Kimbrell gets 3rd at State; Baxter named Coach of the Year

Kimbrell gets 3rd at State; Baxter named Coach of the Year

Four Fairmont wrestlers competed at the 75th Annual OHSAA State Wrestling Championships over the weekend. Fairmont was led by senior Tommy Kimbrell, who finished third at 170 pounds. As a team the Wrestling Firebirds finished 16th in Ohio, matching the school’s highest finish set in 1984.

In addition, Wrestling Coach Frank Baxter was voted Division I Coach of the Year by the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association and was awarded the honor at the State meet.

Kimbrell lost in the semifinals to defending champion and nationally ranked Mark Martin of Lakewood St. Edward but battled back to win his final two high school bouts. For the season, Kimbrell was 48-1 and he finished his high school career with a school record of 145 wins, two Top 6 State placements and a host of Fairmont Wrestling records.

Three other Firebird wrestlers who had qualified for the State contest performed well, but failed to place.

Senior Justin Kihn (126 pounds) finished his season at 32-9 and finished his high school career with 109 wins and two State qualifications.

Sophomore Josh Parrett (120 pounds) and junior Matt Denlinger (132 pounds) also narrowly missed placing at the State tournament. Parrett finished the season at 33-9, while Denlinger finished at 36-8.

Baxter acknowledged that the four Firebird wrestlers had hoped to do better at the state meet. “The results weren’t what our guys wanted, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,”he said. “All of them gave their best effort and we couldn’t be more proud of their accomplishments.”