COLUMBUS — The good thing about being a young competitor at the state wrestling meet is that if you don’t succeed the first time you, have an opportunity at a second chance.
That will be the thinking of Van Wert sophomore Gabe Steyer after exiting the Division II state wrestling championships Friday afternoon. Disappointed that he fell a win shy of making the podium, Steyer knows what he has to work on to get there next year.
“It was a good experience and kind of opened my eyes,” Steyer said. “These are the best wrestlers in the state of Ohio and I know what to work on for next year.”
In a consolation match at 138 pounds Friday afternoon, Steyer, a sophomore, faced sophomore Skyler Lasure of Lisbon Beaver. Lasure had the better of the match posting a 17-2, technical fall, win at the Schottenstein Center.
Lasure had a 4-0 lead on Steyer after the opening minute of wrestling. Lasure went up 6-0 early in the second period with a take down before Steyer started to gain some momentum with a reversal for two points. That would be all Steyer could muster off of Lasure as he was able to get a reversal and build a lead (12-2) through back points. He used another take down and back points in the third period to complete the win.
“That kid (Lasure) was able to get a take down and a couple of back points and it changed the complexion of the match where we had to do some things we were not comfortable with,” Van Wert coach Ben Collins said. “This is something he will learn from. He’s the type of kid that in 10 minutes he will be up there (the stands) watching this and learning from that as well.”
In the morning session, Steyer faced defending state championship Jordan Decatur of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy.
The defending state champion responded to the challenge defeating Steyer 17-2. Decatur was able to get an early take down and back points as he built an 11-1 lead after one quarter. Steyer’s lone point came on an escape.
Decatur continued his domination into the second period as he able to get a quick take down starting from the neutral position. After Steyer picked up another escape point, the CVCA wrestler recorded another take down and back points to end the match just 37 seconds into the second quarter.
“Both of our kids coming down this weekend were underclassmen,” Collins added. “It’s more of an experience thing right now. They both have some things to work on.”
The second Cougar wrestler at state was junior Isaiah Betz, who lost two matches on Thursday.