Brodie Dominique and Carson Meyer represented Archbold at the 2021 Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state wrestling championships at Marion Harding High School, Saturday and Sunday, March 13- 14.
One wrestler was beginning his journey to a successful four years.
The other was hoping to cap off a brilliant season and career for the Blue and Gold.
Meyer (182 pounds), a senior, shook off the disappointment from last year’s tournament can- cellation and struck gold, win- ning the school’s 10th individual state championship.
Dominique (138 lbs.), a fresh- man, ended his first season on the AHS varsity with a seventhplace finish to also garner All- Ohio status.
From Disappointment To Jubilation
After suffering the shock and disappointment of the 2020 state tournament cancellation due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Meyer made the most of his second state qualification.
He opened his tournament with an easy 17-1 technical fall over Kirtland’s Brennon Braud. He then pinned Springfield Shawnee’s Adam Myers in 3:36 to reach the championship semifinals.
Meyer had his hands full in the semis when he squared off against Lucas Stoddard of Burton Berkshire. Stoddard sported a perfect 47-0 record.
After a scoreless first period that saw the two trying to find any scoring opportunity, Stoddard scored a quick escape in the second period to lead 1-0.
The wrestlers went into the third period with Stoddard hold- ing the 1-0 advantage.
Meyer was down to start the third, hoping to score the equal- izer.
As the action moved near the edge of the mat, Meyer was hit with a penalty point for fleeing competition, giving Stoddard a 2- 0 advantage.
Meyer scored a one-point escape to trail 2-1 as time was expiring.
As the final 20 seconds ticked away, Meyer worked his way into a scoring chance with a double leg takedown.
The senior returned Stoddard to the mat to secure the points and a 3-2 lead.
Stoddard was on his feet immediately, trying to score the escape to tie the match, but Meyer held off the attempt and stood victorious with a spot in the state championship final.
Meyer faced perfection again when he squared off against 27-0 Springfield Greenon’s Trevor Stewart for the title.
The first period ended score- less. Meyer scored the first points on an escape in the second.
Stewart scored a takedown to lead 2-1, but Meyer scored another escape point for a 2-2 tie at the end of two.
Stewart chose to remain on his feet in the third.
Meyer had a great opportunity to score a takedown, but as the two went out of bounds, Stewart was hit with a fleeing penalty that awarded a point to Meyer.
The final moments were spent with Meyer tightening his defense and stopping the onslaught of shots from Stewart.
As the clock wound down, Meyer realized his dream of claiming a state championship with a 3-2 win.
“It’s amazing,” said Meyer. “I can’t explain this feeling. It’s nothing but joy.”
“Awesome for Carson,” said Becher. “He was wrestling a kid who was a phenomenal athlete, and was able to wrestle an intel- ligent match tactically in terms of our strategy.
“The whole post-season he’s really wrestled really well for the last month of the year.
“He took a couple losses when I bumped him up to 195. I told him we are not going to care about these losses come the end of the season. The whole point is to keep getting better.
“I’m sure that he sees that now.”
Meyer leaves with a pair of Northwest Ohio Athletic League titles, two sectional and district titles, a 50-3 record, and a state championship.
“The time here at Archbold has taught me a lot,” said Meyer. “It’s not only made me a good wrestler, it’s made me a good person in general. It’s awesome to win a state championship.”
The talented Dominique is not new to wrestling on a big stage, but the state tournament for a freshman always adds some extra pressure.
Dominique was thrown to the lions right away, wrestling his first match against two-time state placer Cael Vanderhorst of Covington.
Vanderhorst scored on a sin- gle leg takedown early in the first period, but Dominique scored an escape to trail 2-1 to end the first period.
An escape by Vanderhorst extended his lead to 3-1, but a Dominique carry and two near fall points gave the freshman a 5- 3 lead as the second period ended.
Holding the slim lead, Dominique chose the down position to start the third and scored an escape.
All that was left was for Dominique to hold off a strong Vanderhorst charge to advance to the quarterfinals with a 6-3 decision.
Dominique squared off against Newcomerstown’s Logan Hursey, who was 46-0 and also a twotime returning state placer.
Hursey scored a takedown, and then clamped a cradle on, scoring a 55-second pin to drop Dominique into the consolation bracket.
A 3-1 win over Allen East’s Kade Wireman assured Dominique of a top-eight placement– the first AHS freshman to place at the state tournament since Clark Forward placed second in 1996.
Dominique battled Delta’s Gabe Meyer for the third time this season to advance to the con- solation semifinals.
They say the third time is the charm. For Meyer, those words rang true as he stopped Dominique with a 7-3 decision, his first win over the AHS fresh- man this season.
The loss placed Dominique in the seventh-place match against Fairview’s Kaden Blair in a rematch from a regular-season match won by Dominique, 5-3.
Three periods were not enough to decide the outcome, with a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation.
In the one-minute overtime, Dominique dove in on a single leg and secured the takedown to earn a 3-1 sudden victory win, finishing seventh and ending his season with a 43-6 record.
“We thought all along that he could be a freshman qualifier,” said Becher. “It was just a matter of how well we thought he could do after we got here.
“It was nice to see him finish with a win.”
“I thought I performed all right,” said Dominique. “I could have done a lot better.
“Next year I just hope to come back here and do better.”
It’s not rare for a freshman to come to the state tournament and perform well.
In most cases those freshmen dominate the lower weight classes, so for Dominique to place in a weight class filled with upperclassmen and returning place finishers is a huge accom- plishment and leaves room for bigger things.
“Brodie was down on himself for not performing up to his expectations,” said Becher.
“I expect him to perform well this off-season before making the jump into next season.”
“I’m gonna work hard….really hard,” said Dominique.
“I’ll be working out almost every day in the wrestling room.”– photos & articles by Mario Gomez