Juniors Wyatt Zimmerman and Coddie Phillips competed March 7-9 at the OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament. As expected at the state-level, they faced tough competition. In the 138-pound weight class, Zimmerman started his tournament against Genoa Area’s three-time state champion and Ohio State recruit, Dylan D’Emillo. He battled tough, but D’Emillo was able to get the fall in the 2nd period (D’Emillo went on to become the 32nd four-time state champ in Ohio wrestling history Saturday evening). In Zimmerman’s next match, he battled Troy Christian’s Austin Awan through the first two periods scoreless before surrendering an escape in the third period. Zimmerman fired off several attacks after the escape, but he was unable to penetrate Awan’s defense (Awan finished in sixth place in the state).
It is nearly impossible to wrestle a more difficult draw in a double elimination tournament than Coddie Phillips did. In his first match, Phillips drew a returning state-placer (5th place) from Nelsonville-York, Donovan McCollister. McCollister was able to score two takedowns on Phillips before eventually recording the fall (McCollister ended the meet as the state runner-up). In his next match, Phillips drew the third place finisher from the previous year, who was upset in the first round, Noah Koch from Genoa Area. Phillips wrestled tough but eventually succumbed to Koch’s attacks and dropped an 8-2 decision (Koch ended the meet with 3rd place).
Both wrestlers will be back in the line-up for the Red Riders with the added experience of wrestling in the state tournament. Zimmerman and Phillips mark the first Orrville juniors to qualify for the state wrestling tournament since Gage Wyant in 2011.