A dozen area wrestlers headed to columbus – sports – the review – alliance, oh west point academy tours

It’s onward and upward to the highest level of postseason competition for several area wrestlers after two division II district tournaments concluded saturday night.

Headed by west branch junior christian wayt and louisville sophomore jax leonard, 10 individuals who competed in the alliance district tournament in harry fails gymnasium qualified for state.

"This was the toughest district tournament I’ve seen since I’ve been (at alliance) the last eight years," alliance head coach craig shaw said.

"We had good competition (at claymont), but the regular-season schedule helps set us up for a chance to do well at district," minerva head coach chad hilliard said.

Competing at 113 pounds.

Wayt earned a second straight state tournament berth with four wins at the alliance division II district, capped by a 5-3 decision over louisville senior ryan jakubiak in the title match.Akron vincent-st he scored all five points during one stretch of the second period, snapping a scoreless tie.

"It was a weird scramble," wayt smiled. "It wasn’t anything technical. During the scramble, I was able to reverse him and get three back points."

Saving his best for the final, leonard also qualified for the state for the second straight season after recording a 14-4 major decision over cuyahoga valley christian academy senior justin west in the 145-pound final. He recorded several single-leg takedowns, starting with 1:39 left in the first period.

"I got a good feel for what he (west) wanted to do early," leonard explained. "I feel good about going for takedowns and I was able to score on them."

Leonard, who finished eighth at state last season and survived a 2-1 decision over akron st. Vincent-st. Mary junior jacob potok, also won four district matches, improving to 46-5.Akron vincent-st mary

Jakubiak survived close second- and third-round matches in his road to the final. He decisioned lake catholic freshman anthony trivisonno 5-4 in a quarterfinal match and cuyahoga valley christian academy sophomore matthew williams 7-6 in the third round.

Leasure went 3-1 at 285 pounds, winning his first three district matches by pin to guarantee his second straight state tournament appearance. Leasure, who was pinned in the final by girard standout jack delgarbino, improved his record to 40-9 and finished two spots higher than he did at the district tournament last season.

"The competition was tougher at district than it was last year, so I’m happy to finish two places higher than I did as a junior," leasure said.

The other three louisville state qualifiers were freshmen garret lautzenheiser (106 pounds) and davin rhoads (120), and sophomore blake robbins (220).Akron vincent-st mary

Lautzenheiser improved his record to 43-2 with a 4-1 run in the tournament, highlighted by a 9-2 major decision over canfield freshman ethan fletcher in the third-place match.

Rhoads (43-9) dropped his second-round match, but regrouped to capture his next four contests, including a pair of one-point decisions in the consolation rounds followed by a 4-2 decision over aurora junior kyle peterson for third place.

Robbins dropped a 3-0 decision to howland senior brandon matlock in the second round but bounced back to finish fourth and grab the state-qualifying berth, improving to 35-6.

"We got five kids out and I’m pretty excited about that," louisville head coach rocky laughlin said. "We only got three out last year and leonard was our only returner, so we had some guys step up and do a great job."

West branch freshman kenny marra (182) joined wayt at state, placing fourth in his weight class after winning three straight matches following a second-round loss to akron st.Akron vincent-st mary vincent-st. Mary senior david heath, the eventual runner-up.

Leasure will be joined at state by alliance senior skyler curry, who finished fourth at 138 pounds and performed better at the district meet than he did as a sophomore, the previous time he reached that level of postseason competition.

Curry needed sudden victory to defeat CVCA freshman austin pownall in the first round and went on to ensure his state tournament berth with a 5-2 win over pownall in the consolation semifinals. Curry, who didn’t wrestle last season, went 3-2 at district, improving to 38-9.

Southeast senior cole bailey also advanced to state at 138, defeating curry 3-1 for third place to finish 4-1 in the tournament. Bailey, whose only loss was to akron st. Vincent-st. Mary senior luke wymer, the eventual champion, will take a 39-3 record to state as the pirates’ only representative.Akron vincent-st mary

Minerva senior travis kuttler (285) and sophomore teammate ethan mueller (126) advanced to state. Kuttler went 4-1 in the tournament and placed third in his weight class, improving to 37-6. Mueller’s only loss was 2-1 to steubenville’s tyler ely in the ultimate tiebreaker. Ely went on to win the title and mueller bounced back to defeat claymont’s lyle clark 6-3 for third place.

"Kuttler didn’t make it out of sectionals last year, so I’m very happy to see him get to state this season," minerva head coach chad hilliard said. "He wrestled a very technical tournament."

Mueller dropped down two weight classes this year and moved up in status, winning four of his six matches at district to earn the final state berth in his weight class and elevate his record to 29-10.

"Mueller had the foresight before the season to cut down his weight and compete at 126, because he thought it was his best chance to make state," hilliard said. "He got prepared by competing in both freestyle and greco-roman wrestling during the offseason and was committed to the sport."