By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — Dylan Schenck saw 12 years of hard work slipping through his fingers.
But faced with the possibility of wrestling the last match of his high school career, the Milton-Union senior held on tight and won his consolation match to remain alive in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state wrestling tournament Thursday.
Wrestling at 152 pounds, Schenck dropped his first match in heartbreaking fashion, losing 5-4 to Liberty Center’s Tyler Kay. Facing elimination in his first consolation match, Schenck was able to gut out a 4-1 victory over Elyria Catholic’s Steven Ferguson.
“That was really big for me, because I was 0-3 at state up to that point,” said Schenck, who last both of his matches at state last year. “It was nice to get that confidence boost, to get that win under my belt, especially in a do-or-die match. That could have been the last match of my career.”
After a scoreless first period, Schenck fell behind 1-0 in the second period, but scored a takedown to 2-1 lead into the third period. There was a scary moment at the beginning of the third period, however, as Ferguson dropped Schenck on his head with an illegal slam.
“I’m fine,” Schenck said. “My arm was able to cushion most of it. I was a little dizzy for a few seconds, but I’m fine now.”
Schenck was awarded one point for the illegal move to push his lead to 3-1. He was able to score an escape in the final seconds for the final margin of victory.
Schenck will continue his journey Friday when he opens in the second round of consolation matches. If he can win his first match, he’ll be guaranteed to finish no worse than eighth place, which would put him on the podium and make him Milton’s first state placer since Jeff Penny took third in 2006.
“I can’t even put into words what that would mean to me,” Schenck said. “I’ve been wrestling since I was a little kid, and that has always been a dream of mine. Obviously placing eighth isn’t the goal, but I just want to be up on the podium and have that OHSAA medal around my neck.”
Contact David Fong at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong