STEUBENVILLE — The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team sent 11 competitors to the Division II District tournament held at Steubenville High School Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4.
From that very challenging tournament, the Panthers are sending two student-athletes to this week’s State tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Sophomore Lyric Dickerson (106) and junior Asher LeBeau (150) both placed second at the District tournament.
This will be the second year in a row that Dickerson has qualified to the State meet.
For LeBeau, this will mark his State debut.
Dickerson won his first round match at the District, pinning Alex Webb of John Glenn in 1:11.
In the quarterfinals, Dickerson won a 12-4 major decision over Dawsen Hudson of Logan Elm.
In the semifinals, Dickerson beat Peyton Martin of West Holmes, 10-4.
Dickerson lost 9-3 in the championship match to Ethan Burkhart of New Lexington.
“Lyric is looking to make progress compared (to last season at State, when he went 0-2),” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “He’s looking to place this year. I look forward to watching him wrestle well (at State).”
“I felt really confident going in (to the District tournament),” Dickerson said. “I had a good draw. I just went out there and just wrestled like I know how to and it came out working pretty good.”
Dickerson spoke about his feelings regarding the upcoming State tournament.
“I feel pretty good,” Dickerson said. “I got a good draw for State, too, so, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be placing this year. I’m pretty confident that I can do well this year.”
Dickerson addressed his teammates and coaches.
“I want to say thank you for keeping me going,” Dickerson said. “There were times when it got pretty tough and my teammates and my coaches, they just helped keep me going.”
Dickerson is 48-7 and will take on sophomore Marius Garica of Bexley (36-5) in his first-round match.
LeBeau began his tournament run with an 18-6 major decision over Nolan Carson of New Lexington.
LeBeau then got a pin of Savier Faulks of Steubenville in 5:58.
It took overtime, but in the semifinals, LeBeau beat Blake Norman of West Holmes, 4-2.
In the finals, LeBeau lost by pin to C.J. Spencer of Indian Creek in 3:25.
“He wrestled the best he’s wrestled all year,” Fondale said. “Asher has only eight losses this season (46-8 is his record going into the State tournament). He’s just been real consistent. He’s improved a ton since last season. He’s a lot more confident from all the positions in wrestling.
“We’ve got to get the first match jitters out once we step out of the tunnel at State,” Fondale said. LeBeau faces junior Tristan Craddock (44-3) of Cloverleaf High School, which is located in Lodi, Ohio in the northeast quadrant of the state.
“My freshman and sophomore years I went 0-2 at Districts,” Asher LeBeau said. “So, that wasn’t very good.”
At the District tournament, LeBeau said, “I just came out and wrestled harder. Last year I went 12-11. (This year) I haven’t had 10 losses yet; my record is 46-8. I think having more matches helped me a lot this year.”
LeBeau knows going to State is a big deal.
“It’s a lot different atmosphere than most other tournaments,” LeBeau said. “It’s one of the biggest tournaments in the whole country, I’d say. It has the best variety of kids.
“I want to go up there and win a couple of matches and place,” LeBeau said. “Next year I want to do better than I do this year.
“I thank all of my teammates for pushing me,” LeBeau said. ”Riston LeBeau is my cousin; he’s been my practice partner pretty much all during high school. I give a lot of thanks to him. I give a lot of thanks to all of the alumni coming back in and helping. It’s great that they come back. That’s what keeps the program good.”
Aiden Johnson placed fifth at 138 pounds. He is an alternate for the State tournament.
Johnson’s District tournament began with an 11-10 loss to Kris Wise of John Glenn.
In the first round of consolation matches, Johnson pinned Brady Allen of Logan Elm in :44.
In the next consolation round match, Johnson pinned Anthony Fletcher of Minerva in 2:15.
In the third consolation match, Johnson won a 3-2 decision against Clayton Myers of Cambridge.
In the consolation semifinals, Johnson lost to Cal Beadling of Steubenville, 6-1.
Johnson placed fifth by defeating Tyler Ulmer of New Philadelphia, 13-6. Johnson finished his senior season with a record of 42-8.
“He’ll be training this week, making weight,” Fondale said.
Ethynn Munro placed fifth at 157 pounds for the Panthers.
Munro started out with a 15-5 major decision over Nolan Blackburn of Steubenville.
