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  Mike O’Horo Claims 5th Spot At Ohio Prep Mat Championships  
  March 14, 2019 Edition  
     BY AL MILLER
      wrestling reporter
      Borofan (Billy Schaefer) Ohio prep wrestling ratings had predicted Boardman High School’s Mike O’Horo would not qualify for state competition a couple of weeks ago at the district tournament. O’Horo made a fool of him.
      For last week’s state tournament, Borofan doubled-down and predicted O’Horo would lose two matches on Thursday and be out of the tournament. The 170-lb., three-year letterman made Schaefer look like an even bigger fool.
      In his first match at the state tournament O’Horo was up against Michael Garcar of powerhouse Lakewood St, Ed’s. Garcar scored a takedown and led 2-1 after the first period. Feeling confident, Garcar took down to start the second period. That was a mistake. O’Horo took advantage of the top position and tilted Garcar three times to lead 10-2.
      Liking how he did in the second period, O’Horo chose top to start the third and again tilted Garcar three times to tech his foe, 19-2.
      Great call Borofan!
      “Very rarely do yet get in a situation where the St. Ed’s coaches made a wrong decision but they put their guy down and Mike got on top and just got on a roll and started turning him. We just stayed on top and ended up tech falling him. We were down 2-0 and turned it into a 19-2 victory,” Spartan mat coach Dom Mancini said.
      “That definitely set the tone for the state tournament. It gave me a lot of confidence in my tilt. Being down early and then not even thinking about it, getting on top and getting to work on my turns, it definitely helped me confidence wise for the tournament and set the tone for it as well,” O’Horo said after the first match.
      O’Horo had a tough draw in the bracket and in the second match of the tourney on Friday morning he was up against Nevan Snodgrass of Kettering Fairmont (44-2), a wrestler many considered the second best at 170#. Snodgrass won the match, 10-2.
      In the next match, considered the blood round because if you win you are guaranteed a placement at state, O’Horo was up against Kamal Andawumi of Mason (42-9), who is headed to Ohio Univeristy next fall on a wrestling scholarship. After a scoreless first period, O’Horo took down and escaped to lead 1-0. Late in the third period still leading, O’Horo was called for stalling that tied the score 1-1. In overtime, O’Horo scored the winning takedown to win 3-1 and guarantee placing at the state meet.
      “It was 1-0 with about two seconds left in the match and they hit me with a stalling to give him a point to go to OT. Going into OT there wasn’t any panic or worry. I just knew I was going to take him down. I just felt I had out wrestled him and just wore him down and out-conditioned him. It was definitely a huge match. The feeling that came over me after getting the takedown in sudden victory was a happy feeling and a relief knowing I finally placed and could go wrestle and let it all fly,” O’Horo said of his win over Anduwami.
      In his Friday night match in front of a full house, O’Horo was up against Jon List of Wadsworth (35-12). He again used his tilts to perfection against List. O’Horo tilted him twice and added an escape point for a dominant 7-0 victory.
      On Saturday morning, O’Horo was up against Jake Evans of Elyria (43-8) with the winner going for third place. After a scoreless first period, Evans took down and O’Horo was unable to turn him. Evans escaped for a 1-0 lead. In an effort to tie the match, O’Horo took down, but Evans caught him and pinned him.
      In the match for fifth place, O’Horo was up against Cole Foor of Pataskala Watkins Memorial (22-9). After a scoreless first period, Foor took down and O’Horo tilted him for a 3-0 lead. O’Horo was then called for stalling giving Foor a point. The Spartan senior then tilted his foe again for a 6-1 lead. O’Horo took top to start the third period and Foor pulled Mike’s finger to escape. O’Horo then took Foor down for an 8-2 lead. Foor escaped and then O’Horo picked him up and drove Foor into the mat. Instead of getting a takedown, Foor was awarded a penalty point for a slam. There was concern that Watkins Memorial would pull a ‘Canfield’ and have their wrestler say he was injured and couldn’t continue but Foor said he could wrestle and O’Horo went on to win the match and place fifth in Ohio in the 170-lb. division. He ended his season with a 46-8 record.
      “D-1, 170-lbs. was a really deep weight class this year with a lot of good guys. It’s definitely something I’m proud of. Top five in the state is never a bad thing, so I’m really proud of it. It lets me see that my hard work paid off,” O’Horo said.
      “I thought it was a great weekend of wrestling. There were ups and down but finishing fifth in the state was a pretty good accomplishment,” Coach Mancini said.
      More than 52,000 fans showed-up at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus to watch the tournament.
      The state mat finals capped a stellar prep athletic career for O’Horo as he was a three-year starter for the Spartans at quarterback, earning two appearances in post-season tournament play; and posting a 134-29 mark on the mats, gaining All-Ohio status.
     
 
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