Clinton-Massie’s Davey Tunon has a big weekend ahead of him.
As one of four district champions in the 152-pound weight class, Tunon is one of the favorites for a state title as the Div. II tournament gets underway Thursday afternoon at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State University campus.
Tunon (41-1 this season) was third at 152 pounds in the Div. III state tournament last season.
But he is not resting on his laurels from a year ago, or the fact that he has his college future determined.
“Complacency is never acceptable in any sport or any thing,” said Tunon, who is headed to Indiana University to wrestle for the Hoosiers. “I want to go out there and excel at whatever I do. Nobody should strive to be average. I want to go out there and excel at whatever I do.
“At the end of the day, I think it mostly comes down to my work ethic. I want to think I put in as much as any of these guys out here on the mat …. and then maybe some.”
Tunon is 150-25 in his CM career. He is fourth all-time in wins, trailing Wyatt Running (151), Corby Running (153) and Nathan Thobaben (156).
Among the all-time greats at Massie, Tunon worked out with Wyatt Running when their paths crossed three seasons ago.
“Davey came in as a freshman and we knew he had a bright future,” said CM coach Spencer Running. “He was an unbelievable athlete. My younger brother (Wyatt) was on the team and they kind of built off each other. Once (Davey) saw the state tournament foe the first time, I knew that’s what he wanted to go after.”
Wyatt Running finished second his senior, which was Tunon’s freshman year.
“Wyatt was 170 and I was 138,” Tunon said. “Even with our weight differential, we did a lot of work together. I looked up to him. He got second in state his senior year and I’m going to strive to do better than that.”
Tunon, should he win his first two matches, would meet Georgio Poullas of Canfield in the semifinal round.
Poullas (41-2 this season) was sixth at 126 pounds in Div. II in each of the last two seasons but made the three-weight class jump to 152 pounds this season.
Despite the match of titans prior to the championship match, Tunon will prepare no differently than he would for anyone else.
“A lot of the kids that wrestle will look at the bracket or watch game film, watching game film will tell you what their tendencies are but that won’t really tell you how they’ll wrestle against you,” Tunon said. “Just go out there and give it your all, no matter who you are wrestling against, no matter what time you are wrestling … whether you’re wrestling in December or March 5 in the state finals.”
That type of mentally makes Tunon a great example for future Falcons. Tunon said he looks at the numbers for Clinton-Massie wrestlers of the past and uses their success as an inspiration.
“I put myself in their shoes every day,” he said. “Believe it or not, I look at that stuff every day. I want to be better than them. That’s what I really hope some of the kids on our team or other kids who look up to me, would look at me in that way. I want them to say ‘I don’t want to be Davey Tunon. I want to be better than Davey Tunon.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.