Bellbrook’s Cameron Kelly and Graham’s Eli Seipel will meet for the third straight week tonight at the state wrestling tournament at the Schottenstein Center.
Only this time, it is a state championship at 113 both will be chasing.
Seipel won the first two meetings, including a 4-2 decision last week in the district final.
“I have wrestled at (Jeff) Jordan’s my whole life, so they have been able to scout me out pretty good,” said Kelly, the defending state champ. “Jeff knows everything I do, so I have to change it up a little bit and wrestle a smart, solid match.”
Long time coming: For the first time since 1999, Catholic Central and Trotwood will have state placers heading back from Columbus.
Catholic Central’s Anthony DeCarlo took the long way to the awards stand, losing his first match before running off two straight wins to guarantee a top-eight finish.
Eric Wagner was the last Irish to place, finishing fourth at 171 in 1999.
Trotwood will have its first placer since Vincent Gay claimed the 171 title in 1999. Anthony Grayson breaks the 14-year streak after rebounding from a first-round loss at 182 in D-II. Grayson recorded back-to-back consolation wins to secure a medal.
It’s only been four years since West Liberty-Salem had a state placer, but the streak ended Friday afternoon when freshman Trevor Anderson earned a spot on the podium at 126 in D-III.
Barn burner: The Division III team race is living up to its billing as being a nail-biter.
Four Dayton-area teams were locked within 30.5 points of each other through the 182-pound weight class in the championship semifinals.
Troy Christian was in first with 76.5, followed by Delta (63.5), Dayton Christian (63) and Greeneview (46).
“I love the excitement,” Troy Christian coach Ty Morgan said. “When things are neck and neck, it makes it more exciting.”
Olympic outcry: Olympic wrestler and four-time high school state champion Justin Lester, an Akron native, was introduced to the Schottenstein Center crowd Friday night ahead of an open letter being read over the public-address system regarding the recent decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics.
The letter began, “Dear wrestling fans. We want to bring to your attention the great travesty that has happened to our sport. The executive committee of the (International Olympic Committee) has recommended that wrestling be removed from the Olympic Games. We need the people in Ohio to come together and support our great sport.”
Following a loud chorus of boos, fans were directed to the Website keepwrestlingintheolympics.com to sign a petition and donate money.
Coaches honored: The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association honored the coaches of the year prior to Friday night’s semifinals. They are Oregon Clay’s Ralph Cubberly (Division I), Steubenville’s Michael Blackburn (D-II) and Applecreek Waynedale’s Louis Stanley (D-III).
Up next: Wrestling concludes today with the consolation semifinals at 10 a.m., followed by the third-, fifth- and seventh-place matches. The Parade of Champions that kicks off the championship finals starts at 5:30 p.m.
Jay Morrison contributed to this report.