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Two Sports, One Heart: Payton Pierce’s Transition from Wrestling Greatness to Football Fame.

Payton Pierce enters his last season of high school football at Lucas Lovejoy High School. 

The former state champion wrestler will be competing in only one sport this year as he will graduate early and enroll at Ohio State University. He verbally committed to the Big Ten school in April and will join the Buckeyes in January of 2024.

That also means he will not be wrestling for the Jaguars in the 2023-24 season.

“I’ve grown up wrestling my whole life and now it’s over,” he said. “And I was undefeated in my high school career and then lost my last match. So like that just shows wrestling for you. That’s exactly what wrestling is like; you can never let up and I lost my very last match … the only match ever lost in my high school career.”

Pierce won a state championship at 220 pounds as a sophomore and made the finals in 215 pounds this past season in Class 5A. Then, he lost to Northwest’s Charles Reitz in the final. He didn’t wrestle his freshman season at Allen High School due to shoulder surgery, but he played football there in 2021.

Pierce admits he doesn’t want a chance to take back that match because it taught him lessons…

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Written by Cody Thorn

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