By Don Hohler - Reflector Sportswriter
Monday March 03 2008
Monroeville's quartet of state wrestling champs are (from left) Logan Stieber, Chris Phillips,
and Hunter Stieber, shown here sitting at
The Ohio State University's Schottenstein
COLUMBUS - They came. They saw. They conquered.
An author who probably never saw a wrestling match coined that phrase a long, long time ago, but it
sure fits what Monroeville’s Fab 4 did at The Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center over the
weekend at the 71st State Wrestling Tournament.
As predicted, Hunter Stieber, Cam Tessari,
Logan Stieber and Chris Phillips set a state record
for the most consecutive wins by any one school.
Freshman Hunter Stieber won at 103 with four
consecutive pins, classmate Cam Tessari
claimed a hard-fought decision in the title match
after three pins, sophomore Logan Stieber, the
nation’s top grappler at 119, recorded two pins and
two technical falls, including one in the match that
earned him his second title and Chris Phillips, the
No. 1 ranked 171 in the country, proved that ranking
with a pin, tech fall, major decision and then a
convincing technical fall win in his final match.
Despite it’s run at the early weights, Monroeville
could do no better than third in the team race with
Troy Christian won the title because of more
entries, scoring 158 points. Marion Pleasant jumped
back in front of Monroeville during the consolation
rounds and finished second with 123.
Hunter Stieber was matched against once-beaten
Richwood North Union junior Spencer Pierce (35-1) in
the finals. It was a typical Hunter Stieber match, a
quick takedown seven seconds into the match and then
constant movement in leading 4-1 at the end of the
first period. A quick move early in the second and
Pierce was on his back. The hammer came down 15
seconds into the second and Stieber grabbed his 51st
straight win this year.
“He was a big kid,” Stieber said. “I just took my
time and kept working him, looking for a mistake. He
made one early in the second and I was fortunate
enough to catch him.
“I won’t take much time off. Free-style and Greco
are next up and that will take some getting used to.
To stay sharp at this sport you have to stay busy,”
Monroeville coach Scott Bauer said Hunter Stieber
“Hunter came out, got on top with the takedown and
use wings and bars to turn the kid and pin him,’’
Tessari’s match was a tough one.
Twice, he had to bridge off his back against Galion
Northmor freshman Tyler Heminger (42-7), who quickly
closed six-points to tie the score at 9-9.
Tessari, though, managed an escape to make it 10-9
going into the final period, but had to take injury
time due to the length of time Heminger had him in a
virtual strangle-hold. The two continued to role
through holds in the final period, action that had
the crowd roaring their approval and it ended 12-9
in favor of Tessari, 39-3.
“That’ was closer than I wanted it,” Tessari said.
“How many times did I have to fight off my back? I
just know it scared the heck out of me for awhile.
The last thing I wanted to happen was end the season
with a loss.”
Bauer admitted he was nervous during the Tessari
“I should be getting used to it though. That’s just
the way Cam wrestles,” he said. “Cam doesn’t mean to
put himself into those positions, but that’s his
style. That’s what he likes to do. He was rolling
around the same way in the semis against Riki
Reynolds (Marion Pleasant). He got the pin but it
was typical Cam, the gambler. His defense is that
bridge which he does very well.”
Logan Stieber, the 2007 Division III 103 champion,
went to 51-0 with a workman-like 17-1 technical with
52 seconds left in the second period against West
Jefferson senior Jimmy Householder (56-2).
“I am not sure what was more rewarding, watching my
brother win or my getting my second title,” Stieber
said. “Cam, Hunter, Chris, are all fun to watch. We
work very hard at getting to this level. This is
good stuff though, wrestling in front of crowds this
size. I kept the pressure on this kid and never gave
him time to get anything going.”
Bauer talked about Logan’s effort.
“As far as Logan’s match, Householder wanted to face
him in the finals and he got his wish,’’ Bauer said.
“He is a big strong kid and a good opponent for
Logan. I liked the way Logan worked on him, not
giving him a chance to go on offense.
“Logan probably would have pinned him in the first
period had Householder not worked his way off the
mat. Logan eventually tech-falled him, showing
dominance for a championship match.”
What’s next for the two-time state champion?
“Work at getting No. 3. Maybe I can pin them all
next year,” he joked, wearing that Stieber-like
Bauer did not know much about Phillips opponent,
once-beaten senior Creston Norwayne senior J.D.
Bauer didn’t know much more after it was over
because Phillips turned him every-way but loose in
winning a 24-8 technical fall.
Seven seconds into the match, Phillips had a
takedown. He repeated 15 seconds later and then got
near-fall points with 1:09 left in the opening
With 20 seconds left in the opening period, Phillips
had Smyers pinned but the official was slow at
getting into position and Smyers got a shoulder
raised. It was 12-3 at the end of one and eventually
ended early in the third.
Although it looked like he steam-rolled, Phillips
did not see it that way.
“This was one of the toughest tournaments I have
wrestled in,” he said. “I have faced tougher
individuals such as Brian Roddy from Lakewood St.
Edward (Roddy won at 171 in Division I), but Roddy
was just one wrestler in a tournament.
“This weekend, it was one tough kid after another.
They all wanted to win. Spencer Adams from Marion
Pleasant in the semi-finals was tougher than Smyers.
His defense was to slow the match down. It’s
frustrating to wrestle a kid you can’t catch up
Phillips has a goal in mind.
“Hunter (Stieber) and I want to go through our high
school season undefeated. That would be something,”
Bauer added, “Chris puts so much pressure on his
opponent. And what a great young man. Make that what
great young men.”
Bauer said he is most fortunate to have an array of
this kind of talent.
“The right place at the right time,” the agriculture
teacher at Monroeville said. “The Stieber boys were
a given. They are Monroeville out-and-out. Cam was
one of their buddies from Milan and wanted to join
them. Then Chris Phillips started to work out with
them. No one is this good naturally, however. They
work at getting this good. This is their reward