Wauseon wrestling claimed a record sixth straight Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship on Saturday at Delta. The host Panthers took second and Archbold finished third, edging Liberty Center by a half point.
“We’ve been talking about it a lot all year,” said Wauseon Coach Mike Ritter of the Indians’ record sixth straight title. “There’s only been two other teams, besides ourselves, that have won five in a row. Hadn’t been done in a long time. It was a team goal for us coming in. Our kids wrestled great today and achieved that. Now we got some work to do to maybe try for a seventh (next year). So we’ll see what happens.”
Napoleon and Swanton are the only other two programs that had won five straight titles.
The Indians sent 11 wrestlers to the finals and 7 of them finished on top.
Taking home league titles for Wauseon were Collin Twigg at 113 pounds, John Martinez (120), Zaden Torres (132), Lawson Grime (138), Manny Gante (150), Connor Twigg (157), and Zaidan Kessler (175).
“We had a great last round,” Ritter said. “We talked about it before the round started, the job wasn’t done yet. Delta was kind of nipping at our heels. They had a lot of guys that were wrestling in that final round too. So we had to win some matches. Our guys rose to the occasion and really finished out the tournament with a really strong round.”
The Panthers and Indians were matched up in the finals four different times and split. Freshman Adam Mattin (106) and senior Carson Chiesa (126) won the two for Delta, while Collin Twigg (113) and Connor Twigg (157) won for Wauseon against Panther wrestlers.
Runners-up for Wauseon were Zavian LaFountain (106), Larry Moreno (126), Benicio Torres (144) and Connor Nagel (165). The Indians also got a third place finish from Justin Duncan at 190 pounds.
Of the seven champions for Wauseon, one in particular stood out to Ritter. Gante overcame the odds to win the 150-pound title.
“Our 150-pounder came in as the number four seed and just had a great tournament,” explained Ritter. “Beat the number one seed, beat the number two seed to win a league title for us. That’s great because he spent the good portion of the year out injured. So he’s just getting into form and he did a great job.”
Delta Coach Mark Nagel implied his team will use this as motivation in the future.
“First of all, congratulations to Wauseon and Coach Ritter. Obviously it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. We knew that we’d have to wrestle really well to beat them. We just didn’t get some of the wins that we needed to to make that happen today. We’ll go back to work and in the future, that’s gonna be the goal to come back and figure out a way to do it,” he said.
The Panthers had three champions and six make the finals. In addition to Mattin and Chiesa, Austin Kohlhofer won the 285-pound title by pinning Liberty Center’s Owen Box in the final.
“All great kids,” said Coach Nagel. “One’s a freshman (Mattin), two seniors (Chiesa, Kohlhofer). “So Adam’s gonna have a chance to repeat. But, those seniors, they’ve done a good job all year of working hard and providing good leadership within the team.”
Adding runner-up finishes were Rylee Hanefeld (113), Evan Perry (157), and Rollin Robinson (215). Evan Hanefeld (120), Landon Lintermoot (138), Devon Haven (144), Dakota Sintobin (150) and Connor Sintobin (175) all took third.
Fourth for the Panthers were Shane Kruger (132) and Luke Schlatter (190).
Archbold had a pair of champions and two that were runner-up. Winning for the Blue Streaks were Brodie Dominique at 144 pounds and Dylan Aeschliman at 215 pounds. Wyat Ripke and Hayden Dickman were back-to-back runners-up at 175 pounds and 190 pounds.
Taking third for the Streaks were Mason Miller (106) and Rusty Short (157). Coming in at fourth were Jordan Rodriguez (113) and Ian Grime (150).
Evergreen had six advance to the third place match. Taking third for the Vikings were Brodie Setmire (113) and Grant Richardson (165).
Rylan Fahrer (120), Ayden Gleckler (126), Austin Pennington (144) and Cody Sheller (285) placed fourth for the Vikings.
Camron Kirtz earned a third place finish for Swanton at 215 pounds. Cody DeKoeyer (157) and Trenton Eitniear (175) of Swanton finished fourth.
Wauseon 234.5, Delta 212, Archbold 126.5, Liberty Center 126, Evergreen 62.5, Bryan 61.5, Swanton 32, Patrick Henry 28, Montpelier 7.
First Place Matches
106 – Adam Mattin (D) dec. Zaidan LaFountain (W), 8-3. 113 – Collin Twigg (W) p. Rylee Hanefeld (D), 1:23. 120 – John Martinez (W) MD Drew Matthews (LC), 10-1. 126 – Carson Chiesa (D) dec. Larry Moreno (W), 7-0. 132 – Zaden Torres (W) dec. Aiden Fenter (B), 8-1. 138 – Lawson Grime (W) dec. Jeff Camp (PH), 7-3. 144 – Brodie Dominique (A) dec. Benicio Torres (W), 5-0. 150 – Manny Gante (W) dec. Xander Myers (LC), 5-1. 157 – Connor Twigg (W) MD Evan Perry (D), 12-4. 165 – Camren Foster (LC) dec. Connor Nagel (W), 7-2. 175 – Zaidan Kessler (W) p. Wyat Ripke (A), 3:06. 190 – Owen Johnson (LC) dec. Hayden Dickman (A), 5-4. 215 – Dylan Aeschliman (A) MD Rollin Robinson (D), 8-0. 285 – Austin Kohlhofer (D) p. Owen Box (LC), 2:31.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.