Daniel Beemer – 182lbs STATE CHAMPION

COLUMBUS — It’s been a long year for Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer.

Last year, Beemer seemed to be well on his way for a shot at a state title until he suffered his first loss of the season, in the Division III semifinals of the 195-pound weight class at the OHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Ohio State.

Beemer went on to finish fourth. The year before, Beemer placed fifth at 182.

Since then, Beemer has been on a mission his senior season, steamrolling through the competition in the 182-pound weight class.

Saturday’s championship match against two-time state-placer Sam Stoll from Milan Edison, was Beemer’s last chance for redemption. Stoll, a senior, came into Saturday’s title match, 55-3.

Now, the wait is finally over for Beemer.

Beemer came out as the aggressor in Saturday night’s championship match, took control and defeated Stoll, 9-4. With the win, Beemer (41-0) becomes the first Ottawa-Glandorf wrestler to win a state title.

This also marks the first time in school history that O-G has put two athletes on the awards podium. Teammate Danny Rosales finished seventh Saturday at 170.

“It’s so surreal right now,” an elated Beemer said afterward. “I have visualized it thousands of times. That’s the only thing that has crossed my mind, before I go to bed and before I wake up. This has been a lifelong goal of mine, standing on top of the podium. I just can’t believe it right now. It’s crazy.”

In his finals match, Beemer put continual pressure on the taller Stoll, and was very successful in defending any shots taken by him.

“I knew, coming into the match he was an athletic, strong kid – I think he was like the D-V football player of the year,” Beemer said. “So, it definitely shows the athlete that kid is. For me to go in there and stop his go-to move, which is a high-crotch move, was huge. I wanted to keep pushing the pace, beating on his head and I tried swarming him the entire match. I didn’t want to give him any space to work with. I didn’t want to let him breathe that entire match.”

Beemer’s path to the state title started Thursday, when he defeated Orrville’s Cameron VanBrunt by tech fall in the opening round, 16-1.

Then on Friday in his quarterfinal, Beemer pinned Patrick Henry’s Wil Morrow in the first period.

Saturday’s semifinal match for Beemer was a grinder, as Beemer came away with a hard-fought 5-4 victory over Apple Creek Waynedale’s Logan Stanley.

“Coming into my freshman year, this was my obvious goal,” Beemer said. “But for me to finally accomplish it and bring down some teammates this year and the last two years – this year, Grant (Goecke, 160) and Danny (Rosales, 170) – and watching those guys strive and succeed, has really been extra motivation for me and for them.

“For all those hundreds of hours of dedication, hard work, blood, sweat and tears – it’s so special for it to finally pay off.”

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Beemer finally realizes dream with wrestling championship


Beemer Advances to the Finals!

COLUMBUS — It’s been a long 12 months for Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer.

After losing in the semifinal at last year’s wrestling state tournament in the 195-pound weight class in Division III, Beemer’s hopes of a state title were abruptly halted.

Ever since then, that night has haunted him.

Beemer redeemed himself Friday when he won his semifinal match against Waynedale’s Logan Stanley, 5-4 and will now advance to tonight’s Division III, 182-pound championship match, where he will meet Milan Edison’s Sam Stoll (55-3) in the finals.

O-G coach Randy Ebbeskotte remembers last year’s loss, just like it was yesterday.

“That loss was tough and the talk was even tougher in the hotel after that,” Ebbeskotte said. “But, he came back and battled hard and it’s been his focus, not for just this past year, but ever since he was a fifth-grader and started wrestling.”

Last year, Beemer finished fourth at 195. The year before, as a sophomore, he finished fifth at 182.

Beemer (40-0) said he’s learned to not take anything for granted since last year’s loss in the semifinals.

“I don’t take it for granted, especially since my dad was in the hospital this week. He’s here now, actually. I love him for everything he’s done for me,” an emotional Beemer said.

Bluffton’s Deandre Nassar (Div. III, 195) made it to the state tournament last season, but fell short of his goal of getting on the podium.

This weekend at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center, Nassar has a shot to finish as high as third.

Nassar lost a hard-fought semifinal match Friday to Bloomdale Elmwood’s Dylan Hinton, 5-4.

“I handled it pretty well, up until towards the end,” Nassar said about Hinton’s physicality. “I got my tooth knocked out and everything. I thought I was going to be able to come back and win it. So, I just have to fight back through the consolations now.”

Lima Central Catholic junior Joey Caprella (Division III, 145) suffered his first loss of the season – and it could not have come at a worse time.

Caprella lost to Archbold’s Gavin Grime in his semifinal bout Friday night, 8-4.

Caprella opened the day with a win over Crestview’s Andrew Hardenbrook in a quarterfinal match, 5-2.

Caprella (42-1) can still finish as high as third place in the tournament.

Russell makes school history

The last time Lima Senior had a state-placer was 1988. His name was Mike Hunter.

The drought is finally over.

After winning his first-round match Thursday, Lima Senior junior Naeem Russell (Division I, 152) faced three-time state champion David Carr from Massillon Perry in his quarterfinal Friday morning.

Carr was in control throughout the match, en route to a 17-2 tech-fall win.

“That match showed me how much I have to work to get to that point,” Russell said after his match with Carr. “I think I could have done better. I just need to work harder.”

However, Russell bounced back with a hard-fought victory Friday afternoon over Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit’s Will Schmidt, 4-2, that guaranteed a spot on the awards podium.

“It feels good, but I still have a few more matches left,” Russell said, following his win over Schmidt. “I want to get higher (on the podium).”

Russell said he was being cautious in the waning moments of his consolation match.

“Originally, I wanted to go neutral,” Russell said. “I was scared that I would get caught in a scramble. But I stayed under control and rode him out.”

Russell went on to win his consolation match and will wre

stle back today, where he is guaranteed a place on the podium.

Kaeck nabs a spot on podium

Wapakoneta sophomore Evan Kaeck assured himself at least a top-eight finish Friday afternoon, when he defeated Cuyahoga Falls CVCA’s Breslin Walker in a consolation match, 2-1. Kaeck went on to win in another consolation against Upper Sandusky’s Connor Johnston, 12-8.

“I wrestled this kid (Walker) earlier in the year and lost by one,” Kaeck said. “I kind of knew what he was going to do.”

Sumner will be a three-time placer

Ada senior Chase Sumner (Div. III, 145) assured himself a spot on the podium Friday. He will be competing in the seventh and eighth-place match today.

Other area wrestlers

After winning his first-round match Thursday, Allen East freshman Drake Carmean (Div. III, 120) went 0-2 Friday and was knocked out of the tournament. Teammate Garrett Neth (182) also bowed out Friday.

O-G’s Danny Rosales (170) had a rough start Friday in his quarterfinal bout with Ashtabula St. John’s Jacob Lagoa.

Lagoa, last year’s Division III state champion at 152, pinned Rosales in 29 seconds.

However, Rosales bounced back in the consolations and defeated Troy Christian’s Craig Montgomery, 3-1, to stay alive in the tournament, as well as assuring a place on the podium.

This marks the first time ever in school history that O-G has notched two state-placers.

Shawnee’s heavyweight Bobby Grotjahn will be competing in the seventh and eighth-place match today.

Indian Lake’s Cole Mefford (220) and Connor Dixon (182) are still competing and will be on the podium tonight.

Bath senior Collin Mell (Div. II, 145) ended his high school career Friday, when he went 0-2 and bowed out of the tournament.

Mell took on three-time state champion Mitch Moore from St. Paris Graham in his quarterfinal Friday morning. Moore pinned Mell early in the second period.

Mell (39-5) then lost a hard-fought overtime thriller to Lisbon Beaver’s Beau Smith, 2-1.

Other area wrestlers who were eliminated from the state tournament Friday included Coldwater’s Thomas Schwieterman (Div. III, 285), Columbus Grove’s Jeff Meyer (Div. III, 285), Indian Lake’s Dylan Knotts (Div. III, 160), Paulding’s Logan Mudle (Div. III, 132), and Van Wert’s Gabe Steyer (Div. II, 132).

