COLUMBUS — The Greene County area has two Division III state placers already, with two more wrestlers set to vie for their respective weight championships tonight, Saturday, March 11, during the final day of the Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State University campus.

Greeneview sophomore Devan Hendricks placed sixth in the D-III 106-pound weight class, after losing a 6-1 decision to West Lafayette Ridgewood senior Colton Bethel in the fifth-place match. Hendricks said it was a learning experience for him, and he’s ready to work over the summer with a Xenia club as a freestyle wrestler.

“I wanted to do better, but sixth isn’t terrible,” Hendricks said, a slight cut over his left eye. “… I need to shoot more, and set up my attacks better the next time. I was just shooting without really setting anything up, and he took advantage of it.”

Rams coach Brock Wagner described Hendricks’ wrestling style at the tournament as “defensive, but a pretty good defensive. I was just telling Devan, there’s only 3-4 sophomores that I can think off off hand at Greeneview that have placed. That is a big accomplishment. … He did a great job. I’m happy.”

Even happier is Xenia Legacy Christian senior A.J. Warner who placed fourth in the D-III 126-pound weight division after losing to Mechanicsburg’s Tyler Wetzel in the third-place match, Saturday afternoon.

“This season has been really fun. This was the hardest I have ever trained, and I felt like I gained some new family members this year,” said Wagner, who transferred to LCA from Fairborn High.

Assistant coaches Gary Riddle and Andrew Hoskins said Wagner came in with the pressure of showing up for his third and final state tournament, but having never placed.

“I remember the first two times I came to state, I was really nervous,” Wagner said. “You come out of the tunnel and see all those people in the stands, and the shock hits you. This year, I told myself that I’d been here two times before and I knew what to expect. I couldn’t let it get to me.”

Riddle, whose son Wyatt will wrestle for the D-III 106-pound title tonight, said he was very proud of Wagner’s performance.

“To be here twice before (with Fairborn) and not place, and then to work hard and come back here and get fourth, I’m so proud of him,” Riddle said.

Two other Greene County area wrestlers will compete for their respective state titles in tonight’s championship session, and both local wrestlers will go up against a pair of brothers from Genoa Area High School. The beforementioned Wyatt Riddle, an LCA freshman, will wrestle Genoa Area’s Oscar Sanchez for the D-III 106-pound title; and Tommy Hoskins, a two-time state champion the past two seasons when he wrestled at Dayton Christian, will face Genoa Area sophomore wrestler Julian Sanchez for the 120-pound crown.

The championship finals will take place in the tournament’s fifth and final session of wresting, tonight, March 11 beginning with the Parade of Champions at 5:30 p.m.

There are no Greene County area wrestlers remaining in competition in Divisions I or II. Beavercreek freshman Gavin Bell was a state qualifier in D-I at 132 pounds, Bellbrook junior Ben Sherrill qualified in the Division II 126-pound tournament bracket, and Carroll senior Jesse Younce qualified to state in the Division II 152-pound weight class.

By John Bombatch

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