Campbell aiming to join exclusive club


COLUMBUS — Winning championships doesn’t get old for Dillon Campbell.

He captured a third state title Sunday with his win in the championship match at 126 pounds in Division III against Ashland Mapleton’s Brock Durbin.

“I can definitely enjoy it,” Campbell said. “But I’ve got to aim for my fourth one.”

The Legacy Christian junior is now three-for-three in earning state titles after winning at 113 as a freshman and 120 a year ago.

He joins a list of 75 individuals in Ohio history to have three in their careers as one of four to reach the accomplishment in 2023, and is the second to do so from Legacy Christian after Gavin Brown reached the mark last season. Tommy Hoskins also won a third with LCA after his first two came at Dayton Christian.

With two titles already in his pocket, Campbell was challenged by head coach Michael Sizemore to be a leader by example prior to the start of the season. He wanted Campbell to be the guy that outworks everyone in practice and make others strive to surpass his effort.

LCA was able to secure a third straight team title as well this year, and Sizemore believes the way Campbell gets after it in the practice room made him the silent leader everyone can look up to and strive to reach.

“Everybody pushes one another,” Campbell said. “”It’s just when you get someone trying to beat me in sprints or something, that make me go a little bit harder and harder. And once we get into that, then they want to go harder because they can see the success that I’m having.”

It’s not a surprise he was able to show off that drive to his teammates with the success he has on the mat.

Campbell pinned three of his four opponents at the 2023 state championships. He was named the most outstanding wrestler of the D-III tournament by the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association.

He isn’t satisfied with just winning either. Campbell was quick to point out how he didn’t pin all of his opponents this year and has identified part about his technique during that match he could work on in the offseason. He also knew his exact ranking across the country in his current weight class (10th) and wants to not only be considered number one in it but in any pound-for-pound rankings published after that.

“He’s already told me he may take a week or so off, but he wants to jump right back in,” Sizemore said of Campbell’s post-season plans. “He wants four, that’s what I would call a short term goal. But we got to wait a year to make that happen and he’ll wrestle most of the summer for sure.”

Gaining three championships provides plenty of experience to draw on in future tournaments too. Campbell said the path to four begins by starting at the same point as the other three with the same amount of work needing to put in during the offseason and going through the rigors of facing quality competition both in and out of the state during the season.

There have been 32 four-time boys state champions in Ohio. Campbell’s work ethic has earned him a chance to add his name to that list with one more run next year.

“I get to help my team out to win state titles too,” he said. “Now we can go get a fourth straight title as a team too, but I can go back and try and get the job done next year for a fourth straight title too.”

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

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