COLUMBUS — In first match at districts a week ago, Nordonia wrestling coach Jason Walters said junior 138-pounder Mitch Collica simply wasn’t there.
As Collica opened the Division I state tournament Thursday at Value City Arena in Columbus, Walters hoped to avoid the same fate.
"It was a very different this time," Walters said. "If the real Mitch showed up, I knew we’d be fine. If nervous Mitch showed up, we were in trouble. After the first period, I knew the real Mitch was here."
Collica stayed on the attack in his opening round match vs. Cincinnati Princeton’s Jovan Fuqua. Fuqua did the splits to avoid several single-leg takedown attempts from Collica, but an escape in the third period gave Collice the 1-0 win.
"He was a lot taller than me," Collica said. "I knew if I kept after him with my offense, I would get him."
"He got aggressive on top when he needed to," Walters said. "He wrestled a very good match."
Collica advances to face Dublin Scioto’s Daniel Segura in the quarterfinals Friday at Value City Arena.