Senior Heavyweight Sean Lipscomb had been in the discussion for top state wrestlers the past three seasons- unfortunately the hurdle that kills so many dreams known as- districts had proved too much to overcome. This year however, Lipscomb had that look in his eyes all season- the look of someone who was on a mission, the look of someone that would absolutely destroy anything that stood between him and his mission. The Falcon heavyweight cruised through the season with record of 40-1, hardly breaking a sweat in most of his matches.
Then came the post season… Sean Lipscomb walked through the Bay Sectional barely phased as he won the Championship by a major decision of 11-2. Districts was next. This is where his hopes and dreams were crushed the previous three seasons, this is where he had simply just fallen short in years prior. This year was different.
Sean finally did what many high school wrestlers never accomplish- he made it to the big show.
Joining Sean at the OHSAA State Tournament was none other than Sophomore powerhouse- Payton Burgdorf. Unlike many Falcon wrestlers before him, Payton had already been to Columbus, and even placed 4th, which is very rare for a freshman- but rare is a word probably best used to describe Payton as they are not many wrestlers that are so skilled and hardworking like himself.
Payton, like Sean would cruise through the season beating every state ranked wrestler he faced with ease. Payton would enter the State Tournament with an unblemished 43-0 record on the season.
Both wrestlers had their moments of brilliance at the State Tournament. Payton would win his first two matches by major decision to enter the championship semi-finals, and Sean pinned his opponent in this first period to earn a spot on the podium in his first trip to the State Tournament.
Both wrestlers would also face adversity throughout the weekend however, as they both fell to close matches several times throughout the weekend.
However, they each overcame something that so many hundreds and thousands of wrestlers dream of doing- they stood on the podium as one of the State’s best wrestlers in their weight class.
Payton and Sean did something that no one in the 66 year history of the high school ever accomplished- and that was to both place in the same year. Payton and Sean each placed 6th at this year’s State Tournament and drove the Falcons to a 24th place finish out of the 75 team field- again accomplishing a feat no other duo of Falcon wrestlers were ever able to accomplish.
Payton Burgdorf and Sean Lipscomb. These names will forever be engraved into the rich history that is Firelands High School athletics. These names represent the blood, sweat, tears, and pounds lost in the practice room to be among the best wrestlers in the State. Theses names will be the names on our wall as the two that laid the foundation for our journey as a wrestling program. These names represent what all athletes- not just wrestlers should strive to be…
Congratulations Payton and Sean, you are both truly the finest Ohio has to offer.