Louisville Leopards Wrestling 2020 State Champions

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State Championship
#1 Louisville 34, #3 St. Paris Graham 30

My Fit Life Personal Trainer AdThe #1 Seed Louisville Leopards Wrestling Team took down the #3 Seed St. Paris Graham Falcons 34-30 in the DII OHSAA Division II Team Tournament State Championship Sunday Night at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus. This is the first state title in the 61 year history of the Leopards Wrestling program and the third team state championship in the history of Louisville Athletics. The Leopards finish 15-0 in dual meets for the year marking their first undefeated season since 1995 as well.

Louisville made a number of lineup changes which allowed them to rally from a 24-18 deficit to score 13 unanswered points. Sophomore Brenden Severs (170) and Senior Jax Leonard (182) both wrestled up a weight class and registered major decisions to give LHS a 26-24 lead. Senior Brent Paulus (195) then earned a 21-6 technical fall against Graham’s Evan Lykins to put the Leopards in front 31-24 with two weight classes remaining.

Heavyweight Match Decides the State Championship

Louisville Head Coach Rocky Laughlin elected to give a forfeit to the Falcons’ Nolan Neves at 220 so that Leopards Senior Blake Robbins could wrestle up a weight class at 285 against Sophomore Zack Burroughs. Robbins had a near takedown just before time expired at the end of the first period, but the bout remained scoreless. Each wrestler chose the bottom position and recorded an escape point over the next two periods, but that proved to be the only scoring throughout regulation.

In overtime, Robbins and Burroughs went back-and-forth on the mat looking for a sudden victory opportunity. It finally came with 19 seconds remaining in the period as Robbins made a sudden move to the right and took down Burroughs. The referee held up two fingers in the air confirming the take down, the decision, and the state championship for Louisville! Robbins jolted up in celebration along with his teammates behind him. The Louisville fans that made the trip roared from the stands above in support of their undefeated state champions! 

Helped By Forfeits, Louisville Takes Commanding Lead Early

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdThe Leopards were the beneficiary of two forfeits early on that gave them a 12-4 lead through the first three weight classes. Freshman Dylan Rhoads (106) and Junior Dan Adams (120) claimed the unopposed victories. In between the forfeits, Graham’s Nolan Gessler earned a 9-1 major decision over Louisville Freshman Dominic Hoffarth to put the Falcons on the board.

Defending State Champions Junior Garett Lautzenheiser (126) and Junior Davin Rhoads (132) both earned hard-fought decisions to extend the Leopard lead to 18-4. Lautzenheier defeated Nick Hart 7-5 and Rhoads defeated Chris Kelly 6-3.

Falcons Win 4 Straight Bouts to Take the Lead

The Leopards needed all the points they could get as they entered the treacherous middle of the Falcons lineup. Graham’s two-time state runner-up Nick Moore pinned Senior Carter Mickley (138) in just 56 seconds to cut the deficit to 18-10. Falcon state champion Alek Martin then went to work on Louisville Senior Logan Vanicek (145). Vanicek staved off being pinned, but surrendered a 24-9 technical fall in the process.

St. Paris Graham took their first lead at 21-18 when LHS gifted Trace Braun a forfeit at 152. The next three Leopards wrestled up a weight class as a result. Louisville Junior Dan Kennedy dropped a 9-4 decision to Graham’s Camden McDanel to give the Falcons their biggest lead of the dual at 24-18. 

Major Lineup Decisions Lead to Major Decisions

Despite the deficit, the Leopards seemed to have the 28-time state champions right where they wanted them. Louisville scored 13 unanswered over the course of the next three matchups to pull ahead 31-24. Wrestling up a class, Severs (170) held a 4-0 lead over Graham’s Eric Thomas at the end of two periods. Severs was able to hold Thomas scoreless while racking up 6 more points in the third period to earn a 10-0 major decision.

Leonard (182), who also wrestled up a weight class, shot out of the gate to snag a quick 5-0 lead. He extended his advantage to 11-2 heading into the third and looked poised to win by fall. But in that final period, Jack Mefford scored a key takedown which jeopardized Leonard’s bid for a major decision. However, Leonard picked up an escape point with just 2 seconds remaining to secure the 8-point major decision at 14-6. That gave Louisville the lead back at 26-24 and they would never surrender their advantage.

