COLUMBUS — It’s been a long year for Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer.
Last year, Beemer seemed to be well on his way for a shot at a state title until he suffered his first loss of the season, in the Division III semifinals of the 195-pound weight class at the OHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Ohio State.
Beemer went on to finish fourth. The year before, Beemer placed fifth at 182.
Since then, Beemer has been on a mission his senior season, steamrolling through the competition in the 182-pound weight class.
Saturday’s championship match against two-time state-placer Sam Stoll from Milan Edison, was Beemer’s last chance for redemption. Stoll, a senior, came into Saturday’s title match, 55-3.
Now, the wait is finally over for Beemer.
Beemer came out as the aggressor in Saturday night’s championship match, took control and defeated Stoll, 9-4. With the win, Beemer (41-0) becomes the first Ottawa-Glandorf wrestler to win a state title.
This also marks the first time in school history that O-G has put two athletes on the awards podium. Teammate Danny Rosales finished seventh Saturday at 170.
“It’s so surreal right now,” an elated Beemer said afterward. “I have visualized it thousands of times. That’s the only thing that has crossed my mind, before I go to bed and before I wake up. This has been a lifelong goal of mine, standing on top of the podium. I just can’t believe it right now. It’s crazy.”
In his finals match, Beemer put continual pressure on the taller Stoll, and was very successful in defending any shots taken by him.
“I knew, coming into the match he was an athletic, strong kid – I think he was like the D-V football player of the year,” Beemer said. “So, it definitely shows the athlete that kid is. For me to go in there and stop his go-to move, which is a high-crotch move, was huge. I wanted to keep pushing the pace, beating on his head and I tried swarming him the entire match. I didn’t want to give him any space to work with. I didn’t want to let him breathe that entire match.”
Beemer’s path to the state title started Thursday, when he defeated Orrville’s Cameron VanBrunt by tech fall in the opening round, 16-1.
Then on Friday in his quarterfinal, Beemer pinned Patrick Henry’s Wil Morrow in the first period.
Saturday’s semifinal match for Beemer was a grinder, as Beemer came away with a hard-fought 5-4 victory over Apple Creek Waynedale’s Logan Stanley.
“Coming into my freshman year, this was my obvious goal,” Beemer said. “But for me to finally accomplish it and bring down some teammates this year and the last two years – this year, Grant (Goecke, 160) and Danny (Rosales, 170) – and watching those guys strive and succeed, has really been extra motivation for me and for them.
“For all those hundreds of hours of dedication, hard work, blood, sweat and tears – it’s so special for it to finally pay off.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.