Falls senior Zach McGrain gets his hand raised in victory on
Saturday during the D-II state wrestling tournamnet on Saturday.
McGrain finished fifth in the 189 pounds weight division. His
father Bill McGrain was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Hall
of Fame later that night. (Photos by John Gibbs)
family has a special weekend
By Zachary Dzurick
Published March 8, 2006
here for an archive of West Life Sports Editor Zachary
Dzurick's "Red Right 88" weekly columns.
year the Ohio High School state wrestling tournament could have
just as easily been called the McGrain Family reunion.
With most of his extended family and wrestling family
on hand, Olmsted Falls wrestling coach Bill McGrain was enshrined
in the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame on Saturday. Making the day even
more special, his son, senior Zach McGrain wrestled his way onto
the podium with a fifth place finish at 189 pounds in D-II.
“The ceremony was great,” McGrain said. “I had so
much family there from both sides of the family. The Atkins brothers
and one of my assistants John Miller, put together a reception at
the hotel I didn't know about. There must have had 30-40 ex-wrestlers
there. It was a celebration of the whole program. I had my first
ever state placer there Mitch Lance from Waynesdale. Mitch now lives
in Olmsted Falls and his son is in our youth program. It made me
think about every kid I have ever coached. It was really special.
It was a weekend I will never forget.”
While McGrain was thrilled with the honor, he was
still at the state meet to coach his son and heavyweight Don Belford.
“Both kids wrestled well,” McGrain said. “Zach cashed
in with a podium finish. He wrestled the best kids in the state
of Ohio and proved he belonged. You can't ask for more than that.”
To see his son join the list of state placers
at Olmsted Falls was an even bigger thrill for McGrain than his
own induction into the Hall of Fame.
“Zach has always been around the room,” McGrain
said. “Don wrestled hard. He had a tough draw and was actually winning
both matches he lost. He did a great job. He could have just as
easily placed. He was at practices, at the matches and on the van
rides. I remember when he was a little kid, he would get passed
around the stands and then to get to watch him on the medal stand
was something special. This wasn't his first state meet, when he
was in elementary school he was our photographer. You would get
him a photo pass and he would take pictures for us. He was the 40th
Olmsted Falls wrestler to place at states. Now we can see where
he fits in for school records. When we put his name on the state
placers board, it will be a lot of fun.”
Zach McGrain for his part was almost speechless about
adding his name to the list of Olmsted Falls state placers.
“It is tough to talk about,” he said. “My career is
over and to get on the podium really wrapped everything up. I am
very satisfied with the results.”
He was also proud of his father’s enshrinement.
“The whole family was there. There was about 16 of
us in the second row,” Zach McGrain said. It was great to see him
honored. He definitely deserved it. It was neat at the reception
to see all of the Waynesdale guys and the Olmsted Falls guys together.”
It was at the reception where Zach McGrain officially
moved up from the little brother of the program to full fledged
wrestling member of a very special fraternity. “They took a picture of all of the state placers,”
he said. “And it was weird that I was now a part of the photo.”