By Gary R. Rasberry
In bowling, it's 300.
In cross country, it's 15.
And in wrestling, it's 84.
The above numbers represent what is considered a perfect game. In bowling it means getting 12 strikes in a row while in cross country, it means the first five finishers coming from the same team.
In wrestling, the number represents getting the maximum amount of points -- six -- in each of the 14 bouts. Celina almost made the mark but made some history with the first shutout in recent memory with an 81-0 win over Kenton in Western Buckeye League action from the Intermediate School. The win puts the MatDogs at 4-0 in league duals with Kenton falling to 1-3.
The blanking of the Wildcats capped an emotional week for the Celina wrestling program after the death of former MatDog Rob Eyink earlier in the week. Eyink, who finished fifth in the state at 275 pounds in Division I two years ago, was in the hearts and minds of many of the MatDogs during the week and especially the match.
"We went to his viewing today. That was kind of rough," said senior Jantzen Hinton, who wrestled his first two seasons with Eyink. "Seeing his family there and Rob there was kind of rough. We're kind of rallying around and making him our strength this year. We're thinking about him when we're out there. We're trying to do the best we can."
Senior Trent Hellwarth echoed the sentiment and was happy that the team posted the shutout, knowing that Eyink would have been proud.
"It was real nice to come out here and get the shutout for the first time," said Hellwarth. "We're all sad about Rob and we just wanted to give him what he always wanted (the shutout). Hopefully, we can (continue) doing good next week at the tournament in Nordonia."
The Bulldogs mixed things up so they would not have any voids on their side with Mitch Miracle out at 215 due to a death in his family. Hellwarth moved up from 189 to 215 to start the night off. The jump did not have any effect as Hellwarth needed just 52 seconds to pin Devon Wilson to get the night started off.
The pin was the thing for the MatDogs all night. Sam Eshelman, wrestling in Eyink's old spot of 275, took James Hale down early and maneuvered him quickly into a pin in just 1:26.
Tyler Thees and Andy Swain went to the mat for the hand raises as Kenton voided 103 and 112. At 119, Cody Koesters and T.J. Walls went 0-0 after the first period but Koesters rebounded in the second, getting the takedown and pinning Walls 38 seconds into the second period to make the score 30-0.
Patrick Bailey needed two periods as well before pinning Tyler Hastings in a bout that lasted 3:39.
After Nick Gray won a the void at 130, Kiel Hawk came out to battle Kevin Modd at 135. Hawk got the takedown and was reversed early, but pulled a reverse of his own and got backpoints to go up 9-2 after one. Modd had the option in the second period and chose up. A technical violation and an escape allowed Hawk to gain two points. In the third, Hawk scored another escape to conclude the only match that went the distance with a 12-2 major decision, breaking up the perfect match chance.
Cody Wagner got the pin parade back on track at 140 with a pin over Justin Dick in 1:23. Garrett Gray made it two in a row with a pin on Cody Wilkinson at the 1:15 mark of the first period. Kyle Knouff did not get the pin but ended his bout over Andy Doday early by getting five points with an 18-1 technical fall in the 152 match.
Dan Knoth picked up a pin just before the buzzer sounded in the first period on Calvin Roberts. Nate Brown fit in at 171 when Hinton and Hellwarth moved up in weight and earned an arm-raise when Kenton could not fill the weight.
The most interesting match came at 189 as Hinton faced Mitch Harpel. Harpel, looking to prevent the shutout -- the second one for Kenton on the season -- by going in quick and getting physical with Hinton. Hinton kept his composure and scored the pin with 10 seconds left in the second period to wrap up the match in 41 minutes.
"Hopefully we got something out of it," said Celina coach Joel Zacharias, referring to the number of short matches. "They guys wrestled well, did what they had to do. There were some matches that were competitive."
Celina returns to action on Thursday at the Nordonia Super Duals.