Connor Smith goes on ‘consolation tear’ to fourth place

J. Patrick Eaken

One point ultimately proved to be the difference for Gibsonburg sophomore Connor Smith, who placed fourth at 152 pounds during the Division III state wrestling meet.

For Smith, 42-3, it was a 3-2 loss to Garfield freshman Keegan Sell (31-4) in the quarterfinals that set the table. Still, Smith placed two spots higher than Sell, who ended up in sixth. But Smith would like to have that match back, says Gibsonburg coach Greg Spoores.

“He was definitely a little disappointed. He had one match that he didn’t wrestle his best, and we talked about it afterwards,” Spoores said. “He lost in the last seconds of the match, and it was a little heartbreaking for him. He got a takedown right at the buzzer that would have won it for him, but it was just not in time. He just didn’t wrestle like himself. It is not that he wasn’t aggressive, it was just not like he usually is.”

To get to the quarterfinal, Smith won by default over Greenon senior Evan Davis (30-9). After the loss to Sell, Smith went on a tear. 

“He absolutely picked it up,” Spoores said. “We talked about it after the match, and he refocused, and he wrestled like a kid on a mission that was going to settle for nothing less. I just kept telling him, ‘You know, live the moment one moment at a time. You cannot worry about the next match. Take care of this one. You came here with a goal, so let’s make sure we get there.’”

Smith opened the consolation bracket by winning a 10-0 major decision over Mogadore senior Nick Skye (27-8). He then nipped Marion Pleasant junior Carter Chase (38-5), 1-0. Next came the big one, a revenge win over Elmwood junior Gunner Endicott (41-6).

“He also had probably the best outcome of the weekend in that he ended up facing the Endicott kid from Elmwood in the consolation finals,” Spoores said. “That kid beat him at districts, and Connor beat Endicott, 6-3, so that was a bit of a consolation for him. He felt good about that win and going on to third and that kid going on for fifth and sixth was huge.”



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