by Michael Leonard
Columbus -- Terrell Grant may have been Tallmadge's first state wrestling qualifier since 2009, but he made it clear he wasn't just happy to be in Columbus.
When asked where he wanted to finish at the Division II state tournament, Grant didn't hesitate.
"No. 1," Grant said. "You don't want to settle for anything else."
Unfortunately, that goal will have to wait until next year.
After winning his opening match Feb. 27 at the Division II state meet at Value City Arena, Grant suffered two straight losses Feb. 28 and fell one win short of earning All-Ohio honors.
Grant finished the season with a record of 39-10.
Wrestling at 106 pounds, things started well for Grant. He won his opening match 10-2 over Athens' Skyler St. Peter Feb. 27.
"I kind of gave up the first takedown," Grant said. "After that, I just wanted to wrestle my match."
After spotting St. Peter a 2-0 lead, Grant put him on his back to take control of the match.
"I thought I was more nervous than he was before the match," said Blue Devils head coach Jason Shaw.
"The takedown to his back was awesome. It was pretty much over from there."
However, Grant's second match proved to be a much bigger challenge. He faced Lima Shawnee's Hunter Lucas, who came into the match undefeated.
Grant was unable to get his offense going and lost a 7-3 decision. Lucas went on to take fourth place at 106 pounds.
"The guy got more takedowns than we did," Shaw said. "It's as simple as that. Everybody is going to be tough when you get to this point. We've just got to trust ourselves and just keep wrestling the way we have to get down here."
With an All-Ohio place on the line, Grant faced Norwalk's Charlie Nash in a second-round consolation match.
Things started well for Grant as he got the first takedown of the match and led 2-0 after one period.
In the second period, Nash caught Grant in a cradle. Grant fought to avoid the pin for nearly 30 seconds, but the pin came at 2:12 and Grant was eliminated.
Nash went on to finish eighth at 106 pounds.
Tallmadge will have Grant and nearly its entire lineup back next season. District placer Dan Amato was the team's lone senior.