Lecki brothers big part of the Lake wrestling reprisal

J. Patrick Eaken

Lake’s Lecki brothers are leading the way in the development of Lake wrestling into a formidable program.
Siblings Antonio and Cristian Lecki qualified for the state meet but will not get a chance to prove themselves further in Columbus. This year there was no state meet because the Ohio High School Athletic Association “postponed indefinitely” the state wrestling tournament because of the Coronavirus COVID-19.
Senior Antonio Lecki (41-2) won a quick 132-pound district championship to qualify for state, and Cristian Lecki (38-6), a sophomore, advanced to state after finishing fourth at district.
Antonio pinned Oak Harbor senior Mathew Dewitz (42-7) in 36 seconds during the 132 pound district championship. Christian was pinned by Edison sophomore Alec Homan (46-13) in 2:24 during the 120-pound consolation final.
The state meet cancellation just adds to the frustrations that this sport can already bring.
 “This has been heart-breaking for them, especially Antonio,” Lake coach Tom Jackson said. “This is an example of why coaching continues to be such a hard job. I was talking to a coach far more experienced than me and he said the peaks are easy, but the valleys are getting more and more difficult to get through. I completely agree with him.
“It is heart-breaking to see a kid work hard and lose a match you think he deserved to win or see a young wrestler's season end too early because of an injury or illness. The examples of valleys go on. This sport can crush a man's spirit it he allows it. It can also make a man's spirit invincible.”
Antonio broke the school record for career victories and career pins. Jeff Polk, who graduated in 1999, had the career wins record with 126, but Antonio ended with 141. He also broke the career pins record “rather handily” with 71, Jackson said. The old record was 65.
“(Former Lake wrestler) Justin Cole had it for a year. He is the only three-time state qualifier, and of course could have been the only three-time placer as well. We will keep our fingers crossed that (Antonio) still has that chance. He is arguably Lake High School's best wrestler. He would certainly be top three.
“The only wrestler I can see breaking any of his records in the foreseeable future would be his brother Cristian. Cristian had a very good freshman year, and then really ramped things up this year for a stellar sophomore year. He did some strength training in the off season, which was very noticeable, giving him a strength advantage to add to his advantage over most opponents in experience. They have both had a lot of matches under their belts coming into high school,” Jackson continued.
Jackson says “there have been several college coaches who have been very interested in Antonio. I expect it will be the same with Cristian.”
“They are both polite and quiet kids. Well, Antonio used to be quiet. His senior year he has developed quite a personality with a healthy sense of humor. This is a good thing They are very good students in school. Their parents have always been very supportive,” Jackson said.
“Despite their weight difference, they both like to wrestle each other in practice. They both had excellent drill partners in the room. Antonio has had Luke Wamer as a drill partner for four years.
Wamer reached 100 career victories this season and was a state alternate, placing fifth at districts and was also sectional champion.
“Luke has energy like no one I've ever seen. He warms up when there is no wrestling match. I would start talking to him at school about wrestling and he would start bouncing around like he's getting ready for a match. Anyway, he has pushed Antonio for these years, and to not mention him as part of Antonio's success would be inexcusable for me,” Jackson said.
Lake’s season started out with a dual meet win over Eastwood, the eventual Northern Buckeye Conference champion, and if The Press awarded a Coach of the Year honor, it could go to Jackson because the program continues to get stronger under his tutelage. 
“It was a really fun year,” Jackson said. “We had an undefeated dual streak that didn't end until the semifinals at the regional duals. Duals are my favorite thing in wrestling. They are what keeps the team aspect of the sport alive. Some of those duals were won by some key victories from some of our less experienced guys. 

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