Celina avenges last season’s
lone WBL loss at Wapakoneta
By GARY R. RASBERRY
Celina coach Joel Zacharias wanted more of a postseason atmosphere
when his MatDogs took on perennial Western Buckeye League powerhouse
Wapakoneta on Tuesday.
The Fieldhouse gave plenty of the type of atmosphere that Zacharias
was looking for.
Amidst the very vocal contingents from Celina and Wapakoneta,
the MatDogs pulled out the 35-26 win over the Redskins, giving
the Bulldogs sole possession of the WBL lead at 5-0 and gaining
a little revenge after the Indians ended their chances for a
9-0 season last year. Wapak falls to 3-2.
“It just feels really good,” said Adam Gray, the
lone senior on the Celina team. “Even if we don’t
win another match all season, it feels good to know that we
could take down Wapak without even a full team (Celina has a
void at 275 pounds) and a lot of young guys. We showed a lot
of heart out there.”
It was a night where runs played a key part. Wapak jumped out
to a 14-0 lead, only to have Celina come right back with 29
unanswered points to take the lead. Wapak won at 215 pounds
and got a forfeit at 275 pounds to make the score 29-26 leading
to the final match of the night at 103 pounds.
Freshman Andy Swain went into the match knowing that he had
to take control. A decision seven points or less would tie the
match, anything more would give Wapak the win.
Swain went out and made sure that any thoughts Wapak entertained
were ended quickly. It took just 56 seconds for Swain to take
down Brian Bailey and spent the rest of the first period piling
up back points to lead 7-0 after the first two minutes.
Swain chose down to start the second period and escaped, scored
a takedown and picked up two more back points to lead 12-0.
In the final period, the only thing that would stop Swain was
the official blowing his whistle 16 seconds into the third period
after Swain scored another takedown and gave Celina its only
pin of the night seconds later.
“I figured it would be a pin either way at 103,”
said a very pleased Zacharias after a huge celebration. “I
didn’t know anything about (Bailey) and I was hoping Andy
would pull it out. He did a nice job for us all year. He did
a fantastic job tonight, everybody did a nice job.
“Last year they moved the St. Marys match here (from the
intermediate school) and the crowd was fantastic,” said
Zacharias. “I was glad they moved it here. I want to thank
the fans for that (the atmosphere).”
Leading up to Swain’s pin, Celina used every trick in
the book to pick up wins. One of the most important came with
Jantzen Hinton at 160.
Hinton was allowed to escape by Wapak’s Garrett Hoehn
with 24 seconds remaining in the match and Hoehn shot in and
tried to bring Hinton back down. Hinton went into the splits
as time wound down, and the Wapak fans calling for a stall call,
to keep his momentum and survive a 5-4 victory and get Celina
three big points to make it 21-14 at that point.
“That was a big match,” said Zacharias. “I
figured Zach (Mertz) would win at 171 (beating Josh Newman 12-3)
and there would be a battle at 189 (which Trent Hellwarth picked
up the 16-7 major decision).”
In addition to the tight matches, Celina garnered some big wins
to push ahead. Eric Braun got things really rolling for Celina
after Cody Wagner was awarded his match at 135 when Jordan Bricker
injured his shoulder and could not continue. Braun scored the
20-9 major decision over Andrew Maitlen at 140 points. Garrett
Gray followed up with a 11-7 win before Adam Gray scored a 16-1
technical fall at 152 pounds over Jeremy Carpenter.
“My hat’s off to Celina,” said Wapak coach
Jason Rostorfer. “They’re a class team, a hard working
team and Joel’s been around for awhile, so it’s
well-earned. A lot of matches came down to the end. We won a
few at the beginning. Then losing Jordan Bricker to injury hurt
because it gave Celina six points. It was two even teams where
one team had to come out on the short end and, unfortunately
for us, it wasn’t Celina. But they deserved it.”
In junior varsity matches, Celina beat Wapak 12-6. Corey Zizelman’s
pin of Allen Winkler in the final match gave Celina the win.
Dan Knoth and John Rhodes also picked up wins.
Celina returns to WBL action on Thursday with a road trip to