COLUMBUS — It’s been a long 12 months for Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer.
After losing in the semifinal at last year’s wrestling state tournament in the 195-pound weight class in Division III, Beemer’s hopes of a state title were abruptly halted.
Ever since then, that night has haunted him.
Beemer redeemed himself Friday when he won his semifinal match against Waynedale’s Logan Stanley, 5-4 and will now advance to tonight’s Division III, 182-pound championship match, where he will meet Milan Edison’s Sam Stoll (55-3) in the finals.
O-G coach Randy Ebbeskotte remembers last year’s loss, just like it was yesterday.
“That loss was tough and the talk was even tougher in the hotel after that,” Ebbeskotte said. “But, he came back and battled hard and it’s been his focus, not for just this past year, but ever since he was a fifth-grader and started wrestling.”
Last year, Beemer finished fourth at 195. The year before, as a sophomore, he finished fifth at 182.
Beemer (40-0) said he’s learned to not take anything for granted since last year’s loss in the semifinals.
“I don’t take it for granted, especially since my dad was in the hospital this week. He’s here now, actually. I love him for everything he’s done for me,” an emotional Beemer said.
Bluffton’s Deandre Nassar (Div. III, 195) made it to the state tournament last season, but fell short of his goal of getting on the podium.
This weekend at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center, Nassar has a shot to finish as high as third.
Nassar lost a hard-fought semifinal match Friday to Bloomdale Elmwood’s Dylan Hinton, 5-4.
“I handled it pretty well, up until towards the end,” Nassar said about Hinton’s physicality. “I got my tooth knocked out and everything. I thought I was going to be able to come back and win it. So, I just have to fight back through the consolations now.”
Lima Central Catholic junior Joey Caprella (Division III, 145) suffered his first loss of the season – and it could not have come at a worse time.
Caprella lost to Archbold’s Gavin Grime in his semifinal bout Friday night, 8-4.
Caprella opened the day with a win over Crestview’s Andrew Hardenbrook in a quarterfinal match, 5-2.
Caprella (42-1) can still finish as high as third place in the tournament.
Russell makes school history
The last time Lima Senior had a state-placer was 1988. His name was Mike Hunter.
The drought is finally over.
After winning his first-round match Thursday, Lima Senior junior Naeem Russell (Division I, 152) faced three-time state champion David Carr from Massillon Perry in his quarterfinal Friday morning.
Carr was in control throughout the match, en route to a 17-2 tech-fall win.
“That match showed me how much I have to work to get to that point,” Russell said after his match with Carr. “I think I could have done better. I just need to work harder.”
However, Russell bounced back with a hard-fought victory Friday afternoon over Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit’s Will Schmidt, 4-2, that guaranteed a spot on the awards podium.
“It feels good, but I still have a few more matches left,” Russell said, following his win over Schmidt. “I want to get higher (on the podium).”
Russell said he was being cautious in the waning moments of his consolation match.
“Originally, I wanted to go neutral,” Russell said. “I was scared that I would get caught in a scramble. But I stayed under control and rode him out.”
Russell went on to win his consolation match and will wre
stle back today, where he is guaranteed a place on the podium.
Kaeck nabs a spot on podium
Wapakoneta sophomore Evan Kaeck assured himself at least a top-eight finish Friday afternoon, when he defeated Cuyahoga Falls CVCA’s Breslin Walker in a consolation match, 2-1. Kaeck went on to win in another consolation against Upper Sandusky’s Connor Johnston, 12-8.
“I wrestled this kid (Walker) earlier in the year and lost by one,” Kaeck said. “I kind of knew what he was going to do.”
Sumner will be a three-time placer
Ada senior Chase Sumner (Div. III, 145) assured himself a spot on the podium Friday. He will be competing in the seventh and eighth-place match today.
Other area wrestlers
After winning his first-round match Thursday, Allen East freshman Drake Carmean (Div. III, 120) went 0-2 Friday and was knocked out of the tournament. Teammate Garrett Neth (182) also bowed out Friday.
O-G’s Danny Rosales (170) had a rough start Friday in his quarterfinal bout with Ashtabula St. John’s Jacob Lagoa.
Lagoa, last year’s Division III state champion at 152, pinned Rosales in 29 seconds.
However, Rosales bounced back in the consolations and defeated Troy Christian’s Craig Montgomery, 3-1, to stay alive in the tournament, as well as assuring a place on the podium.
This marks the first time ever in school history that O-G has notched two state-placers.
Shawnee’s heavyweight Bobby Grotjahn will be competing in the seventh and eighth-place match today.
Indian Lake’s Cole Mefford (220) and Connor Dixon (182) are still competing and will be on the podium tonight.
Bath senior Collin Mell (Div. II, 145) ended his high school career Friday, when he went 0-2 and bowed out of the tournament.
Mell took on three-time state champion Mitch Moore from St. Paris Graham in his quarterfinal Friday morning. Moore pinned Mell early in the second period.
Mell (39-5) then lost a hard-fought overtime thriller to Lisbon Beaver’s Beau Smith, 2-1.
Other area wrestlers who were eliminated from the state tournament Friday included Coldwater’s Thomas Schwieterman (Div. III, 285), Columbus Grove’s Jeff Meyer (Div. III, 285), Indian Lake’s Dylan Knotts (Div. III, 160), Paulding’s Logan Mudle (Div. III, 132), and Van Wert’s Gabe Steyer (Div. II, 132).
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.