COLUMBUS — Ottawa-Glandorf took five wrestlers to the Division III state
tournament Thursday afternoon. And four of them will return to action
Friday morning at the Schottenstein Center for the second day of the
Returning to the mats Friday morning for the Titans will be Le'on Palomo, Logan Balbaugh, Tyler Ebbeskotte and Daniel Beemer. Wrestling resumes Friday morning at 10 a.m. with championship quarterfinals to be followed by consolation matches.
Titan junior Daniel Beemer (195) is the only O-G wrestler still left on the championship side of his bracket. Beemer (36-0) advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-2 win over Jacob Campbell of Sullivan Black River Thursday afternoon. Beemer will face Jake Burns (39-3) of West Jefferson in the quarterfinals.
“There's pressure any time to wrestle a State-caliber opponent, especially coming in unbeaten and a top seed. That's been something I've had to deal with this whole year in all the tournaments we've been in," Beemer said. "I got that first takedown and that gives you a confidence boost the rest of the match; you can just wrestle your match. You want to get that first win here so you can relax and move on; that's all you're trying to do at this point."
Palomo advanced to the second day of the tournament with a 20-6, major decision win over Blake Barrick Thursday evening. Palomo dropped his first match of the tournament as he was pinned by Dalton Leightner of Rootstown in 1:02.
"In the first match today, my coach (Randy Ebbeskotte) told me I shot with my head down and my opponent caught me and put me on my back. I had to be more cautious in this match because it's all about moving on; it's do or die and you don't want to make a mistake to cost you," he noted. "I started out nervous today but that changed to excitement; it's my senior year and I wanted to just go out and do it like I have all year. It's nice to get your feet wet down here but now it's all about survival for at least one more day."
Balbaugh (25-11), a senior, became the third Titan to move on with an 8-4 victory over Nathan Rasmussen of Orwell Grand Valley in a 152 pound consolation match Thursday night. Balbaugh dropped into the consolation bracket as he was pinned by Oak harbor's Jake Huston in 1:43 in his opening round match.
"It's really difficult to come back after losing your opening match; it's more mental than anything because it's over if you lose again. That's just life; winning the mental game," Balbaugh explained. "It's my senior year and it's exciting to wrestle here, especially since my parents were right in front of the mat, cheering me on rather loudly. I still have a shot at the podium; one more win tomorrow and that's guaranteed. That's the goal for everyone and I still have a chance to reach that."
Ebbeskotte (21-6) advanced against Mason Burger of Galion Northmor with a 7-2 decision. Ebbeskotte, a senior, was pinned by 182 pound defending state champion Zach Steiner of Creston Norwayne in his first match Thursday in 2:24.
"The difference with the first match was he was the defending champion. We knew he was good and I'm sure no one expected me to win but I approached it the same way as any other, normal match; just go out, do my best and see what happens," Ebbeskotte observed. "I just wanted to give it my all and let it all hang out as this is my senior year; you don't want to have any regrets later by not giving it your all, especially if it turns out to be your final match."
The Titans Danny Rosales was knocked from the tournament Thursday evening as he dropped a consolation match to Elmwood's Noah Baker by a pin in 2:22. Rosales suffered a tough luck first round loss as he lost to Brett Posey of Zane Trace 3-2 in overtime.