When four-time state champion Brutus Scheffel exited the state finals mat in 2010, the wrestling community was saddened that one if it’s greatest wrestlers would never grace the tournament again.
Now, two back flips later, the wrestling community again has to say goodbye to two of the most dominant wrestlers in recent years, as Southern Garrett’s Bubba Scheffel and Lex Ozias prepare to depart for Virginia Tech.
“It was my last high school match and I wanted it to be remembered,” Scheffel said. “My brother did that when he won four, and I didn’t win four, but I thought it would be pretty cool to do and coach wanted me to do it.”
Both making perfect runs through the 2011 state tournament, the Rams’ Scheffel and Ozias earned their third state titles, coming out of the tough West Region and partaking in a perfect final round for Southern Garrett.
“I was just trying to get it done, and this was my last match so I wanted to go out hard and keep pushing the pace,” Ozias said. “We come together and beat state records, be nationally ranked and all that from just a small county in Garrett County.”
Ozias jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the first period and ended with a dominating 17-2 tech fall over his Francis Scott Key opponent, Lukas Ziegler, while Scheffel entered his third period final and notched four takedowns to his major decision win.
“I tried to turn him a bunch and that wasn’t working, so I listened to coach, who told me to cut him and take him down,” Scheffel said. “I locked up the cradle at the end and just couldn’t hold him on his back long enough.”
Scheffel also planted an MPSSAA record with his final win of his career, extending his record of the winningest public school wrestler to 167 wins. Ozias trailed by just four wins.
“It is good to hold records and I am happy with it,” Scheffel said. “It is a big goal and I hope it stays for a whole, but I am just happy to be healthy all four years and win enough matches to do that, but it is just a record I guess.”
While the two wrestlers followed Brutus by back-flipping off the mat, the Scheffel and Ozias duo will not be following Brutus to West Virginia University in the fall, but will rather be taking their grappling talents to Virginia Tech.
“It was a big choice and the first school I looked at,” Scheffel said. “I got along with the coaches, and the campus and everything was nice. It came down to West Virginia and Virginia Tech, and the main reason I picked Virginia Tech was the recruiting class. I think I will have a lot better practice partners and I will be a lot more successful at Virginia Tech.”
Taking their top caliber wrestling abilities into college, both Ozias and Scheffel agree there is still room for improvement.
“This year, I have worked on my top wrestling and I have worked on my tilts and turns, and I think that will help me in college,” Ozias said. “My takedowns are pretty good, I have been working on them since I was little, but I just have to fine-tune a few things for next year.”
“I definitely need to work on a lot of things, because that level is a lot different,” Scheffel explained. “It is a lot more intense and I just have to make sure I keep working hard and build upon my intensity, and it will take care of itself, hopefully.”