AUSTINTOWN – Colin Roberts of Austintown Fitch has fought in lots of huge fights in his profession, however Saturday’s showdown on the Japanese Ohio Wrestling League Event was one of many greatest.
He hopes there will likely be extra, and higher, sooner or later.
The 138-pound Roberts secured a powerful 5-Three victory over Louisville’s Davin Rhoads within the event’s first closing showdown, which was held at Fitch Excessive College with restricted fan attendance.
The victory was particular to Roberts on a number of ranges. He misplaced to Rhoads, a state champion in 2019, in a twin encounter only a few weeks in the past, so he gained some revenge and gained extra confidence. The victory was additionally the 176th of his profession, setting a brand new file at Fitch, one of many elite wrestling colleges within the Mahoning Valley. The title was additionally his third consecutive EOWL championship.
“It is wonderful,” Roberts mentioned. “(Rhoads is) an important competitor. Each time we battle, it is going to be a battle, nevertheless it feels good to lastly show myself in opposition to him. “
Roberts, who was additionally named event MVP, does not have a lot else to show.
He’s a three-time state qualifier who competes on the nationwide stage within the offseason. The Ohio College engagement was one in every of many fighters who broke their hearts when final yr’s state singles wrestling event was canceled as a result of pandemic. He hopes to have a shot at redemption in 2021, and a high-level victory over probably the greatest fighters within the state was a large step in that route.
“Colin has been making ready for these huge video games,” Falcons coach John Burd mentioned. “Rhoads is a returning state champion for 2 years. He beat us a few weeks in the past in a twin. It was an excellent match, a round-trip battle. Colin’s important objective is a month from now. It is a good springboard, an important victory for him, an important victory for this system. “
Getting the primary takedown was the important thing for Roberts.
He nearly received a takedown late within the first interval, however could not end the transfer. That was not the case on the finish of the second interval.
Rhoads earned a breakout to take a 1-Zero lead, however Roberts was in a position to safe a one-legged takedown to go up 2-1. Rhoads once more escaped to tie the sport at 2 going into the ultimate interval. Roberts escaped to start out the third interval and got here up, Three-2, and once more completed a takedown over the sturdy and highly effective Rhoads, enduring a 5-Three victory.
Roberts was excited for the particular second, and whereas the accolades that accompanied it meant quite a bit to him, he has greater expectations, ones that he won’t be capable of pursue in 2020.
“Actually, that is it,” Roberts mentioned of getting one other probability to compete within the state event in March. “Rising up, all my life, my objective is to be a state champion, to high the rostrum, and hopefully this yr might be my yr.”
Roberts wasn’t the one one who loved the second.
Boardman’s duo of Sean O’Horo (170 kilos) and Jake Powell (285) had been topped champions of their respective weight courses. Each even have legacies to observe.
O’Horo’s older brother, Michael, was a adorned fighter and state delight at Boardman only a few years in the past, and Powell’s older brother, Justin, was a Spartans state champion within the early 2000s. Genetics Acquainted apparently did not skip a technology.
Sean O’Horo, a junior now 40-1, was in full management in a 5-1 win over Beaver Dwelling’s Jonathan Potts at 170 kilos. Jake Powell, a senior who improved to 39-2, continued with a affected person and tactical method at 285 kilos, beating Howland’s Gage Gibson, Three-1.
Boardman’s coach Dom Mancini mentioned each fighters have flourished for some time others are preventing.
“Our two guys have thrived (in the course of the pandemic),” Mancini mentioned. “They’re making the most of that. They know that sport is extra of a psychological battle than a bodily battle. We even modified the schedule. We’ve got had many video games this yr. These guys have already had greater than 40 video games. Many faculties haven’t had something like that. We’ve got saved them competing. With that, and their attitudes and the best way they practice, they’re making the most of this yr, relatively than permitting COVID to intrude with their success. “
The postseason begins on February 26 for all three divisions, starting with the sectional event after which adopted by district and state occasions. The positioning of the state event has but to be decided.
DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONS: There are 4 divisions within the EOWL, and every is acknowledged as a champion primarily based on the workforce’s scores. Louisville was the general champion and the Division I champion with 253 factors. West Department gained Division II with 126.5 factors. Garfield took Division III with 108 factors and South Vary gained Division IV with 148.5 factors.
EOWL HOF: There have been 5 members included within the EOWL: Mike Helm (West Department), Don Newell (Hubbard), Dave Janofa (Salem), Dean Conley (Fitch) and Joe Simon (Liberty).