Caleb Ryman wrestled extremely well in his first appearance at the state tournament. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2023
COLUMBUS – Caleb Ryman closed out an amazing freshman season at state where he finished with a 41-14 record competing in a weight class (138 pounds) that was four weight classes higher than he had planned to compete in prior to the season.

Ryman had hopes of competing at 113 pounds, but unfortunately couldn’t get certified at that weight prior to the start to the season. The weight classes of 120, 126 and 132 pounds were already filled with three wrestlers who already earned state medals – Michael Hagan, Jericho Quinter and Chase Vanderhorst.

“He was trying to (certify for 113), but it was too low of a weight for him,” said Covington ache Eric Vanderhorst. “Before the season he was in the low 120s, but his body fat percentage wouldn’t let him go to 113.”

So, Ryman worked his way into the 138 pound weight class, which took some time to put on the muscle he needed to compete against older and more experienced wrestlers. His hard work and determination led to a birth at state by finishing fourth at the district meet a week ago.

In his first match at state Ryman was pitted against a wrestler many projected as the eventual state champion at 138, Ashton Homan of Monroeville. Homen entered the state tournament with a 39-5 record and the champion out of the Rossford District.

The Buccaneer freshman gave Homan all he could handle even though he fell short 6-0. The match was tight heading into the third period with Homan on top 2-0 thanks to a takedown late in the first period on a scramble by birth wrestlers. Ryman chose bottom in the second and nearly escaped twice, but just couldn’t get out of the grasp of Homan, who tried everything he could to turn Caleb for back points.

“Caleb wrestled him close, stayed in good position and frustrated him,” said Vanderhorst. “He does a lot of off-season wrestling, so he gets comfortable in a lot of positions.”

Homan chose bottom in the third and Ryman made it difficult for Homan to get away. Unfortunately Homan was able to record a reversal and two back points when Caleb had to go for broke, which led to a final score of 6-0. Homan went on to win the state championship at 138 pounds.

In the first consolation round Ryman faced Johnny Heiden, a senior from Berkshire. Neither wrestler could score in the opening frame and Heiden chose bottom to start the second period. Caleb Ryman did an amazing job from the top position and nearly turned Heiden twice for back points, once on a tilt that was so close to two points. In the final second of the period Heiden was awarded a point for an escape to take a 1-0 lead into the third. Ryman chose bottom in the third, but couldn’t get away as Heiden held on for the one-point win.

“He rode the kid really hard and the kid got an escape when the clock was close to being out,” Vanderhorst said. “Caleb had a tilt that the referee was a little slow to start the swipes, which would have been two points and the win. Caleb wasn’t just happy to be here – he was wrestling to win.”

Despite the loss, Caleb Ryman has plenty to look forward too over the next three years of high school.

Caleb Ryman holds on from the top position against Ashton Homan of Monroeville. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Caleb Ryman steps out onto the mat at state for the first time in his career. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo.