NU’s Thompson, JA’s Johnson earn opening-round victories

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Up 7-1 with less than a minute remaining in the match, Jonathan Alder’s Jacob Johnson trips Keegan Kohler of Fairfield Union in a state 120-pound match. Johnson advanced to the championship quarterfinals in Division II with a victory.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)
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North Union’s Dylan Thompson scored a fairly quick pin victory on Thursday when the Division III state wrestling tournament began at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center.
Thompson put a 41-7 record up against Cole Mefford of Indian Lake during the opening bout.
The 220-pound junior took a 2-0 lead on a takedown and rolled that into a 1:40 pinfall.
“Dylan popped a nice throw,” said former North Union head coach Don Wasserbeck, who guided Thompson through his match. “He did what he always brings to the table.”
“I felt I wrestled well,” said Thompson after the first-period triumph. “The match was going back and forth and then I got an over-under on him (for the pin).”
Thompson had to compete only once on Thursday since he won the match. He was scheduled to go up against Gaige Willis of Andover Pymatuning Valley, who is a defending state champion, this morning in the championship quarterfinals.
Willis brought a 41-0 record into that match.
The area’s lone Division II wrestler, Jonathan Alder’s Jacob Johnson, also won his initial bout.
The 120-pounder tallied points on four single-leg takedowns en route to a 9-2 triumph over Fairfield Union’s Keegan Kohler.
Johnson (40-1), a senior, took Kohler to the mat at the 1:40 mark of the opening period.
He went up 4-0 with a second-period takedown.
Kohler scored a point on an escape.
An escape and another single-leg gave Johnson a 7-1 margin in the third set.
Kohler wiggled out of trouble for another point, but one final takedown helped seal Johnson’s victory.
“Jacob’s takedowns were working,” said JA head coach Ron Thomas Sr.
“I got locked up on a few throw attempts,” said Johnson. “I couldn’t get him (Kohler) on his back.
“I’m not where I want to be right now, but I’ll take this win.”
Johnson was scheduled to compete against Dominic Carone in the championship quarterfinals. Carone, a Streetsboro senior, has a 38-2 record.
The opening day of action was not as successful for Chris Cox-Wilson, North Union’s 182-pounder.
He was pinned in 5:22 by Milan Edison’s Sam Stoll to begin the tourney.
Cox-Wilson was eliminated from further competition during a consolation match.
He suffered a 15-0 technical fall against Massillon Tuslaw’s Jake Loar to conclude his season with a 39-12 record.
“We knew going into the tournament that 182 was a tough weight class,” said Wildcat head coach Garret Andrews. “The biggest thing I wanted was to get Chris some state tournament experience for next season.
“He’s made big strides this year and this was a learning opportunity for him.
“As far as Dylan, he’s ready to go on Friday.”



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