Leopards Break A Dynasty, Take Down 28-Time State Champs

To put their feat into perspective, none of the Leopard Wrestlers were born the last time the St. Paris Graham Wrestling program failed at a state championship opportunity. Despite bouncing between Division II and Division I, the Falcons had won 7 Dual Team State Championships in 7 years since the tournament’s inception in 2013. Furthermore, St. Paris Graham has won 19 consecutive State Championships (2001-2019) as a team in the Individual State Tournament.

Sunday was the first time they achieved less than 1st in the state for either tournament since Bill Clinton was president in 2000. Louisville snapped their string of 26 consecutive state championships out of their 28 state titles in Wrestling overall. 

The Falcons also outscored the Leopards 112-18 in their only previous two meetings this decade. St. Paris Graham defeated Louisville 57-7 in 2018 and 55-11 in 2017. The 2020 Leopard Seniors endured both these losses as underclassmen, but refused to be denied in Sunday’s finals. Three of those Seniors went undefeated over the course of the last 4 matches of Sunday’s State Championship Dual as LHS rallied from a 24-18 deficit to claim a 34-30 title victory!

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LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS 34, ST. PARIS GRAHAM FALCONS 30

  • 106 Dylan Rhoads 9 (Louisville) forfeit (Graham Local) Forfeit 6 | LHS 6, GHS 0
  • 113 Nolan Gessler 10 (Graham Local) maj dec. Dominic Hoffarth 9 (Louisville) 9-1 | LHS 6, GHS 4
  • 120 Dan Adams 11 (Louisville) forfeit (Graham Local) | LHS 12, GHS 4
  • 126 Garett Lautzenheiser 11 (Louisville) dec. Nick Hart 9 (Graham Local) 7-5 | LHS 15, GHS 4
  • 132 Davin Rhoads 11 (Louisville) dec. Chris Kelly 12 (Graham Local) 6-3 3 | LHS 18, GHS 4
  • 138 Nick Moore 11 (Graham Local) pin Carter Mickley 12 (Louisville) 0:56 6 | LHS 18, GHS 10
  • 145 Alek Martin 11 (Graham Local) tech. fall Logan Vanicek 12 (Louisville) 24-9 5 | LHS 18, GHS 15
  • 152 Trace Braun 11 (Graham Local) forfeit (Louisville) | LHS 18, GHS 21
  • 160 Camden McDanel 9 (Graham Local) dec. Daniel Kennedy 11 (Louisville) Dec 9-4 3 | LHS 18, GHS 24
  • 170 Brenden Severs 10 (Louisville) maj dec. Eric Thomas 11 (Graham Local) 10-0 4 | LHS 22, GHS 24
  • 182 Jax Leonard 12 (Louisville) maj dec. Jack Mefford 11 (Graham Local) 14-6 4 | LHS 26, GHS 24
  • 195 Brent Paulus 12 (Louisville) technical fall. Evan Lykins 10 (Graham Local) 21-6 5 | LHS 31, GHS 24
  • 220 Nolan Neves 10 (Graham Local) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6 | LHS 31, GHS 30
  • 285 Blake Robbins 12 (Louisville) dec. Zack Burroughs 10 (Graham Local) Dec 3-1 SV 3 | LHS 34, GHS 30

State Semifinal
#1 Louisville 51, #5 Bellevue 22

My Fit Life Personal Trainer AdThe #1 Seed Louisville Leopards Wrestling Team defeated the #5 Seed Bellevue Redmen 51-22 in the OHSAA Division II Team Tournament State Semifinals Sunday Afternoon at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus. With the win, Louisville improved to 14-0 on the year and advanced to take on the #3 Seed St. Paris Graham Falcons in the DII State Championship. This is the Leopards first appearance in the State Finals as they look to bring home their first team state championship and also completed a perfect season in dual matches. 

