Springfield High School junior Joe Cochran has a simple plan when he heads into a wrestling tournament:
Focus on himself.
“I can plan out the tournament based on what I want to do,” Cochran said. “If I wanted, I could nitpick every guy, but I am going out with my own plan.”
Saturday night at Butler High School, that plan led to a second Greater Western Ohio Conference title for Cochran.
The top-seeded Wildcat ran up a 16-7 lead over Sidney’s Javon Purk in the 195-pound match before recording the fall at the 5:33 mark.
“It feels like — I haven’t really thought about what it feels like,” Cochran said of winning his second title. “I can tell you the atmosphere is different this year.”
Cochran dominated most of the match with Purk but hit a lull early in the third period when Purk recorded a takedown that cut the deficit to 13-7.
“I was mad about it, but I knew I just had to get out and make up for it,” Cochran said. “You can’t hang on one little mistake in a match.”
Cochran was one of three Wildcats to place and one of two to go after a GWOC title.
Jacob Yost entered the tournament as the fourth seed at 170 but marched to the finals after knocking off top seeded Sebastian Beachler of Miamisburg in the semifinals.
Yost trailed 3-2 late in the match but recorded a takedown and backpoints in the final 10 seconds to claim a 6-3 win.
“That was definitely one of the most exciting matches today,” Yost said. “It would have been better if it would have worked out the same way in the finals.”
Yost trailed 4-2 late in the finals against Butler’s Jansen Love but got caught while trying to record the tying takedown and put on his back in a 9-2 loss.
“I couldn’t get a shot in,” Yost said. “The semis I could get a shot in, the finals I didn’t.
“I knew I’d make it to the finals. I wanted to execute better in the finals, but it just didn’t happen.”
Yost knocked off the top seed and fell to the third seed in the finals.
“From the beginning, I thought the seeds were a little bit reversed,” Yost said. “But I’m used to being seeded lower than I should be.”
Ryan Crawford finished fifth for Springfield at 152 as the Wildcats finished 12th overall and fourth in the East with 59 points.
“We fell off a little bit from last year,” Cochran said. “But we are rebuilding the program. I think if kids see us placing in the GWOC maybe they’ll want to come out and be a part of the team.”
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