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Beemer getting redemption at state wrestling tournament



Caprella & Russell Finish 5th

COLUMBUS — If a wrestler survives until the third and final day of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Wrestling State Tournament at Ohio State’s Jerome Schottenstein Center, they earn a spot on the awards podium with at least a top-eight finish in their respective weight class.

Bluffton’s Deandre Nassar (Division III, 195 pounds) competed at the state tournament last year as a sophomore, but did not make it to the third day.

This year produced a much different result.

Coming into this weekend’s state tournament, Nassar had suffered just one loss.

After a tough state semifinal loss Friday to Bloomdale Elmwood’s Dylan Hinton, 5-4, Nassar (41-3) wrestled back Saturday for a fourth-place finish.

However, Nassar’s path was not an easy one.

Sullivan Black River’s Jacob Campbell gave Nassar everything he could handle in Saturday’s consolation semifinal, before Nassar slipped out with a thrilling 3-2 ultimate-tiebreaker overtime victory.

“It was do-or-die time,” Nassar said about his match with Campbell. “I just left it all out on the mat.”

Then in Saturday’s third-place match, Dalton Hoover from Martins Ferry, recorded a 6-1 win over Nassar, handing the Bluffton junior a fourth-place finish. Hoover was a two-time state-placer, coming into this year’s tournament.

“I wanted to be a top five (finisher at state) this year,” Nassar said. “I figured I could get to the finals, looking back, but I lost that. So, fourth is not bad. I could have done better. I wanted to do better, but it happened.”

Added longtime Bluffton coach Jeff Kleman, “He made some adjustments from last year to this year. He’s been wrestling so much better, and with a lot of confidence. He’s looking good. He just needs to clean up a couple things for next year and he’ll be back on that podium again, no doubt.”

Russell notches 5th place

Lima Senior junior Naeem Russell (Div. I, 152) started Saturday with a 19-4 loss against Lakewood St. Edward’s Padraic Gallagher in a consolation semifinal.

Russell then went on to wrestle in the fifth-place match, where he defeated Centerville’s Drew Weichers, 10-6.

Russell (43-5) is the first state-placer from Lima Senior since 1988.

“It was amazing,” Russell said. “I worked hard, just to get here. At first, I didn’t think I could hang with some of these top kids from around the state. But, now I know I can hang with them. … (Getting) fifth place – I’m pretty happy with that.”

Last year, Russell suffered a season-ending knee injury midway through the campaign.

“We’ve been talking about it (getting to the state tournament) since his freshman year,” Lima Senior coach P.J. Fought said. “His junior year, we wanted to be on the podium. That was the goal. With him finishing fifth, I’m very pleased. He went out with a win.”

LCC’S Caprella places 5th

LCC junior Joey Caprella (Div. III, 145) lost his consolation semifinal Saturday morning to Gibsonburg’s Hugo Villarreal, 6-3.

However, Caprella came back and competed in the fifth-place match, where he pinned Columbiana Crestview’s Andrew Hardenbrook early into the third period.

This was Caprella’s first state appearance. Last season, he finished fifth at the district tournament and was a state alternate.

“It burned a lot when I lost (semifinal match), and it will probably be burning for another 365 days,” Caprella said. “It’s something I don’t want to feel again.”

Caprella came into this year’s state tournament with a 40-0 record. He finishes the season with a 43-2 mark.

“Obviously, our end goal is to win a state title,” LCC coach Nick Sanchez said. “Just qualifying, wasn’t our goal. We want to win a title and that’s what we work for. He came out, still a little roughed up this morning, but he found a way to make a statement.”

O-G’S Rosales on podium

O-G junior Danny Rosales (D-III, 170) finished seventh Saturday. Rosales edged out Mechanicsburg’s Dustin Knapp, 3-2.

“I wanted to get on the podium,” Rosales said. “We worked pretty hard all year. That was the goal from the start of last year. … I went 0-2 (at last year’s state tournament) and that was no fun. So, this was a good experience. Hopefully I’m on top next year.”

