by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
COLUMBUS — It may have taken a little longer than he liked, but Circleville senior Trentt Fulgham won himself a state championship Sunday night at the 86th OHSAA Boys Wrestling State Tournament.
“When it was the second overtime, I thought once I got up, I won. But, that wasn’t the case,” Fulgham said of his overtime match that he won after the third period 2-1.
“I managed to hold him down. There at the end he tried to flip, and I knew it was coming so I held his ankle the entire time,” Fulgham said.
He said his approach to the match gave him the confidence he needed to beat New Lexington’s Zane Pletcher (38-4), who he lost to two weeks ago.
“I like the way I wrestle, because the moment that whistle blows nothing is going through my mind except for wrestling. I don’t hear anyone, I don’t see anyone but the guy I’m wrestling,” Fulgham said. “When that whistle blew, I knew I got this and that was it.”
His Division II heavyweight championship was sort of an upset — if you listened to some of the state wrestling experts. Fulgham entered the state tournament as a four-seed out of the Steubenville district.
“I was predicted to place fifth here. Then I beat the guy I was supposed to lose to, I beat another guy, I beat the one guy they said was going to win it all and then I just beat Zane Pletcher, who beat me at my sectionals,” Fulgham said. “It was exactly what happened when I faced him last.
“I just won the coin flip, but I made the right choice this time. Last time I made the wrong choice, this time I made the right one and it ended in my victory.”
Circleville coach Trent Brooks has been telling his heavyweight that he had this title in him for several years.
“He has the biggest heart in this place,” Brooks said. “We knew at sectionals he didn’t wrestle well. At districts, his bracketing set him up with a bad draw.
“He got the redemption from that match there, he got the redemption from West Holmes in the semis and he beat a returning state champ. You can’t ask for more.”
Fulgham won the fifth state championship for Circleville. The previous winners for the Tigers include Mark Davey in 1972, Mike Linton in 1980 and Nate Keaton in 2017 and 2018.
Among the thousands of people on hand in Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center Sunday night were dozens of friends, teachers and family members there to cheer him on
“It makes everything so much better. Normally, it’s just my parents and my other teammates on the wrestling team,” Fulgham said. “I’ve got people from my football team, my brother, my cousin from Pickerington, I’ve got other coaches cheering my name – it just feels so good.”
Fulgham completes his senior season with a 44-7 record.