Celina is third in standings;
Tigers fourth and Cavs fifth
By GARY R. RASBERRY
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
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
“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
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.