HARRISON, Ohio — Corey Shie popped up from the mat and gave an enthusiastic fist pump toward the La Salle fans in the stands when time expired after his 12-4 major decision win over Elder senior Jake Meridieth Sunday evening at Harrison High School.
Shie, a La Salle senior headed to West Point to wrestle next year, won the 138-pound bracket at the 2016 Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches’ Association Glenn Sample Holiday Classic to become the second wrestler in the 48-year history of the event to win titles all four years.
Elder ran away with the team title at the two-day event, scoring 298 points to win the event for the first time since 2009. That was well ahead of La Salle’s second-place total of 190.5. Host Harrison was third with 170.5 points and 2015 champion Fairfield was fourth with 138.5.
Fairfield’s Willie Wineberg, the first four-time Division I Ohio state champion from 1991 through 1994, also won four Coaches’ Classic titles during his time with the Indians.
“I didn’t realize that there had only been one other one until a few days ago,” Shie said. “That’s kind of cool to think about that. I kind of took it one year at a time, but after my junior year it was kind of a goal of mine to get the fourth title.”
As Shie was acknowledging the La Salle fans, most of the rest of the wrestling community in attendance — coaches, wrestlers, volunteers and parents — gave Shie a standing ovation.
“That was pretty cool,” Shie said. “Those are the moments that you look back on when you’re older. Those are the good moments.”
Shie has been wrestling since he was 5, and the sport has always been a big part of his life. The four-time Coaches’ Classic champion, three-time district champion and the third-place finisher at 132 pounds in 2016 at the Division I state meet, always expects great things when he steps onto the mat.
“It’s amazing that it’s been four years,” La Salle coach Avery Zerkle said. “I’ve known him since he’s been in third grade and working with him all these years. He’s just a great kid. He’s a special guy and he’s got a bright future.
“He’s got a God-given gift. He’s a wrestler for sure. It’s training. He works so hard and he loves it.”
Shie will have an opportunity to become the first four-time champion at the Top Gun Tournament in January at Alliance High School in northeastern Ohio. By the end of the season, he’d like a fourth straight district title.
“Then obviously at the end of the year, I want to be a state champion,” Shie said. “The chances are great. There are a few tough guys, but I’ve beaten them. I’m right up there. I just have to put it all together.”
La Salle sophomore Lucas Byrd won at 106 pounds and senior Eric Beck won at 145 pounds, but Elder dominated the event overall to win the event for the second time in 30 years. Twelve of 14 Panthers placed over the weekend, all 14 won matches and 11 finished in the top four in their weight class.
“Everybody contributed,” Elder coach Jason Roush said. “It was not just a few individuals scoring points. It’s everybody.”
Senior Nino Salamone won the 132-pound weight class, senior Connor Craig won at 152, junior Ti’Ric Evans won his second title at 160 and junior Antonio McCloud won the 220-pound bracket for Elder.
Freshman William Doepker was runner up to Byrd at 106, Meridieth was runner-up to Shie at 138 and junior Alec Moore-Nash was runner up to Lakota East senior Jon Spaulding at 285 pounds.
“We’ve got a great crop of wrestlers right now, and the majority of them are underclassmen,” Roush said. “This was one of our goals this week, to win this. We knew we had the team that could do it and it’s a team effort.”
Fairfield junior Zach Shupp won his third Coaches’ Classic title, taking the 113-pound bracket after winning at 106 in 2014 and 2015. Walton-Verona junior Ryan Moore won his second title at 126 after winning at 120 last year.
Harrison senior Cory Baird won at 120 pounds, Simon Kenton senior Casey Cornett won at 170 and Moeller junior Jake Thompson won at 182.
“It was a good weekend for us, but it’s December,” Roush said. “We’ve got two months, so even our guys who won this have things they can learn.”