1. Will Allen East’s five state qualifiers make a big splash at the Division III state tournament?
Last season, Allen East was looking to make a serious run at the Division III state tournament after qualifying six wrestlers.
However, last season came to an abrupt halt, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Mustangs could only sit and ponder on how well they could have done at the state tournament.
This season, Allen East had five wrestlers stamp their tickets for the state tournament at the Troy district tournament.
Sophomore Kade Wireman (35-5, 138-pound weight class), junior Chase Miller (48-4, 160), senior Blake Hershberger (49-4, 170), junior Alek Winner (41-10, 220) and sophomore Eli Criblez (42-4, 285) will represent the Mustangs this coming weekend at Marion Harding High School — the site for the Division III state tournament.
Last season, Hershberger, Wireman and Criblez all qualified for state.
At this past weekend’s Division III district tournament at Troy, Allen East placed third out of the 50 teams that were represented.
“Having five state qualifiers and an alternate out of 10 guys – I couldn’t be much prouder,” longtime Allen East head coach Mike Abbey said. “Now, we have to go get something done at state.”
2. Can Columbus Grove senior Jeff Meyer finally get to the top of the podium?
Jeff Meyer, a heavyweight, (285-pound weight class) has competed at the Division III state tournament two times before this season. He also qualified last season, but could not compete because of the pandemic.
As a sophomore, Meyer placed sixth at the state tournament. As a freshman, the Columbus Grove heavyweight qualified for the state tournament, but did not place.
This weekend, Meyer (45-2) will try to wrap up his stellar high school career on a high note.
“This is my last shot,” Meyer said. “You have to put all your cards on the table and just roll with it. You have to give it everything you got, and have no regrets. That’s what I have to do.”
At last weekend’s district tournament at Troy, Meyer notched the district title by defeating Northwest Conference-foeAllen East sophomore Eli Criblez in the championship bout.
3. Lima Central Catholic junior Gavin Caprella poised to make it high up on the podium.
LCC’s Gavin Caprella (28-3, 113-pound weight class) is focused on getting high up on the awards podium at this weekend’s Division III state tournament.
Last season, Caprella qualified for state, but was unable to compete due to the stoppage of the season.
4. Chase Martin ready to close out his high school wrestling career on a high note.
The all-time career wins leader at Delphos St. John’s has one more thing to put on his illustrious resume.
Martin (48-2, 170-pound weight class) is focused on wrapping up his high school career on a strong note as he will compete at the Division III state tournament this weekend.
At the Troy district, Martin placed third in a very competitive 170-pound weight class.
Last season, Martin was one of many area grapplers who did not get the opportunity to compete at the state tournament, due to the pandemic.
5. Will Indian Lake’s Hayden Pummel close out his high school career with a state title?
Hayden Pummel (36-0) is a three-time state qualifier for Indian Lake.
Last season, as a junior, Pummel was the projected state champion at 160. However, the state tournament never played out, because of COVID-19.
The Northern Illinois University-bound Pummel is hoping to cap off his very successful high school career with a state title.
This past weekend at Troy, Pummel won the Division III district title in the 160-pound weight class.
6. Wapakoneta senior Colin Mellott ready to make a final run.
Mellott has qualified for state twice before.
Mellot (34-2, 113) will compete for the final time at the high school level this weekend at the Division II state tournament at Marengo Highland High School.
At last weekend’s Division II district at Norwalk, Mellott placed third.
7. Bluffton junior Kaden Basil ready to make a run at state.
Last season, Basil qualified for the D-III state tournament in the 138-pound weight class.
At this past weekend’s Division III district tournament at Rossford, Basil (38-6) placed second at 160 to qualify for state.
8. Will St. Marys junior Tyler Hisey be a “giant” at the lower weight class?
Before the postseason tournament unfolded, St. Marys junior Tyler Hisey was competing in a higher weight class. At the Western Buckeye League Championships, Hisey won the title at 113.
At last weekend’s Division II district tournament at Norwalk, Hisey (41-2) placed second at 106 pounds.
Hisey qualified for the state tournament last season as well.
Tyler Hisey’s twin brother, Trevor, placed fifth at 113 pounds at last weekend’s district tournament, and is a state alternate.
9. Will Celina junior Landon Engle make an impact at the state tournament?
Engle (43-5) is coming off an impressive second-place finish at last weekend’s Division II district at Norwalk in the 126-pound weight class.
At this season’s Western Buckeye League Championships, Engle won the crown at 132.
10. Will Columbus Grove senior Ezra Jones be a “sleeper” at the Division III state tournament?
When Columbus Grove senior Ezra Jones won the district title (195) at Troy this past weekend, Jones finally accomplished his goal of qualifying for the state tournament.
Last season, Jones placed fifth at the district tournament, and was a state alternate.
This weekend, Jones (40-3) has the opportunity to make an impact at the Division III state tournament at Marion Harding.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.