Kaeck places sixth

Wapakoneta sophomore Evan Kaeck (Div. II, 220) had to default his fifth-place match Saturday, because of an injury. With the default, Kaeck (45-8) finished sixth.

Sumner finishes career

Ada senior Chase Sumner (Div. III, 145) was a two-time state placer, coming into this season.

Now, Sumner is a three-time state-placer.

Sumner (35-5) wrapped up a very impressive high school wrestling career with a seventh-place finish Saturday. Sumner pinned Dayton Christian’s Henry Danishek late in the second period to garner another all-Ohio spot on the podium.

“I had nothing to lose,” Sumner said about Saturday’s match. “I didn’t care if anything got hurt. It’s the end of the year. I just wanted to go out there and give it my all.”

Grothjan on podium

Shawnee senior Bobby Grothjan (D-II, 285) closed out his high school career with an eighth-place finish Saturday.

“I definitely think I could have done a little better,” Grothjan (33-9) said. “But, I feel like I went out there and gave it everything I had and left everything on the mat.”

Added Shawnee coach Mike Lewis, “He suffered some setbacks, because he broke his hand, about halfway through the season. I’m proud of him. He persevered and became one of the top heavyweights in the state.”

Indian Lake notches

two state placers

Connor Dixon (D-III, 182) finished fifth, while teammate Cole Mefford (D-III, 220) placed seventh Saturday.

Nassar battles back for fourth-place finish


Lima Senior’s Russell has big task ahead

COLUMBUS — It’s probably a safe bet to assume most high school wrestlers have a difficult time shaking off the jitters when making their first appearance at the state wrestling tournament at Ohio State.

Walking through the tunnel and onto the floor of Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center is well-known to be nerve-racking, to say the least.

But for Allen East freshman Drake Carmean, it didn’t take long before he felt right at home.

Carmean’s first-round opponent Thursday in the Division III, 120-pound weight class, Gates Mills Hawken’s J.P. Hlifka, scored two quick points on the Allen East freshman. But Carmean quickly recovered and dominated the match the rest of the way, en route to a 14-6 major decision. With the victory, Carmean (37-5) stays alive in the championship bracket.

“Coming in, I was kind of scared,” Carmean said. “Then I got back into it and got the butterflies out of my system and started wrestling how the coaches have taught me.

“I didn’t really know what to expect, coming out of that tunnel. It’s a huge arena. It feels amazing, going into the next day, and still in the winner’s bracket.”

Along with Carmean, teammates Chase Caprella (113), Lucas Freeman (138) and Garrett Neth (182) are competing at the state tournament.

Neth went 1-1 Thursday to stay in the hunt. However, Caprella and Freeman went 0-2 and were knocked out of the tournament.

Lima Senior junior Naeem Russell (Division I, 152) missed the second half of last season with a season-ending knee injury. On Thursday, Russell made the most of his opportunity by defeating Brecksville-Broadview Heights’ Ben Vanadia in his first-round match, 10-6.

With the win, Russell (40-3) will face three-time state champion, Massillon Perry’s David Carr (36-0) in his first match Friday.

“I got off to a slow start. I was a little nervous in getting the first match out of the way,” Russell said. “I knew after the second take-down that I had him. He started to break a little bit. I’m just excited to get the first one out of the way.”

Russell is the first Lima Senior state-qualifier since 2004. Before then, the previous state-qualifier was in 1993.

“Naeem has been one of those kids who has really earned to be here,” Lima Senior coach PJ Fought said. “He has put in the work. He deserves to be where he’s at.”

Bluffton junior Deandre Nassar came into Thursday’s first-round action of the Division III, 195-pound weight class with one thing on his mind – to win his first match and stay in the championship bracket.

Nassar (39-1) a state-qualifier from a year ago, controlled his match virtually from the start as he decisioned Ashland Crestview’s Colton Campbell, 10-4.

“I felt pretty good,” Nassar said. “I’m just trying to take it one match at a time. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and start thinking about quarterfinals and semifinals. I want to take it one match at a time, because I lost my first one last year and I had to fight my way back – which is kind of rough.”

