Area wrestlers hitting home stretch

It’s hard to believe, but the Central Buckeye Conference and Ohio Heritage Conference tournaments are only two weeks away. This is the last weekend of regular season action before the area wrestlers hit the postseason trail.

Benjamin Logan has had the most success of area teams this year. The Raiders have won two tournaments and are undefeated in dual meets at 6-0. Five Raiders have records with less than five losses.

Indian Lake has hit a rough patch this season with no seniors and half of the team being underclassmen. I feel first-year head coach Scott Tressler definitely has the Lakers going in the right direction, but it will take some time before they are back on top.

West Liberty-Salem has battled with very low numbers this year, but the old adage that quality is more important than quantity rings true here. The Tigers have four wrestlers with no more than 10 losses. Peter Lewis is 29-0 and Corey Thompson is 25-2.

Bellefontaine’s program has battled inexperience and the lack of depth. The Chiefs do have talent and head coach Mike Bible is doing everything he can to motivate his wrestlers. Hopefully, they can make a comeback at the CBC and sectional tournaments.

Ohio Wrestling

Triad is often overlooked, but the Cardinals have a solid squad. Senior standout Jordan Deady should make it back to the state meet and I think he could place. Jake Miller and Caleb Perry each add depth for Triad.

Looking ahead

Three of our area teams are in action at the same tournament this weekend. Bellefontaine and West Liberty-Salem compete at the Triad Invitational on Saturday.

 Ben Logan puts its perfect dual meet record on the line Saturday when the Raiders travel across the Ohio River to the Conner Duals in Kentucky. Head coach Tony Grant takes pride in his program winning its dual meets and this weekend will provide a good challenge for the Raiders.

Taylor, Graham wanting national competition

After Graham’s David Taylor made history by defeating Lakewood St. Edward’s Collin Palmer in a meeting of three-time state champions last week, the senior is going after another national superstar.

In a video interview, Taylor said he would like to wrestle Eric Grajales of Brandon, Fla. Grajales is ranked No. 1 in some national polls at the same weight (135) as Taylor.

Grajales apparently saw the video and wants to take on Taylor. There are two possible chances for the epic matchup. The first is at the Dapper Dan Classic on March 15 at the University of Pittsburgh or at the senior nationals this summer.

Taylor accepted to wrestle at 135 pounds at the Dapper Dan Classic, while Grajales accepted at 140. Normally, it is Pennsylvania’s all-star team against a USA team. However, given the magnitude of the matchup, Taylor may be put in for Team Pennsylvania to make the matchup happen.

Taylor is headed to Iowa State University, while Grajales, also a three-time state champ, is headed to wrestle at the University of Michigan.

It has also been reported that the much-anticipated meeting between national powers Blair Academy, N.J., and Graham will not happen. New Jersey’s postseason begins before Ohio’s so too many dates conflicted.

Falcon head coach Jeff Jordan has said that the dual meet with Blair will happen next year and would be the top priority on the schedule.