The 71st annual state wrestling tournament concluded with four area wrestlers winning a state title on Saturday night at the Value City Arena within the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of the Ohio State University.
Please check out the print Akron Beacon Journal or the ohio.com website on the Internet for coverage about the state tournament that appeared from Thursday through Sunday.
Here is a quick synopsis:
Brunswick senior Richie Spicel won the Division I 140-pound state title and finished the season with a 43-0 record under the leadership of coach Mike Koshar. Spicel also won a state championship as a freshman in 2005 at 130 pounds.
Walsh Jesuit senior Chase Skonieczny won the Division II 135-pound title and finished the season at 44-2 under the guidance of coach Bill Barger.
Perry junior Seth Horner won the Division I 130-pound state title and finished the season at 40-4 under the leadership of coach Brent McBurney. Horner defeated Wadsworth sophomore Brad Squire (42-3) in the finals.
Aurora sophomore Ty Mitch won the Division II 103-pound state title and finished the season at 39-5 under the guidance of coach Dick Bliss. Mitch's triumph came at the expense of Walsh Jesuit freshman Johnni DiJulius (48-5), who is also a close friend.
The area also featured eight wrestlers that placed second.
In Division I: Squire, Barberton senior Adam Cogar (47-1 at 215) and Perry juniors Sam White (37-3 at 112) and Nick Heflin (45-4 at 152).
In Division II: DiJulius and Highland junior Tyler Houska (39-6 at 215).
In Division III: Norwayne senior J.D. Smyers (44-2 at 171) and Triway senior Cory Akin (34-9 at 215) in Division III.
It should be noted that Squire and White were champions in 2007, a headline for the Sunday wrestling notebook was a little misleading regarding White.
A simply amazing kid
Hillsboro senior Dustin Carter's qualification for the state wrestling tournament at 103 pounds caught the attention of many in Columbus.
A rare blood disorder at age 5 led to limb damage. Carter, a quadruple amputee, has built a powerful upper body. His arms end near his elbows, his legs above where knees would be. When he doesn't wrestle, he uses prosthetic legs.
He was recognized before the semifinal round Friday and received a roaring, standing ovation that lasted over a minute. CBS interviewed him Thursday and filmed his first-round match, a victory.
Carter lost twice Friday, however, and finished the season 40-4.
Richie Spicel concluded his Brunswick career as the school's all-time leader in wins with 160. He said he is considering going to college and wrestling at Asland University, Ohio University and Gardner-Webb.
Chase Skonieczny, a Kent State recruit, concluded his career with a 166-26 record. The 166 wins are a school record at Walsh Jesuit.
Adam Cogar is headed to the University of Virginia to wrestle and study pre-med after compiling a 175-21 record under the leadership of coach Dave Mariola. He carries a 4.2 cumulative grade point average. The 175 wins are a school record at Barberton.
Johnni DiJulius' 48 wins are the most in a single season at Walsh Jesuit.
Walsh Jesuit coach Bill Barger planted a kiss on the forehead of Warriors senior Chase Skonieczny in the media room after the 135-pound wrestler won the Division II state title.
"I have been around it a lot and they are all special, especially for a kid that grinds it out," Barger said.
Skonieczny, Walsh's 39th state champion, jumped into the arms of assistant coaches Jeff Black and Clint Musser on the mat following his 5-0 victory in the finals.
"I have been coming down here since I was a little kid," said the 18-year-old Skonieczny, who entered this season as a three-time state placer in high school and with a decorated resume as a youth and middle school wrestler. "It's 15 years in the making. March 1st, it's been my day all season. It's been marked on my phone and on my calendar at home."
Horner and Squire put together a very good match, that Horner ultimately won 4-2 in overtime.
"He's very strategic," Wadsworth coach John Gramuglia said of Horner. "He's explosive and he'll lull you to sleep. He is very hard to wrestle. You don't expect the explosiveness and then boom he's by you. He's a heck of an athlete."
Scarlet and Gray
Austintown Fitch senior Tony Jameson (145 pounds) became the 16th wrestler in the state tournament's history to win four state titles.
Following Jameson's victory he paraded around the mat with an Ohio State banner and received a loud ovation. Jameson, 4-2 this season and 168-6 in his career, is an OSU recruit.