Added longtime Bluffton coach Jeff Kleman, “There’s not a whole lot to say to Deandre. He knows what he needs to do. He’s solid. He just needs to keep scoring points.”

For Bath senior Collin Mell, winning his first-round match Thursday was extra special.

Mell’s 2-1 overtime thriller over Claymont’s Dakota Bunting (a former state-placer) in the Division II, 145-pound weight class, not only meant he was still alive in the championship bracket, but it also was his 100th career victory.

“That was the main goal – to get down here and win that first match,” Mell said. “I can go back to the hotel room, get a good swim in and rest up for tomorrow.”

Mell (39-3) said he has one goal in mind.

“I don’t see why anyone would want anything less than that – to win a state title,” Mell said.

Ottawa-Glandorf senior Daniel Beemer had no trouble at all in his first-round bout Thursday. Beemer (38-0) defeated Orrville’s Cameron VanBrunt by tech fall, 16-1 in his opening Division III match at 182. Beemer is a two-time state-placer.

Teammate Danny Rosales won his opening match Thursday to stay in the championship bracket at 170 pounds. However, Grant Goecke (160) went 0-2 and was eliminated for the Titans.

Paulding’s Logan Mudel (Div. III, 132) won his opening match Thursday to advance. However, teammate Ryan Woodring (126) went 0-2.

Wapakoneta brought a trio of wrestlers to Columbus.

Evan Kaeck won his first match in the Division II, 220-pound weight class Thursday to stay alive in the championship bracket. The sophomore Kaeck (43-5) decisioned Louisville’s Blake Robbins, 6-3.

“It sets yourself up well,” Wapakoneta coach Jason Rostorfer said. “You have to go one match at a time at this level. If you overlook anyone, it could cost you.”

Teammates Zac Miller (195) and Brenan Knueve (285) went 0-2 and were eliminated.

At 145, in Division III, Lima Central Catholic junior Joey Caprella had a tough match with Rossford’s Austin Eick Thursday, but was able to come away with a hard-fought 5-3 victory. Caprella is now 41-0 and advances in the championship bracket.

Also at 145 pounds in Division III, Ada senior Chase Sumner (33-3) advanced in the championship bracket. Sumner, a two-time state-placer, defeated Fremont St. Joseph’s Nate Vasquez in a thriller, 4-3.

In Division II, Van Wert’s Gabe Steyer won his first-round match over Norwood’s Casey Ragle, 4-2. Teammate Isaiah Bretz (138) went 0-2.

Shawnee’s Bobby Grothjan lost his first match in the Division II, 285-pound weight class, but came back to win his consolation match to stay alive.

“I’m ready to go to the next one (match),” Grothjan said. “I know my season isn’t over yet.”

Columbus Grove freshman Jeff Meyer (Div. III, 285) went 1-1 Thursday, to stay alive in the tournament. Teammate Dylan Sargent (220) went 0-2 and was knocked out of the tournament.

“You win tonight and win tomorrow, then you place,” Columbus Grove coach Eric Siefker said.

Indian Lake’s Dylan Knotts (Div. III, 160) and Connor Dixon (182) advanced in the championship bracket. Teammate Cole Mefford (220) went 1-1 and is still competing.

Coldwater’s Thomas Schwieterman (Div. III, 285) won his first match Thursday.

Lima area wrestlers start off at state


One More Schott

LIMA — Winning a state title is something most athletes can only dream about.

However, for some local wrestlers, winning a state title isn’t that far out of reach.

Ottawa-Glandorf senior Daniel Beemer had a state title in his sights last season, but was derailed in the state semifinals and ended up finishing fourth in the 195-pound weight class in Division III.

The year before, Beemer placed fifth in the 182-pound weight class.

Beemer (37-0) wants to compete for a Division III state title in the 182-pound weight class this weekend at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State.

The wrestling state tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday.

“My mission is to hopefully finish on top of that (awards) podium,” Beemer said.

“My sophomore year, I had to get a feel for things. I started to get more experience my junior year. I’m hoping with this being my senior year that I can compete to the best of my ability with my two other teammates that are coming down.”

