Cleveland Wrestlers Capture 12th Consecutive District Title

Thirteen of Cleveland’s wrestlers, shown here in this photo, will be advancing to compete in the OSAA State championships at Veterans Memorial Coliseum during February 24-25.

Arguably the most consistent Warriors team, Cleveland wrestling continued their run of excellence at the PIL District Meet at Lincoln High School. Although it was closer than in previous years, the Warriors scored 309 points and defeated Jefferson by 41.5 points and McDaniel to win their 12th consecutive district title.

First place finishers included Adrian Anaya (132), Logan Medford (138), Connor Smeller (160), and Josh Sonnichsen (182). Additionally, Teagan Paxton, Max Copus, and Callum Smeller were runners up in the 126, 145, and 152 pound weight classes, respectively.

On the girls’ side, Haley Vann, who also competed and took third place in the boys tournament in the 126 pound weight class, took first place in the girls’ 130 pound division. Sophomores Maya Kruger and Izzy Herring took second place in 135 and 155 lbs, respectively, and will be moving on to state.

In total, 13 Warrior wrestlers will be competing at the state championships at Veterans Memorial Coliseum from February 24-25.

Coach Jeff Zerba’s team of upperclassmen and underclassmen have combined to give the Warriors a key core that has been instrumental in the team’s success. The group of sophomores on both the boys and girls were strong pieces to the Warriors success. Seniors Vann and Medford have both been dominant their whole high school careers, but this year Josh Sonnichsen also was a key contributor, leading the team with 36 wins. Vann, who is committed to wrestle at North Central College in Illinois after graduation, is hoping to continue her dominant career with a third consecutive state championship.

Medford capped off an impressive PIL career on Saturday, winning the district title for the fourth straight season.

“Logan has been one of the most dominant wrestlers that Cleveland has ever had. He is one of two, four time district champions!” said Zerba.

His career has been one of the best in Cleveland history, as he hit 100 pins this season.

“Wrestling for Cleveland has been a very cool experience. I love my teammates, they are all great people,” Medford said. “It’s had its ups and downs, but I enjoy competing and fighting through the struggles. I have enjoyed wrestling, and I think it’s something everyone should try at least once in their life.”

One thing has eluded Medford – a state title. He took third place at state last season, and it would be a storybook ending if he captured the title to end his high school career. But he doesn’t want to bring that up yet.

“I don’t talk about state before it happens,” Medford stated. “I don’t want to jinx anything.”

The complete list of Warrior wrestlers moving on to state is below:

113 Ian Pilar 3rd
126 Haley Vann 3rd
126 Teagan Paxton 2nd
132 Adrian Anaya 1st
132 Nikita Story 3rd
138 Logan Medford 1st
145 Max Copus 2nd
152 Will McKnight 3rd
152 Callum Smeller 2nd
160 Connor Smeller 1st
182 Josh Sonnichsen 1st
130 Haley Vann, Champion
135 Maya Kruger 2nd
155 Izzy Herring 2nd