In the quarterfinals, Munro pinned Isaiah Roberts of Athens in 3:30.
In his semifinals match, Munro was pinned by Remmington Myers of Indian Valley in 3:27.
In the consolation semifinals, Munro lost a 5-3 decision to Justin Stump of River Valley.
In the fifth place match, Munro beat Jason Patterson of Tri-Valley, 5-3.
“Ethynn Munro placed fifth to be a State alternate,” Fondale said. “He beat a returning State qualifier (at the District meet).
Stephen Lehr placed sixth for the Panthers at 175 pounds.
Lehr’s tournament began with a 10-4 win over Cole Porter of West Holmes.
In his next match, the championship quarterfinals, Lehr fell to Hunter Dietrich of Minerva by a 10-2 major decision.
In the second consolation round, Lehr won a 5-2 decision over Logan McClellan of Tri-Valley.
In the third consolation round, Lehr defeated Steven Davis of Gallia Academy by a 12-0 major decision.
In the consolation semifinals, Lehr lost a 14-3 major decision to Aden Strahler of Warren.
Lehr faced Porter again in the match for fifth place.
This time it was Porter getting the win, 10-5.
Lehr finished his senior season with a record of 35-17.
At 113 pounds for Miami Trace, Will Enochs won his first match by pinning Ayden Hudson of Logan Elm in 3:58.
Enochs lost by pin in quarterfinals to Mark Mueller of Minerva in 3:33.
Enochs bounced back in his next match, winning a 14-4 major decision over Evan Houck of Gallia Academy.
In the third round of consolation matches, Enochs was pinned by Kail Snair of Carrollton in :38.
Brice Perkins competed at Districts for Miami Trace at 126 pounds.
Perkins won his first match, pinning Billy Miller of Waverly in 4:25.
Perkins lost a 14-3 major decision to Levi Pidgeon of Carrollton. Pidgeon went on to win the District title at 126 pounds.
In the second consolation round, Perkins lost a 12-4 major decision to Gavin Hoover of Logan Elm.
Corbin Melvin began his District tournament at 132 pounds with a 9-0 major decision victory over Logan Dentz of Buckeye Local.
In the quarterfinals, Melvin lost 3-2 to Jacob Johnson of Circleville.
In this next match, Melvin defeated Aristotle Arthur of Athens, 2-0.
In what proved to be his final match of the tournament, Melvin lost by pin in 1:53 to Elijah Parrish of Claymont.
Riston LeBeau wrestled Ezekiel Williams of New Philadelphia in the first round and lost by pin in 5:22.
LeBeau responded with a 13-3 major decision victory over Mark Brunner of Circleville.
LeBeau made it back-to-back wins in his next match, this time an 11-3 major decision over Ryan Kiko of Carrollton.
LeBeau lost in the third round of consolation match, 5-0 in overtime to Mike Hicks of Chillicothe.
LeBeau completed his senior season with a record of 35-17.
Landon St.Clair competed for the Panthers at 165 pounds.
In his first match, St.Clair lost to Brayden Bernard of Philo by pin in :57.
St.Clair defeated Austin Cordel of Logan Elm, 3-0.
Next up was Dakota Patterson of West Holmes. St.Clair pinned this opponent in 3:04.
St.Clair lost to Ryan Chafins of Beaver Local, 10-4.
Evan Mollett wrestled at 190 pounds for the Panthers.
In his first match, Mollett was pinned by Gary Reno of Hillsboro in 4:58.
Mollett turned around and pinned Jackson Korns of New Philadelphia in 2:24.
Mollett was then pinned by Matt Griffin of Unioto in 4:26.
“We brought 11 guys to the District,” Fondale said. “All of our wrestlers qualified for the second day here at Districts. I can’t remember the last time that happened. We had 11 guys each win at least one match at Districts.
“Three of them are seniors (Lehr, Johnson and Riston LeBeau), which means eight of them are returning next season,” Fondale said. “We will have eight guys coming back who each won at least one match at the District level.
“You hate for the seniors’ season to end,” Fondale said. “They always gave me and coach (Jacob) Garringer everything they had. They’ve always been great leaders, hard workers. Those guys are all of top-notch character and work ethic. Everyone on the team loves being around them and listens when they talk.”
The Division II State wrestling tournament begins Friday at 2:15 p.m. at The Ohio State Unversity’s Schottenstein Center.