by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
COLUMBUS — Amanda-Clearcreek’s Grant Guiler pinned his way to the weekend Friday night at the Division III state wrestling championships.
The season came to an end though for Amanda-Clearcreek’s Bobby Pieratt and Westfall’s Glenn Keeton.
Guiler (40-9) bounced back from an overtime loss to pin Bath’s Ezekiel Burkholder (38-7) with only 11 seconds left in the match.
“That first round is tough. We went into overtime and it kicked my butt. I did not feel good after the match,” Guiler said of his opening match earlier in the day. “I drank a bunch of water and got rehydrated and went out there to wrestle that last match and felt pretty good. He finally gave up his arm and I just took advantage of it in the third period.”
“Any overtime loss, especially at the state level, is demoralizing – especially to a senior,” AC coach Troy Langermeiester said. “You’ve got to win one today to get out so it’s really a mental game on who’s going to flip the trigger and flip that switch to move on to Saturday. Qualifying for state is awesome, but getting yourself a chance to wrestle on Saturday and get in that placement round is the next step. I’m proud of how tough he was mentally to bounce back after a tough loss.
“Grant sometimes frustrates me wrestling – he likes to wait for his opportunities,” Langermeiester added. “Grant did just that, he did a good job of being a defensive wrestler, having a strong base, having a good stance there and his time came tied in the third period.
“As wrestlers you want them to go out and attack a bunch, but sometimes it’s being patient and wait for that stuff to come. He wrestled his match and waited for that kid to come to him and when it was time, it was time and he got it done.”
The senior said he went into the 150-pound consolation match feeling calm.
“For some reason I was not nervous going into that match. Normally my stomach starts hurting and I don’t feel good at all,” he said. “Going into it, it felt different. I slowed down and waited for my opportunity and took it.”
After wrestling as a youth, Guiler took off his middle school years and started wrestling again his sophomore year. He was a district qualifier the previous two seasons and this is his first trip to the state.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It feels pretty good to make it to Saturday.”
Guiler will be back in action Saturday morning.
Pieratt’s (40-8) season came to an end when he was pinned in overtime of his consolation match.
“He had a tough draw this week,” Langermeister said. “We would have liked to have seen him find a way to sneak that out as a senior.
“He’s wrestled extremely well the entire year. I’m proud of the career he’s had. He’s had some ups and downs in his career with injuries and stuff like that, so to see him come back his senior year and battle through some injuries this year as well and make it out. There are a lot pros to look at when it comes to his season.
“It’s not the result he wanted this week, but the kid is tough and he had a heck of a season.”
Keeton’s career wrapped up with a 5-2 loss to Cuyahoga Heights’ Luke Torgerson in the 175-pound weight class.
The Westfall senior finished the season with a 34-14 record.