3) was making his first appearance at the state tournament but was in control the entire match.
“First match done with and out of the way,” said Peters, a junior. “Good warmup match to see what’s to come.”
Peters went up 2-0 with a takedown in the first then Noah Huffman of Garrettsville Garfield ties things with escapes in the first and second periods.
To start the third, Peters scored on an escape then recorded a takedown at the 1:14 mark to go up 5-2. Peters gave up two escapes later but sandwiched in between another takedown for the three-point win.
“It’s only going to get harder from here,” said Peters. “I have to step up my game.”
• FRIENDLY RIVALS: The Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference had seven wrestlers competing in Columbus Thursday. The wrestlers were from Blancheser (2), Clinton-Massie (1), Bethel-Tate (1), Clermont Northeastern (1), Batavia (1) and Western Brown (1).
• Always good to look through the OHSAA program and see Blanchester graduate Jake Howe and Clinton-Massie grad Corby Running as winners of two state championships. Both won their crowns during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
• Max and Olivia Shore of Miami East High School are unique. They are the first brother-sister combination to qualify for the state tournament in the same season. Olivia is just the second female to qualify for the individual state wrestling tournament.
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email email@example.com or on Twitter @wnjsports