Beemer realized after last season, that dropping down to the 182-pound weight class would be advantageous. Last year, Beemer’s weight was usually under 190 pounds.

“I can tell the difference,” Beemer said about the lower weight class. “I worked a lot harder to lose the weight at practices throughout the week. So, from a conditioning and strength standpoint, it’s definitely helped me to keep pushing toward my goal.”

Lima Central Catholic junior Joey Caprella is making his first trip to the state tournament. Last season, Caprella finished fifth at districts and was a state alternate. The top four placers at districts advance to the state tournament.

However, Caprella (40-0) is not content on just competing at Columbus.

“If I keep doing what I’ve been doing all year, I’m going to win my matches,” Caprella said. “I feel right now that there is nobody who can beat me. You got to believe you can do it.”

All season long, Caprella (145-pound weight class, Division III) has steamrolled the competition with his relentless, aggressive style of wrestling.

Caprella credits the work ethic that LCC coach Nick Sanchez has instilled into his program.

“That’s when we wrestle our best — when we’re tired,” Caprella said. ““The third period is when it happens.”

Looking ahead

1. Will O-G’s Beemer finally notch a state title in his final trip to Columbus?

2. Will LCC junior Joey Caprella keep it rolling, and win a state title in his first trip to the state tournament?

3. How will Lima Senior’s Naeem Russell (Jr., 152) fare in his first appearance at the state tournament? Last year, Russell (39-3) suffered a season-ending injury, and missed the second half of the season.

4. Bath senior Collin Mell (38-3, 145) will be making a return trip to the state tournament in Division II. Mell has some big wins this season and could make a run to the finals.

5. Ada senior Chase Sumner (32-3, 145), a two-time state-placer, will try to make a run to the state finals, in what will be a very competitive weight class.

6. Bluffton junior Deandre Nassar (38-1, 195) is no stranger to the state tournament. Nassar, a state-qualifier from a year ago, has dominated the opposition this season.

7. Wapakoneta sends a trio to Columbus. Senior Zac Miller (23-2, 195), sophomore Evan Kaeck (42-5, 220) and junior Brenan Knueve (40-7, 285) will all compete for spots on the podium.

8. How will Allen East’s four athletes fare at the state tournament? Lucas Freeman (37-13, 138) is the lone senior for the Mustangs. Freshman Drake Carmean (36-5, 120), sophomore Chase Caprella (38-2, 113) and sophomore Garrett Neth (43-7, 182) will join Freeman in Columbus.

9. Will St. Paris Graham – which is sending 13 athletes (out of 14 weight classes) to the state tournament – continue to dominate? Graham has been the Division II state champion since 2001.

10. Will Division I Lakewood St. Edward notch its 32nd overall state title? St. Edward has won the state title the past three years.

Area wrestlers aim for podium finishes at state championships


Tickets Stamped to the Big Show!

“Overcoming obstacles is paramount if an athlete wants to take it to the next level.

I’ve covered many local athletes that overcame obstacles and made it to the state wrestling tournament.

At this past weekend’s Division III district wrestling tournament at Troy, there were several area wrestlers who stamped their tickets for the state tournament, after beating the odds.

The top four placers in each weight class at the district tournaments advance to this coming weekend’s state tournament.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association Wrestling State Tournament will start Thursday and run through Saturday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Last season, Lima Central Catholic’s Joey Caprella did not even make it to the district tournament.

This season, Caprella has taken it to the next level.

On Saturday, Caprella defeated two-time state-placer, Ada’s Chase Sumner, for the second time this season to win the Division III district title at Troy and to advance to the state tournament. Caprella, a junior, is undefeated this season at 40-0.

“I wasn’t even close to this last season, and it feels amazing,” Caprella said after winning the district title this past Saturday.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s Grant Goecke had a 15-win season two years ago. Now, he’s a second seed for this coming weekend’s state tournament in the 160-pound weight class in Division III. However, Goecke was injured in his district championship match Saturday at Troy against Indian Lake’s Dylan Knotts, and was forced to default the match.

Ottawa-Glandorf coach Randy Ebbeskotte is hopeful that Goecke will be able to compete this weekend.

