Matthews is fourth at state


By Rob Hamilton - [email protected]



Cody Matthews of Highland controls Brenden Severs of Louisville on his way to earning a 12-2 major decision. The Highland senior finished fourth at 157 pounds in Division II over the weekend.

Cody Matthews of Highland controls Brenden Severs of Louisville on his way to earning a 12-2 major decision. The Highland senior finished fourth at 157 pounds in Division II over the weekend.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

A year after placing seventh in his home gym in the Division II state wrestling meet, Highland senior Cody Matthews closed out his high school career in the sport by improving up to fourth place on the podium.

Competing in a tough 157-pound class, Matthews went 4-2 over the three-day tournament hosted by the Jerome Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus. Both of his losses were to the same competitor — third-place finisher Logan Ours of Beaver. Matthews also had history with the two finalists in the weight class, as champion Antwaun Burns of London had topped him in the sectional finals, while runner-up Gunner Cramblett of Graham Local edged him in the district semis.

“He’s a hard-working kid,” said Highland coach Adam Gilmore. “In terms of wrestling, he had a great career. He got fourth and two other kids have gotten fourth, so he’s tied for the highest placer in school history. I think he’s broken a lot of school records.”

Matthews just couldn’t get past Ours. After getting pinned by him in the second period of the quarterfinals, the rematch in the third-place match went much the same way. Ours got a takedown and two back potions in the first period and increased his lead to 6-0 in the second. In the third, after being let up for an escape, Ours picked up another takedown and turned it into a win via fall at the 4:23 mark.

“He’s an upper-echelon kid,” said Gilmore of Ours. “That’s how it goes sometimes, but he competed hard and that’s all you can ask for. I know he wanted to place higher, but he left his mark on the record board. He won a lot of matches and he found a way to win.”

Being able to find ways to win is what got Matthews into the third-place bout. He opened with a tough opponent in Ashland’s Jon Metzger and found himself trailing 2-1 after the first period and 3-1 going into the third.

Matthews started from the bottom position in the third and was able to turn things around, though. While being controlled by Metzger, he was able to maneuver the Ashland wrestlers shoulders to the mat and keep them there long enough to record a pin midway through the final period.

After falling in 3:41 to Ours in the quarterfinals, he bounced back with three straight wins in the consolation bracket.

Taking on Jaden King of Celina, he once again found himself in an early deficit. Neither wrestler scored in the first period and King tallied a second-period escape to hold a one-point lead.

However, Matthews responded with a takedown in the period and then got a reversal from the bottom position in the third to pick up a 4-1 win to assure himself of a second straight trip to the podium.

“We’ve never had a multi-time placer in school history, so it’s great to have that happen,” said Gilmore.

The coach added that due to the state meet being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020 and being held at high schools in 2021, there weren’t a great deal of athletes familiar with the Schott’s atmosphere, as only seniors who’d competed in state as freshmen would have taken the mats there.

“The Schott can catch people off-guard,” he said. “It’s good — a great venue to wrestle in. The seniors this year are the only ones who could have wrestled there prior to this year.”

Matthews found himself in another tough bout when he took on Ashton Smith of Aurora in the third round of consolations. After taking a 2-0 lead off a first-period takedown, he saw Smith get an escape and takedown to lead by one partway into the second. However, the Highland wrestler was able to reverse into a head-and-arm and wound up pinning his opponent at the 2:38 mark to move on.

“Cody’s a scrambler and he gets the motion going,” said Gilmore. “He had it tight and did good recognizing where he was and the time on the clock and taking advantage of it.”

He followed that up with his easiest match of the tournament in the consolation semifinals against Brenden Severs of Louisville. Three takedowns and two back points staked him to an 8-2 lead after one minute of action and he maintained control throughout the second and third periods in winning 12-2.

Despite being disappointed with the second loss to Ours, Matthews has a lot of good memories about his time with the Highland wrestling program.

“It meant a lot to grow with the program,” he said. “From watching all the seniors when I was coming up to watching the younger kids coming up now.”

While his goal was to be the school’s first state champion, he was still proud of the work he put in to improve three spots from his 2021 seventh-place finish.

“Just stick with what you work for,” he said. “In wrestling, you’re working those four or five months for this. It’s great knowing that (I improved from seventh to fourth). It shows I put more time in working.”

Cody Matthews of Highland controls Brenden Severs of Louisville on his way to earning a 12-2 major decision. The Highland senior finished fourth at 157 pounds in Division II over the weekend.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/03/web1_codymatthews.jpgCody Matthews of Highland controls Brenden Severs of Louisville on his way to earning a 12-2 major decision. The Highland senior finished fourth at 157 pounds in Division II over the weekend. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

By Rob Hamilton

[email protected]

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS