Eagles bounced at state duals, but ready to move on

J. Patrick Eaken

Eastwood wrestling made its first trip to the Division III state duals meet, and even though the Eagles lost in the quarterfinal round, they felt confident about the wrestlers chances going into the Northern Buckeye Conference meet and the upcoming individual tournaments.
        Although it was Eastwood’s first time at the state dual tournament, an unofficial state dual meet was held before the OHSAA set up its sanctioned tournament. So, in a way, Eastwood had been here before, but that was a different group of wrestlers.
        “Back in 2007, we won it that year, but it was picked differently, so we were pretty good back then when we beat (St. Paris) Graham that year and we had a couple runners-up to Graham, too,” said Eastwood coach Joe Wyant.
        In a 43-28 loss to No. 5 seed Brookville at Ohio State University’s St. John Arena, things started really well for the No. 4 seeded Eagles, winning five of the first six weight classes, including three by pin.
        Eastwood freshman Callen Young pinned Brookville freshman Brycen Dull in 1:08 at 120 pounds, sophomore Gavin Owens pinned freshman Timmy Davis in 36 seconds at 126 and junior Brandon Hahn pinned junior Mason Esterline in 3:16 at 132.
        In the other two early round victories, Eastwood junior Bryce Maynard won a 13-2 major decision over senior Bailey Larson and sophomore Xavier Escobedo won 6-2 against junior Brennon Moore. However, Brookeville would take seven of the next eight weight classes. Eastwood junior Jimmy Recknagel was the Eagles’ only other winner, defeating sophomore Dylan Starnes, 7-5.
        Brookville lost to state powerhouse and top seeded Edison, 56-15, in the semifinals and the Chargers went on to a 57-14 state championship win over Apple Creek Waynedale.
        Eastwood’s season has been a success, too, and getting even better.
        “We’ve been doing very well. Went to a tournament at Waterloo, finished second there, and then we went to West Jefferson — we won that against mostly Division II and III schools. We went to Ashland Crestview for a dual meet tournament — we did lose two duals there and finished third. And then, we went to Lima Central Catholic’s Thunderbird Tournament and we finished third there among 47 teams, so we’ve done really well,” Wyant said.
        Besides Hahn, returning state qualifiers are sophomore Gavin Owens, who was 47-3 and finished second at 106 pounds, and junior Bryce Maynard, who was 39-13 a year ago at 113 pounds. This year, Owens is 37-4 at 120 and Maynard is 38-5 at 113.
        “Maynard qualified and was one match from placing and he’s back at 113 again. We’ve had some others kids step up. We have seven kids with over 30 wins and two more that have 28 wins, so we’ve had some pretty good success this year individually. And then, we’ve got some freshmen in the line-up who are hanging in there tough. We think we’ve got around five, six guys who have a good shot of qualifying for state when they have a good day at districts,” Wyant said.
        Other starters are freshman Cody Perkins (7-10) at 106 , sophomore Xavier Escobedo (31-12) at 132, senior Mason Glaze (33-11) at 138, freshman Bryce Hesselbart (28-6) at 145, junior Jimmy Recknagel (31-7) at 152, freshman Dalton Hesselbart (17-21) at 160, senior Ross Beaverson (31-10) at 170, freshman Joey Grzegorczyk (15-21) at 182, sophomore Tyler Bowman (22-12) at 220 and senior Austen Nissen (26-10) at 285.


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