STATE WRESTLING Dierkes beaten in title match
The Jackson-Milton junior couldn't overcome defending champ Tanner Shearer.
By DAVE CRAWFORD
COLUMBUS -- The 41-match winning streak by Jackson-Milton High junior wrestler Nick Dierkes came to a halt Saturday in the Division III 130-pound state championship match.
Dierkes lost to three-time state champion Tanner Shearer of Sandusky St. Mary's Central Catholic, 16-7, at Schottenstein Center.
Dierkes was taken down seven times by Shearer.
"I knew he was a two-time champ, but I wasn't going to lay down for him," said Dierkes. "I tried to get to his legs, but he is really good on his feet and kept getting the single-leg on me.
"Shearer is the best kid I have wrestled in a long time," said Dierkes.
Jackson-Milton coach Dave Tomaino added, "Shearer was able to break his [Dierkes'] stance and take advantage of it. I hadn't seen anyone do that before.
"Shearer is a great wrestler. Obviously, he is a three-time champ," Tomaino added.
"We have something to build on next year."
Sandusky St. Mary's was well on the way to defending its team title.
Howland senior Brandon Alexander (40-3), who was a Division I state qualifier last year, placed third at 189 pounds in Div. II.
Alexander avenged a district loss last week to Jake Glover of Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, as he decisioned Glover 3-2.
"It feels great to get third here and to avenge that district loss to Glover," said Alexander, who will play football at the University of Toledo.
"Wrestling has helped me with my balance, quickness and conditioning. I love both sports," added Alexander.
Junior Rob Holbert (38-6), Howland's heavyweight, finished sixth as he lost to Scott Neuenschwander of St. Clairsville.
"These guys are great; they represent what Howland High School wrestling is all about," Howland coach Brian Earich said.
"The boys work hard, wrestle with intensity and follow the Barry Reinhardt [Howland assistant coach] strategy -- prepare to peak at the end of the season," Earich added.
"We will miss Brandon, but look forward to next year with Rob."
Senior Bryan Dye (28-9) of Southeast lost 3-0 to James Myers of Wintersville Indian Creek to place sixth.
"I was glad to be here," said Dye. "Going through the sectional, I didn't think I would make it to district.
"At state I won my first two matches. Next thing I know, I'm placing. I was [on the junior varsity team] last year and now I am placing. It all seemed so unreal."
Southeast senior Jacob Bartley (26-4), in his second trip to the big meet, finished sixth as he lost to Shane Friery of Parma Padua.
Coach Steve Sigworth of Southeast said, "I know these guys are a little down right now, but they had a great season and great careers.
"They wrestled tough down here and have meant a lot to our program."