Jacob and Jordan Decatur are two of the nicest young men I’ve had the privilege of covering.
They also happen to be be two of most dynamic I’ve seen on a wrestling mat.
The legacy of these two unique young men at CVCA is remarkable.
While brothers have a long history of success in OHSAA wrestling, Jacob and Jordan became the first twin brothers to win three state titles together March 9 at the Division II state tournament.
Both twins had to earn their titles this year. At 113 pounds, Jacob had to survive a tight semifinal with Jake Manley of Tontogany Otsego and then faced West Holmes’ Cael Woods, who had beaten him early in the season.
Jacob admitted “my heart was was racing” after he was hit with an early stalling call, but he was able to go to overtime at 2-2. Usually a takedown machine, he scrambled to get the lone takedown of the match to win 4-2 at the end of the sudden victory period.
“Three is just a number, but to do it with him, with my family in my corner and with God in my corner is important to me,” Jacob said after his win.
One of this first things Jacob did was embrace his brother after the win.
Jordan was more dominant on his way to the finals, but ran into a tough challenge in returning state runner-up Nick Moore of St. Paris Graham. Moore slowed down Jordan for two and a half periods, but Decatur shot in on Moore, got a single-leg pickup and crawled up Moore to get the winning takedown in the last 20 seconds.
“That was the most difficult thing that we’ve had to accomplish,” Jordan said. “It was frustrating to go against him early. Things started to open up in the third period. I smelled the blood, I caught him and I got the takedown.”
It the culmination of long journey for the Decaturs with CVCA, which included helping the Royals’ football team end a nine-year playoff drought last fall. Jacob was a starting cornerback, while Jordan started at running back for the Royals.
I first heard about the twins’ potential when I covered their older brother, Josh Decatur, during his tenure at CVCA earlier this decade.
Josh Decatur was anything but a slouch. He was was three-time All-Ohian for the Royals and went on to wrestle at Baldwin Wallance University, where he was a two-time NCAA Division III national qualifier. The elder Decatur brother now coaches wrestling at Aurora High School.
Good as Josh was though, I kept hearing from the CVCA faithful, “Wait until you see his little brothers.”
Josh was hard act to follow, but as he remarked on Twitter, “Young bucks went and got 3!”
The Decaturs continue a line of great CVCA wrestlers, as they were responsible for six of CVCA’s 24 individual state titles, which ties the Royals for 15th place on the OHSAA’s all time list.
Four-time state champions and CVCA alumni Harry Lester and Nate Tomasello set the bar high. Although Lester now coaches at St. Vincent-St. Mary, both were on hand March 9 to celebrate the Decaturs’ victories.
Royals coach Dave Bergen noted the Decaturs’ legacy will be just as large as that of CVCA’s four-time champions. He had to blink back tears when reflecting on the end of the Decaturs’ career.
“I’m blessed to have have these guys with me in the room over the year,” Bergen said. “That, to me, is what I’m going to miss most. More than being my wrestlers, these guys are my friends. Years from now, long after wrestling, we’re going to be talking about much bigger things in life.”
Life will go on for CVCA wrestling — but wrestling is far from done with the Decaturs.
With freestyle season coming up, Jordan will look to earn his fourth national title U.S. Marine Corps Junior Nationals in Fargo, North Dakota, in July.
Of course, both Decaturs will follow Tomasello to wrestle at The Ohio State University next winter. Jordan flashed the “O-H-I-O!” pose after winning his title.
Life looks to be wide open for these two CVCA legends — and it couldn’t happen to a nicer pair of young men.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC