Michael Hagan locks up a pin against Dylan Ward of Martins Ferry. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2023
COLUMBUS – Michael Hagan entered the state tournament for the third straight year after placing eighth as a freshman at 106 pounds and qualifying at 120 pounds as a sophomore.

Fielding a 42-7 record, Hagan faced Trent Sigler of W.S, Northwestern in his opening bout, a wrestler with a 38-2 record. The match didn’t go Hagan’s way as Sigler caught the Buccaneer wrestler on his back for a pin in 1:09.

“Michael nearly got a takedown early in the match and he’s good on top and that could have changed the match,” said Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “The other kid got him with a cross elbow turn and locked it up pretty tight.”

Obviously unhappy about the result, Hagan returned to the mat four hours later extremely determined in the first consolation round against Dylan Ward of Martins Ferry.

“Michael got the early takedown and got on top,” Vanderhorst explained. “He worked hard on top and was able to lock up the cradle for the pin. It was a really good rebound match for him.”

Hagen will face the loser of the championship quarterfinal match between Cooper Shore (47-0) of Miami East and Trace Williams (43-4) on North Union.

“He knows a win puts him on the podium (for the second time), so he will be focused,” Vanderhorst said.

Should Hagan capture another win he will be the tenth wrestler in school history to earn multiple state medals.

COLUMBUS – Covington junior Michael Hagan was looking to secure his second state medal with a victory in the second consolation round.

Unfortunately, Hagan got caught on his back in the first period against Joey Romano (45-4) of Mentor Lake Catholic, a returning state placer from a year ago.

“Michael was wrestling really good, but the kid caught him in a bear hug where he trapped Michael’s arm and Michael couldn’t get out,” said Covington coach Eric Vanderhorst. “It could have went either way, but things happen at times when you reach this level.”

It was a stunning move in a match where Hagan went out aggressive and nearly recorded a takedown at the start – only to end up out of bounds. On the restart, Hagan once again went after Romano, which led to a scramble for position where Hagan ended up getting stuck in 32 seconds.

“It was a tough one to lose in the blood round,” Vanderhorst said. “But this was Michael’s third year winning matches at state. Not many kids can say that.”

Although coming up short of becoming a two-time state placer as a junior, Hagan has another year ahead of him to add to his wrestling legacy.

Michael Hagan gets the angle for a takedown on Friday. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Michael Hagan looks for a shot opportunity in his opening match at state. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo