North senior Derick Martinez is riding a lot of momentum heading into this weekend’s Division I district wrestling tournament at North Canton Hoover High School.
Martinez placed fourth at the Euclid sectional on Saturday, but before that, he recorded the 100th win of his career and also set North’s single-season record with 33 pins in a season.
“It was a big accomplishment to get my 100th win,” Martinez said. “That’s something I can take into districts and state with me. (The pin record) shows I’m pretty good on top and I should be able to compete with the better kids.”
Jonny Dotson set North’s previous single-season pin record with 31 pins in 2019.
Martinez had his sights set on that record and now that he hit that mark, he’s focused on finishing among the top four at the district tournament to earn a state berth.
“It’s a great feeling to get an extra week,” Martinez said of his top-four finish at the sectional tournament. “I feel like I wrestled really good. I had the No. 2 and No. 6 wrestlers in the state and I competed against them as long as I could.”
Martinez opened the tournament with a second-period pin of Boardman’s Santino Slipkovich then fell in the semifinals to Walsh Jesuit’s Dy’vaire VanDyke, the state’s second-ranked wrestler at 138 pounds.
A 26-second pin in the consolation semifinals earned Martinez another week in his senior season, but he lost to Mentor’s Antonio Shelley in the third-place match. Shelley is ranked No. 9 in Division I.
Heading into the district, Martinez has focused on wrestling aggressively on offense and leaving nothing to chance as he looks to achieve another goal—wrestling at the state tournament.
“I’m going to go in there and give it my all because it’s my last (district tournament) and I have a good chance to make it out,” he said. “(I need) a lot of offense and being quicker when I’m down to escape for the point, but I need a lot of offense.”
Joining Martinez at the district tournament are sophomore Shamus Brady, who placed third at the sectional tournament at 106 pounds, Drake Martinez (4th, 120), Dylan Preston (4th, 126), and Patrick Sheehan (4th, 285).
Lucas McCarther (144) and Nick Springer (157) both placed fifth at the sectional tournament and will serve as district alternates.