COLUMBUS — It wasn’t the finish Eaton senior Wade Monebrake was hoping for.
Monebrake, a state runner-up last season at 132 pounds, was looking to do one better this year after moving up a weight class, but his dream of a state title ended with a 4-3 loss in the semifinals at the OHSAA 82nd Annual State Wrestling Individual Tournament.
The tournament was held Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9.
Monebrake, who finished fifth, will leave Eaton as a three-time state qualifier, two-time state placer and with the most wins in program history.
“It was a fun experience. It was tough. I definitely didn’t reach my goals this year,” he said just prior to going on the podium to receive his award. “That was pretty disappointing. I fell one step short last year so I really wanted to win it. At the same token if you told me I was going to place fifth at the state tournament when I was in eighth grade I wouldn’t have complained.”
In his last match, he pinned Caden Blust of Tiffin Columbian in 2 minutes, 6 seconds on Saturday, March 9 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
“It was fun. My last match as an Eaton wrestler,” he said. “I just enjoyed it a lot.”
Monebrake, who finished the season 40-5, began the tournament with a 5-2 win over Kaleb Kiss of Norton on Thursday.
In the quarterfinal match he defeated Gabe Steyer of Van Wert 7-5.
In the semis on Friday evening, Michah Norwood scored a take down in the final 15 seconds to pull out a 5-4 win over Monebrake.
“It was just one of those tough fought matches,” Eaton coach Mark Silvers said. “It came down to who was going to get that last take down. That kid got in on him and Wade fought like crazy, but it just wasn’t meant to be on that one. That’s a devastating loss. It really kicked him.”
On Saturday morning, in the consolation semis, Monebrake dropped a 10-2 decision to Jacson Muldrew of Steubenville, before bouncing back to beat Blust.
“Every match here you’ve got to be ready to roll,” he said.
Silvers said Monebrake finished with 160 season for his career.
“It was just a fantastic career,” Silvers said. “The kid has done everything right and made himself into the best possible wrestler. He’s not done. I really feel like his best years of wrestling are in front of him. It’s just been a real fun journey watching him grow and develop. He joins a very elite group in Eaton wrestling. That’s something he can hang his hat on and be proud of.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH