Gabe Steyer (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
Gabe Steyer (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
COLUMBUS - Experience can be a help when competing at a state tournament.

As a sophomore, the environment of the state wrestling tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center left Van Wert wrestler Gabe Steyer a little wide eyed. As he entered the arena for his second trip to state, Steyer knew how to handle the environment of the big arena and the huge crowd.

"Last year I was starstruck by the whole Schott and the big crowd and all that," Steyer said. "This year, I feel good and it's just another regular season tournament for me. I just want to take it one match at a time and see what I can do."

Steyer made quick work of his opening round opponent, junior Ethan Mueller of Minerva pinning him in 1:24 of the first period.

Steyer (41-2) dominated his opening round match getting Mueller to the mat quickly for a 2-0 lead. Mueller attempted to get out of Steyer's grasp, but the Van Wert wrestler was able to counter that and get Mueller to his back in recording the pin.

"The opportunity was there, so obviously you have to take it, it's the state tournament," Steyer said. "Anything can happen, anyone can get beat anytime. I just went there and did my job, try not to make any mistakes and capitalize on his."

Steyer will face senior Wade Monebrake of Eaton in the quarterfinals Friday morning. Monebrake defeated Kaleb Kiss of Norton 5-2 in their opening round match.

Wayne Trace freshman Hunter Long saw his wrestling season come to an end Thursday evening as he defaulted his consolation match to Michael Markulin of North Lima South Range. Long defaulted this match due to an injury.

Long (33-5) fell into the consolation round as he dropped his opening round match to freshman Draven Hubley of Cardington-Lincoln.

Hubley took a 2-0 lead and was up 2-1 after one period as Long scored an escape point. The second period saw much of the same as Hubley scored another take down before the two wrestlers traded reversals later in the period as Hubley had a 6-3 lead. The final two points of the match were scored by Long, one on an illegal move and the final point as Hubley was called for stalling.

Delphos St. John's senior Trent Vonderwell had a mixed day going 1-1.

Vonderwell (36-14) stayed alive in the Division III tournament as he pinned junior Hunter Smith of Gibsonburg Thursday night. Vonderwell stayed alive as he put Smith on his back and was awarded the pin at the 2:38 point of their match. He will be back in action Friday afternoon in the second round of consolation matches.

Vonderwell (36-13) dropped into the consolation bracket after a back and forth battle with Alex Piczer of Newbury for three periods.

Piczer had a 7-6 lead after two periods before going up 10-6 in the third period with three points for a near fall. Vonderwell battled back getting a reversal to come within 10-8.

Vonderwell took the lead in the third period getting three near fall points for an 11-10 lead . Piczer answered back taking a 12-11 lead with a reversal before pinning Vonderwell at the 4:48 mark of the match.