COLUMBUS - New Lexington coach David Ratliff predicted that Dimitri Williams' championship match against Canfield's David Crawford "will be a barn burner."
He proved prophetic.
Williams, the Panthers' 170-pound senior, saw his match with Crawford deadlocked at 1 during a defensive-minded match that saw little in the way of shots or scoring attempts.
When the overtime arrived, Williams saw a scoring chance on the legs and took it. But Crawford was ready, and his counter-attack led to the deciding points in a 3-1 win on Saturday night at the Division II state tournament at Value City Arena.
It was Williams' first loss of the season after winning 34 straight. He couldn't hide his disappointment afterward, spending several minutes in the hallway outside of the arena crying uncontrollably while being consoled by Ratliff and assistant Matt Reed.
Being only the second wrestler in school history to reach the finals meant little, nor did the fact he made the most of an injury-riddled career that almost was derailed prematurely after major shoulder surgery.
He wanted to win it that badly, especially for his coaches.