COLUMBUS — Davey Hermes was having flashbacks.
Much in the same fashion as Kyle Burns won his state title in 2011 at 145 pounds, Edison freshman Casey Barnett was able to come away with a similar reversal to clinch the title in the final seconds.
Trailing 3-2 with close to 10 seconds remaining in Saturday night’s Division III 106-pound title match, and with him scrambling with opponent Lucian Brink from Coshocton, Barnett had the undefeated sophomore in what looked like scoring position, then the referee finally signaled the two points at around the four-second mark, giving the Charger freshman a 4-3 win and the school’s first state crown by a freshman wrestler.
His effort, along with a runner-up finish by Sam Stoll at 182 helped Edison finish third overall in the team standings with 67.5 points as the state individual tournament wrapped up at Ohio State’s Jerome Schottenstein Center. Genoa won the state team championship with 113.5 points. Ashtabula St. John was runners-up with 80.5.
The Chargers had four wrestlers in Columbus and all four placed — Barnett, Stoll, Ray Adams (fourth) and Jordan Keegan (sixth).
“I could see the win right in those final seconds,” said Barnett, whose 59 wins ties him with older brother Brady Barnett and Evan Cheek for the most in single season. “I just had to get that reversal and ice the match.
“It still hasn’t sunk in,” he added. “The adrenaline is still going through me pretty hard. It’s pretty cool to be lumped in with Brady and Evan though, I’ve been watching those guys forever and I really look up to them.”
With Brink on top of his legs, Barnett was able to squeeze out of his grasp, flip to Brink’s back, then roll him over to get to his leg, allowing him to flip him for the two points.
“I thought they were going to give it to us a little earlier, then they kind of took it away because they started rolling again,” Hermes said.
Brink entered the title match at 46-0. But afterwards, he admitted the younger Barnett put him in spots he’s not use to. Barnett got an early first-period takedown, but was reversed in the second period before giving up an escape point in the third. Still, he seemed more in his element than his opponent.
“I scramble a lot with Dylan (Burns) and Ray (Adams) in the wrestling room, so I’m just really comfortable at any position,” Barnett said.
Barnett’s lone losses were to the two Div. II finalists — Perry’s Kyle Rowan and Cuyahoga Falls Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy’s Jacob Decatur.
“I feel like our schedule prepares our kids for this environment,” Hermes said. “We have a tough schedule. I think the dual tournaments we have and going to Brecksville gets someone like Casey prepared to grind out a one-point win on a big stage when they need to.”
For Stoll (55-4), normally solid with his defense, the senior had a hard time stopping Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer. Beemer took Stoll down four times, building a 5-2 lead entering the final period.
“I give (Beemer) a lot of credit. He is probably the most physical, tenacious and aggressive guy I think I’ve ever faced,” said Stoll, who finished with Edison career with 208 career wins, placing fourth, seventh and second the last three seasons. “He just beat me. He came at me.
“The difference in the match was my not finishing those two shots I was in on,” he added. “I was in on defense, but he was just so strong and physical. He fought me off good. I give him a lot of credit and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Stoll’s points all came via escape.
“Not everything always has a happy ending, but I’ve worked hard for this kind of moment my life, so I’m proud to get second,” he added. “Not satisfied, but proud.”