MARION – Delphos St. John’s senior Chase Martin did not want to end his high school career with a loss, especially when he began his career four years ago with a victory.
On Sunday, at the Division III Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships, Martin closed out his illustrious career with a win in the seventh-place match of the 170-pound weight class.
Martin (52-4) defeated Martin Ferry’s Kameron Hughes 5-4, in an overtime tiebreaker in his placement match.
“That was one of my goals,” Martin said. “I wanted to close out my high school career with a win because that’s how I started my high school career. So, I didn’t want to lose.”
Martin ends his four years at St. John’s as the all-time career wins leader (151). He was a two-time state qualifier.
“I’m really happy overall,” Martin said. “Other than being a state champion, one of my goals was to place.
“Last year, with getting stuck on 99 wins (at the end of last season), and then getting my 100th win at the beginning of this year, I was like, ‘It would be a lot cooler to get my 100th win at state (last season), and then get my 150th win at state (this season). That was one of my goals – to get my 150th at this mark.”
On Sunday, Martin battled through a minor knee injury that he suffered in an earlier match.
He came back in his seventh-place match, fought through some minor pain, and notched the hard-fought victory.
“It was pretty tough, mentally, to try to stay in it,” Martin said. “I wanted to end my high school career on a good note.”
Caprella notches fifth place
Lima Central Catholic junior Gavin Caprella does not make any excuses.
The 113-pounder opened this weekend’s Division III state tournament with two wins.
However, on Sunday, Caprella found himself wrestling back after a loss.
Caprella fought his way back to the fifth-place match, where he defeated Barnesville’s Dakota King 5-1.
Caprella (31-5) opened action Sunday by losing to Miami East’s Cooper Shore in the semifinals, 10-4.
“It was pretty devastating knowing that I lost in the semis, and I wasn’t going to be state champion,” Caprella said. “The ultimate goal at the end of the season is to be the (state) champion. It’s not what I wanted, but I still had to compete to the best of my abilities after that. You have to look past it. You can’t be looking back. You just have to look forward and move on to the next match.”
Caprella did enjoy the experience of competing at the state tournament. However, he wasn’t totally satisfied at the results.
“It’s really a great experience,” Caprella said. “It’s the first time being down here. It’s not what it usually is – with it usually being down at the Schottenstein Center (at Ohio State). But it’s still wrestling at the end of the day. You have to come out and compete. You have to put points on the board. You have to dominate to win.”
Jones on the podium
Columbus Grove senior Ezra Jones started the two-day tournament with two consecutive wins in the 195-pound weight class.
However, on Sunday, Jones lost his semifinal match and was forced to wrestle back in the consolations, en route to a sixth-place finish.
“I look at all of this, and I’m just blessed to be part of the ride,” Jones said. “I’m blessed to be part of God’s plan – to give me the ability to come down here and wrestle to the best of my ability.
“Things didn’t go the way that I planned, but I’ll see what else is in store for me.”
Jones (42-6) lost to Southeast’s Jadiyn Sapp in Sunday’s fifth-place match, 9-6.
Stammen on podium
Coldwater junior Caleb Stammen placed eighth in the 195-pound weight class.
Stammen (44-7) lost to Liberty-Benton’s Nathaniel DiRe in the seventh-place match, 8-2.
Mefford bows out
Indian Lake senior Lane Mefford (33-5) lost two matches on Sunday and was eliminated from the tournament in the 182-pound weight class.
Hisey third in Division II
St. Marys junior Tyler Hisey (106) placed third at the Division II state tournament at Marengo Highland High School on Sunday.
In Hisey’s third-place match, he defeated Perry’s Zach Bellissimo, 7-4.
Hisey finished the season with an overall record of 45-3.