NEW WASHINGTON - Now that's some debut.
Upper Sandusky took home the team title in its first North Central Conference wrestling tournament Saturday, thanks to six first-place finishes.
In fact, fellow former Northern Ohio League foe Galion made nearly as impressive a debut, finishing 11 1/2 points back from the champs while picking up four individuals crowns. Host Buckeye Central was last with 2 1/2 points, with one wrestler on the podium at the end of the day.
"Overall, all the kids came out and wrestled tough," Upper Sandusky coach Chris Rodriguez said. "Every single one of the boys got wins. They had a couple real tough weeks of practice and it paid off. I'm just real proud of the boys right now."
Carson Mengerink (106), Steven Richmond (120), Alex Kenner (145), Cory Frey (160), Tylor Pritchard (170) and Kohl Johnson (182) all were first in their respective weight classes for Upper Sandusky. Luis Ayala (126), J.J. Valentine (132) and Logan Nye (152) all were second for the Rams while Derek Hanson (113) cracked the podium with thirds.
"(This boosts the confidence) a lot. The kids are feeling good about themselves right now," Rodriguez said. "Next week, we'll go up to Carey (for sectionals) and see what we can do. I think we're feeling pretty good. We see what happens and how many kids we can get to districts."
|Upper Sandusky 174, Galion 162 1/2, Riverdale 143, Ontario 94, Bucyrus 44 1/2, Buckeye Central 2 1/2|
|106 — 1. Carson Mengerink (US); 2. Kolten Martin (RV); 3. Ryan Hillman (Buc)|
|113 — 1. Zac Tupps (Gal); 2. Michel Matheny (RV); 3. Derek Hanson (US)|
|120 — 1. Steven Richmond (US); 2. Justin Kleinknect (Gal)|
|126 — 1. Austin Clark (RV); 2. Luis Ayala (US)|
|132 — 1. Nick Flowers (Gal); 2. J J Valentine (US)|
|138 — 1. Justin McDaniel (Gal); 2. Randall Allen (Buc); 3. Paul Frey (RV)|
|145 — 1. Alex Kenner (US); Zak Covert (Ont); 3. Seth Knoll (RV)|
|152 — 1. Nick Miller (Ont); 2. Logan Nye (US); 3. Josh Bushong (RV)|
|160 — 1. Cory Frey (US); 2. Mason Fry (Gal); 3. Travis Hartman (RV)|
|170 — 1. Tylor Pritchard (US); 2. Brent Esposito (Gal); 3. Michael Adkins (BC)|
|182 — 1. Kohl Johnson (US); 2. JT Harris (Gal)|
|195 — 1. Dan Renner (Gal); 2. Alec Goodrich (RV)|
|220 — 1. John Goodwin (Ont); 2. Deaken McCoy (Gal); 3. Gage Beltz (Buc)|
|285 — 1. Justin Pfeister (RV); 2. Josh Collins (Ont); 3. Tristan Schroeder (Gal)|
Kenner, Frey and Pritchard had the toughest roads to hoe with four matches, winning all of them, including two pins a piece. Mengerink went 3-0, including two sticks, and Johnson had two pins in his two-match day. Richmond had a pin and a decision.
"I was hoping (Richmond) would finish and do decent. He ended up getting first place and I was pretty pleased with him," Rodriguez said. "I was pleased with all of the boys, but Steve sticks out to me."
Michael Adkins (170) proved to be the lone highlight for the Bucks. The junior had a pin and a 17-15 decision against Riverdale's Tre Headington.
"Overall, it was not our best," Buckeye Central coach Chris Smith said. "I'm hoping that they show up next weekend for sectionals. We lost some that we shouldn't have lost and we'll see some of these kids again in a week. We hope those matches go our way next week. A little disappointing.
"Michael won two matches against kids he'll see next weekend, so that's good," Smith said.
Smith said he was pleased with how the tournament went for the first time in the district's new school, which opened in 2009.
"I think it's going real smooth," Smith said of the tourney that took a little less than three hours to complete. "All the coaches have been pleased."