“Two years ago, he was a 15-win kid. He’s really come a long way. He deserves to end better than that,” Ebbeskotte said about the senior Goecke.

O-G is sending three wrestlers to the state tournament. Daniel Beemer heads the list for the Titans. Beemer won the district title at Troy Saturday at 182. Beemer is 37-0 on the season. Teammate Danny Rosales finished second in the 170-pound weight class at Troy.

“We have a big goal for him,” Ebbeskotte said about Beemer. “He’s been working really hard towards that goal for a long time. I think this is the year. That’s my humble opinion.”

As a team, O-G finished third at the Troy district.

Then there’s Allen East senior Lucas Freeman.

At Troy, after losing his semifinal match, Freeman wrestled in the third and fourth-place match at 138, where he finished fourth.

This will be Freeman’s first trip to the state tournament. Last season, Freeman did not even make it to the district tournament.

Speaking of Allen East, Coach Mike Abbey’s young squad has done everything but wrestle like a young team. The young Mustangs battled more experienced teams in the Northwest Conference Championships this season and notched the team title.

Allen East is sending four athletes to the state tournament – the most ever in school history. Freeman is the lone senior on this year’s roster. Joining Freeman are freshman Drake Carmean (second at districts, 120), sophomore Chase Caprella (third, 113), and sophomore Garrett Neth (second, 182).

In Division I, Lima Senior junior Naeem Russell (39-3) will compete in the 152-pound weight class at the state tournament. This past weekend, Russell placed second at the district tournament at Hilliard. Last season, Russell suffered a knee injury which sidelined him for the last half of the season and ultimately kept him out of the postseason tournament.

However, Russell’s hard work during the offseason has paid off this year.

This season, Russell was named the Three Rivers Athletic Conference Wrestler of the Year. This will be Russell’s first trip to the state tournament.

Looking back at past state tournaments, there’s always been someone who has stepped up and done the unexpected.

Hopefully this coming weekend, there will be many more memorable moments for our local wrestlers.”

Area grapplers defying the odds


Caprella & Beemer Claim District Titles

“TROY — The consolation semifinal match is better known as the go-to match.

If a wrestler wins this match at the district tournament, they advance to the state tournament.

If they lose, at best, they’re a state alternate.

The top four placers in each weight class at this weekend’s Division III district tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena advance to the state tournament at Ohio State (March 8-10).

For at least a couple area wrestlers, winning Saturday’s consolation semifinal bout was the path for a trip to the state tournament.

Allen East had two wrestlers lose their respective semifinal matches Saturday and were forced to win their go-to match in order to compete in the third and fourth-place matches of their respective weight classes.

Allen East senior Lucas Freeman defeated Preble Shawnee’s Travis Howard in a consolation semifinal match, 11-9, to guarantee a top-four finish in the 138-pound weight class.

Freeman (37-13) went on to place fourth, as he lost a tough match to Middletown Madison’s Drew Price, 10-8.

“I wanted to go out big, I guess,” Freeman said with a smile. “I came a long way from last year. I didn’t even make it here (districts). I was fifth at sectionals — an alternate for districts. It’s an amazing feeling to come this far.”

Freeman’s teammate, Chase Caprella, defeated River Valley’s Jacob Edwards in his consolation bout at 113 pounds, 8-4, to notch his spot for the state tournament. Caprella went on to finish third Saturday, as he defeated Cincinnati Country Day’s Max Boaz 5-2. Caprella (38-2) will be making his second trip to the state tournament.

“Oh man, it’s crazy,” Caprella said in reference to the consolation semifinal match. “But, they say that ‘pressure makes diamonds.’”

Caprella wants to do more than just compete at the state tournament.

“(I want) to win it,” he said. “That’s the biggest goal.”

In the most highly-anticipated match of the day, Lima Central Catholic’s Joey Caprella faced Ada’s Chase Sumner in the finals of the 145-pound weight class. Saturday’s bout between these two was a rematch of last weekend’s sectional title match at LCC, in which Caprella won 12-3 over Sumner. Sumner (32-3), a senior, is a two-time state-placer. Caprella, a junior, (40-0) will be making his first trip to the state tournament.

