By David Fong
TROY —The Miami East wrestling team will have four wrestlers competing in the OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament when Division III gets underway at 3 p.m. today at at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
They include Graham Shore (113), Alex Isbrandt (126), Zane Strubler (132) and Ben Ferguson (285).
Shore, Isbrandt and Ferguson have all wrestled in the state tournament before.
“It’s great to have four guys going to state this year,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “We wanted to get the three kids who made it last year out, then for us to get Strubler out was very emotional. We’ve been rooting hard for that kid all year. All four of our kids wrestled great.”
Shore goes in to the state meet off his bigest win ever.
Shore (43-5) will take on Nelsonville-York’s Cody Wlech (32-11) in the opening round. The winner will meet the winner of Rossford’s Tanner Krotzer (41-5) vs. Apple Creek Waynedale’s Christan Wellman (50-2).
Shore, who placed seventh at state a year ago as a freshman, defeated defending state champion Tommy Hoskins of Dayton Christian 7-2 in overtime in the district championship match.
“This is amazing; this is unbelievable,” Shore said after his victory. “I knew this kid was a freaking hammer. I knew was going to have to wear him out, then catch him late.”
Which is exactly what Shore — who placed seventh at state last season — did in capturing his district championship.
It avenged a 7-1 loss to Hoskins early in the season.
“We’ve been on him all week, telling him that if anyone in the state was going to beat (Hoskins), it was going to be him,” Rose said after the match “He has such a tremendous motor. This is a defining moment for this kid. It may not be state, but it gives him a lot of confidence going into state. And you couldn’t ask for it to happen to a better kid than Graham Shore. He’s a great kid from a great family.”
Isbrandt placed third at district.
Isbrandt (40-6) will face Steubenville Catholic Central’s Luke Coniker (36-4) in the first round. The winner will battle the winner of Genoa Area’s Damian D’Emilio (43-6) vs. Rootstown’s Tony Paolucci (39-7) in the quarterfinals. Isbrandt placed seventh at state last year and there are six former state placers in this weight class, too.
Strubler placed fourth at district.
Strubler (35-11) will take on Elyria Catholic’s Stan Bleich (32-2) in the first round, with the winner to face the winner of Caldwell’s Kolby Rayner (37-4) vs. Oak Harbor’s Dylan Mansor (36-8) in the quarterfinals.
Ferguson placed third at districts as well.
Ben Ferguson: (39-6) will meet Oak Harbor’s Brandon Garber (40-6) in the first round. The winner of that match will face the winner of Orwell Grand Valley’s Austin Mathis (30-6) vs. Madison Plain’s Andrew Bevan (36-9) in the quarterfinals. Ferguson is a three-time state qualifier, including an eighth-place finish last year.