Jordan, Danishek win fourth state titles in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- When all was said and done at the end of Saturday night at the Ohio (OHSAA) State Wrestling Individual Tournament, there were no surprises in the team races as all three nationally ranked Fab 50 teams cruised to a state titles. Massillon Perry in Division I after years of being runner-up to power St. Ed's, Perry flexed its muscles putting seven in the finals after a perfect semifinal round.

St. Paris Graham won a record 14th straight state title in Division II with four individual champions along with a runner-up and four other placers. Graham passed St. Ed's' record of 13 straight team state titles that they won from 1997-2009.

Division III saw Delta win the state title in relatively easy fashion. Delta won it on the depth of the entire team as they did not have a single state champion this year. All three of these teams won the dual team state tournament as well this year.

Micah Jordan won by pin in the state finals
Micah Jordan made history as he became a four-time state champion joining the likes of his brother Bo, dad Jeff and uncle Jim. The Jordan family is wrestling royalty at its finest in the state of Ohio and nationally. Micah made quick work this weekend with three pins and one technical fall. Jordan used brute strength to stack his finals opponent for the first-period pin. The Jordan family -- between Jim, Jeff, Ben, Isaac, Bo and Micah -- have 22 state titles, the most by any family in the nation. Micah will now join his brother next year at Ohio State. Don't worry fans there is one more Jordan on the way, Rocky, now an eighth-grader, will be sure to leave his mark next year in the lineup.

Adding to Graham's riches this year in the finals was Eli Stickley, who broke through for his first state title with a dominating 9-0 major decision over Tariq Wilson of Steubenville. At 138 it was the freshman sensation Kyle Lawson of Saint Paris Graham, who was able to use the cow catcher to secure the second-period pin to capture his first state title. Returning state champion Alex Marinelli, ranked No. 11 nationally, was able to hold off Kordell Ford of Hillsboro, 9-8, for his second straight state title.

Jordan wasn't the only four-time state champ tonight. Jacob Danishek of Dayton Christian, ranked No. 2 nationally, picked up his fourth state title. He got a big scare in his finals match as he was put to his back and almost pinned in the first period. Danishek fought off and was able to tie it to end the first at 5-5. After an escape by Zack Ladich of Roostown, a scrambled ensued until Danishek was able to secure the takedown and add back points for safe measure. Danishek will take his talents next year to Indiana University.

The toughest bracket in the state tournament belonged to Division I 120 pounds where we saw multiple-time Fargo All-Americans and returning state placers do battle. Nationally ranked Austin Assad of Brecksville's bid for a state title was derailed when Jake Newhouse of Massillon Perry knocked him off in the quarterfinals Friday morning, 8-7. Instead taking home the state title on the strength of his takedown power was sophomore Alex Mackall of Walsh Jesuit as he defeated Newhouse. Next year will be no easier as all the state placers return from this meat grinder of a weight class.

Very rarely do you get two state champions in the same weight class, let alone three state champions in the same weight class. In Division II 126 pounds we had three state champions in that weight class: Anthony Tutolo of Mentor Lake Catholic, Eli Seipel of St. Paris Graham and Cameron Kelly of Bellbrook. Again sticking with the theme of upsets in the quarterfinals, Seipel was upset in the tiebreaker, losing 5-4 to Devin Rodgers of Springfield Northwestern. Seipel did rebound to take third, defeating Rodgers in the placement match. However the weight class belonged to Tutolo as he was able to rack up multiple takedowns in the finals over Kelly to collect his second state title at 126 pounds.

No. 12 Hayden Lee knocked off No. 4 Jose Rodriguez
The only match of the night between nationally ranked wrestlers in the finals happened at the Division I 113-pound weight class. No. 4-ranked and returning state champion Jose Rodriguez of Massillon Perry took on No. 12 Hayden Lee of Marysville. These two had met earlier in the year at the Top Gun tournament right after Rodriguez returned from injury. Lee defeated him 3-0 in that meet. This time Lee struck first again as he secured a takedown. Rodriguez kept the pressure on Lee, but Lee was able to get a takedown late in the third to defeat Rodriguez again this time 5-2.

Massillon Perry had seven state finalists this year and came away with three champions. David Bavery, a state champion in 2012, returned to the top this year as he came up with a sudden victory 3-1 decision over Josh Parrett in the finals. Bavery was able to capitalize on a scramble to come out on top in the overtime period for his second state title. Joining Bavery on top of the podium was Casey Sparkman at 152 pounds, who outlasted scrappy sophomore Ben Darmstadt, 11-8. Tony Dailey rebounded after losing in the district finals to defeat A.J. Kowal of Cincinnati Princeton, 6-5. Dailey was able to get a third-period takedown that was the difference in a match that was full of back-and-forth action.


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