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01-23-04: MatDogs keep on rolling


It was hard to believe that after four years of wrestling home matches for Celina, Adam Gray was a little nervous.
Yet, the lone senior of the MatDogs admitted to having a few butterflies as he got ready for his final home bout at the Intermediate School on Thursday evening against Bath.
Yet everything worked out for Gray and the MatDogs in getting a 46-23 win over the Wildcats to stay perfect at 7-0 in the Western Buckeye League. Bath drops to 3-4.
The nerves showed early as Bath’s Kyle Ruggley held tough with Gray for the first 51/2 minutes of the pair’s 152-pound bout. After a scoreless period, Ruggley, after letting Gray score a point off an escape to start the second period, scored a takedown and began to turn Gray over for the pin. Gray struggled mightily for the last minute of the period and was not pinned, although Ruggley scored three back points to make the score 5-1.
“I was nervous out there, being the only (senior) left,” said Gray after his bout. “I was a little shaky. It’s one of those things I had to ride out.”
The pair went for a neutral start to begin the third period and neither could get an advantage. With the clock showing nearly 30 seconds left in the match, Gray made his move, locking up Ruggley and putting him down for the takedown.
Immediately Gray tried to move Ruggley onto his back to get back points. Gray needed to keep Ruggley’s shoulders to a 45-degree angle for at least two seconds to get the needed two points to force overtime. By the time the horn sounded, Gray had Ruggley for five seconds, picking up three back points to give the Celina senior a 6-5 decision.
“I knew it was a short time and I was working through every move that I knew to get backpoints,” said Gray. “I wasn’t thinking about much, just trying to get points. I got him in a chicken wing, basically. I knew if I got him in position, I was going to get three points.”
“He was nervous. I don’t know why, he’s been out there so often,” said Celina coach Joel Zacharias. “Things didn’t go his way and he got caught on his back. Hard to come back from 5-1 but he did it.”
That proved to be the most exciting part of a night that featured five voids, two that cost Celina 12 points with Bath losing three forfeits and 18 points.
Kiel Hawk came up with a battle at 119 pounds against Justin Best, ranked second at 119 in the Lima Area Wrestling Coaches Poll this week.
The pair’s match was tied at 4-all when Best scored a takedown with 20 seconds left in the second period. An escape in the third for Best resulted in a 6-4 decision against Hawk. Zacharias, though, was pleased with his junior’s effort.
“That’s the best Kiel has wrestled in the last two weeks,” said Zacharias. “Hopefully he’ll take that into our tournament on Saturday.”
Beyond that, Celina dominated for the most part. Patrick Bailey followed up the Hawk match with an 8-2 win at 125 against Nick Runser. Nick Gray dominated Dan Flora in posting a 17-0 shutout for the technical fall. Cody Wagner scored the first pin for Celina on the night in beating Luke Gross in 1:28.
In the 140 match, Eric Braun faced the LAWCA’s top-ranked grappler in the weight class in Nick Sanchez. Sanchez put Braun through the paces in picking up a 22-5 tech fall win.
Celina responded with Garrett Gray making it 3-0 for the Grays on the night with a pin in 1:23.
Zach Mertz suffered the last contested loss for Celina on the evening with a 7-1 defeat to Kody Knight in the 171 match. In the final contested match of the night, Trent Hellwarth used a surplus of back points in scoring a 17-0 tech fall win over Greg Dunlap.
“There were a lot of voids tonight,” said Zacharias. “It’s hard to get into a groove when you have a kid wrestle, then have a void, then wrestle. Bath had some good wrestlers. It was good for our kids.”
Celina took both junior varsity matches on the night via technical fall. Corey Zizelman beat Cory Kohli 18-2 and Matt Paulus won a 16-0 tech fall.
The MatDogs return to action on Saturday when they host the Lions Invitational at the Fieldhouse. The eight-team tournament features Coldwater, Versailles, Toledo Whitmer, Greenville, Fremont Ross, Worthington Kilbourne and Elida with Versailles being the defending champions. The opening rounds begin at 9:30 a.m.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


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