COSHOCTON — Three local wrestlers are just one step away from the promised land.
East Knox’s Cade Mickley, Centerburg’s Jimmy Alexander and Fredericktown’s Cody McGuire all won two matches Friday in the Division III District tournament at Coshocton. One win in their next two matches will automatically qualify the trio for the state tournament next week.
Mickley, who finished fourth in the sectional at 130 pounds, was the biggest surprise to everyone except his coach, Keith Kauffman.
“It helped that he was here last year as a freshman,” Kauffman said. “He had a hunger to do better and he accomplished that.”
Mickley had a solid opening match against Union Local’s Mitch Friede, the No. 1 seed out of the East Sectional. The Bulldog sophomore was able to take the lead with a solid second period, then added three more points in the third to win 8-5.
That put him in the championship quarterfinals against Centerburg’s Daniel Colopy, who beat Caldwell’s Zac Cline in the opening round, 13-6.
The two Mid-Buckeye Conference foes didn’t face each other this year and Colopy took control early, jumping out to a 6-2 lead after one period. But, Mickley fought back to close the gap to 6-5 after two, then took control in the third and went on to a 9-7 victory.
“He (Mickley) wrestled a good match against Colopy. Both wrestlers made some mistakes, but Cade was the last one to capitalize,” Kauffman said. “It was a big boost to his moral to be the first-place kid, but then he went out tentatively (against Colopy). It went back and forth before he was finally able to gain control and hold on.”
Alexander is making the most of his third trip to district competition. The 145-pound Centerburg senior wasted very little time in his two matches, winning both by pinfall without reaching a third period. He needed just 3:15 to beat Bellaire’s Nick Maffe in the first match, then didn’t even need a full two-minute period to post his second win. He pinned Alexander’s Damen Estes in just 1:53 to advance to the championship semifinals.