The T-Bird wrestling team came in third place Saturday at their sectional meet, qualifying five wrestlers for next weekend’s district meet at Troy. The team scored 141 points, with Collin Hennon, Kobe Cunningham and Joey Eisele all winning sectional titles. Hunter Lucas took second to move on to next week, and freshman Joey Caprella came in third to qualify for districts also. In addition, Garrett Dee and Jordan Hinegardner both won their fifth-place matches and are district alternates, and Caleb McDonald came in sixth place, meaning all eight T-Bird wrestlers placed at this year’s sectional meet. Fantastic job guys, and let’s see the same results next weekend at Troy!!!!
By Mark Altstaetter – firstname.lastname@example.org
At Lima Central Catholic
Team Scores: 1. Coldwater 224, 2. Wayne Trace 151, 3. Lima Central Catholic 141, 4. Allen East 134, 5. Ottawa-Glandorf 118, 6. Bluffton 102.5, 7. Delphos Jefferson 90, 8. Patrick Henry 63.5, 9. Columbus Grove 58, 10. Delphos St. John’s 51, 11. Spencerville 46, 12. Ada 32, 13. Parkway 30, 14. Lincolnview 14.
First- through fifth-place matches
113: Kobe Cunningham (LCC) dec. Andrew Foust (DJ) 6-3
120: Ruger Goeltzenleuchter (WT) dec. Hunter Lucas (LCC) 6-5
132: Collin Hennon (LCC) dec. Chase Sumner (A) 3-1
152: Joseph Eisele (LCC) dec. Brandon Soules (AE) 13-9
126: Joey Caprella (LCC) dec. james Badial-Luna (B) 6-3
138: Jordan Hinegardner (LCC) dec. Shawn Justus (B) 7-5
145: Hunter Showalter (WT) maj. dec. Caleb McDonald (LCC) 17-3
160: Garrett Dee (LCC) pin David Grant (DJ) 1:50
Every area high school wrestler dreams of someday walking through the tunnel of Ohio State’s Jerome Schottenstein Center and onto the floor at the state wrestling tournament.
The trek to Columbus started this weekend as area Division III wrestlers competed at the sectional tournament at Lima Central Catholic’s Msgr. Edward C. Herr Gymnasium.
The top four placers in each weight class advance to next weekend’s Division III district tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena. Then, the top four placers at Troy advance to the state tournament, which runs March 3-5.
The emotions ran high Saturday as a total of 56 wrestlers, in 14 weight classes, punched their tickets to the district tournament.
In the final team standings, Coldwater won the title, defeating second-place Wayne Trace 224-151. LCC finished a solid third (141), while Allen East came in fourth (134). There were 14 schools figured into the team scoring.
Coldwater was solid top to bottom, getting a total of 11 wrestlers out to districts.
“Overall, we were very solid,” Coldwater coach Rob Schmidt said. “We don’t have any weak guys. Everybody is solid. We can count on everybody to score points for us and to place. That’s what we did – at least in the top five (places). So, we do what we have to do as a team.”
Winning titles for Coldwater on Saturday included Spencer Seibert (145), Grant Kaiser (160) and Zach Klosterman (220).
Probably the most anticipated match of the day, came in the championship bout of the 120-pound weight class.
LCC’s Hunter Lucas, a runner-up at last year’s state tournament, went up against Wayne Trace’s Ruger Goeltzenleuchter.
These two wrestlers were no strangers. During the regular season, Lucas defeated Goeltzenleuchter 5-2. That loss to Lucas was Goeltzenleuchter’s only blemish on the season.
Saturday’s championship match between Lucas and Goeltzenleuchter proved to be yet another fierce battle.
On Saturday, Lucas (38-2) held a slight lead early on, but Goeltzenleuchter (41-1) battled back, taking the lead and then hanging on for the hard-fought 6-5 victory.
“I just wanted to get out there and take it one period at a time and keep going,” Goeltzenleuchter said. “Since the last time we wrestled, I’ve been focusing on that match and trying to get better every day.”
Since his regular-season loss to Lucas, Goeltzenleuchter came away with some things he needed to work on.
“I knew he was going to shoot for my right leg,” he said. “I just needed to keep circling and setting up my offense and keep attacking.”
LCC had a total of three champions Saturday.
LCC’s Kobe Cunningham (35-7) decisioned Delphos Jefferson’s Andrew Foust (33-6) in the 113-pound title match, 6-3. LCC’s Collin Hennon (34-9) defeated Ada’s Chase Sumner (34-3) in the 132-pound title bout, 3-1. Teammate Joseph Eisele (38-8) won his title match at 152, against Allen East’s Brandon Soules (30-7), 13-9.
Eisele, a district qualifier last season, found himself down 9-4 early Saturday, but came roaring back to claim the lead and pull out the win.
“Early in the match he kind of caught me in a position that I wasn’t used to,” Eisele said. “But, I worked my way out and started to push the pace.”
With the sectional title, Eisele earns a No. 1 seed for the district tournament.
“Last year, I was a second seed. So, wrestling a four-seed (at districts) is definitely an advantage,” Eisele said.
Cunningham said Saturday’s title match against Foust was a good test, heading into next weekend’s district tournament and beyond.
“I had to get my offense going,” Cunningham said about his title match with Foust. “When I get my outside shot, it’s pretty hard to stop. I knew it was there every time. But, he was aggressive, he fought. …That’s what I like. It gives me good competition.
“We got a tough district coming up. As long as I work hard, push myself, sacrifice everything for the next two weeks, I can be at the top of the podium.”
Ottawa-Glandorf sophomore Daniel Beemer continues to make a statement in the 182-pound weight class.
Beemer (41-2) defeated Columbus Grove’s Andrew Nichols (35-4) in the championship match, 9-3.
“I’ll be matched with a No. 4 seed from a different sectional,” Beemer said. “So, that’s really going to help me.”
Other sectional champions on Saturday included: Allen East’s Lee Dues (138); O-G’s Tyler Ebbeskotte (170); Patrick Henry’s Kent Petersen (195) and Brandon Bennett (285); Wayne Trace’s Tyler Bauer (106) and George Clemens (126).