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Wrestling teams gear up for second round of state duals

The high school wrestling rivalry between Fairmont and Centerville has always had interesting twists and subplots.

The dual, usually contested in front of a near-capacity crowd, is filled with strategical bumps in weights and upsets. Then there are the off-the-mat jabs that add fuel to the fire.

“Crazy stuff seems to happen in this dual,” Fairmont coach Frank Baxter said.

More than bragging rights could be on the line at Trent Arena tonight when the two could meet with a spot in the OHSAA state team tournament regional finals on the line.

“We have to get by Miamisburg and they have to get by Butler first,” Baxter said of the first round of match-ups. “Centerville has been number one (in the area) all year; they’re the best in the area, but if we get by them we are not going to lay down. They are going to find 13 kids from Fairmont that are going to get after it.”

Centerville, as the top seed, could have hosted but turned it down so the Elks girls basketball team could host Wayne.

“This is the first year for the state team tournament and our girls league schedule is done two years in advance,” Centerville athletic director Rob Dement said. “I certainly am not going to move our girls basketball team.”

Fairmont was in the same situation last week when the girls basketball team hosted Centerville on the same night the Firebirds were hosting the first two rounds of the state team tournament.

“We made adjustments here,” Baxter said.

Centerville is one of three top seeds not hosting this round. Fairfield, also a top seed, is holding the state team tournament at its middle school while the girls basketball team hosts Oak Hills at the high school.

Ross will welcome in Monroe for the first match.

“We are happy about being at home, hopefully it bodes well for us,” Ross coach Rich Dunn said.

Mechanicsburg will be at Versailles tonight as a Division III three seed.

“Our goal all along has been to win our region,” Mechanicsburg coach Brady Hiatt said. “The starting lineup I had envisioned at the beginning of the year we still haven’t had for a variety of reasons, so we will see how it goes.”

Franklin will also be on the road. The fourth-seeded Wildcats will square off against host Miami Trace in the first match.

“We are trying not to focus on the seed, we are just going out and wrestling the guy in front of us,” Franklin coach Jon Berry said. “From day one, our goal has been to make it to the last day of the tournament.”

The winners from each of the 48 sites advance to next week’s regional finals.

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