MHS grapplers preparing for state

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Monarch senior Logan Painter, left, has a single-leg on Jake Nelson of Groveport during last weekend’s Division I district tournament. Painter is one of four MHS grapplers who will compete in this weekend’s state tournament.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Kevin Behrens)
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Marysville High School’s wrestling program will be sending a quartet of athletes to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s state individual tournament.
Competition will begin Thursday evening at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center and will run through Saturday evening.
A pair of state tournament veterans will lead the Monarchs’ contingent into the action.
Senior Walker Heard, who competes in the 152-pound division, will be making his fourth consecutive trip to the state.
As a freshman, Heard finished one match shy of taking a spot on the awards podium.
He placed seventh as a sophomore and sixth as a junior.
Classmate Ethan Smegal (220) will be making his second straight trip to the state tournament. He did not place last year as a junior.
The state tournament veterans will be joined by senior Logan Painter (195) and sophomore Lincoln Heard, who will compete in the 138-pound division.
“Walker and Ethan (who each won district titles last weekend) have been there before, so that should reduce some of their nerves,” said Monarch head coach Shawn Andrews.
The coach said he is happy for Painter to earn a spot in the state tournament during his final campaign as a high school wrestler.
Andrews said the younger Heard’s berth in the state will also help with future MHS teams.
“It’s always nice knowing that you’re going to have an underclassmen in the room next year who has that state tournament experience,” he said. “It’s also huge for Lincoln to gain that type of experience with two more years of high school wrestling left for him.”
Lincoln Heard and Painter each placed third in the district tournament.
Andrews said the four Monarch grapplers haven’t changed any of their routines during the final days of practice this week.
“It’s just a matter of fine-tuning some techniques and getting mentally prepared,” he said. “Most of the athletes who will be at the state tournament, which is the toughest of the season, have been preparing for years.
“We just have to compete the same way with discipline and hard work that we have all season.”
First-round matches for the Monarchs are as follows:
-L. Heard (25-18) vs. Jonah Smith, a junior from Findlay (44-8);
-W. Heard (44-5) vs. Brady Linder, a junior from Medina Highland (30-7);
-Painter (33-13) vs. Micha Clemson, a senior from Canton McKinley (46-2).
“Our guys are just going to have to focus on the first match,” said Andrews. “After that, they need to focus on their next matches.”
“As always, we are going to see the best wrestling in the state this weekend.”



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