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01-26-04: Tough field at Lions meet

Celina is third in standings; Tigers fourth and Cavs fifth


Even with a third-place finish for his MatDogs, Celina head coach Joel Zacharias was vocal in his happiness with the competition during the 15th annual Lions Invitational held Saturday at the Fieldhouse.
Seven points were all that separated first from third as Fremont Ross, Greenville and Celina vied for the team title. The Little Giants prevailed with a 200 team score. The Wave were five points back in second with 195, beating Celina by two points. Versailles took fourth with 180 points and Coldwater rounded out the top five with 116 points.
“It could’ve went either way,” said Zacharias. “We had good competition all day long. This is probably as solid a tournament we have had in the last few years. The kids got some good wrestling in and hopefully it keeps them going down the road.”
The Bulldogs boasted three champions on Saturday out of five wrestlers making the championship match. Garrett Gray started things with a battle against Elida’s Michael Winter in the 145-pound final.
Gray picked up an early takedown and scored three back-points before the first period ended to make the score 5-0. The last two periods saw Gray add five more points off backpoints to come away with a 10-0 shutout.
Then Garrett’s cousin Adam Gray stepped into the middle mat for his 152-pound final with Austin Earle of Ross. The Celina senior, who edged out Chris Vogel of Coldwater 3-2 in the third preliminary bout to make the championship, got the drop on Earle off the opening whistle, getting the takedown and picking up backpoints. The Celina senior won his first Invitational title in his final home bout in getting a 16-4 major decision.
“It’s the first tournament he ever won in his last chance to wrestle at home,” said Zacharias of Adam Gray. “It’s great for him. He wrestled well all day long.”
Trent Hellwarth picked up the third Celina title in the 189-pound final. The Celina junior had two pins and a major decision in his three prelim bouts and made his final against the Little Giants’ Myles Porter just as quick and dominating, getting the pin in 3:13.
The Bulldogs also picked up two runners-up on the day. Cody Koesters brought a 3-0 record into the 112-final against Greenville’s Josh Shilt, but Shilt took Koesters down quickly getting the pin in 40 seconds.
Cody Wagner made the finals of the 135 division with a 3-0 record but had to face Michel Werner of the Wave. The pair battled it out through six minutes to force a one-minute sudden death overtime. With time winding down, Wagner nearly got the takedown but was disallowed. Werner followed up with a takedown of his own to get the 8-6 win.
The Tigers, the defending champions from last season, had two championships from a pair of returning state qualifiers. Anton Henty, who lost the 130-pound final last year, moved up in weight and place in taking the 140-pound title with an 11-10 win over Ross’ Jake Gutschalk. Mark Keiser, third at 215 last season, won the 215-pound title by pinning Jorge Perez of Ross in 2:44. Perez pulled the mild upset in the final by pinning Coldwater’s Kyle Oswalt in the third prelim, sending Oswalt towards a third-place finish.
“It was good work for us,” said Tigers’ coach Bill Roll. “We put together a good effort. Celina and Greenville each had a good tournament and Fremont Ross is an excellent team. We just have to go back and work on some things. We’re not disappointed, though.”
Coldwater might have had the toughest fifth-place showing. Coldwater had several wrestlers primed for championship matches, only to lose a third prelim and have to settle for third-place matches.
The lone exception came from heavyweight Craig Homan, who took one strange route to winning the title.
With just four wrestlers signed up for the big weight class, a four-man round robin was held. When the dust settled, each went 2-1 in the bracket. Organizers set up a draw for the four with the best record overall, counting a tiebreaker, would decide the title.
Homan did his part, beating Tim Samson of Toledo Whitmer 6-2 to win his chance at the title. The Cav had plenty of time to get a look at the other match between Elida’s Shane VanHoorhis and Versailles’ Eli Oliver. In a match stopped several times due to VanHoorhis losing his headgear, the pair were tied at two at the end of regulation.
In the overtime with time winding down, VanHoorhis, who had been warned for stalling several times, finally drained the patience of the officials and was hit with a violation, awarding Oliver one point to make the bout 3-2.
Homan was awarded the title based on his beating VanHoorhis 3-1 earlier in the bout.
Vogel and Oswalt each took home thirds, as did Kenny Platfoot at 112 pounds.
“Kids wrestled pretty good. You just make a mistake in some matches,” said Coldwater coach Chuck Alig. “When you do, you go from a first or second to a third, fourth, fifth or sixth. I think that happened in a couple of our weight classes. I love this competition, I hope next year we have the same competition. It’s what we need.”
Shilt was awarded the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament after posting four pins on the day. Shilt did not have to wrestle past the first period in any of his matches.


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