Waite led by five champions to third straight City title

J. Patrick Eaken

Five champions, three runner-up finishes and one third place wrestler was more than enough for Waite to win its third straight Toledo City League wrestling meet.

“The whole team wrestled well. There was no real standout — it was a team effort all the way around,” Waite coach Russell Jennings said.

In a meet that combined City League wrestlers with Toledo Area Athletic Conference wrestlers, Waite scored 127 points, followed by Bowsher (90) and Northwood (50½). 

Start (40) was third, followed by Toledo Christian (28), Rogers (26), and Scott and Woodward tied for last with 20 points each.

Waite champions were Dylan Chavez (106 pounds), Chance Ramirez (113), Abriel Garcia (126), Rafael Cordova (160) and Gary Moody (285). Four pinned their opponents in the final, and the combined time (2:23) added up in all four in those wins was not enough for one fully decisioned match — barely enough for one period of wrestling.

In the championship, Chavez pinned Bowsher’s Jesus Alvarez in 1:06, Ramirez pinned Scott’s Jaquan Moore in 31 seconds, Garcia pinned Woodward’s Daniel Cunningham in 34 seconds and Moody pinned Bowsher’s Todd McAllister in 16 seconds. Cordova won his championship match by forfeit.

Northwood champions were Braden Alore (145) and Hunter Schmokel (170). Schmoekel is a repeat champion, winning the title last year at 160, and this year he is 16-4. In the championship, Schmoekel won by a 20-1 technical fall against Rogers’ Bryson Davis.

“He is wrestling well in all positions and has improved eliminating mistakes and being in poor position leading to his good performances this year.  He was a district qualifier last year and is looking to improve on last year’s results,” Northwood coach Nick Encheff said.  

For Alore, a junior, this is his first championship. He took third as a freshman, second last year and is currently 15 -11. In the championship, he pinned Waite’s Arnoldo Cintron in 57 seconds.

“(Braden) showed good improvement primarily in the top and bottom position on the mat,” Encheff said. “He has been working hard to close the gap on higher level wrestlers, and has beaten a few wrestlers this year that defeated him last year.”

Waite runners-up were Santos Hernandez (132), Eric Gonzales (138), Cintron and Tony Garcia (120) finished third. Northwood 220-pounder Joziah Smith was the Rangers’ only runner-up.

Like a lot of league meets, the coaches say the meet flowed quickly because there were not as many wrestlers due to coronavirus protocols.

“Numbers were down all across the board,” Jennings said. “We were in there and out of there pretty quick due to numbers being so poor.”

Jennings likes the way his wrestlers have held to discipline, not only on the mat, but off the mat during a global pandemic. Plus, they had limited practices due to a six-week Lucas County Health Department shutdown. He was pleased they stayed on track to win a league title.

“My guys fought through the adversity, stayed healthy, and did things the right way,” Jennings said. “At the end of the day, we expected to be there, you know what I mean. It was not a big surprise or upset. We figured we belonged there, and it ended up that way for us.”

Jennings believes Chavez, Garcia at 113, and Moody have a solid shot at getting out of the upcoming sectional tournament and advancing to districts.

“I think we are ready for the postseason. Obviously, COVID set everybody back but I think we are ready for the sectional tournament as a team,” Jennings said. 


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