Mount Vernon senior Max VanFossen earns a takedown Saturday in his match against Wadsworth's Jon List.

COLUMBUS -- Max VanFossen finished his wrestling life as a winner on Saturday.

The Mount Vernon senior completed his high school career with a podium finish at the 82nd annual OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament, finishing seventh with a 5-4 win against Wadsworth's Jon List in Division I.

"This was very important," the 170-pound VanFossen said afterward at the Schottenstein Center. "This was the last match for the rest of my life."

VanFossen, who said he will attend Columbus State Community College in the fall to study business management, posted a 3-2 record in the three-day state tournament.

He was the only Knox County wrestler to earn a podium spot this season.

VanFossen finished 50-8, setting a school record for wins in a season. He also set a clear example for younger wrestlers, according to first-year head coach Nate Cornell.

"He did everything in his power that he could. It's great as a coach to see a wrestler do well, but especially for Max, who does everything possible to get to that point and see the fruits of that labor," Cornell said.

VanFossen hug

Mount Vernon senior wrestler Max VanFossen embraces coach Nate Cornell after finishing seventh in the Division I, 170-pound weight class on Saturday at the state tournament in Columbus.

"He shows up to every practice. He runs on his own. He lifts on his own. He wrestles seven days a week. For him to get on that podium, I love it, love it, love it.

"It's great for him as a wrestler and great for me as a coach to use as an example for younger guys. 'You guys wanna get on the podium, see everything that Max did, you need to do that, " Cornell said.

It was a life-long goal for VanFossen, who went 0-2 at the state tournament last year.

"Last year was a shock to come out here ... walking out in front of all the people, all the lights, all the noise. I didn't really have a goal at state last year. My goal was just to make it to state.

"The difference between last year and this year is I actually wanted to accomplish something here this year. (A podium finish) has been my dream  since I was a little kid and I finally achieved that dream," VanFossen said.

"This was my last match. I wanted to leave everything out there."

Be a member. Power our sports coverage.

Sports reporters need great teammates, and that's you. If local high school sports reporting is important to you, purchase a Source membership for as low as $4.99 per month. You'll be the MVP of our sports department.