COLUMBUS - It's been a long year for Columbian's Seth Williams. Last year Williams came a step away from the ultimate prize in high school wrestling - a state championship.
Ever since falling in the championship match, Williams has worked his way to get back in a position to get a second chance. Now, he's got that second chance.
Williams scored a pair of 3-1 victories, beating Russell Miller of Miami Trace in the quarterfinals and Alec Eisnnicher of Sunbury Big Walnut in the semifinals, to earn a spot in today's Division II 170-pound championship match.
Columbian’s Seth Williams (left) is about to lock up with Miami Trace’s Russell Miller Friday morning in the 171-pound Division II quarterfinals Friday in Columbus. Williams won this match, then one again Friday evening to advance to today’s finals.
"Most people don't get a second chance," Williams said. "So I'm going to capture it and make the best of it."
Both matches followed a similar pattern. Williams started each match off with a scoreless first period.
"First period's definitely a feeling-out process, but I was still attacking," he said after his semifinal win. "When you're in control the whole match, you don't really freak out or get nervous. You just keep going."
Against Miller, Williams gave up an escape in the second period to fall behind 1-0. But in the third he got an escape of his own, and a takedown to get the win.
"I'm pretty confident I could get an escape and then I noticed he was getting tired a little bit," Williams said. "He kept faking a little bit, biting in. I was comfortable I had the match.
"With kids like him, who try a takedown defense the entire time and counter, (you've) just got to keep working."
Against Eisnnicher, Williams got the second round escape to take a 1-0 lead, but Eisnnicher tied it up with an escape in the third. Williams though again got the deciding take down to score the win, and a spot in the finals.
"He wrestled a smart match," Columbian coach Chad Long said. "Didn't push the tempo too much. We almost gave up a takedown. I thought we should've had one or two takedowns ourselves. I want to see him push the tempo more in the finals and I think he will."
After Thursday's first-round match, Williams said his top game needed a bit of work. Friday, it was his top game that enabled him to ride out the wins.
"When you get down here you got to have a good mat game," Long said. "He's improved tremendously in the offseason to get where he is now with his mat wrestling. He did a great job on top holding Alec down."
Williams will get Jimmy Sandlin of Carlisle in today's championship match. Sandlin has a 43-1 record and was the Wilmington District champion.
"Big kid, muscular kid," Long said of Sandlin. "He placed third last year in Division III, so we'll get ready to find out here (today)."