High School Wrestling: Graham, Mechanicsburg headed back to state

Graham will return to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state duals to defend its title while Mechanicsburg will make its second consecutive appearance after both won regionals Wednesday night.

Graham, which has never lost a match in the state dual format, is the defending Division II champ while Mechanicsburg reached the Division III semifinals in 2015.

The state tournament will be held on Feb. 14 at St. John Arena on the Ohio State University campus.

Mechanicsburg, the top seed in the 24-A regional, made its way back to the state tournament with a convincing 43-19 win over Coldwater, the top seed in 24-B.

“It was competitive in every match and Coldwater wrestled really well,” Doggett said. “The boys wrestled well and pushed on through each match. Our guys are really pushing and are motivated to rise to the occasion. I am really excited for what this team is capable of doing.”

The Indians opened with a 65-12 win over West Jefferson, winning 12 of the 14 matches wrestled in the semis.

“I think making it to the semis and being so close to making the finals really has motivated this group for this year’s journey,” Mechanicsburg coach Cameron Doggett said. “The “family” is giving all they have and improving every day.”

Graham got to stay home throughout Region 14 action and lost just a pair of matches in wins over Wapakoneta and Buckeye Valley.

In it’s four matches in the regional, Graham outscored its opponents 315-13.

“This group is very special,” Graham coach Jeff Jordan said. “They started out slow at ironman, but after that, the team really gelled together and they have been wrestling together as a team, which leads to good performances.

They continue to surprise me. The team always seems to rise to the occasion. That is due in part to their work ethic and drive to win.”

Graham won 13 of the 14 weight classes in the 75-3 win over Wapakoneta.

After scoring a perfect 84 points in the first round of the tournament, the Falcons almost pulled the feat off again in the regional semis.

Graham won the first 13 weight classes by pin against Buckeye.

Championship Saturday: The month of champions gets kicked off this weekend with the conference tournaments.

The Greater Western Ohio Conference will be held Friday and Saturday while the Central Buckeye Conference and Ohio Heritage Conference will hold one day tournaments on Saturday.

The GWOC will begin at 5:30 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Saturday at Trent Arena. The SWBL gets started at 6 p.m. today and continues at 11 a.m. Saturday at Franklin High School.

The CBC starts at 10 a.m Saturday at Kenton Ridge High School and the OHC gets started at 9 a.m. at Triad.

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