Moray to wrestle for state title

COLUMBUS – After two days at the OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament at Ohio State University, Steubenville Big Red senior Greg Moray has himself one step away from greatness.

On the strength of a 25-second pin of Greenfield McClain’s Brandon Davis in the quarterfinals, and a 12-2 major decision over Hamilton Ross’ Frank Heimkreiter in the semifinals, Moray (37-0) reached today’s 220-pound final against Wauseon’s Zane Krall (41-3). Krall made it to the final with an 11-0 major decision over Sandusky Perkins’ Kordell Chaney. The state championship matches are scheduled to start at 5:45 p.m.

“He (Krall) was in the other half of the bracket last year, and he and Greg lost to the same kid,” said Big Red head coach Mike Blackburn. “He’s pretty talented. We watched hi a little today. He’s an active 220-pounder. What really stood out is he looked like he was pretty good on top.

“Greg will definitely have to wrestle a good match.”

Moray opened the tournament with a 15-6 major decision over Conneaut’s Billy Post on Thursday.

“I think he controlled all three matches this weekend,” said Blackburn. “He definitely wrestled pretty well. Any time you make the state finals you’re doing something right.

“He wrestled the Post kid from Conneaut and won. He came back and is going to place. Greg really got ready for his second match and ended up winning with fall in 25 seconds.

“In state semifinals, as a coach, you’re hoping for something easier. He wrestled his best match this year against that kid and came away with a major decision.”

Also assuring himself of a spot on the podium is Big Red freshman Tariq Wilson at 106 pounds.

Wilson (48-6) came back from a disappointing 24-7 tech fall loss to St. Paris Graham Local’s Eli Stickley to down Mogadore Field’s Cory Simpson 6-3, and keep hopes for a third-place finish alive. He faces Milan Edison’s Evan Cheek in the consolation semifinals today at 10 a.m. A win over Cheek puts Wilson in the third-place match, a loss sees him wrestle for fifth. Those matches are scheduled for 11 a.m.

“Its hard for anybody to come out to the lights at the state tournament,” said Blackburn. “He’s wrestled very well. Even in his loss he had him cradled and on his back in the first round.

“It was not how we wanted to or could of wrestled, but he got his head on right and came back to place. He’s wrestled tough.

“We just know Evan Cheek is highly ranked. We saw some of him last year. Anyone who is a state placer, especially at 106 which is stacked this year, is a good wrestler.”

Anthony Craig (34-5) at 126 pounds and Anthony Parada (39-10) at 132 pounds of Big Red were eliminated during Friday’s action.

“When you have a couple seniors lose 3-1 (Craig) and 1-0 (Parada) is hard,” said Blackburn. “You want everyone who makes it to place. We’re wrestling OK and we thought we’d have more kids place, but that’s why you wrestle.

“Every one at the state tournament is good too. There’s been a lot of upsets this year.”

Big Red sits at eighth-place overall going into today’s matches.