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Fairmont’s Plumlee focuses on advancing to state

Most people attending their first wrestling match notice Fairmont High School 182 pound senior Drew Plumlee right away.

Due to a retinal disease that was diagnosed in kindergarten, Plumlee is visually impaired. His matches start with the wrestlers touching hands; any break of contact and the match stops and restarts with hands touching again.

“At times, it has been a little frustrating,” Plumlee said as he takes a 22-15 record into the Division I district today at Fairfield. “I always thought about driving and that is not going to happen. It was tough at first, but now I have accepted it and it is not a big deal anymore. I have learned how to deal with it.”

Plumlee didn’t use the touch start as a freshman and went 6-12 on junior varsity. It was coach Frank Baxter who encouraged him to try the sports because of his disability.

“Our coaching staff is one of the best,” he saide. “They don’t give me special treatment and that has helped me with my confidence.”

Plumlee was second at the sectional.

Tough stuff: The Fairmont D-III district is daunting, featuring state-ranked teams in Troy Christian, Dayton Christian, Dixie, Carlisle, Mechanicsburg and Greeneview. The district features 72 state-ranked wrestlers, including 28 former placers.

Each of the favorites has some heavy hitters ranked among the top eight in their weight class: Dayton Christian’s Hunter Bray (106), Christian Clary (113) and Jacob Danishek (145) are all ranked in the top eight. So are are Troy Christan’s Jarrod Ganger (113), Garrett Hancock (120), Jordan Marshall (152) and BJ Toal (182).

Greeneview has Mason Gallagher (113), Logan LaCure (120), Andrew Hoskins (126) and Armani Robinson (182). Mechanicsburg counters with Joe Ziegler (132), Austin Reese (138) and Max Erwin (160).

Dixie’s Corey Hawk (138) and Matt Buxton (145) and Carlisle brothers Jason (132) and Jimmy (160) Sandlin are also among the top eight.

Miami East’s Allen Seagraves (120), Covington’s Ryan Ford (126), Kyler Deeter (160) and Brian Olson (195), Coldwater’s Justin Post (220) are also ranked in the top eight in their weight class.

Right time: Hamilton’s Daniel Rameriz and Daquawan Mitchell both picked the right time to get hot.

Rameriz entered the sectional at 18-17, but takes a 20-18 record into the district at 126 after beating the second and third seeds and placing second.

Mitchell was 14-15 at 160. He opened the sectional with a 11-2 defeat of third-seeded David Wise before beating Wise again in the go-to match 6-2 to enter the district at 18-16.

That’s the one: Franklin 285 Chase Henderson had been looking for a signature win, and he got it in the finals of the D-II Tipp City sectional. He recorded a takedown in overtime to hand Ben Logan’s Beau Harmon his first loss.

“I have beat several kids that are supposed to be good, but Beau was the first one in the top five of the state,” Henderson said. “That is the signature win I have been working for all year.”

All in the family: Graham’s Nate Henkle had to injury default in the 138 final of the D-II Milton-Union sectional. If he can’t go in the district, the alternate is Northwestern’s Conner Rogers.

If Rogers gets in, he will join his brothers Devin (120) and Brandon (182). Devin and Conner are sophomores while Brandon is a senior.

On the line: The top four in each weight class at the districts advance to state next week at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

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