That’s been Edison senior Brady Barnett’s motto the last two years after going through a rough patch as a sophomore where a string of one-point losses haunted him.
Healthy to start the year, the two-time Division III runner-up at 132 pounds, dominated his 138-pound bracket at Saturday’s Edison Invitational, recording 50 takedowns — 10 in each of his five matches — en route to earning MVP honors as the Chargers captured the overall team title with 351 points over second-place Berea-Midpark (282 points) in the 11-team event.
Barnett became only the sixth wrestler to win four Edison Invite titles. Kyle Burns was the only other Charger to accomplish the feat.
“It’s a pretty good feeling to know that there’s only been six people to do it, and I’m only the second Edison wrestler to do it,” Barnett said. “There’s been a lot of tough wrestlers that have come through Edison, so it’s a nice honor to have.”
Going against Medina Buckeye junior Jaret Lowry in the finals, Barnett tallied 22 first-period points before finishing Lowry off in the second period for a 2:36 pinfall.
“Having fun and scoring a bunch of points, that’s what I love to do,” said Barnett, now 159-18 in his Edison career. “After I went through that rough patch a few years ago, I told myself ‘Blow people up!’ I want to go out and win matches by 15-20 points and get that score as high as I can.
“It’s also a big confidence booster, too,” he added. “If you can get your takedown offense down you know by the end of the year we can score points on about anybody.”
Edison had five total individual champions as Ray Adams was champion at 106, Max Wolfe won at 132, Joey Kasper took top honors at 182 and Sam Stoll pinned his way to the 195 title.
Stoll, a week removed from helping the Chargers to the Div. V state semifinals for the second straight year, needed only eight minutes flat of mat time to secure five pins, wrestling up at 195. He also earned his 100th career win in the process.
Stoll, a junior, who was named Associated Press All-Ohio Offensive Player of the Year in Div. V, was fourth at state a year ago at 170.
“I took about two days off then came to practice a couple of days,” he said. “It’s nice to get back into a sport. I don’t like taking any time off. You got to move on.”
Stoll’s second round match against Berea-Midpark’s David Weaver was the lone match he had that went beyond the first period. He pinned Weaver in 2:47. Stoll was a winner over Monroeville’s Tche Leroux in 47 seconds in the finals.
“Anytime you move up a weight class you’re going to have to deal with different types of styles, but I’d put on some weight from football, so it wasn’t a drastic change,” Stoll said. “My endurance and stamina isn’t the best right now, though, so I tried to work quick takedowns and end it as soon as we could.”
Ethan Hernandez (152) was the lone champion for fourth-place Norwalk as he topped Edison’s Collin Mancuso by default. Gabe Phillips (170) and Alec Maloney (182) were both runners-up in at their respective weights.
The lone other area champion was Western Reserve’s Tyler Yarber, who wrapped up his title by pinning Monroeville’s Montgomery Walls in 1:16. Gage Griffith was third at 106 for the Roughriders, who were sixth as a group with 143.5 points.
For eighth-place Monroeville, Rhett Roeder (160) and Leroux (195) were both runners-up.
Gerron Poston’s and Raven Brant’s (285) third-place finish (145) paced 10th-place Willard.
Jacob Huber (285) was runner-up at 285 for 11th-place Margaretta.
Those finishing runner-up for Edison were Dylan Burns (113) and Mancuso (152). Dalton Burns was third at 160.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy with how we wrestled as a team. I’m happy that we won it, but I don’t think we performed great,” Chargers coach Davy Hermes said. “I think the tournament was pretty mediocre competition-wise with it being early in the season. But we had some young freshmen that we threw in there wrestle really hard.”
Edison is ranked in the top five in Div. III to start the year. Both Barnett and Dylan Burns will wrestle at next weekend’s Ironman at Walsh Jesuit.
“Brady is on a mission to win state and if he doesn’t win state, he’s not going to be happy being a two-time runner-up already,” said Hermes of Barnett.
Stoll and Alex Neuberger were also invited to the Ironman, but won’t participate due to it being only two weeks after football. Still, the coach liked what he saw from his new 195-pounder.
“Sam is Sam,” Hermes said. “A couple days of practice and he does that. He’s just a great athlete. There’s not much else you can say about that. It wasn’t a super tough weight class, but he went out there and took care of it.”