By David Fong
Regional Sports Editor
COLUMBUS — One mistake cost Max Shore a chance at a state title.
He has vowed not to let it happen again.
“He’s strong; he caught me,” the Miami East freshman said of Coschocton’s Lucian Brink just moments after Brink had defeated Shore 6-3 in the 113-pound championship match of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division III state tournament Saturday at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. “He got the ‘backs’ (back points) and that was the match. Now I’ve got to get ready for next year. I’ve got to train harder.”
Shore capped off his remarkable run at the state tournament — he handily defeated both a defending state champion and a two-time state placer to get to the championship match — with a second-place finish.
“I’m so proud of this kid,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “He came in here projected as a fourth-place finisher. He beat a defending state champion. He wrestled well all season. I don’t know what more you could ask of from this kid.”
Shore picked up a takedown and gave up an escape in the first period to take a 2-1 lead into the second period. In the second period, he started in the bottom position and picked up an escape to take a 3-1 lead into the third and final period.
That’s when one slip up ended up costing Shore the match.
Shore started the match in the top position, but Brink was able to get a reversal to tie the match at 3-3, then was able to wrap up Shore in a cradle, putting him on his back to pick up three back points and a 6-3 lead. From there, Brink was able to hold on for the victory.
“We made one mistake,” Rose said. “We knew that cradle was coming. But Max loves to be in that position and that kid loves the cradle. It was a matter of both guys being in the position they wanted to be in and who was going to capitalize. His opponent was able to capitalize. He might be the strongest kid we’ve wrestled all year.”
Like Shore himself, Rose said he expects his young wrestler to come back to the state tournament even stronger next year.
“Absolutely,” Rose said. “I hate to say a loss will make you better, but I know Max well enough to know this is going to light even more of a fire under him. He’s going to work hard in the offseason and come back even better next year.”
Even with the loss, it was an incredible weekend for the Shore family. One year after older brother Graham Shore captured a state title, Max competed alongside his sister, Olivia, who was just the second girl ever to qualify for the state wrestling tournament. Max said he enjoyed the chance to be a part of history along with his sister, as they became the first brother-sister duo ever to wrestle together at state.
“It was a very fun weekend,” he said. “It’s been crazy. It’s been a blessing. Our family has come a long way.”
Rose said he’s proud of the way Max handled himself over the weekend with the spotlight shining on him.
“He didn’t have the advantage of the anonymity a lot of freshmen who come here have,” Rose said. “But I was proud of the way he handled it. It was great the attention they brought to Miami East, the community and to their family.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twiter @thefong