By John Cummings
COLUMBUS — Bellbrook 182-pound senior Tyler Wiederholt paused when describing his first round match at the 79th Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournament at the Schottenstein Center as a warm-up.
He could have.
The returning state runner-up recorded 10 takedowns in opening the Division II tournament with a 20-8 win over Justin Reynolds of Gallipolis Gallia Academy to advance to today’s quarterfinals.
Carroll’s Nick Berry (120) and Fairborn’s A.J. Warner (120) both dropped their first round matches. Both wrestlers won their consolation first round matches to stay alive, however.
“I wanted to make sure I worked on technique on my feet,” Wiederholt said. “I had some things I had to make sure I was doing because it is an adjustment as the weekend goes on because the kids you face get tougher and tougher.
“How I wrestled today affects tomorrow. And, I can get the nerves out coming on a big stage like this.”
A lot has changed for Wiederholt since his first trip to the state tournament.
Everything from his weight to the view coming out of the tunnel entering the arena floor has changed in perspective over the four years.
“I remember when I came out of the tunnel my first year, it was so nerve wracking,” Wiederholt said. “Now, I see the lights and the crowd as excitement. It’s fun.”
One of the things Wiederholt worked on his first match was setting up his low single and making sure he was able to hit it quick, something which wasn’t an issue.
Growing from 132 as a freshman to 152 last year before closing his career at 182, the girth may change but not the style.
“When you wrestle 152, everyone at state is fast,” Wiederholt said. “At 182, they wrestle slower and one of the adjustments for me is that I can use my speed. I can use my size since I bumped up, but I am pretty fast for a 182 so I can use my speed and technique.”
Jamestown residents Logan Lacure and Tommy Hoskins both advanced to the quarters.
Both Hoskins (113) and Lacure (145) are returning state champs for Dayton Christian.
Wrestling picks back up today at 10 a.m. with the quarters and second round of consolation with a 6:30 p.m. start time for semis.