MANSFIELD — As happy as he was to accept the congratulations, Zach Brumfield wasn’t about to take credit for Josh Lyons’ championship at the 58th J.C. Gorman Invitatonal.
The Richland Bank Athlete of the Week, Lyons deserved all the praise.
A senior 132-pounder, Lyons ran his season record to 21-1 with an impressive 5-0 showing at the 58th Gorman over the weekend at Mansfield Senior. He beat defending champ Howard Williams of East Liverpool 6-5 in the finals for his first Gorman title.
“Thank you, but that was all Josh,” Brumfield said when a well-wisher offered his congratulations during the post-match ceremony. “He did all the work.”
Lyons placed third at 120 at the Gorman as a sophomore in 2018, but bumped up to 132 last year and failed to place. He reached Saturday’s semifinals with a pair of pins and a major decision.
In the semifinals, Lyons earned an 11-5 decision over Northmor’s Gavin Ramos. That set up a showdown with Williams, who won the 120-pound Gorman title last year.
“Last year I didn’t even place. I got eliminated on the first day,” Lyons said. “I wanted this more than anything else.”
Williams, who was ranked fifth in Division II by borofanohio.net, took down the 10th-ranked Lyons in the opening 15 seconds and held a 2-0 lead after one period. Lyons hit a quick takedown and added a pair of back points to start the second and took 4-2 lead into the third. Williams would tie it at 4-4, but Lyons hit a takedown midway through the final period and rode Williams for the final 20 seconds for the win.
“I think the biggest difference from last year to this year is my drill partners,” Lyons said. “I’ve got the best drill partners around. If I’m in the room with them every day, I know I’m going to get better.”
Lyons qualified for the Division II state tournament last March. He was 1-2 in Columbus.
“This is the type of thing I can use as a springboard,” Lyons said. “I’m chasing March. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind right now.”