Louisville won 9 of their 14 matches against Bellevue which included 7 wins by fall. Dylan Rhoads (106) took a forfeit and Dominic Hoffarth (113) pinned Gabe Alda in the first period to give the Leopards a 12-0 cushion from the start. Later the trio of Garett Lautzenheiser (126), Davin Rhoads (132), and Carter Mickley (138) produced back-to-back-to-back pins as LHS ripped open a 30-3 lead. 

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdDan Kennedy (152) controlled his match throughout in earning a 7-2 decision. Seemingly seconds later, Brenden Severs (160) pinned Bellevue’s Hugh Beier in just 17 seconds in what proved to be the clinching blow mathematically. Jax Leonard (170) follow with a first period pin as Louisville pulled in front 45-6.

The Leopards dropped the next three matches including surrendering 195 and 220 by forfeit with the match in hand. Jason Goard (285), who sat out the quarterfinals, set the tone for tonight with a 49 second pin in the heavyweight matchup to end the dual. Louisville 51, Bellevue 22.

COVER PHOTO BY AMY PAULUS

LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS 51, BELLEVUE REDMEN 22

  • 106 Dylan Rhoads 9 (Louisville) forfeit (Bellevue) Forfeit 6 | LHS 6, BHS 0
  • 113 Dominic Hoffarth 9 (Louisville) pin Gabe Alda 11 (Bellevue) 1:22 6 | LHS 12, BHS 0
  • 120 Jayden Mayes 11 (Bellevue) dec. Dan Adams 11 (Louisville) Dec 11-9 3 | LHS 12, BHS 3
  • 126 Garett Lautzenheiser 11 (Louisville) pin Noah Alda 12 (Bellevue) 1:42 6 | LHS 18, BHS 3
  • 132 Davin Rhoads 11 (Louisville) pin Caiden Walters 11 (Bellevue) 0:42 6 | LHS 24, BHS 3
  • 138 Carter Mickley 12 (Louisville) pin Justin Smythe 10 (Bellevue) 2:31 6 | LHS 30, BHS 3
  • 145 Max Ray 9 (Bellevue) dec. Logan Vanicek 12 (Louisville) Dec 9-4 3 | LHS 30, BHS 6
  • 152 Daniel Kennedy 11 (Louisville) dec. Jared Weider 12 (Bellevue) Dec 7-2 3 | LHS 33, BHS 6
  • 160 Brenden Severs 10 (Louisville) pin Hugh Beier 10 (Bellevue) 0:17 6 | LHS 39, BHS 6
  • 170 Jax Leonard 12 (Louisville) pin Collin Corapi 11 (Bellevue) 1:09 6 | LHS 45, BHS 6
  • 182 Justin Mayes 11 (Bellevue) maj dec. Noah Peterson 10 (Louisville) 14-6 4 | LHS 45, BHS 10
  • 195 Aiden Nunez 12 (Bellevue) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6 | LHS 45, BHS 16
  • 220 Dylan Adkins 12 (Bellevue) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6 | LHS 45, BHS 22
  • 285 Jason Goard 12 (Louisville) pin Brock Nunez 10 (Bellevue) 0:49 6 | LHS 51, BHS 22

State Quarterfinal
#1 Louisville 69, #8 Hamilton Ross 6

My Fit Life Personal Trainer AdThe #1 Seed Louisville Leopards Wrestling Team upended the #8 Seed Hamilton Ross Rams 69-6 in the OHSAA Division II Team Tournament State Quarterfinals Sunday Morning at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus. With the victory, Louisville remained perfect at 13-0 on the season and advanced to take on the #5 Seed Bellevue Redmen in the State Semifinals.

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdSeven different Leopards won by fall during the onslaught as the Leopards won the first 13 matches of the quarterfinals. This included four consecutive pins by Dominic Hoffarth (113), Dan Adams (120), Garett Lautzenheiser (126), and Davin Rhoads (132). Later pins included Brenden Severs (160), Jax Leonard (170), and Brent Paulus (195). 

Beatty's Sports Football 2018 Schedule Shirt T-ShirtLouisville built a 69-0 lead before giving a forfeit to Hamilton Ross’ Alex Coleman (285) in the final heavyweight matchup to finalize the score at 69-6. The Rams also gave a forfeit to Dan Kennedy (152) which proved to be the match clincher as the Leopards led 42-0 with only 6 matches remaining.

Other Leopards winners included Carter Mickley (138) and Blake Robbins (220) by technical fall, Dylan Rhoads (106) and Noah Peterson (182) by major decision, and Logan Vanicek (145) by decision.

LEOPARDS 69, RAMS 6

  • 106 Dylan Rhoads 9 (Louisville) maj dec. Jaiden Earls 9 (Ross) 13-2 4 | LHS 4, RHS 0
  • 113 Dominic Hoffarth 9 (Louisville) pin Jordan Miller 9 (Ross) 0:43 6 | LHS 10, RHS 0
  • 120 Dan Adams 11 (Louisville) pin Logan Bruns 12 (Ross) 1:52 6 | LHS 16, RHS 0
  • 126 Garett Lautzenheiser 11 (Louisville) pin Ben Rye 9 (Ross) 1:06 6 | LHS 22, RHS 0
  • 132 Davin Rhoads 11 (Louisville) pin Tyler Bruns 12 (Ross) 5:03 6 | LHS 28, RHS 0
  • 138 Carter Mickley 12 (Louisville) technical fall Ben Breaker 11 (Ross) 18-3 5 | LHS 33, RHS 0
  • 145 Logan Vanicek 12 (Louisville) dec. Sean Beltran 11 (Ross) Dec 3-2 3 | LHS 36, RHS 0
  • 152 Daniel Kennedy 11 (Louisville) forfeit (Ross) Forfeit 6 | LHS 42, RHS 0
  • 160 Brenden Severs 10 (Louisville) pin Ryan Iams 9 (Ross) 3:01 6 | LHS 48, RHS 0
  • 170 Jax Leonard 12 (Louisville) pin Hayduke Hess 11 (Ross) 1:31 6 | LHS 54, RHS 0
  • 182 Noah Peterson 10 (Louisville) maj dec. Mehki Bouldin 12 (Ross) 9-0 4 | LHS 58, RHS 0
  • 195 Brent Paulus 12 (Louisville) pin Jude Hess (Ross) 0:45 6 | LHS 64, RHS 0
  • 220 Blake Robbins 12 (Louisville) technical fall Griffin Peacock 11 (Ross) 15-0 5 | LHS 69, RHS 0
  • 285 Alex Coleman 12 (Ross) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit | LHS 69, RHS 6

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Division II Dual Team State Tournament Quarterfinal Results

Louisville 69, Hamilton Ross 6

106 Dylan Rhoads 9 (Louisville) dec. Jaiden Earls 9 (Ross) md13-2 4
113 Dominic Hoffarth 9 (Louisville) pin Jordan Miller 9 (Ross) 0:43 6
120 Dan Adams 11 (Louisville) pin Logan Bruns 12 (Ross) 1:52 6
126 Garett Lautzenheiser 11 (Louisville) pin Ben Rye 9 (Ross) 1:06 6
132 Davin Rhoads 11 (Louisville) pin Tyler Bruns 12 (Ross) 5:03 6
138 Carter Mickley 12 (Louisville) dec. Ben Breaker 11 (Ross) tf18-3 5
145 Logan Vanicek 12 (Louisville) dec. Sean Beltran 11 (Ross) Dec 3-2 3
152 Daniel Kennedy 11 (Louisville) forfeit (Ross) Forfeit 6
160 Brenden Severs 10 (Louisville) pin Ryan Iams 9 (Ross) 3:01 6
170 Jax Leonard 12 (Louisville) pin Hayduke Hess 11 (Ross) 1:31 6
182 Noah Peterson 10 (Louisville) dec. Mehki Bouldin 12 (Ross) md9-0 4
195 Brent Paulus 12 (Louisville) pin Jude Hess (Ross) 0:45 6
220 Blake Robbins 12 (Louisville) dec. Griffin Peacock 11 (Ross) tf15-0 5
285 Alex Coleman 12 (Ross) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6

