BY JIM COX
Times Bulletin Correspondent
WAUSEON - On Wednesday in the first annual OHSAA Team Wrestling Tournament - Division II, Region 9-A - Van Wert first beat Kenton, a team with no seniors, 46-21; then lost to Wauseon, a team with eight seniors, 77-6.
Van Wert was seeded eighth, Kenton ninth, and Wauseon first in the 10-team region. Wauseon advances to meet fifth-seeded Lima Shawnee in next Wednesday's regional semifinal at a site to be announced. Shawnee eliminated fourth seeded Napoleon 35-24 on the other mat at Wauseon Wednesday evening.
Van Wert coach Ben Collins likes the new team tournament concept. "I think it's a good idea for the sport, it gets people interested, gets matches for our kids that don't count against us on our schedule. Especially with us being pretty young and needing mat time, it's good for us. I think it'll be interesting further down the road, you'll get some exciting dual meets. It's easier for fans to follow because there's only one match at a time, and the team score is kept on he board. There are a lot of states that do it. I'm all for it."
Van Wert 46 Kenton 21
Despite losing three matches (106, 120, 182) by forfeit, Van Wert dominated a youthful Kenton team 46-21 in the opening round of the tournament. After the forfeit at 106, double void at 113, and forfeit at 120, Van Wert trailed 12-0 when freshman Andy Hammond took the mat against Kenton sophomore Tyler Wiess at 126 pounds. Leading 9-3, Hammond (10-16) got the pin with 25 seconds left in the third round, and the Cougars were on their way.
Freshman Jacob Crisenbery (6-14) took an 8-3 decision at 132 to close the gap to 9-12. Sophomore Quinton Rutkowski (8-16) lost 10-5 at 132 to stretch Kenton's lead to 15-9, but, other than a forfeit at 182, Van Wert didn't lose another one.
Senior Daniel Thompson (18-8) tied the match at 15-15 by pinning his opponent at 1:05 of the first round at 145 pounds. Freshman Ryan Stoller (9-12) won by forfeit at 152 to lead 21-15. Senior Colten Royer (23-8) picked up four points with a 10-0 major decision in the 160-pound class - 25-15, Cougars. The best match was at 170 pounds where senior Jordan Daniels (15-14) topped Wildcat sophomore Dylan Castle 9-6. Daniels trailed 2-5 in the third round before rallying with a takedown (to make the score 4-5), intentionally allowing Castle to escape (4-6), another takedown (6-6), and a near fall as the round ended (9-6). That made it 28-15, Van Wert.
The forfeit at 182 made it 28-21, but junior Gabe Hill (14-11) clinched it for Van Wert with a second-round pin at :06.
At 220, junior Zack Thomas (16-10) got a pin with 1:22 left in the second round. At 285, senior Terrin Contreras (26-2) made short work of sophomore Nathan King, getting the pin with 15 seconds left in the first round.
"The 126 (Hammond) and 132 (Crisenbery) matches were key matches for us," said Collins. "We had lost both of those two weeks ago when we wrestled Kenton. Those guys have been aiming at that for two weeks. Our goal was to go 10-0 in matches against Kenton. We went 9-1, which was a better showing than the first time, so we're making progress."
106 - Nate Osborn (K) won by forfeit. 113 - Double void. 120 - Lakota Breece (K) won by forfeit. 126 - Andy Hammond (VW) pinned Tyler Wiess (K) at 0:25, 3rd round. 132 - Jacob Crisenbery (VW) decisioned Dustin Edler (K) 8-3. 138 - Sean Fitzgerald (K) decisioned Quinton Rutkowski (VW) 10-5. 145 - Daniel Thompson (VW) pinned Devon McGrath (K) at 1:05, 1st round. 152 - Ryan Stoller (VW) won by forfeit. 160 - Colten Royer (VW) won by major decision over Dylan Rothgary (K) 10-0. 170 - Jordan Daniels (VW) decisioned Dylan Castle (K) 9-6. 182 - Sylas Smith (K) won by forfeit. 195 - Gabe Hill (VW) pinned Dallas Hines (K) at 0:19, 2nd round. 220 - Zach Thomas (VW) pinned Seth Conover (K) at 1:22, 2nd round. 285 - Terrin Contreras (VW) pinned Nathan King (K) at 0:15, 1st round.
Wauseon 77 Van Wert 6
It was a totally different story in the quarterfinal match against Wauseon, the state's eighth-ranked Division II team. The Indians won four matches (106, 113, 120, 195) by forfeit, six by first round pins, two by second round pins, and one by technical fall. At 285 pounds, Van Wert senior Terrin Contreras (27-2) avoided the shutout by pinning sophomore Keegan Mack with 1:10 left in the first round.
"We knew coming in that they (the Indians) were good," said Collins. "We're pretty young down low (lower weights). We have four seniors in our lineup. After that, we're really young, really raw. Last week we lost to Bath, and I didn't feel too good about our performance there. Tonight we wrestled better. We attacked. We tried to do the right things. We're making strides. Obviously, we want to be like Wauseon, such a solid program. After our duals tomorrow night, we'll get in the room and we'll get back to work at it." "We have film on it (the Wauseon match)," added Collins. "The young kids are really good about going to my room and watching it. We'll talk through it, and they're really eager to learn, so they have the makings to be really good."
The defeats left Van Wert's wrestlers with the following records: Hammond (10-17), Crisenbery (6-15), Rutkowski (8-17), Thompson (18-9), Stoller (9-13), Royer (23-9), Daniels (15-15), Hill (14-12), Thomas (16-11). Summary:
106 - Ben Crowell (W) won by forfeit. 113 - Jackson Sluder (W) won by forfeit. 120 - Gage Campbell (W) won by forfeit. 126 - Wade Hodges (W) pinned Andy Hammond (VW) at 0:54, 1st round. 132 - Jacob Whitcomb (W) pinned Jacob Crisenbery (VW) at 0:30, 1st round. 138 - Austin Yarnell (W) pinned Quinton Rutkowski (VW) at 1:28, 1st round. 145 - Tre Campbell (W) won by technical fall over Daniel Thompson (VW) 16-0. 152 - L. J. Frost (W) pinned Ryan Stoller (VW) at 0:59, 2nd round. 160 - Aaron Schuette (W) pinned Colten Royer (VW) at 0:25, 1st round. 170 - Riley Lane (W) pinned Jordan Daniels (VW) at 1:20, 2nd round. 182 - Alec Vonier (W) pinned Gabe Hill (VW) at 0:06,1st round. 195 - Devon Harris (W) won by forfeit. 220 - Zane Krall (W) pinned Zach Thomas (VW) at 1:33, 1st round. 285 - Terrin Contreras (VW) pinned Keegan Mack (W) at 1:10, 1st period.