Compiled by Gary R. Rasberry
The Coldwater wrestling program reached another milestone on Saturday as the Cavaliers captured their first-ever sectional championship in the 29-year history of the program after winning the Division III wrestling sectional held at the Father Herr Center at Lima Central Catho-lic over the weekend.
The Cavalier wrestlers tallied 259 points in the tournament with Allen East a distant second with 2081/2. Per-ennial power Bluffton took third with 1791/2 points.
"Every year we take a step up," said Coldwater coach Chuck Alig in a phone interview on Sunday. "We weren't sure if we would take a step up this year, but we did. "All the kids are performing at a high level. ... (The seniors) lead by example. They motivate the younger kids and hopefully the younger kids learn something."
Coldwater placed all 14 wrestlers in the top six of their weight classes and 12 of the wrestlers will move on to the district tournament this weekend at Kettering Fairmont in the Southwest District, setting a new record for most representatives for the Cavaliers.
Alig's grapplers placed four wrestlers in the top spot on the podium in garnering championships.
Andy Schmidt avenged his loss at 152 pounds last year at LCC by beating St. John's grappler Brian Backus via pinfall to capture the 152-pound title. Marty Henmelgarn, third last year at 135, moved up two spots to take the title with a 6-4 overtime win over LCC's Scott Kayatin. Sophomore Tyler Kunk, runnerup at 160 a year ago, moved up to 171 and captured the title with a 10-9 win over Delphos Jefferson's Stuart Miller. Finally, Tyler Johnson captured the 215-pound crown with a 10-4 win over Allen East's Brad Hutchinson.
The Cavaliers were denied a fifth title at 125 in a controversial finish. Kenny Platfoot was up 2-1 in the closing seconds when Bluffton's Sean Anderson shot in and tried to score the takedown but no points were given as time ran out. After the match ended, the officials ruled it a takedown, giving Anderson a 3-2 win.
Also getting a second-place finish for Coldwater was Bryce Schalter, who lost the 140-pound final to Bluffton's Josh Falk, the state 135-pound champion from last season.
Winning their third-place matches to move on to districts were Matt Grandstaff (103), Brock Timmerman (112), Nate Sides (145), Lucus Homan (189) and Adam Grieshop (275). Gregg Homan finished fourth at 130 pounds.
Jared Kohn earned the alternate spot at 119 pounds in finishing fifth while Ross Jansen wrapped up the podium day for Coldwater with a sixth-place showing at 160.
Action at Fairmont starts Friday with the battle for the top four that move on to state wrapping up on Saturday.
Division I at Rogers
Celina will have two wrestlers move on to the district level, and another trip to the Toledo area as seniors Eric Braun and Nick Gray will head to Waite after qualifying at the Rogers sectional.
Braun, coming back from missing the entire 2004-05 season due to injury, finished second at 152 pounds to move on to Waite.
Gray, the 130-pound WBL champ, finished third at Rogers to move on.
No other information was made available by press time.
Division III at Covington
The Tigers will send seven to Fairmont this week after finishing second in the Covington sectional behind state-ranked Troy Christian.
While no Versailles wrestlers captured any titles, two head to Kettering as runner-ups. Ethan Oliver led 7-4 to Blaine Klaus of Mechanicsburg in the 171-pound final. Russ Beisner finished second at 189, losing 8-4 to Logan Brown of Covington in the final.
Andy Bruns paced four Tigers that won their third-place matches, taking the 119-pound bronze with a pin over Stivers' D'Angelo Marshall in 4:35. Derek Oliver took third at 125, as did Trent Barga at 145 and Alex Davis at 215. Ryan Schmitmeyer lost his third-place match at 152, earning the fourth and final qualifying spot.
Aaron Coons (135) and Mike Treon (275) are sitting in alternate spots with fifth-place finishes while Kyle Kueterman finished sixth.
Division II at Fostoria
The Roughriders will send four on to Ontario for the districts after a fair showing at the Fostoria sectional. Larry Gruber's group finished eighth in the team standings with 95 points. Eastwood dominated in capturing the team title with 326 points, well ahead of Elida's 170 1/2.
Josh Cisco continued his solid season raising his record to 31-4 in capturing the 112-pound title. Josh Toler also moves on after taking third at 125 pounds as does Kirk Wietholter, who took third at 140 pounds. Travis Neal lost his third-place match, but earned the trip to Ontario at 215 pounds in taking fourth.
Also earning spots on the podium were Daryl Mabry, who finished fifth at 135 and will be an alternate, along with Greg Luthman and Nathan Brown, who took sixth at 152 and 189 respectively.