Bellevue 43, Sandusky Perkins 24

106 Billy Smith 10 (Perkins) forfeit (Bellevue) Forfeit 6
113 Gabe Alda 11 (Bellevue) dec. Will Blevins 12 (Perkins) md10-2 4
120 Jayden Mayes 11 (Bellevue) dec. Max Oprzadek 11 (Perkins) Dec 3-2 3
126 Noah Alda 12 (Bellevue) dec. Mack Hermes 12 (Perkins) Dec 4-1 3
132 Caiden Walters 11 (Bellevue) pin Keegan Schoen 10 (Perkins) 0:39 6
138 Justin Smythe 10 (Bellevue) dec. J.D. Thom 11 (Perkins) Dec 6-2 3
145 Max Ray 9 (Bellevue) pin Zach Morehart 12 (Perkins) 2:50 6
152 Logan Catri 11 (Perkins) dec. Cody Kile 12 (Bellevue) Dec 7-2 3
160 Cole Weatherly 12 (Perkins) dec. Jared Weider 12 (Bellevue) Dec 7-3 3
170 Collin Corapi 11 (Bellevue) pin Devandre Harvey 9 (Perkins) 3:55 6
182 Justin Mayes 11 (Bellevue) pin Zach Zoellner 10 (Perkins) 0:11 6
195 Tai Carter 12 (Perkins) pin Evan Straub 10 (Bellevue) 5:34 6
220 Dylan Adkins 12 (Bellevue) pin Brock Runner 11 (Perkins) 0:48 6
285 Sam McNulty 12 (Perkins) pin Brock Nunez 10 (Bellevue) 1:15 6

St. Paris Graham Local 48, West Holmes 24

106 Jack Welsh 11 (West Holmes) forfeit (Graham Local) Forfeit 6
113 Cael Woods 12 (West Holmes) pin Nolan Gessler 10 (Graham Local) 1:15 6
120 Mason Taylor 9 (West Holmes) forfeit (Graham Local) Forfeit 6
126 Nick Hart 9 (Graham Local) dec. Tyler Masters 12 (West Holmes) Dec 5-2 3
132 Chris Kelly 12 (Graham Local) dec. Tucker Kaufman 10 (West Holmes) md9-1 4
138 Nick Moore 11 (Graham Local) pin Dylan Strouse 10 (West Holmes) 0:38 6
145 Alek Martin 11 (Graham Local) pin Conner Varnes 10 (West Holmes) 1:14 6
152 Trace Braun 11 (Graham Local) dec. Gavin Greer 11 (West Holmes) tf15-0 5
160 Walker Uhl 12 (West Holmes) dec. Camden McDanel 9 (Graham Local) Dec 4-3 3
170 Eric Thomas 11 (Graham Local) pin Josh Sayers 12 (West Holmes) 3:37 6
182 Cruz Alexander 12 (West Holmes) dec. Jack Mefford 11 (Graham Local) Dec 4-2 3
195 Evan Lykins 10 (Graham Local) pin Colt Cox 11 (West Holmes) 5:20 6
220 Nolan Neves 10 (Graham Local) pin Skylar Anderson 11 (West Holmes) 0:43 6
285 Zack Burroughs 10 (Graham Local) pin Collin Gardner 9 (West Holmes) 1:47 6

Aurora 63, Miami Trace 6

106 Codie Cuerbo 10 (Aurora) pin Titus Lehr 11 (Miami Trace) 0:47 6
113 Robbie Sagaris 11 (Aurora) dec. Weston Melvin 10 (Miami Trace) Dec 4-0 3
120 Antwan Sagaris 11 (Aurora) dec. Aiden Johnson 9 (Miami Trace) tf17-0 5
126 Bo DiJulius 10 (Aurora) dec. Aaron Little 9 (Miami Trace) md14-3 4
132 Brian Kennedy 11 (Aurora) dec. Jared Seymour 10 (Miami Trace) tf17-1 5
138 Nic Willingham 10 (Aurora) dec. Storm Duffy 12 (Miami Trace) md10-2 4
145 David Cumberledge 12 (Aurora) pin Vincent Munro 9 (Miami Trace) 2:27 6
152 Tyler Lillard 9 (Aurora) dec. Graham Carson 11 (Miami Trace) md12-2 4
160 Dylan Fishback 10 (Aurora) dec. Kylan Knapp 10 (Miami Trace) tf16-1 5
170 Ethan Anderson 12 (Aurora) pin Jayden LeBeau 10 (Miami Trace) 3:28 6
182 Quinn Gorman 9 (Aurora) dec. Dawson Wallace 12 (Miami Trace) Dec 12-8 3
195 Evan Anderson 10 (Aurora) pin Bryce Bennett 10 (Miami Trace) 1:33 6
220 Joey Arnold 9 (Aurora) pin David Tyndall 12 (Miami Trace) 2:19 6
285 Grant DeBruin 12 (Miami Trace) forfeit (Aurora) Forfeit 6

