Danny Foore (125, 33-12)
The junior has wrestled the elite in his weight class, so a possible run isnâ€™t out of the question. A patient technician, Foore strikes quick off his opponentâ€™s mistakes and racks up points in bunches. Ranked 10th in the Brakeman Report, Foore didnâ€™t do himself any favors with a fourth-place finish at the Massillon Perry District. He will see Hilliard Darby District champ Shawn Fayette of Miamisburg in the first round. Should he beat the ninth-ranked wrester, heâ€™ll likely see Marion Hardingâ€™s Callen Vanderhoff in the quarterfinals, with a possible semifinal rematch against Perryâ€™s Dan Genetin, who has beaten Foore four times, to follow. A win there likely brings projected champ Tom Pretty of Cincinnati Elder in the finals.
Brad Squire (130, 39-2)
The sophomore brings the hammer down quickly and usually doesnâ€™t let up in what already has been an immaculate career with the Grizzlies. A striker, Squire has pinned four of his seven opponents in the postseason. The projected state champion, Squireâ€™s draw wasnâ€™t favorable after a loss in the Perry District finals. While an opening-round match against Sylvania Southviewâ€™s Alex Latham and quarterfinal bout with Beavercreekâ€™s Gavan Moore shouldnâ€™t be problems, a projected seminal match with West Chester Lakota Westâ€™s Ryan Fields, whom Squire beat 1-0 to win the state tile last year, could throw a wrench into the plans. Three wins by Squire will likely bring Perryâ€™s Seth Horner, who has handed the sophomore the only two losses of his career.
Ben Buzzelli (HVY, 33-7)
The sophomore takes advantage of the smallest bobble by his opponents, notching pins in over half his wins this season. Dwarfing just about every opponent he wrestles, the 285-pound Buzzelli can be an intimidating force on the mat. Ranked sixth in the Brakeman Report, he is in the tougher half of the bracket, with the projected state champ and third-place finisher in the way. A first-round match with North Ridgevilleâ€™s Greg Byrd will likely bring returning state placer and the No. 3 wrestler in the state in Matt Prichard of Clayton Northmont. Should Buzzelli win there, Josh Kline of Mason, who is forecasted to win it all, would be a likely semifinal match. Three wins will almost definitely bring James Meder of Valley Forge in the state finals.
Richie Spicel (140, 39-0)
The senior adapts to any style like no other and can score from an offensive or defensive position. A master of the takedown, Spicel often grabs a quick two and then immediately kicks his opponent out, only to score again. The projected state champion, Spicel stayed away from the meat of the bracket, with seeds two through four on the other side. The two-time state finalist should walk through Gahanna Lincolnâ€™s Andrew Evans to set up a match with Lakewood St. Edwardâ€™s Neil Birt in the quarters. A win there should bring Uniontown Lakeâ€™s Jared Lijoi in the semifinals. After that, itâ€™s a toss-up between Cleveland St. Ignatiusâ€™ David Habat, Akron Kenmoreâ€™s William Sheppard and Brecksvilleâ€™s Kyle Lang.
Bart Young (112, 32-4)
The senior tears through opponents, often breaking their will before the end of the first period. If not, he will grind on a foe until he makes them want to give up. Ranked fifth in the Brakeman Report, Young is definitely on the tougher side of the bracket. An opening-round win over Washington Court House Miami Traceâ€™s Cody Neff should bring returning state runner-up James Inghram of Hunting Valley University School. Should he win that bloodbath, Young would likely get a little bit of a reprieve with Uhrichsville Claymontâ€™s Kyle Ditcher, who won the Steubenville District, waiting in the semifinals. Should he win those two, itâ€™s a lock that heâ€™d face undefeated two-time state champ David Taylor of St. Paris Graham.
Jake Rininger (119, 32-15)
The sophomore has been labeled by his coaches as a control freak and tilt technician. Rininger likes to score from the top position and will do whatever is necessary to slow the match down. Ranked 20th in the Brakeman, Rininger will open his first state tournament against returning placer Mitch Thompson of Lisbon Beaver. Should Rininger win, a quarterfinal matchup with projected state champ and three-time state placer Johnny Papesh of Aurora would wait in the wings. That would bring on projected state runner-up Zach Neibert of Graham in the semifinals. If Rininger knocks those two off, heâ€™ll bring in a ton of confidence against returning state champ Cody Garbrandt of Claymont.
Logan Gresock (135, 28-13)
The junior has a wide variety of techniques and can score from just about every angle. Gresock will bring a bag of tricks that he uses to his advantage and is coming in with some incredible confidence after winning the first two tournaments of his career. Ranked 15th in the Brakeman, he couldnâ€™t have picked a worse opener, as he goes against returning state runner-up Brad Wukie of University School. A win there will probably bring Grahamâ€™s Mark Meyer in the quarterfinals. A win there almost certainly would bring projected state champion Chase Skonieczny of Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit in the semifinals. If Gresock pulls off the upset, he would probably see Andrew Gaskins of Thornville Sheridan in the finals.
Steve Timoteo (152, 36-7)
The senior wrestles along the lines of Young, but with much more attitude. He likes when opponents try to score from the bottom, as the returning state qualifier tilts like no other. Ranked third in the Brakeman and in keeping with the bad bracketing by the state for Highland, Timoteo should have no problem against Canal Winchesterâ€™s Harrison Rosch before meeting projected state champ and three-time placer Coby Boyd of Graham in the quarterfinals. Should Timoteo beat the returning state champion, heâ€™ll probably get Alliance Marlingtonâ€™s Erik Schott in the semifinals. If Timoteo can beat the projected state runner-up, itâ€™s a good bet heâ€™ll see Oak Harborâ€™s Kirk Tank in the finals.
Tyler Houska (215, 36-5)
The junior is sneaky, often waiting for his opponents to lag. The second they do, heâ€™s like a bear trap and will score just when his foes think theyâ€™re safe. Ranked third in the Brakeman, Houska did himself a gigantic favor by beating projected state champ Matt Fisher of Sandusky Perkins last week at the Ontario District. An opening-round win over Chesterland West Geaugaâ€™s Zak Poucher will likely bring Thomas Taylor of Lewiston Indian Lake in the quarterfinals. That would almost assuredly bring a state semifinal with Germantown Valley Viewâ€™s Zach Pummill in the semifinals. Should he shock the projected state runner-up, itâ€™s a safe bet Fisher would be waiting for him in the finals again.
â€”Â Â Â Â Â Â Â By BRAD BOURNIVAL