Fourth Time The Charm For Vogel

St. Marys’ Noah Vogel finished fourth place in last week’s Division II district wrestling tournament to qualify him for state this week.
Sports Editor

The fourth time has been the charm for St. Marys’ senior Noah Vogel.

The 2019 Western Buckeye League runner-up at 170 pounds has endured three years of bad luck in Division II individual wrestling tournaments, but with one final chance on the line, Vogel overcame those previous struggles at last week’s districts tournament to finally wrestle in Columbus come Thursday. 

“It wasn’t really a goal of mine because I didn’t think I had what it takes to get to state,” he said. “Going to state was always in the back of my mind, but I didn’t think I had what it takes to make it that far.”

A rough past in wrestling can atone for that humble mentality.

Vogel said he ran into “terrible” luck his first three years at sectionals but still had an expectation to reach districts this season. So reaching state during his senior was described by him as icing on the cake.

In his freshman season, Vogel (11-10 that year at 145 pounds) lost in the quarterfinal round of the consolation bracket to Celina’s Chance Mestemaker by a slim 9-7 match. At 160 pounds his sophomore season (22-15) Vogel won his first-ever postseason match against another 2019 state qualifier in Wapakoneta’s Trevor Plaughter, but was eliminated by default in the semifinal round of the consolation bracket to finish as a district alternate. 

Last season, Vogel (38-11) was one win away, twice, in qualifying for districts, but lost to this year’s state qualifier in Shawnee’s Clay Adlesh and had to settle as another district alternate when he lost 7-1 to Celina’s Logan Muhlenkamp. 

This year, however, has been a different story.

Vogel was riding momentum coming into the postseason after reaching the milestone 100 career win during the team dual matches in February and finishing runner-up at the WBL Championship. 

In a light 170-pound sectional bracket, Vogel got his revenge against Muhlenkamp by pinning the Bulldog in 5:18 to head to the semifinal round — one win away from districts again. State qualifier Xavier Torres sent Vogel to the consolation bracket, but the Roughrider rebounded with a pin against Defiance’s freshman Angelo Gonzalez and just to end on a high note, Vogel shutout Muhlenkamp in the third/fourth place match -— advancing him to districts.

After day one of districts, Vogel was the lone Roughrider to advance to the semifinal round, but Vogel said entering day two of the district tournament, he knew he had a tough matchup against Perkins’ Lucas Salmon, who Vogel said was fifth-ranked in the state.

Shaw took care of the senior Roughrider, pinning Vogel in just 38 seconds to set up a rematch with Vogel’s preliminary match from day one — Padua Franciscan’s Jerome Shaw-Mason. Vogel had beaten the Pauda sophomore by a pin in 3:50 seconds, but the rematch was going to be a little closer.

“I wasn’t going to get cocky, but I knew I had what it had to take to  beat him,” Vogel said. “But I wrestled smart.”

Vogel described that match, saying he was down 7-5 with 30 seconds left in the third round after he got a takedown to pull within two points. Shaw-Mason wasn’t moving on the bottom, so Vogel cradled him, eventually getting in position to gain some points. Vogel got a 2-count and when Shaw-Mason rolled back, Vogel got a 3-count to take an 8-7 lead.

“Nothing was breaking my grip at that point,” Vogel said. 

Vogel said at that point, the excitement had crept in as he finished fourth at districts, but the senior wanted to be a good sport after the match by attempting to help up Shaw-Mason.

“But he flipped me off,” Vogel said with a smile.

As he gets ready for Columbus on Thursday in the 170-pound preliminary round against Carrollton’s Brandon Daniels (49-5), Vogel reminisced about how his senior season has gone.

“It’s just icing on the cake to be able to go to state my senior year,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”

Vogel is the first Roughrider to qualify at state since Paul Lauth Jr. in 2009 where he finished seventh overall in the 189-pound weight class. Vogel will be the 23rd St. Marys wrestler to compete at state.

“I like that wrestling is an individual sport,” he said. “You can’t really blame anyone for how you do in the sport, it is all you. You have no one to blame but yourself and you have to work with yourself. You have to put in the work.”