|Perrysburg wrestlers ready for state tournament|
|Written by JOE SZYMCZAK, Sentinel Sports Writer|
|Wednesday, 26 February 2014 09:34|
A total ofÂ 12 wrestlers from Wood County high schools will journey to Columbus for the individual state wrestling tournament. Â
Eight are of the 12 are from Perrysburg in Division I.
The number of qualifiers puts Perrysburg in contention for a team title. The competition will be stiff, but the Yellow Jackets have just fought their way through theÂ tough Cleveland State district.
"Normally, I would say that our district sets us up great for the state tournament, but all of our guys have some pretty tough draws," Perrysburg coach Sam Cotterman said. "We have seen the best competition, not just at our district, but at all the competitions we faced through the year. We are able to take our kids around the state to face the best competition. All these things will help us do well down in Columbus."
Many pundits like to say after the stress of the Cleveland State district that the state tournament might seem easier emotionally.
"I'd like to say it will be easier because this year's district was the most emotional tournament I have been a part of since my time here at Perrysburg," said Cotterman.Â "But it's not. It will be even more competitive and even more emotional because the stakes are higher, and we have four seniors in our lineup who all made it to Columbus.
"Our seniors have paved the way for this program, and every good team needs leadership. These guys have offered that leadership, and that is why we are where we are today.''
Cotterman said Kadin Llewellyn (195) is the guy who gets practices going and makes sure the mats are ready.Â Rocco Caywood(182) is our more vocal leader. JP Newton (152) speaks when it's needed and leads by his work ethic and toughness. Mark Delas (220) is also a leader by example. Mark has had to Ã”Â¨Ã…ght through some injuries this year and has shown great perseverance to make it to Columbus.
Even though Perrysburg is in the midst of the tough competition of Division I, they still maintain lofty goals.
"Like our district, crazy things happen," said Cotterman.Â "We have a lot of guys that want to be state champs. I truly believe they all have a shot. It won't be easy, but if it was easy it wouldn't be our goal.Â As a team, we want to be top three in the state."
Aside from the four seniors, juniors Cale Bonner (285) and Dan Waltermeyer (160) are making the trip. The Guillen brothers, sophomore Mario (113) and freshman Moises (120), also qualified.
"Last year we were able to send four guys to Columbus and Ã”Â¨Ã…nished with three placers with third being the best Ã”Â¨Ã…nish," said Cotterman. "This year we are taking eight down with hopes of more placers and beating that third-place Ã”Â¨Ã…nish. We are taking some guys to Columbus who really didn't think they could get there, but they are. That will show all the younger guys that if you work hard and take advantage of opportunities around you that you can accomplish very high goals."
The four other state qualiÃ”Â¨Ã…ers are in Division III.
Northwood junior Devon Dunbar (126) and Elmwood senior Jacob Wise (170) were district champions.
Otsego senior Jordan Hendrix (160) and junior Trent Soto (132) placed second and third in the district, respectively.
The tournament at the Schottenstein Center begins Thursday at 4 p.m. and ends Saturday with the Ã”Â¨Ã…nals at 6 p.m.
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