D.J. Schoeppner qualifies to state

By Todd Reed Press-News Sports Editor Published:

In one of the toughest district brackets anywhere in the state of Ohio, Canton South's D.J. Schoeppner emerged with a fourth-place finish, and in doing so, qualified for his third straight state wrestling championships.

Schoeppner won his first two matches to reach the semifinals.

The senior pinned Cory Gramberg of Perry at 3:07, and tech felled Alex Cornicelli of Howland 18-2.

In the championship semis, Schoeppner lost to Josh Decature of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 5-2.

Sent to the consolations and with a state berth on the line, Scheoppner beat two-time state placer Michael Kostandaras of Walsh Jesuit 6-2.

Already assured of a trip to Columbus, Schoeppner lost his third-place match to Mike Rix of St. Vincent-St. Mary.

Also competing at districts were freshman Dominic Stout at 113, and juniors Dylan Dolph at 138 and Jake Taylor at 285.

Taylor was pinned by Billy Miller of Perry at 1:02, but he bounced back to pin Carl Roman of Revere at 1:00. In the consolation second round, Taylor was pinned by Kostas Parrish of University School.

Stout lost both his matches. He was pinned in 40 seconds by Collin Dees of Perry, and he dropped a 9-1 major decision to Danny Novak of Aurora.

Dolph was beaten by Ricky Simonelli of CVCA 3-1 and by Jeff King of Lake Catholic 5-2.

The 2013 State Wrestling Championships are this Thursday, Feb. 28, and Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

The Division II championship preliminaries get under way at 4:15 p.m.

Schoeppner is a two-time state placer, having finished eighth a year ago at 113 and fourth in 2011 at 103.

The 16-person 126-pound bracket has nine wrestlers who have placed a combined 14 times at state.

Schoeppner will open against senior Payton Ott (39-5) of Eaton, who won the Goshen District.

The winner will face either senior Santana Villarreal (46-7) of Defiance, who was second at the Bowling Green District, or senior Kyle Moffit (45-5) of Indian Creek, who was third at the Heath District.

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