Madison County well represented at state wrestling tourney

Messenger photos by Pat Donahue Brett Yutzy of Jonathan Alder wrestles to 4-3 victory over Jefferson Area senior Joey Baitt. Yutzy, a 132-pound senior, placed eighth in his first trip to state.
Messenger photos by Pat Donahue
Brett Yutzy of Jonathan Alder wrestles to 4-3 victory over Jefferson Area senior Joey Baitt. Yutzy, a 132-pound senior, placed eighth in his first trip to state.

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Eight wrestlers from Madison County competed at the 77th Annual Ohio High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament held Feb. 27-March 1 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus. Of those eight, four made the medals podium.

Jonathan Alder

Troy Caldwell, Div. II state champion at 220 pounds, was joined at state by fellow Jonathan Alder wrestler Bret Yutzy who medaled with an eighth-place finish in the 132-pound class. (See separate story on Troy Caldwell at www.columbusmessenger.com/mad-skills-on-the-mat-alders-state-champion.html.)

Yutzy, a senior, entered the state tournament, his first, with a 45-4 record and a district championship title. Among the highlights of his performance was an 11-8 win over Dashawn Haynes, a returning state placer from Buckeye Valley.

“The first time Bret beat Haynes was at state. He finally beat him when it counted most,” said Ron Thomas Jr., who co-coaches Alder’s team with his father, Ron Thomas Sr. Yutzy is Ron Jr.’s nephew and Ron Sr.’s grandson.

Madison-Plains senior Jake Datz (left) wrestles to a 6-1 win over Hayden Miller of Norwalk St. Paul. It was one of four wins for Datz, who finished fourth overall in the Div. III 170-pound class.
Madison-Plains senior Jake Datz (left) wrestles to a 6-1 win over Hayden Miller of Norwalk St. Paul. It was one of four wins for Datz, who finished fourth overall in the Div. III 170-pound class.

Madison-Plains

The Golden Eagles’ lone state qualifier, Jake Datz, made the most of his first trip to state, earning a spot on the medals podium with his fourth-place finish in Div. III at 170 pounds.

Datz was an alternate for state in 2013. This year, his senior year, he set a goal of making it on the state medals podium.  He achieved his goal with a balance of offense and defense.

“Jake is an offensive wrestler. He really improved on his defense over last year. This year, his defense kept in the matches, and his offense won him the matches,” said Coach Tyson Winters.

Datz finished the season with a 55-7 record.

West Jefferson

Three Roughriders competed at state, including senior Ricky Ratcliff who medaled with an eighth-place finish in Div. III at 145 pounds. Ratcliff placed seventh at state as a sophomore. His goal this year was to bring home a championship, but he had a rough go of it, recovering from a broken ankle and a torn ACL, both suffered last year.

West Jefferson senior Ricky Ratcliff (top) wrestles to a 15-10 victory over Wickliffe junior David Monturi. Ratcliff won two of his four state matches to place eighth in the Div. III 145-pound weight class.
West Jefferson senior Ricky Ratcliff (top) wrestles to a 15-10 victory over Wickliffe junior David Monturi. Ratcliff won two of his four state matches to place eighth in the Div. III 145-pound weight class.

“He fought back from the injuries, but it weighed heavy on his mind this season… He’s a two-time state placer, though. That’s nothing to sneeze at,” said Coach Nick Christopher. 

Also representing West Jefferson were first-time state qualifiers Louis Wemyss, a senior, at 182 pounds and Cody Dingess, a junior, at 152 pounds. Both went 0-2.

 “Louis did a great job. He steadily improved over the years,” Christopher said, adding that he looks forward to having Dingess back on the team next year.

 “Cody has been filling in at different spots due to all the competition within the team. Next year is his year to pick his weight class. We expect big things.”

London

Two Red Raiders qualified for state: senior Owen Shoemaker at 160 pounds and senior Garrett Blackburn at 132 pounds. Shoemaker went 1-2; Blackburn went 0-2.

 “Owen placed eighth at state last year. This year was his second trip to state, so there were a lot of high expectations. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out,” said London Coach David Kennedy.

Blackburn was a first-time state qualifier. “For a young man who only won one match as an eighth-grader, Garrett has come a long way,” Kennedy said.

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