CENTERVILLE — After being declared a sectional wrestling champion Saturday, Jamell Smith screamed “Let’s go” as he walked off the mat at Centerville High School.
While beating a county rival in one of the Division-I sectional’s premier matches is more than enough incentive, the Xenia junior had a little extra spring in his step after beating Beavercreek’s C.J. Crawford, 6-5.
“My brother (teammate Jayden) Ramsey, he tore his MCL and he hasn’t been able to wrestle at sectionals the last two years,” Smith said while still catching his breath after a grueling match. “I wanted to do it for him.”
At first it didn’t appear that would happen. Crawford scored a takedown late in the first and added three near-fall points to go up 5-0. But Smith rolled out of it and turned that into a nifty reverse to trail just 5-2 after the first period.
Smith started the second period down but scored another reversal midway through and trailed just 5-4 after two. Smith was on top to start the third and tied it and took the lead when Crawford was hit with a pair of stalling points. It had appeared that the match was heading to overtime at 6-6, but Crawford was incorrectly given an extra point.
Whether he won in regular time or extra time, it was a victory — and sectional title — that may not have happened last year if Smith trailed 5-0 early.
“I feel like I’m in a completely different mindset, completely different attitude,” Smith said. “Just from this year and last year, not giving up, not getting in my own head.”
Smith was 1-2 at district last season, while Crawford was fourth at 195.
Xenia Coach Andy Lewis likes where Smith is heading.
“I think our stock is rising,” he said. “I think the work he put in is showing. He’s becoming much more of a wrestler and it’s going to show.”
Beavercreek qualified nine to the district tournament, led by 157-pound champ Hayden Randolph and 175-pound champ Tyler Hicks. The Beavers were third as a team with 211.5 points. Centerville (232.5) was first and Butler (222) was second.
Randolph pinned Butler’s Colten Buckner of Butler in 1:27 to win. Randolph scored a takedown late in the first period and quickly turned that into a 5-0 lead with a near fall with 47 seconds left. Fourteen seconds later he had the pin.
Hicks and Payton Lupton of Northmont went to overtime before Hicks claimed the 14-9 win. Hicks was second in the district at 170 last year.
Connor Drummond was third at 106, beating Justin Winter of Fairmont, 4-1; Logan Besecker was third at 120, beating Springfield’s Josh Cunningham, 5-2; Bryson Clinger was fourth at 126 after an injury default; Nathan Bonno was fourth at 138 after losing to Nathan Brewster of Troy by fall in 1:43; Hunter Martin was third at 165 after pinning Marcos Velasquez of Northmont in 4:22; and Austin Papalios was third at 190 after pinning Tecumseh’s Nick Palmer in 3:00.
Fairborn’s Brody Hayes (138) and Jeremy Sanchez (215) qualified for the district, finishing second and third respectively. Hayes was pinned by Centerville’s Spencer Meng in 59 seconds in the championship match, while Sanchez pinned Northmont’s Chris Gross in 1:49 in the third-place match.
Xenia’s Devin Dodge is an alternate at 132 after pinning Butler’s Braylen Crump in 1:41. Beavercreek’s Elijah Papalios is an alternate at 144 after a 13-7 win over Northmont’s Christian Pendleton, and Ethan Papalios of Beavercreek is an alternate at 150 after a forfeit win over Springfield’s Chase Wells.
In Division-II action at Clinton-Massie, Bellbrook’s Nick Devol was third at 138 after pinning Oakwood’s Sam Lazenby in 1:52; Bellbrook’s Landen Weiss was fourth after a 5-3 overtime loss to Oakwood’s Aaron Cunningham at 144; and Bellbrook’s Vincent Hummel was third at 165 after an 8-2 decision over Clinton-Massie’s Brodie Green.
In D-II at Graham, Carroll’s Christian Wilson was third at 113 after a 10-3 win over Bellefontaine’s Jeffrey Smith; Carroll’s Vince Sefic was fourth at 190 after losing to Urbana’s Evan Fowler by fall in 44 seconds; and Carroll’s Jimmy Bechter was third at 215 after a 10-2 major decision of Eaton’s Zac Shaffer.
In D-III at Lehman Catholic, defending state champ Legacy Christian Academy qualified 11 to the district and had six champions — Dillon Campbell (120), Brayden Brown (132), Camron Lacure (138), Boede Campbell (144), Gavin Brown (150), and Nick Alvarez (165). The Knights were second as a team with 229 points. Versailles was first with 232 points.
Dillon Campbell beat Indian Lake’s Czar Dickson by 19-4 tech. fall; Brown beat Payton Platfoot of Versailles, 8-2; Lacure pinned Miami East’s Layton Hughes in 1:13; Boede Campbell pinned Miami East’s Chance Rust in 3:46; Brown beat Miami East’s Daniel Martin via default; and Alvarez beat Carson Bey of Versailles, 3-1.
Taven Norris was fourth at 106 after a 4-3 loss to Trey Huber of Versailles; Eli Campbell was second at 113 after a 4-2 loss to Miami East’s Cooper Shore; Logan Attisano was second at 126 after a 20-5 tech. fall to Miami East’s Max Shore; Ethan Cooper was third at 157 after pinning West Liberty-Salem’s Gabriel McGill in 2:00; and Matthew Smith was second at 285 after being pinned by Taran Tyo of Versailles in 1:19.
In D-III at Reading, Greeneview qualified six and was fourth overall with 187.5 points. Mechanicsburg (255.5) was first, Reading (242) second, and Greenon (188) third.
Kyan Hendricks was first at 106 after beating Reading’s Gage Murphy, 7-3; Ashton Hendricks was the 126 champ after a 9-4 win over Mechanicsburg’s Jesse Stroud; Greeneview’s T.J. Stinson was fourth at 132 after defaulting; Dallas Eavers was fourth at 138 after a default; Rylan Hurst was fourth at 150 after a 10-6 loss to Greenon’s Owen Fagen; and Cohen Hickman was third at 215 after pinning Greg Miller of St. Bernard in 2:56.