In Saturday’s finals, Caprella pinned Sumner in the early moments of the third period.

“I knew what he (Sumner) was going to come out and do,” Caprella said. “I knew he would be on his offense right away. I thought I did a good job of slowing him down in the first period. (There were) a couple close calls of me going to my back, but I kept my composure. I knew he was going to get tired by the third period. The third period is when it happens.”

In the final team standings at Troy, Ottawa-Glandorf had the best team performance, finishing third with 99.5 points. Miami East won the title with 140 points, while Troy Christian (135) was a close second. Coldwater (seventh, 76) and Allen East (eighth, 75) were two other local teams that finished in the top 10 overall spots.

“The group, as a whole, is really well-rounded,” O-G coach Randy Ellerbrock said. “They wrestled really well. It is, what it is, down here. Team-wise, we wrestled really well.”

O-G’s Daniel Beemer continued his domination.

On Saturday, Beemer won the district title at 182 pounds, when he pinned Allen East’s Garrett Neth in the championship match. Beemer is now 37-0 on the season.

At least year’s state tournament, Beemer placed fourth at 195 pounds. The year before, he placed fifth at 182.

“My mission is to hopefully finish on top of that podium this coming week,” Beemer said. “Right now, since it’s postseason, you want to just get off the mat as quick as possible – hopefully not get injured and stay healthy.”

Beemer will be joined at the state tournament by teammates Grant Goecke (second, 160) and Danny Rosales (second, 170). Goecke looked to be in contention in his championship match against Indian Lake’s Dylan Knotts, but was forced to default with an injury, as he landed hard on his shoulder.

“I’m very hopeful it’s nothing serious,” Coach Ellerbrock said about Goecke’s injury. “Two years ago, he (Goecke) was a 15-win kid. So, he’s come a long way. He deserves to end better than that.”

Bluffton’s Deandre Nassar won the title at 195 Saturday. In the finals, Nassar (38-1) pinned Middletown Madison’s Zach Banks in the finals. Nassar will be making his second trip to the state tournament.

Allen East will be sending four wrestlers to the state tournament.

Besides Freeman, Caprella and Neth advancing to the state tournament — freshman Drake Carmean placed second at 120 at Troy. Carmean (36-5) was pinned in the second period by Miami East’s Graham Shore in the finals.

Columbus Grove will be sending its first wrestlers to the state tournament since the 2012 campaign.

Freshman Jeff Meyer (36-11) placed fourth at 285, while sophomore Dylan Sargent (40-9) finished fourth at 220.

“A freshman and sophomore – I’m really happy,” Columbus Grove coach Eric Siefker said. “It’s nice to get a chance to get them down there and get some experience.”

Other area wrestlers finishing in the top four of their respective weight classes and advancing to the state tournament were Indian Lake’s Cole Mefford (second, 220) and Connor Dixon (third, 182), and Coldwater’s Thomas Schwieterman (second, 285).”

Lima area Division III wrestlers earn spots at state


2016 Golf Outing

Team Stomp Wrestling
1st Annual Golf Outing

Saturday, October 1, 2016 9:00am Tee Time
Oaks Golf Club, Lima, OH

On October 1, we’ll gather for a great afternoon of Golf at the Oaks Golf Club, Lima, OH followed by a luncheon with a premium buffet, golf prizes and team awards.

Our staff and committee volunteers will ensure one of the best outings of the year!

Schedule of Events:

7:30am-9:00am Registration:

Featuring fresh orange, apple & cranberry juices; assorted fresh muffins;bagels & assorted donuts; variety of preserves & marmalade whipped sweet butter & cream cheese; fresh coffee, decaf coffee & tea

9:00am SHARP:

Shot-gun Start

2:00pm Club House/Buffet Lunch/Awards/Auction Items:

Barbecue Lunch Buffet from BO-BQ Catering –
Pulled Pork, Beans and Cole Slaw

Auction Items and Prizes – (TBD)

Register/Sponsor Today (Click Here)

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