LIMA — It’s all about taking it one week at a time.
For Lima Central Catholic senior wrestler Chase Caprella, winning Saturday’s Spartan Invitational at Lima Senior is just part of the process.
Caprella, a three-time state qualifier, is not only looking to return to the Division III state tournament in March (13-15) at Ohio State, but he is aiming to be at the top of the awards podium on the third day of the tournament.
At last year’s state tournament, Caprella was just one win away from reaching the awards podium.
At Saturday’s Spartan Invitational, Caprella improved his record to 20-1 after he notched the title in the 132-pound weight class.
In the finals, Caprella defeated Paulding’s Jordan Mudel 7-2.
“I’ve never wrestled him before,” Caprella said in reference to Mudel. “He came out strong. I just had to slow him down and break his pace a little bit, and then in the end, just outscore him.
“As the match went on, I progressively felt stronger. But that’s what we train for every day — progressively getting better throughout the match. I had high expectations today, and I just came out and executed.”
Caprella realizes he cannot afford to look past any opponent, as he has set some high goals.
“I want to not only get on the podium (at the state tournament), but I want to win it. That’s what we train for every single day,” Caprella said.
Mechanicsburg won the team title Saturday with 297.5 points. Monroe was a distant second (190). Liberty-Benton (145), St. Marys (142) and Spencerville (140) rounded out the top five squads in the 19-team field.
St. Marys senior Tommy Mabry won the title in the 160-pound weight class. In the finals, Mabry recorded an 8-3 decision over Monroe’s Kyle Mink. There were several timeouts taken throughout the match, in order to control bleeding from Mabry’s forehead.
“That was a brawl,” Mabry said about his finals match. “I watched him (Mink) in his last match (semifinals) and he looked pretty tough, but I didn’t expect anything like this.”
Last season, Mabry was a Division II state alternate. He also was a Western Buckeye League champion in 2018-19. He is a two-time district qualifier.
“This year, I want to make it to the state tournament,” Mabry said. “But districts is a brawl. You can’t just walk in there and expect to win.”
Mabry said this year’s team is looking strong, despite having a young roster.
“We lost two league champs from last year, and most of this year’s team is young. I’m the only senior this year. Everybody is just looking to improve,” he said.
One of those young teammates of Mabry’s is sophomore Tyler Hisey (106).
In Saturday’s finals, Hisey major-decisioned Monroe’s Caleb Thomas, 8-0.
With his stellar performance, Hisey (21-0) was named the most valuable wrestler of the tournament.
Hisey knew, coming in, that Saturday’s competition was going to be tough.
“I had two really good kids that I had to face. … I just wanted to beat them,” he said with a smile.
Other champions Saturday included Antwerp’s Randall Mills (126), Bath’s Carter Butler (285), Chase Martin from Delphos St. John’s (170), Liberty-Benton’s Nathaniel DiRe (195), Mechanicsburg’s Trey Allen (113), Jesse Stroud (120), Westyn Moyer (138), Jake Hurst (152), Jaron Patterson (182), Monroe’s Alex Pitsch (145) and Spencerville’s Brandon Dues (220).
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.