From Canton to Columbus

Mia Russo

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Wrestlers Romeo Magueyal, Ronnie Dimmerling and Brandon Batson walking in their send off to states.

From the wrestling team fighting off sickness to dealing with injuries mid-season, two wrestlers made it to Columbus to compete for the state championship, with another wrestler as an alternative. 

Wrestlers Ronnie Dimmerling and Brandon Batson placed in the top 10 during states for the 2021-22 season. Dimmerling took third and Batson took eighth, but they did not get there without challenges throughout this past season. 

“This year compared to last, there were a lot more kids sick,” coach Michael Hynd said. “There was a lot of sickness besides Covid, a couple of guys at the end, even myself, got pneumonia, and a couple of injuries. Halfway through the season Batson had surgery and came back, then Ronnie popped his knee.”

Through these challenges, Dimmerling and Batson still had high expectations and goals for this past season. Both of them had the common goal of standing on top of the podium at the end. 

“I know I had a knee injury but that’s no excuse, I have high expectations for myself. I always wanted to stand on top of the podium no matter how good the competition is,” Batson said. 

Even though they did not quite make that goal, the two of them still completed other goals they had for this season. 

“My goals were to take 1st at states, top three at districts, and make weight,” Dimmerling said. “I didn’t make my first goal of taking home the gold, but I placed a lot higher than I did last year, even beating the kids who took 1st and 2nd out of our district. My second goal I achieved and took 3rd out of our district. My 3rd goal was making weight and I achieved that as well.”

With this past season just ending, many of the wrestlers are starting to look towards next season and the improvements that they can make. 

“I look forward to getting better, faster, stronger, smarter and more technical to bring home a state title,” Batson said. 

Even with the challenges they faced, the team as a whole was able to push through and stepped up when need be. 

“A lot of things happened against us, but we always had guys to step up in those positions that we normally didn’t have in the past,” Hynd said. 

This year the wrestling team grew to have as many as 40 athletes on it. With this season-ending, Hynd and the rest of the team are looking forward to another successful season. 

“I think we’re going to have another solid group of guys and hopefully we will do equally as well, if not better than what we did. We’re a family and I’m excited to see the guys once again,” Hynd said. 

Even though this was Dimmerlings’ last high school season, he is excited not only for his own future but for the kids still on the team as well. 

“For me next season, I can’t wait to wrestle in college. But for the other guys, I hope to see a lot more go to states and take the top of the podium and be our schools’ first state champ,” Dimmerling said. 

For their next upcoming season, Hynd and the rest of the team are going to an overnight camp to work towards improving their skills and achieving their goals.