By Brett Curren |
West Holmes elementary Attack Team wrestlers Elisha Baldridge and Cael Woods both earned podium finishes Sunday, March 16 at the 11th Annual Ohio Athletic Committee Grade School Wrestling State Championship Tournament held at the Covelli Center on the campus of Youngstown State University.
Baldridge, a third-grader wrestling in the Div. II 85 pound weight class, came home with fifth-place honors and a 5–2 record in his first ever State tournament appearance. Baldridge went 2–1 during the opening rounds Saturday, March 15, then came back with a fall win in the fourth round of consolations to guarantee All-Ohio status.
The powerful Baldridge used his strength in the consolation quarterfinals, overpowering his opponent for a come-from-behind 4–2 decision win. Baldridge would lose the consolation semifinals bout 7–4, but came back in the fifth-place match with another overpowering 8–2 decision triumph.
Woods, a Div. IV sixth-grader wrestling at 65 pounds, worked his way to the championship semifinals Saturday with an opening round fall win followed by two, 4–0 decision wins.
However, the defending OAC State champion struggled Sunday losing the semifinal bout to national tournament champion Ricardo Oviedo by a 9–5 decision. Woods, who finished 3-3, couldn’t recover from that loss to Oviedo, dropping two consecutive matches in the consolation rounds. First it was a tough 3–0 decision to national tournament champion Zack Mattin in the consolation semifinals, and then losing an even tougher 1–0 decision to Damion Ryan in the fifth-place match. That resulted in a 6th-place finish for a very disappointed Woods.
Also competing in the tournament was Tucker Kaufman, a fourth-grader wrestling Div. III at 65 pounds. He finished 1–2 in a meat grinder of a bracket. Kaufman won his opening bout Saturday by fall, then dropped his next match by major decision to fall into Sunday’s consolation rounds. Kaufman battled hard but dropped from the tournament with a 10–3 decision loss to Creed Hill.
Walker Uhl, a sixth-grader in Div. IV, weighing in at 95 pounds, withdrew from the tournament due to illness.