Both wrestlers — Jordan Crace and Farouq Muhammed — are seniors who had transferred to Elyria from other Ohio high schools, and recently signed college letters of intent with NCAA Division I wrestling programs.
Elyria athletic director Heather Beck confirmed to the Chronicle that both athletes will not wrestle for the Elyria Pioneers and head coach Erik Burnett this season, but would not disclose why they were dismissed from the team.
Jordan Crace, InterMat’s No. 5 wrestler in the nation at 145 pounds, had transferred from Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio (the No. 26 program in InterMat’s national rankings). He sat out part of his junior year to become eligible to wrestle at Elyria as a senior this season. Crace won the 120-pound Ohio state champion in Division II as a sophomore, having placed third at 106 at state as a freshman. Crace also finished as a Walsh Jesuit Ironman finalist at 126 pounds in 2017.
After transferring to Elyria, Crace was a two-time All-American this summer — placing sixth at the nationals in Fargo, N.D., and going 7-0 at the Junior freestyle national duals — and placed third last month at the preseason Super 32 tournament in North Carolina.
Crace recently signed his National Letter of Intent to wrestle for Michigan State University next year.
Farouq Muhammed competed for two years at Shaker Heights High School in the eastern Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights before transferring to Elyria and sitting out the first half of last season as a junior.
Muhammed placed sixth at 145 pounds in the Ohio Division I state tournament as a freshman with the Shaker Heights Red Raiders.
Since enrolling at Elyria last season, Muhammed placed fourth in the state at 152 pounds, had a third and a pair of fifth-place finishes during national Greco-Roman competition and won a Greater Cleveland Conference championship.
Just before Thanksgiving, Muhammed signed his letter of intent to wrestle for Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.
Both Crace and Muhammed could still compete this season as both attended Elyria on open enrollment. The Ohio High School Athletic Association has a one-time exemption to its transfer rule that allows athletes to compete without penalty if they transfer back to a school located within their home district.
Elyria High School is a public high school located in the city of Elyria, approximately 30 minutes west of Cleveland. Elyria High serves grades 9-12. It has an enrollment of approximately 2,100 students.