By Ryan Kaczmarski
Bay Village resident and St. Edward High School graduate Markus Scheidel has never won that final match of the season – finishing second at the OHSAA state wrestling championships twice – until now, as he won the final match of his precollegiate career, taking the 160-pound freestyle wrestling junior title last month in Fargo, N.D.
“During my high school career, I slowly tried to progress,” Scheidel said. “(The championship) is cool, because in my junior and seniors years (at St. Ed’s) I was runner-up and did not win state, but after my senior season, I worked hard – I knew I really had a shot at winning nationals – and this capped off a good four years of wrestling; at the top of the podium.”
Scheidel competed with 82 wrestlers at 160 pounds to win the title. He went 9-1, winning the championship match over Davonte Mahomes of Illinois. (who was the junior Greco-Roman champion earlier in the week at the Fargo tourney). Scheidel came back from a 4-0 deficit after the first period, to score seven points in the second period and win the match 7-6. Prior to the championship match, he had to defeat the 2013 state champions from four different states, as well as a 2013 National Prep bronze medalist. In his eight victories before the championship match, Scheidel outscored his opponents by a combined 79-12, including six wins by technical fall.
“Fargo is known as one of the best national tournaments of the year, because during the summer, when there’s not much going on, you’ll get the best kids going out there,” Scheidel said.
During his high school regular season career, he went 117-29 (14-4 as a freshman, 33-10 as a sophomore, 33-10 as a junior and 37-5 as a senior). In this offseason, Scheidel went 9-0 at the ESPN Disney Duals (folk wrestling style), before his championship in Fargo.
Now, Scheidel will be moving to Manhattan to attend Columbia University, and he will compete on the wrestling team as a Division I athlete, which will be a jump in competition from high school.
“If you’re a D-1 athlete, in general, you’re opponent is going to be tough every match,” he explained. “It’s nothing like high school, where you might be able to get away with slacking off a little at some tournaments. Another thing about college is you might be facing a 21- or 22-year-old who might have red-shirted, so they might be more mature than you. You really have to be ready for that, and some freshmen aren’t prepared for the collegiate style of wrestling.
“I’m going to have to work on getting a little bit stronger – being able to grind out that extra minute of a match – and increasing my stamina during matches.”
Scheidel is torn between majoring in business administration or international business at Columbia, and while he said he will miss being at St. Ed’s, he is looking forward to living in Gotham City.
“I can’t wait to get into the room with all of my Columbia teammates and start ‘scrappin.'” he said. “I totally expect it to be a great experience.
“I expect to be at nationals every year, and maybe win a (NCAA) national title. Really, the sky’s the limit with the coaches and resources I have.”