Division II Dual Team State Tournament Semifinal Results

Louisville 51, Bellevue 22

106 Dylan Rhoads 9 (Louisville) forfeit (Bellevue) Forfeit 6
113 Dominic Hoffarth 9 (Louisville) pin Gabe Alda 11 (Bellevue) 1:22 6
120 Jayden Mayes 11 (Bellevue) dec. Dan Adams 11 (Louisville) Dec 11-9 3
126 Garett Lautzenheiser 11 (Louisville) pin Noah Alda 12 (Bellevue) 1:42 6
132 Davin Rhoads 11 (Louisville) pin Caiden Walters 11 (Bellevue) 0:42 6
138 Carter Mickley 12 (Louisville) pin Justin Smythe 10 (Bellevue) 2:31 6
145 Max Ray 9 (Bellevue) dec. Logan Vanicek 12 (Louisville) Dec 9-4 3
152 Daniel Kennedy 11 (Louisville) dec. Jared Weider 12 (Bellevue) Dec 7-2 3
160 Brenden Severs 10 (Louisville) pin Hugh Beier 10 (Bellevue) 0:17 6
170 Jax Leonard 12 (Louisville) pin Collin Corapi 11 (Bellevue) 1:09 6
182 Justin Mayes 11 (Bellevue) dec. Noah Peterson 10 (Louisville) md14-6 4
195 Aiden Nunez 12 (Bellevue) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6
220 Dylan Adkins 12 (Bellevue) forfeit (Louisville) Forfeit 6
285 Jason Goard 12 (Louisville) pin Brock Nunez 10 (Bellevue) 0:49 6

St. Paris Graham Local 32, Aurora 30

106 Codie Cuerbo 10 (Aurora) forfeit (Graham Local) Forfeit 6
113 Nolan Gessler 10 (Graham Local) dec. Robbie Sagaris 11 (Aurora) Dec 11-4 3
120 Antwan Sagaris 11 (Aurora) forfeit (Graham Local) Forfeit 6
126 Nick Hart 9 (Graham Local) dec. Bo DiJulius 10 (Aurora) Dec 6-2 3
132 Chris Kelly 12 (Graham Local) dec. Brian Kennedy 11 (Aurora) tf25-9 5
138 Nick Moore 11 (Graham Local) dec. Nic Willingham 10 (Aurora) Dec 9-3 3
145 Alek Martin 11 (Graham Local) dec. David Cumberledge 12 (Aurora) Dec 7-3 3
152 Tyler Lillard 9 (Aurora) dec. Trace Braun 11 (Graham Local) md22-8 4
160 Dylan Fishback 10 (Aurora) dec. Camden McDanel 9 (Graham Local) tf19-3 5
170 Ethan Anderson 12 (Aurora) pin Eric Thomas 11 (Graham Local) 5:09 6
182 Jack Mefford 11 (Graham Local) dec. Quinn Gorman 9 (Aurora) Dec 7-1 3
195 Evan Anderson 10 (Aurora) dec. Evan Lykins 10 (Graham Local) Dec 10-3 3
220 Nolan Neves 10 (Graham Local) pin Zak Mohan 10 (Aurora) 0:31 6
285 Zack Burroughs 10 (Graham Local) pin Joey Arnold 9 (Aurora) 3:09 6

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