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Pair of Future WVU Wrestlers Shine at Ohio State Tournament

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(photo via WVU Athletics)

The  tournament of the NCAA Division I wrestling season, the 2021 Division I Wrestling Championships, which will feature four WVU student-athletes, is just days away. As if that weren’t enough to get Mountaineer wrestling fans excited, a pair of future West Virginia University wrestling commits, Louisville High School (Ohio) teammates Davin Rhoades and Garett Lautzenheiser, looked fantastic at the 2021 OHSAA Division II state tournament earlier this month.

Rhoades earned his second OHSAA gold medal for the Louisville Leopards. Additionally, Lautzenheiser also brought his noteworthy prep career to a close as  well with a bronze thanks to a dominant 11-1 decision in the match for third place at 126 pounds.

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Lautzenheiser, a three time state qualifier, was a state champion as a sophomore, finished fourth as a freshman and was the district champion last season before COVID-19 canceled the state meet.

With his title, Rhoads is now the first two-time champ in school history. He took home a title at 126 pounds in 2019 before winning at 138 ponds this year. Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic halted his chances at a 2020 crown.

The state of Ohio held its OHSAA state wrestling championships March 12-14 at various venues across the Buckeye State. In the Division II tournament at at Marengo Highland High School in Marengo, Ohio, Louisville 138-pound senior, Davin Rhoades, took home his second title after a wild overtime  finish in the finals.

With just nine seconds left in the one-minute sudden-victory extra period, Rhoads picked up the winning takedown to beat St. Paris Graham’s Nick Moore 7-5 for the Division II state championship finals.

“It’s been a long time waiting for this moment again since everything got taken away from us last year (due to the cancellation of the state tournament),” Rhoads said to the Massillon Independent following the win. “Pablo coming in for us and being a hammer just as well as anyone else in the room, I just thought I’d bump up and not cut as much weight and get ready for next year. I wanted to chase Moore down for a title. Obviously, that kind of went as I hoped it would.”

The pair of former Ohio Division II gold  medalists have committed to wrestle for Tim Flynn and the WVU Mountaineers next season. As their accomplishments during this condensed COVID-19 influenced season indicate, Rhoades and Lautzenheiser should be a fun freshman lightweight  duo to watch next season when he  dawns the Old Gold and Blue at WVU Coliseum for the first time.

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