Marsh claims District title; Monarchs earn runner-up spot


Marysville senior Jake Marsh has a leg-in, power half against Naeem Russell of Lima Senior during Saturday evening’s Division I district championship match. Marsh on the 152-pound title with a 7-1 victory.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
The Union County area is the home of two district championship wrestlers as athletes went through the next-to-last leg of the 2017-18 post-season on Saturday.
Marysville senior Jacob Marsh won the Division I crown in the 152-pound weight division, while Jonathan Alder senior Jacob Johnson took the top honors in the Division II 120-pound bout.
The MHS grappler was part of a squad that took second-place honors to Lancaster in the team standings.
Marsh claimed the title with a 7-1 triumph over Lima Senior’s Naeem Russell during the finals Saturday evening at Hilliard Darby High School.
Marsh followed his two victories on Friday night (reported in Saturday’s Journal-Tribune) by opening Saturday’s semifinals with a victory over Hunter Thornsberry of Newark. Marsh won that bout by a 14-3 major decision.
Johnson, competing at Claymont High School, scored a 6-4 overtime verdict over Indian Valley’s Brady O’Connor to claim his championship.
Johnson pinned Lucas Stevens of New Philadelphia in 2:52 to open the tournament.
His second match on Saturday resulted in a 5-2 triumph over West Holmes’ Thane Kaufman.
Johnson scored a 6-2 victory over Tyler Muldrew of Steubenville during the semifinals.

“Jacob (Marsh) wrestled well and widened the gap from when he defeated Russell during the sectional tournament,” said MHS head coach Shawn Andrews.
Marsh beat Russell 6-3 during the sectional tournament that was held last week at MHS.
“Jacob was in control for all of his matches and wrestled with confidence,” said Andrews. “That’s what you want this time of the season.”
Marsh will take a 41-2 record into the opening round of the state tournament that will begin Thursday afternoon at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center. He will face Findlay senior Boston Dubocq (38-12).
“Jacob (Johnson) wrestled well,” said Alder coach Ron Thomas Sr. “He was good on his takedowns.”
Johnson (39-1) will encounter Fairfield Union sophomore Keegan Kohler, who is 33-10 at the state.
Marysville High School, which tallied 147 points to district champion Lancaster’s 170, is sending four additional grapplers to the state tournament.
Tyler Bates (160), Ethan Smeagel (220) and Tyler Connolly (heavyweight) earned district runner-up finishes, while Walker Heard (145) placed third.
Bates opened Saturday’s semifinals with a 4-3 decision over Cole Foor of Watkins Memorial.
The MHS senior then fell by a 19-2 technical fall to Jaden Mattox of Central Crossing in the title bout.
Smeagel pinned Logan’s Brady Garren in 1:39 during the semifinals.
A junior, Smeagel dropped a 5-3 decision in the championship match to Lancaster’s Derrick Bowman.
Connolly, a junior, was perhaps the most interesting story among the Monarch grapplers.
He suffered a dislocated shoulder injury early during his semifinal match against Devin Lambert of Olentangy Liberty.
Connolly withstood the pain for two periods after it was popped back in and came out with an 8-5 victory.
Connolly did not compete during the title match since he had already notched a state tournament berth.
“We looked at the big picture and felt it best for Tyler to be ready for the state tournament,” said Andrews. “He’s day-to-day and we will continue to evaluate him.”
Bates will take a 32-14 record into Thursday’s opening state round against Elyria freshman Jake Evans (34-10).
Smeagel (25-10) will face Massillon Perry sophomore Adam Luster (28-7).
Connolly, if he is cleared to compete, will take a 38-10 record into the state tournament.
The MHS junior will encounter Jacob Padilla, a sophomore from Huber Heights Wayne (36-6).
Heard, a junior, dropped a 5-2 decision to Olentangy’s Alexander Gore during his first match on Saturday.
He then scored a 10-2 major decision over Connor Evans of Olentangy Orange for third place.
Heard will take a 31-8 record into the state tourney against Ryan Wissel, a Medina senior who is 22-5 for the season.
Marysville’s Nathan Dewitt took fifth-place disrict honors at 170 with a forfeit over Jake Nelson of Groveport-Madison.
Logan Painter (195) was also fifth. He pinned Jack Wilson of New Albany in 2:32 to earn that honor.
Jonathan Alder had one other grappler compete in the district.
Dylan Boysel posted a 1-2 record at 195.

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