Experience key for state-bound wrestlers
By Zachary Gregory Staff Writer
It’s not really a surprise. Six area wrestlers started this season with the goal of getting to the state tournament, and all of them have accomplished just that. Three Bellbrook wrestlers and three Greeneview wrestlers, all of whom got a taste of state last year, will be hiking up to Columbus today for the start of the tournament.
Cameron Kelly, Tyler Wiederholt and Ben Schram will be representing Bellbrook in Division-II. Known as the Three Amigos, all have experience in the postseason. Kelly and Schram have both met success in the tournament in the past, and Wiederholt was a state alternate last year.
D-III Greeneview will be sending Logan Lacure, Armani Robinson and Adrian Harding. Lacure made it last year as a freshman and Robinson has been the cornerstone for the Rams’ wrestling program. Harding just barely missed his chance last year, and went to state as a visitor just to get the experience.
Experience is key for all of these wrestlers, and Bellbrook coach Bobby Kosins said that’s nothing to look past.
“A lot of people might dismiss that, but I think it’s important,” he said. “It helps get the bugs out.”
Kosins pointed to Schram’s performance last year, where he placed third. He said that he thought nerves got to Schram and that he will now be able to put that behind him.
“You understand that it’s not as tough as you made it out to be. I think Schram will come into the state tournament this year not thinking that he’s going to lose, and not worry about anybody else,” he said.
Schram lost to Alex Marinelli of powerhouse New Paris Graham in overtime in the district tourney, making his road at state a little tougher, but Kosins said he’s confident in the 160-pounder’s abilities.
“Schram? I don’t worry too much about Schram. He does his thing and he’ll be ready,” he said.
Kelly probably has the most experience of the group. He has been in the state finals for two years running, winning it his freshman year. His win at districts gave him a slightly easier route, with the other two state champions in his weight class being in another bracket.
“Cam’s had a good head on his shoulders all year. He’s been really positive. That win in the district finals really capped his season off,” said Kosins. “Last year, unfortunately, we lost by one point in the state finals. I think this year, he’s healthy and that’s his goal. He’s ready to rock and roll.”
Wiederholt has also had a very solid year. He placed third at districts, and Kosins said that he is really happy with how he’s wrestling right now.
Greeneview coach Mike Sizemore also likes how his wrestlers have been performing as of late.
“I can say this for all three of them,” he said. “They’ve progressively gotten more focused as the season has gone on.”
Robinson is the most experienced wrestler on the squad. Wrestling at 182, he came into this year with a renewed sense of focus after a deep run at state. He has only lost twice this year.
“Those were back-to-back losses, and he and I sat down and he told me point blank ‘I’m not losing again.’ And that was a different focus from that point,” said Sizemore. “He’s by no means taking anybody lightly, … and he wants to be the state champ.”
Robinson currently sits tied for all-time career wins at Greeneview with 166, and will most likely break that record this week.
Lacure’s experience as just a sophomore has helped him focus all year long. Sizemore said that by Lacure beating a returning state champion last year in the state semis, it has made his teammates work harder, and create a focus that is key to success.
“Logan is probably by far the most focused I’ve ever seen him. Last year, his composure as a freshman was phenomenal. This year, it is definitely there. He is on a mission to bring home that gold medal,” he said.
Harding is a multi-sport athlete, and Sizemore said that he saw growth in his desire to be a champion wrestler at the end of last year. Harding lost in the districts and wasn’t able to make it to state, but he traveled with the team anyway, and it invigorated him.
All of the Rams will be competing to become the first champions in Greeneview history, and Sizemore said that has propelled his team to have success.
The state tournament starts today at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, on the Ohio State University campus, in Columbus.
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