Upon sending nine wrestlers to the finals, Wauseon went an impressive 5 for 9 in those matches en route to a Northwest Ohio Athletic League wrestling championship Saturday at their home gym.
It was a third straight league title for the Indians.
Wauseon was first, with 219 team points. Delta finished runner-up with 193, Liberty Center (150.5) took third, Archbold (125) fourth, and Swanton (100.5) fifth.
“We talked about it all week long. About wanting to win another league title,” said Wauseon coach Mike Ritter. “We let a return trip to the state (dual) tournament kind of slip through our fingers the week before. As disappointing as it was, we knew we had a a chance to come and win a league title today. We knew Delta was gonna be pretty tough. They were right there with us the entire time. We pulled away a little bit in the middle rounds. Couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
At the front of the pack for the Indians were seniors Gavin Ritter and Xavier Torres, who both became three-time league champions.
In his final three matches, Ritter, wrestling at 120 pounds, won by technical fall over Robbie Boulton of Delta, pinned Anthony Meyer of Patrick Henry in 1:32, and topped Dylan Matthews of Liberty Center 4-2.
Torres pinned Spencer Goodsite of Delta, Gavin Wurm of Montpelier, and Xavier Wiemken of Swanton to claim the 170-pound crown.
Other champions for the Indians were Damon Molina at 106 pounds, Nolan Ray (126), and Aaron Harris (220).
“We had some great performances. Really happy for two of our seniors who walk out of here as three-time league champs,” said the Wauseon coach. “I got some guys who (won) their first league title today. Some guys in the league finals that were young guys. Just a really total team effort. It was just a good day all around for us.”
Molina won with a 10-6 decision over Carson Chiesa of Delta. Ray won by pinning Zach Schaller of Swanton in just 48 seconds.
Harris had to battle for the title at 220 pounds. In a match that went back and forth with Delta sophomore Austin Kohlhofer, Harris finally turned him over for a pin at the 3:10 mark.
“I’m so happy for him,” said coach Ritter. “We knew that match going in was going to be pretty tough. Kohlhofer’s a good wrestler. We came out on top. Aaron had a good game plan going in.”
Runner-up for the Indians were Spencer Martinez (113), Connor Twigg (132), Evan Banister (145), and Samuel Sosa (285). Banister was forced to forfeit after he re-aggravated a shoulder injury from earlier in the season during his semifinal win over Tyler Gowing of Swanton.
Drew Krall defeated Logan York of Evergreen 4-2 to take third at 195 pounds. Ethan Glover fell to Carson Meyer of Archbold in the third place match at 152 pounds.
Connor Nagel (138) took fifth for Wauseon, while Jaxon Radabaugh (182) placed sixth.
Delta’s day was highlighted by senior Cole Mattin tagging his fourth straight title. He came up to 138 pounds to do so.
“This week, it was just kind of a lineup thing. Trying to score the most points we can at every weight class,” said acting head coach Sam Carrisalez.
However, it worked out in their favor as he pinned Nagel in the quarterfinal, Brayden Custer of Montpelier in the semifinal, and Brennan Short of Archbold in the title match.
“That’s just another one of those things that you can add to your resume,” said Carrisalez on the senior winning his fourth league title. “Not many guys have done it. So it was exciting and fun to watch him come out and win a fourth one.”
Zack Mattin won his second title at 113 pounds, Dawson Swicegood claimed the 145-pound title for the Panthers, and Dalton Richard brought home one at heavyweight.
Richard won a nailbiter over Sosa, 2-1. “That one was a good one to get,” explained Carrisalez. “We don’t see Wauseon anymore this year. Dalton’s a senior so, perfect for him to go out and get that one back. He kind of stewed on it a little bit after losing to him at Clay. Lost to him in the (league) dual. This is your last chance to go out and make this right, and he did.”
Rollin Robinson placed third for the Panthers with an injury default win over Owen Johnson of Liberty Center. Evan Perry (132) fell to Tre Hutchinson of Montpelier 9-7 to take fourth.
Placing fifth were Boulton (120), Dakota Sintobin (126), Kaleb Barnes (152), Goodsite (170), and Tristen Saeger (195), while Max Hoffman (160) finished sixth.
Zach Rocha (132) and Mason Babcock (182) brought home titles for Archbold. Rocha won his with a 12-4 major decision against Twigg, while Babcock took down Dylan McCandless of Bryan 7-3.
Runner-up for the Blue Streaks were Brennan Short (138) and Kasyn Schaffner (160). Shane Eicher (126) and Meyer (152) took third; Rusty Short (113), Josh Nofzinger (145), and Izzy Reyes (220) placed fifth; and Caleb Ranzau (170) sixth.
“We were missing a few guys from our lineup so 4th place was about what we expected,” said Archbold coach Brian Becher on his team’s finish overall. “We would not have been in the top two, but with everyone we should have been close to LC.”
Swanton garnered three runner-up finishes, as well as a trio of third place finishes. Getting runner-up were Schaller (126), Ryan Marvin (152), and Wiemken (170).
Finishing third for the Bulldogs were Zach LaPlante (113), Ethan Branum (138), and Ian Saunders (160). Cody DeKoeyer (132) added a fifth place finish for the Dogs. Taking sixth were Gowing (145), Zaven Waddell (220), and Brodie Stevens (285).
Evergreen, in addition to York taking fourth at 195, Brian Floyd was fourth at 160 pounds after falling to Saunders in the third place match.
Area teams will start down the road to Columbus and the state tournament this Friday and Saturday. Wauseon will be in the Division II sectional at Napoleon. Archbold will host the likes of Delta, Evergreen and Swanton – among others – in a Division III sectional.
1. Wauseon 219; 2. Delta 193; 3. Liberty Center 150.5; 4. Archbold 125; 5. Swanton 100.5; 6. Montpelier 91.5; 7. Patrick Henry 81; 8. Bryan 40; 9. Evergreen 17.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010