MHS grapplers ready to face Ohio’s best

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Marysville’s Tyler Bates has the upper hand against an opponent in this flle photo. Bates is one of five MHS grapplers who will compete in the Division I state tournament.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Kevin Behrens)
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Since 2002, the Marysville High School wrestling team has advanced multiple athletes to the state tournament at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.
This season is no different, as MHS will be represented by five wrestlers during the Division I tournament that begins this evening.
By weight-class order, they are Walker Heard (145), Jacob Marsh (152), Tyler Bates (160), Ethan Smeagel (220) and Tyler Connolly (heavyweight).
All of them, with the exception of Smeagel, have experience competing in the state high school tournament.
Heard, a junior, will go into his first match as a third seed with a record of 31-8. He will face Medina senior Ryan Wissell (22-5).
Marsh has posted a 41-2 record en route to a No. 1 seed. The senior’s first bout will be against Boston Dubocq, a Findlay senior with a 38-12 mark.
Bates, who is also a senior, is a second seed in his weight class. He will put a 32-14 record on the line against Elyria freshman Jake Evans (34-10).
A junior, Smeagel is also a No. 2 seed for the state. His 25-10 record will go up against the 28-7 mark of Massillon Perry sophomore Adam Luster.
Connolly, another junior, is a second seed with a 38-10 record. His initial bout is scheduled against Jacob Padilla, a Huber Heights sophomore who stands at 36-6.
Connolly suffered a dislocated shoulder during last Saturday’s district tournament at Hilliard Darby.
MHS head coach Shawn Andrews said he expects Connolly to wrestle later today.
“All plans are that Tyler will wrestle,” said the coach.
Andrews said the five state qualifiers should not be intimated by the atmosphere of the state tournament.
“These are the guys who have been our leaders and who have competed at the highest levels this season,” he said. “We’ve competed against or seen just about everybody who is a top wrestler in Division I.”
Andrews feels his team is ready to take on the state’s best competition.
“All of the preparation has been done,” he said. “You can tweak some in-match situations, but the bulk of the work is done.
“You just have to go out and wrestle.”



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