County has strong showing at state wrestling


COLUMBUS — Greene County wrestlers won two individual OHSAA state wrestling titles Sunday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

Headlining the area results was Legacy Christian’s Dillon Campbell. The senior joined an elite group by becoming the 33rd boys wrestler to win four consecutive state championships.

Campbell competed at 132 pounds in Division III and pinned Casper Caizzo of Norwalk St. Paul near the end of the first period to secure the championship.

Right before Campbell’s match, his teammate Nathan Attisano won his first state title in the 126-pound division. Attisano was in complete control of his win with a 25-10 technical fall result.

Legacy Christian as a team finished in third place with 82 points after winning the team title each of the last three years.

In the girls competition, Lily Hendricks of Greeneview finished as the state runner-up at 125 pounds. She was pinned midway through the second period by Lacie Knick of Clayton Northmont in a rematch from the regional final last week.

Akiaya Rhinehart of Fairborn was the runner-up in the 235-pound division. Rhinehart was pinned in the second period at the 3:18 mark after she was driven from a standing position to her back while trailing 2-1 on points.

Attisano creating high standard for himself

Getting fifth place last year isn’t what Attisano had in mind as only being a freshman didn’t matter to him.

He faced what he called a “stacked” bracket which included a three-time state champion, but the way he looks back tells him he was just as able to win that tournament as he did this year.

“This year I was just like, let’s go in and forget what happened,” he said. “That’s really motivation. I was like, I don’t want that to happen ever again.”

So far, he’s 1-for-1 in not letting his freshman year repeat at state. After getting his best test in a 3-2 win in the semifinals against Abe Hermes of Milan Edison, Attisano had no problem in his finals match Sunday. Facing C. J. Graham of Procterville Fairland, Attisano was the better conditioned and more active wrestler. He scored 12 take downs during the match as it seemed he would never stop accumulating points.

A 25-10 victory by technical fall in the third period after his sixth two-point move of the past minute-plus of action left no doubt this time he was the champion.

“I just warmed up like any other match,” he said. “I wasn’t going to take it likely, but it should just be another match on your schedule. And then you just go push the pace, see what happens and try to score as much as possible.”

Facing off against high-quality competition in most tournaments that he attends, Attisano was certainly ready for his second attempt at state.

Head coach Mike Sizemore said Attisano was able to wrestle the exact type of match he tries to teach his grapplers.

“Three words: Pace, persistence and pressure,” Sizemore said. “Because we know pressure does a lot of thing. Pressure breaks steel pipes. That’s one thing that we did right in our room. You keep up a high pace that they can’t match with an intensity level that they can’t match. Be persistent about whatever you do. You will break people up mentally as well as physically.”

Attisano certainly did that this year. When you train alongside the state’s newest member of the 4-for-4 club, you certainly get to train with the best.

Winning three straight is still a possibility for him, and it’s a goal he is already looking prepped to achieve.

“Everybody thinks they’re going to win more,” Attisano said. “I’m gonna try to go for three, and really why not? Like just push your base level, continue to score all the points and just train hard to be the best.”

Rhinehart makes most of second year

The pre-match nerves were tough to get over for Akiaya Rhinehart.

Wrestling in the final set of matches of the evening and knowing the eyes of everyone left in the building were gazing on her, she couldn’t help but feel the pressure that was setting in.

That pressure wasn’t just to win but become the first wrestler in Fairborn history to win a state title.

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen,” she said. “But it wasn’t because I felt like that I had to be the first.”

It was still a successful season for the woman who now holds several Fairborn wrestling records in just her second her of competing in the sport.

As the first member of the Skyhawks, man or woman, to reach state since 2016, a 44-2 overall mark got her the school’s highest winning percentage in a single season. Her 41 victories by pin blew away the previous record by 11.

She is the first state placer for Fairborn since Zach Fulton’s eighth-place finish in 2006.

And did you catch the part this was only the second year she has ever wrestled?

“At first I thought I wanted to do swimming,” she said. “But then I heard that girls wrestling was starting and I wanted to see what that was about. My first year wasn’t the best, but this year was so much better and I had such a great experience.”

She still didn’t expect a year like this one to happen when it began. After getting through the first few tournaments of the season, Rhinehart said she began to realize how much better she was performing than her opponents.

“It was getting much easier to wrestle, and my coaches were helping me so much,” she said.

In the last match of her senior season, Rhinehart had a take down scored against her for the first time all year. It led to the pin which saw her having to finish as the runner-up in the division.

She said her success has her re-considering her future plans as she may want to keep wrestling as part of her life. Being the first to set the standard for Fairborn girls wrestling is something she’s proud to have done.

“Unfortunately my best wasn’t enough to get first place, but second place isn’t that bad,” Rhinehart said. “I’m still excited because of how many things we did this weekend and I felt like it was a great experience.”




126 (champion) – Nathan Attisano (So.) Legacy Christian (39-6) def. C. J. Graham (Jr.), Procterville Fairland (51-7), tech fall 25-10

132 (champion) – Dillon Campbell (Sr.), Legacy Christian (43-4) def. Casper Caizzo (Sr.), Norwalk St. Paul (54-2), pin 1:52


125 (2nd place) – Lacie Knick (So.), Northmont (45-1) def. Lily Hendricks (Fr.), Greeneview (41-7), pin 3:13

235 (2nd place) – Brooke Jenkins (Sr.), Vermilion (27-7) def. Akiaya Rhinehart (Sr.), Fairborn (44-1), pin 3:18



106 (consolation first round) – Carmello Kolb (Fr.), Solon (24-15) def. Jeremy Sibrel (So.), Beavercreek (34-8), dec. 7-3

215 (consolation first round) – Dominic May (Sr.), Brunswick (42-12) def. Ronnie Butler (Jr.) Xenia (40-11), dec. 5-3


120 (6th place) Eli Campbell (Sr.), Legacy Christian (28-8) defaulted consolation semifinal and 5th place match

150 (3rd place) – Brayden Brown (Sr.), Legacy Christian (37-4) def. T. J. Wilson (Sr.), Tuscarawas Valley (56-5), dec. 3-0

215 (consolation second round) – Judson Cooper (Sr.), Waterford (46-3) def. Sam Tuck (Sr.), Legacy Christian (26-13), dec. 3-2


155 (consolation second round) – Madison Jeffers (Sr.), Tri-County North (15-4) def. Jada Weiss (Jr.), Bellbrook (38-4), dec. 7-2

190 (6th place) – Zayna Muntaser (Jr.), Lakewood (46-3) def. Brooklynn Newton (So.), Carroll (32-6), dec. 5-2

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.

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