Mechanicsburg looks to turn the page after state dual disappointment

Mechanicsburg’s Tyler Wetzel looks to turn Edison’s Trent Warner during his 18-6 win at 126 during the semifinals of the OHSAA state team tournament Sunday at St. John Arena. John Cummings/Contributed photo
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Mechanicsburg’s Tyler Wetzel looks to turn Edison’s Trent Warner during his 18-6 win at 126 during the semifinals of the OHSAA state team tournament Sunday at St. John Arena. John Cummings/Contributed photo

It has been a long week for the Mechanicsburg High School wrestling team.

The top-ranked Division III team in the state left the Ohio High School Athletic Association state team tournament a round – and two wins – earlier than planned on after getting knocked off by eventual champ Edison 32-31 in the semifinals.

“The kids are anxious to be in the mat,” Mechanicsburg coach Cameron Doggett said. “They have a bitter taste in their mouths and are working hard to make a run at the end of the season.”

The Indians get the chance beginning Saturday when they host the nine-team Ohio Heritage Conference tournament.

“I think the team learned that anyone can be beaten on any given day and that they have to continually work hard to achieve their goals,” Doggett said. “I am looking forward to them realizing their goals and achieving greatness. Every kid has their individual goals as well as team goals, so we are focusing on achieving them.”

Graham heads to Northwestern on Saturday looking to keep their roll going at the Central Buckeye Conference tournament.

The transition is a perfect one for the Falcons.

From the team aspect of the dual-meet tournament to the individualized focus of the month of champions starting with the CBC. Advance as an individual, and the team benefits.

“Coming off winning the state duals and rolling into CBC tournament is nice because we start to get into the individual competition,” Graham coach Jeff Jordan said. “From here on out each individual wrestler has to wrestle to the best of their ability to make it to the next week. This is good for my wrestlers because they train for this all season.”

The Falcons made it through the state team tournament while battling some injuries, but Jordan looks to put his first team on the mat for the first time this weekend when Rocky Jordan returns from the injured list.

Returning state champ Mitch Moore returned last week, cruising to three wins.

“It will be nice having our entire lineup competing this weekend,” Jordan said. “ … Our guys are looking forward to the whole team getting to wrestle together.”

While the Falcons are finally getting healthy, Tecumseh is still battling a lot of adversity.

“It’s been a tough season,” Tecumseh coach Scott Herbert said. “Being as young as we are, dealing with the loss of Caleb (Young), and multiple illnesses and injuries have has been a struggle. But he kids that have stuck it out have really improved. That was kind of a goal this year, for me at least. We’ll see how they respond in the postseason.

“At full strength, I think we could have made a run for our division. Unfortunately we are not. Some of our young kids have been wrestling well lately so they may surprise some people.”

On top of battling to get better, Tecumseh – and the rest of the CBC – has to also deal with Graham.

“We know what to expect. Obviously wrestling one of the premier programs in the country gives little room for error,” Herbert said. “We tell the kids to wrestle like they would any other match, but obviously the kids they have are often times on another level.”

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