N. Union matmen hope experience on side during D-III state tourney

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In this file photo, Dylan Thompson of North Union holds his opponent in a half nelson during the second session of the 2018 Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament. Thompson will be making his second consecutive appearance to the state tournament this year.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Kevin Behrens)
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The matmen of North Union started their season back in November with slightly less than 30 athletes on the roster.
As the season has worn on, that number has been whittled down to just two left to battle for a state title.
Tarren Riffle and Dylan Thompson will start their final push for a championship at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on Thursday.
Riffle, who will wrestle in the 113-pound weight class, is making his state tournament debut.
He entered the tourney as a four seed out of Buckeye Local district and will take a 36-8 record into the state.
He will square off in the opening round against Caleb Edwards, who was the No. 1 seed from Garfield Heights district.
Edwards, a sophomore from Rootstown, sports a 43-4 record.
Edwards also finished in third place in the 113-weight class at last year’s state tournament.
Thompson (220) is returning to the tournament for the second consecutive year.
He was unable to place in the 220-weight class a year ago, but gained experience for the upcoming state tourney.
Thompson will go into the tournament as the No. 3 seed from the Buckeye Local district.
He will tangle with Will Bechstein out of Bloomdale Elmwoodm who is the No. 2 seed from the Lakota district.
Thompson will carry a 35-9 record into the first-round bout, while Bechstein enters with a 41-10 record.
The Wildcats also have an opportunity to get a third wrestler, Chris Cox-Wilson, into the state tournament.
He finished as the fifth-best wrestler in the 182-pound weight class at Buckeye Local last weekend and is the first alternate for the state tournament.
He could get into action if a wrestler from the Buckeye Local district in the 182-weight division does not meet a list of requirements to wrestle at the state tournament, according to the OHSAA wrestling individual tournament regulations.
The first D-III session is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. on Thursday.



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