COLUMBUS - One match at a time.
It’s a cliche, but when you are
in the 80th annual OHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Jerome
Schottenstein Center, one can’t look ahead of any match.
the mindest of St. John’s senior 170-pounder Brett Vonderwell. He had
been to State the previous two years but lost his opening match both
times and ended up winless. Thursday afternoon, he pinned Johnstown
Northridge’s Hunter Corbin in 3:14 to move on to Friday’s championship
quarterfinals and lift the proverbial “800-pound gorilla” off his
“You just have to take it one match at a time; you have
to win that first one to move on. The previous two years, I lost in the
opening round and couldn’t stay in, so this lifts a huge burden from
me,” Vonderwell (now 42-5) said. “My sophomore year, I was just happy to
be down here and last year I was coming off an injury from football and
I don’t think anyone was expecting me to get this far.”
This time around, he adopted a more aggressive mindset, and it paid off.
a sophomore, I was too passive and last year, too. It was pretty
emotional last year for me,” he said. “I wanted to get that first win
this year and attacked from the start. I wanted to wrestle my match and
not let him wrestle his.”
St. John’s head coach Derek Sterling noticed a different attitude as well.
first year, he was just glad to be here and last year was unexpected.
This year, it was all business; he didn’t show much emotion at all
during the week or today; he was calm and relaxed,” Sterling said. “His
approach is that we have a job to do, we have goals we want to
accomplish and he took the first step toward that today. We got here
earlier today for weigh-ins and after that, we got some food in him and
he was good to go.”
He will now wrestle Logan Stanley of Apple Creek Waynedale at approximately 10 a.m. Friday.
Trace senior 126-pounder Ruger Goeltzenleuchter (43-2) also moved on to
the quarterfinals with a 12-1 major decision over Dominic Rosin
(Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic).
“I controlled the match from
the start; I did exactly as I wanted to do as far as that game plan.
This is my second year at State and it was a lot better this time
around,” Goeltzenheuchter said. “There are always nerves but they
weren’t too bad this year. Getting that first win in is a relief and
gets me one step closer to my goal.”
“It’s important to get that
first win here; you don’t want to fight through the consolation,” his
coach, George Clemens, said. “It’s crucial to get off quickly; today, he
scored the first points 30 seconds into the match and that just puts
you in a better frame of mind.”
Next up is Bruce Hrynciw (Oak Harbor).