This Fairfield wrestler did what only 6 others had done before: win a state championship

Fairfield wrestler Zach Schupp won the 106-pound Division I state championship on March 10, 2018, avenging a state championship loss from a year earlier. Schupp was honored by Fairfield City Council on March 26, 2018, with a proclamation and a key to the city presented by Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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Fairfield wrestler Zach Schupp won the 106-pound Division I state championship on March 10, 2018, avenging a state championship loss from a year earlier. Schupp was honored by Fairfield City Council on March 26, 2018, with a proclamation and a key to the city presented by Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Zach Shupp is the seventh wrestler in Fairfield’s history to win a state championship.

In all, there have been 10 state championships won by Fairfield wrestlers — Willie Wineberg won four of them — but Shupp is the first since 2001. He won the 106-pound title against La Salle freshman Dustin Norris on March 10 at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center in the Division I state tournament.

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He was honored by his hometown on March 26.

“Many have tried, but very few have done what you have done,” said Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller, who honored Shupp, a senior who will head to Central Michigan University next year. “You are a state champion. It’s amazing.”

Miller honored Shupp with a proclamation, making March 27, 2018, as Zach Shupp Day in the city of Fairfield, and presenting him with a key to the city.

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Shupp was coached by one of the now seven state champions in Fairfield history, Jason Laflin. He won the 112-pound state title in 1989.

“I mean, look at all the people who have wrestled over the last 50, 60 years at Fairfield,” Miller said. “You talk about an elite group, and your coach is one of them.”

Miller said he had been “looking forward” to honoring Shupp, saying, “I was in that wrestling room once upon a time. That’s a job. It’s work. It’s not easy, and again it’s hard to reach what you reached.”

But Shupp was not the only wrestling recognition last week, and honoring Shupp was “the only way” to get former Fairfield wrestling coach Ron Masanek to a city council meeting.

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Retired Fairfield wrestling coach Ron Masanek was honored at Fairfield City Council on March 26, 2018 for what Mayor Steve Miller called a “long overdue” honor. Masanek, who retired from coaching in 2014 after 48 years as the Indians head coach, was honored with a key to the city for his contributions to the sport and the city. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Retired Fairfield wrestling coach Ron Masanek was honored at Fairfield City Council on March 26, 2018 for what Mayor Steve Miller called a “long overdue” honor. Masanek, who retired from coaching in 2014 after 48 years as the Indians head coach, was honored with a key to the city for his contributions to the sport and the city. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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Retired Fairfield wrestling coach Ron Masanek was honored at Fairfield City Council on March 26, 2018 for what Mayor Steve Miller called a “long overdue” honor. Masanek, who retired from coaching in 2014 after 48 years as the Indians head coach, was honored with a key to the city for his contributions to the sport and the city. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

“We can finally recognize him for all of his accomplishments in this community,” said Miller, calling it “a long overdue” honor.

Masanek retired from coaching in 2014, which is when Laflin took over the program.

“You turned young men into men. And it’s more than wrestling,” Miller said. “Wrestling was the priority, but just as high was teaching ethics, morals — turning these young men into good men that were going to accomplish something in their lives. You were like a father to these kids, and to a lot of us you still are. Everybody looks up to you.”

Miller then presented Masanek with a key to the city.

“We always stress the program, the program, the program. And looking at all the people that made the program a success, and I felt very proud that Fairfield contributed so much to the state championship,” said Masanek. “I was very, very proud and I think that’s what makes me the most proud — not only all the wrestlers but all the people that helped us to have success and to be recognized as one of the best wrestling programs in the state of Ohio.”

Fairfield, as a team, finished 1oth at the Division I state championships. Heading into the 2018 championships, there had been 51 state placers from Fairfield — including Shupp’s second-place finish in 2017.

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