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Six from Edison, St. Paul's Caizzo to state in Division III

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Updated Mar 3, 2019 at 1:43 PM

KANSAS — Six Edison wrestlers and one from St. Paul survived a stout district field to reach the Division III state championships on Saturday at Lakota High School.

Defending state champion Casey Barnett was the lone district champion from the area, winning the 113-pound weight class for the Chargers.

Joining him from Edison includes second-place Jacob Brewer (195), while the quartet of Alec Homan (106), Ray Adams (120), Jordan Keegan (138) and Shadrick Slone (145) each placed third.

Meanwhile, St. Paul junior Cam Caizzo fell in the title match at 182, and is also headed to Columbus this week.

State powerhouse Genoa (238) cruised to the team title, with Edison (153) a distant second, followed by usual strong contenders Delta (109) and Oak Harbor (98.5) in third and fourth. St. Paul (51) finished 10th in the 50-team field.

Six state qualifiers equals the most in Edison program history, joining the 2017 team from two years ago.

“It’s not often that you say this, especially at a district tournament, but I don’t think we lost a match all weekend, short of Shad’s quarterfinal match, that was a surprise,” Edison coach Davey Hermes said. “We won every single match all weekend that we should’ve won. As a coach, that’s what you’re looking for at this level.”

Barnett improved to 57-1 and turns his attention to competing for another state title. He pinned three straight opponents in 2:36, 1:32 and 5:42 to reach the district title match on Saturday, where he topped Oak Harbor’s Tyler Davis in a 7-2 decision.

Brewer (39-3) also pinned his way through the first three rounds at 195 in 1:10, :56 and 3:16. He was edged by Liberty Center’s Caleb Carpenter (34-1) in the title match, 4-3, in a series that has gone back-and-forth between the two.

At 106, Homan had two pins before falling 4-2 in the semifinals. But in the consolation semifinal to earn a spot to state, he edged South Central’s Jayden Strickland, 6-4 — then pinned Oak Harbor’s Michael Judge in 1:25 for third.

At 120, Adams lost 5-2 against Eastwood’s Brandon Hahn in the semifinals, after he had gotten there via technical fall (17-0) and a pin (1:55). He responded with a 7-0 decision to earn a trip to state, then won an 11-5 decision over Libery Center’s Dylan Matthews to finish third.

At 138, Keegan had two quick pins in 1:42 and 1:10, but then lost a major decision to Ohio State recruit Dylan D’Emilio in the semifinals. He bounced back with a pin in 46 seconds over Western Reserve’s Jacob Martz, then topped Archibald’s Brennan Short with a 5-2 decision for third.

Slone had a long road back at 145. He lost 10-5 in the quarterfinals on Friday, and needed to win four matches on Saturday. He pulled out victories of 16-0, 5-1, 4-3 — and then 4-1 in the third-place match over Mohawk’s Morgan Price, who had beaten him in the quarters.

“Shad was one of our more impressive kids,” Hermes said. “He lost a match last nigh in the quarterfinals to a kid we thought he’d beat, then had to win four straight today to get to where he was at, then beat that same kid for third. He had a great tournament for a freshman.

“We didn’t have very good draws at the district level,” he added. “But we had a great finals round, going 5-1 in matches for the top four spots. No one got fourth, which is huge for state bracketing.”

Caizzo (37-8) had an impressive run to the finals for the Flyers. He was the ninth-ranked wrestler in his weight class according to the borofanohio.net rankings.

He began district run with a 13-4 major decision over Delta’s Rollin Robinson, then drew Genoa’s Antonio Quezada — No. 8 in the state rankings — in the quarterfinals.

Caizzo pulled out a 2-1 decision over Quezada, then beat state No. 12 Mason Babcock (Archbold) in the semifinals with another narrow decision of 3-2. He won a stalling point penalty against Quezada, and rode out a first-period takedown to victory over Babcock.

That put him in the finals against the No. 7-ranked wrestler in the state, Carey’s Tanner May (44-2), who was able to put Caizzo on his back early in the second period at 2:35 for the pin.

“It was a lot of scrapping in both matches,” Caizzo said about his quarterfinal and semifinal wins. “Antonio beat me by a major earlier this year, so I knew going into this rematch it was going to take my all — and probably a little more. In the win over Babcock, I just feel like I was mentally prepared and was able to wrestle a smart match.

“This was a goal to make state at the beginning of the season, and now I want to push that a little further and see if I can make some noise down there,” he added.

Four other area wrestlers finished as state alternates in fifth place, while four were also in sixth place.

Strickland, who was beating Homan at the sectionals last week before getting pinned, then lost to him in the go-to-state match by two on Saturday, responded with a 4-0 decision over St. Paul’s Aiden Naseman at 106 to claim fifth.

Strickland, a sophomore, went 35-3 this season.

Edison’s Jakey Neer pinned his way to fifth (4:23) at 126, while Logan Lloyd lost a 4-1 decision to finish sixth for the Chargers at 160.

Sam Meyer (36-10) bounced back to finish in fifth for St. Paul at 170. He worked his way to a 14-2 major decision over Tyler Echler (Liberty Center).

Willard’s DJ Slone (34-6) was fifth at 152 with a 13-2 major over Carson Meyer (Archbold). Slone lost a heartbreaker, 5-4, in his go-to-state match. Also fro the Crimson Flashes, Raven Brant (42-5) was sixth at heavyweight. He also lost a narrow 3-1 decision in his state bid consolation match.

Also finishing in sixth was Western’s Martz (33-10) at 138.

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