By: Brett Curren
West Holmes High School wrestlers Thane Kaufman, Colton Bowling, Cody Woods and Jake Mullet competed Sunday, March 13 in the 2016 Ohio Wrestling Association for Youth (OH-WAY) High School State Championship Tournament at the Veterans Coliseum in Marion, Ohio, and all four earned podium finishes and berths at the upcoming NUWAY national tournament.
Kaufman, a sophomore wrestling at 108-pounds, notched a runner-up finish and 3-1 record, the only setback being a close 1-0 decision loss to Trey Finnearty of The Plains in the OH-WAY state championship match. Kaufman scored a 6-0 decision victory to open his day, then followed with a quarterfinal 14-1 major decision win and a 6-2 decision victory in the semifinals to reach the championship bout.
With a 2-2 mark, Mullet, a junior, finished fourth at 184-pounds, dropping a 10-2 major decision loss to Gage Braun of Springfield in the third-place match. Mullet opened with an 8-3 decision win in the quarterfinals before dropping a hard fought 8-7 decision loss in the semifinal match. Mullet rebounded in the consolation semifinals with a fall win at :46, but dropped the bronze medal match to Braun.
Woods, a junior wrestling at 138-pounds, received a first round bye then pocketed a fall win at 3:55 in the quarterfinals. After losing by a 6-2 decision in the semifinals, Woods lost by a 2-0 count in the consolation semifinals but came back with a fall win at 2:17 over Hunter Barker of Grove City to earn the fifth-place medal and a 2-2 record.
Bowling, a sophomore competing at 134-poundds, finished 6th with a 1-3 mark, his only victory coming by the way of an 8-4 decision over Jonathan Jett of Clyde. Bowling lost the 5th-place match by a 16-1 tech fall to Tommy Fulton of Centerville.
With the top six finishes, all four Knights are now qualified for the April 9-10 2016 National United Wrestling Association for Youth High School National Championship Tournament being held at the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan.