Marysville’s Marsh will battle for D-I state title; grapplers from MHS, JA alive in consolation brackets


Jacob Marsh of Marysville holds on to Padraic Gallagher of Lakewood St. Edward during the Division I semifinals match at the state wrestling tournament. Marsh won by a 3-2 decision to advance to the state finals tonight.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Kevin Behrens)
For the first time since 2015, Marysville High School will be represented in a state wrestling championship match.
Jacob Marsh, the Monarchs’ 152-pound senior, will battle for a Division I state title tonight at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.
Marsh earned his spot in the title bout by winning two matches on Friday.
He began the day in the championship quarterfinals with a 9-1 major decision over Drew Wiechers of Centerville.
That was followed by a 3-2 semifinal victory over Padraic Gallagher of Lakewood St. Edward.
Marsh took a 2-0 lead in the first period against Gallagher, who then followed with an escape for a point.
Another escape by Gallagher tied the battle at 2-all.
The grapplers were deadlocked as they began the third period in the neutral position.
Marsh came up with an escape to win the match, 3-2.
“I knew he (Gallagher) liked to go for my head,” said Marsh. “I just stayed in good position.”
Marsh said he was comfortable competing against Gallagher since he had wrestled him earlier in the season.
The MHS senior was also able to control his emotions in the heat of the battle.
“I was able to stay calm during scramble situations in a big match,” he said.
Marsh will vie for the state championship this evening when he faces David Carr of Massillon Perry.
Marsh will take a 44-2 record into the match, while Carr is unbeaten in 38 bouts.
Carr is a three-time Ohio high school state champion.
He also won a high school state title in Kentucky when he was in the eighth grade.
Kentucky athletes are permitted to compete in varsity sports as eighth-graders.
MHS had wrestlers win in consolation bracket action Friday evening.
Walker Heard (145) opened Friday’s action with a 6-3 loss to Sam Dover of Lakewood St. Edward.
He rallied to beat Connor Evans of Olentangy Orange by an 8-2 verdict.
Heard then improved his season record to 34-9 with a 6-3 triumph over Austin Mullins of Huber Heights Wayne.
The MHS junior took a 3-0 lead in the second period against Mullins with an escape and takedown.
Mullins was able to tie the score in the third set with identical moves.
Heard, despite battling a bloody nose, went on top 4-3 with an escape and added icing to the cake with a late takedown.
“I knew Mullins liked the double leg takedown,” said Heard. “The match turned, though, once I got control of the tie-up.”
Heard will continue in consolation action today when he encounters Michael North of Wadsworth.
Tyler Bates, MHS’ 160-pound senior, lost a 3-1 sudden victory verdict to North Canton Hoover’s Luke Reicosky during Friday’s championship quarterfinals.
Moving into the consolation bracket, Bates defeated Dom Loparo of Wadsworth, 3-1.
Bates’ final match of the day resulted in an 8-6 victory over Michael Ferree of Austintown-Fitch.
The Monarch senior was on top of his takedowns, scoring several points when he took Ferree to the mat.
Bates went to the mat himself after he was accidently kicked in the face.
There was no serious damage, but Feree narrowed his deficit to 8-6 on a takedown with seven seconds left in regulation.
Bates (35-15) was able to ride out the remaining time for the win.
His next match in the consolation round is set for today against Nevan Snodgrass of Kettering Fairmont.
A foot stomp maneuver proved to be victorious for Marysville heavyweight Tyler Connolly as Friday’s matches drew to a close.
Luciano Cunningham of Ashtabula Lakeside was the unfortunate recipient during a consolation match.
The bout was tied at 0-0 after two periods, but Connolly was whistled for a one-point stalling infraction in the third set.
Connolly, though, was able to get a takedown for a 2-1 edge.
Connolly scored three additional points on a nearfall with 27 ticks on the timer.
The MHS junior, however, wasn’t content with that as he finished a pin with four seconds to spare.
“I didn’t want to be the odd man out after Jacob, Walker and Tyler won their matches tonight,” said Connolly. “I got my underhooks up for the takedown.
“Once I got him rolled over, it was all about going for team points.”
Connolly (41-11) will wrestle Jacob Cover of Hilliard Darby in another consolation match today.
If Heard, Bates and Connolly win their first matches today, they will still be in contention for third-place finishes.
Losses in those matches would put them in battles for fifth place.
“It’s great that Jacob is going for a state championship,” said MHS head coach Shawn Andrews.
“It was also important for Walker, Tyler Bates and Tyler Connolly to come back from losses earlier today.”
Jonathan Alder’s Jacob Johnson is in the same situation as Heard, Bates and Connolly in the Division II tournament.
Johnson, JA’s 120-pound senior, lost his first match on Friday by a 7-3 count to Dominic Carone of Streetsboro.
He followed with a 7-1 triumph over Kenton Ridge’s Bryce Davis and a 9-4 verdict over Davin Rhoads of Louisville.
“Jacob’s takedowns were working tonight,” said Alder head coach Ron Thomas Sr.
“I got my feet moving pretty well,” said Johnson. “Now, I want a chance to avenge my earlier (state) loss.”
Johnson (42-2) was set to wrestle Matthew Cardello of Cuyahoga Falls CVCA in today’s first match.
He could get a rematch against Carone for third-place if he and Carone win their first contests today.
Union County’s lone remaining Division III wrestler was eliminated from further competition on Friday.
North Union’s Dylan Thompson, a 220-pound junior, suffered a pair of pinfall losses.
He was put to the mat by defending state champion (195 pounds in 2017) Gaige Willis of Andover Pymatuning Valley in 1:04.
Thompson then dropped his second match of the day when he was toppled by Crawford Hamrick of Massillon Tuslaw in 3:47.
Thompson ended his season with a 42-9 record.

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