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Carrollton’s Joey Miller places 2nd at State

By Bob Evans
Sports Editor

Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships Joey Miller
Carrollton's Joey Miller placed second at last weekends State Wrestling Championships

COLUMBUS – Hanging on the wall of the Carrollton wrestling room is a wooden plaque of the State of Ohio with the names of Carrollton wrestlers who have placed at state.

Many are on there twice, but only one will have his name on there three times.

Senior Joey Miller placed second at last weekend’s State wrestling tournament at Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center to become Carrollton’s first three-time state placer.

Miller was defeated 14-5 by Nathan Tomasello from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. Tomasello is the No. 1 ranked 120-pounder in the country and has never lost a match in the State of Ohio and has not been defeated since his freshman season.

Tomasello ends his high school career with a 178-5 record and is only the 23rd four time state champion.

Miller ends his career with a school record of 135 wins and 27 losses and holds the most wins in a season (2012-13) with 46.

The Carrollton senior placed his freshman and sophomore seasons, but failed to place last year.

He entered this season with only one goal – to place at state.

“I was not happy with last season,” Miller said. “I stayed under the stands for an hour and promised myself that I would come down here next year and place.”

“This is what I worked all year for. I ran five-miles a day, prayed a lot and did everything I could to make myself better.”

Miller held a 3-2 in the first period, before being out-pointed the rest of the way.

“I just thought that whatever was going to happen was going to happen,” said Miller.

“He’s real strong and physical. He’d pinned his way through, so I guess I didn’t do too bad. I tried.

“I don’t even know how I took him down. I guess it was a hip-toss or something. I just know I used everything in my repertoire.”

There have only been five Warriors wrestlers to make it into the championship finals, Ron Tschantz in 1972, Bryan Shaw in 1984, Craig Phillips in 1988, Matt Plunket in 1989 and Brian McIntosh in 1994.  Those names are all on the plaque hanging in the wrestling room.

“I looked at that plaque every day to remind me of where I want to be,” Miller said. “There is going to be a lot more names put on it because the future of wrestling here (Carrollton) is very good. We have a lot of good kids coming up.”

Miller opened his tournament run with a quick pin of Cole Tawney of Gallipolis Gallia Academy in just 24 seconds.

Things got a little tougher in the quarterfinals, but Miller won a hard fought 10-3 decision over Garret Carter from Akron St. Vincent/Mary.

In the championship semifinals, Miller out pointed Brent Moore from St. Paris Graham 12-8 to move into the championship match.

In Division III, Sandy Valley senior Sam Groff suffered one of the most disappointing losses of the tournament in the finals.

The match was tied 1-1 with five seconds left. Groff was caught and taken down by B. J. Toal from Troy Christian for a two-point takedown just as the last seconds ticked off of the clock.

 “I didn’t know how much time was left,” said Groff, who ended his season with a 56-1 mark. “I am not ashamed of this season. I had a great season, with just a bad ending.”

Toal defeated Groff last year in the semifinals 3-2. This was Groff’s first loss since then.
This was not only Sam Groff’s last match, but also his father’s, John, who is retiring after coaching the Sandy Valley program for well over 30 years.

“He (Toal) wrestles the year around,” said John Groff. “Sam wrestles during wrestling season. You can’t be ashamed of a loss like this with all Sam has accomplished.”

The match was scoreless after the first period. Groff scored on an escape and took a 1-0 lead. Toal scored on an escape to open the third period and tie the match.

In his earlier matches, Groff opened with a tough 1-0 win over Kile Schaefer from West Salem.

He followed that with a pin of A. J. Quellette from Covington in 3:58 and followed that in the semifinals with a 2-0 decision over Armani Robinson from Jamestown Greeneview.

The attendance for Saturday nights finals was 13,820 and the total for the tournament was 58,047.


120 – Nathan Tomasello CVCA dec, Joe Miller, Carrollton 14-5
120 - Joey Miller, Carrollton dec. Brent Moore, St. Paris Graham Local 12-8
120 - Joey Miller, Carrollton, dec. Garret Carter, Akron St. Vincent/Mary, 10-3.
120- Joey Miller pin Cole Tawney of Gallipolis Gallia Academy, 0:24

182 – B. J. Toal, Troy Christian, dec. Sam Groff, Sandy Valley 3-1
182 - Sam Groff, Sandy Valley dec. Armani Robinson, Jamestown Greeneview 2-0
182 - Sam Groff, Sandy Valley, pin A.J. Ouellette, Covington, 3:58
182 - Sam Groff, Sandy Valley, dec. Kile Schaefer, West Salem, 1-0

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