After vanquishing his 42nd straight opponent this season, Wayne High School junior Jacob Padilla finally met his match.
To celebrate Wayne’s first state title in 19 seasons, Padilla planned to take on the Thurmanator. The famous burger at the Thurman Cafe in Columbus features two 12-ounce burger patties, American cheese and is heaped with toppings.
He did the same thing after finishing eighth at last season’s state tournament. So what’s tougher – going 42-0 and winning the Division I state championship or taking down the Thurmanator?
“Probably finishing the Thurmanator,” Padilla said. “It’s pretty hard. I don’t think I finished it last year.”
He had no such trouble finishing his wrestling season. In front of 12,195 spectators at Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center, Padilla capped the perfect season with a 3-2 victory over Avon senior Jack Roesch (38-5).
Padilla is Wayne’s first state champion since Kyle Otte won a pair in 1999 and 2000. He also bettered his dad’s state finish. Wayne assistant coach Mike Padilla took third at 285 in 2000.
“I don’t think it’s clicked in yet,” Jacob said. “I was happy but it hasn’t clicked in that I’m the state champ.”
Padilla finished eighth at 285 last season. He entered this season a the favorite to win it all. He didn’t disappoint. His bulldozing trip through the championship bracket included a pin in 1:18 in the first round, a 7-2 win in the quarterfinals and a pin in 3:04 in the semis.
“You have a target on your back every match. Everybody wants to beat you,” Padilla said. “I just wanted to take it one match at a time. I didn’t want to get too cocky. I didn’t want to overlook anybody.”
And especially not the Thurmanator.
“That’s straight heavyweight stuff,” Mike Padilla said.
Hello, again: Legacy Christian freshman Gavin Brown beat Troy Christian junior Ethan Turner 2-1 for the 126-pound D-III title. It was similar to Brown’s 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker victory in the district final last week.
“If I wasn’t a state champ I wasn’t going to be happy,” Brown said. “I didn’t want to settle for anything less. It’s definitely really cool especially as a freshman.”
Brown was awarded the winning point with 37 seconds left after Turner was penalized for fleeing to avoid Brown’s take-down attempt.
Brown’s journey to the state title went through three seniors and a junior. Two of his opponents were state placers last season including Turner, who won the 113 title.
We are family: Miami East freshman Max Shore came up short in his bid for a D-III state title at 113. But his runner-up finish put a member of the Shore family on the podium for the fifth straight season.
Graham, a 2018 East graduate, won the state title at 120 last season. He finished third at 120 as a junior, third at 113 as a sophomore and seventh at 106 as a freshman.
Max led 3-1 in the third period when Coshocton junior Lucian Brink – a two-time state placer who capped a 53-0 season – put him on his back. Brink led 6-1 with 51 seconds remaining and held on for a 6-3 victory.
“It’s kind of hard to wrestle someone quite a bit stronger than you,” said Max, who finished the season 46-4. “But it motivates me to get ready for next year. Train harder.”
Freshman sister Olivia came one win from joining them on the podium. Olivia, the second female to qualify for the state tournament and the first to win in the championship round, lost her next two matches at 106 and was eliminated on Friday.
Big board bound: One of the goals for teams with multiple qualifiers is to secure a spot on the big board. Three large wooden scoreboards – one for each division – list the top 10 in the team standings. Having your school listed for spectators to see as among the best in the state allows for bragging rights. Troy Christian and Legacy Christian both earned spots by finishing fifth and seventh, respectively.
Troy Christian had six wrestlers place in the D-III state meet, highlighted by junior Justin Turner’s runner-up finish at 126. Turner won the state title at 113 last season and finished third at 106 as a freshman.
Legacy Christian had three state placers, led by Brown’s state title.
Best of the rest: For wrestlers that don’t reach the state title match, winning the consolation bracket is the next best thing. Three area wrestlers did that Saturday to finish third.
Fairmont junior Nevan Snodgrass, ranked No. 18 in the nation by Intermat, became a three-time placer by winning the consolation final at 170 in D-I. He finished fourth at 160 as a sophomore and fourth at 145 as a freshman. Chaminade Julienne senior Hunter Johns won the consolation final at 170 in D-II. He finished fourth last season at 182.
Legacy Christian freshman Camron Lacure was third at 120 in D-III and Covington senior Keringten Martin was third at 152 in D-III.
Local connection: Beavercreek resident Michael Baker, who wrestles for Cincinnati La Salle, finished second in the D-I 195-pound final. He lost to Dublin Coffman’s Seth Shumate 11-3. LaSalle finished second in the team standings to Lakewood St. Edward by eight points.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.