Eastwood wrestlers end Genoa’s seven-year reign

J. Patrick Eaken

There is a new king standing at the top of the hill in Northern Buckeye Conference wrestling, and it is Eastwood.
Genoa had won seven straight conference championships, crowning 44 individual champions, but that streak came to an end at Woodmore High School.
Eastwood had three championships at the league meet to score 173 points and win the championship over second place Otsego (133½), which was the preseason favorite to win the league. Eastwood was not even picked to finish second — Elmwood held that honor.
“Our kids did a phenomenal job. They knew what they had to do to win and they did it,” Eastwood coach Joe Wyant said.
The Royals finished third with 112 points, followed by Rossford (110), Lake (102), Woodmore (98), Genoa (77½) and Fostoria (21).
Although Otsego and Elmwood were picked as top contenders, it was apparent just before the NBC meet that Eastwood would be the team.
That was obvious when the weight class seedings came out, plus Eastwood had just returned from a berth to the Division III state dual tournament.
Wyant said every wrestler did his part at the NBC meet, except for one wrestler who could not finish because he went under concussion protocol.
“I think all our guys got what they were seeded and one guy was hurt, other than that — we got everything we were picked to get,” Wyant said. “Obviously, the tournament champions all wrestled well — Bryce Maynard, Brandon Hahn and Xavier Escobedo — those three.”
It was a coach’s dream for Wyant because he saw significant improvement from his wrestlers from the start of the season to now.
“I think, number one, everybody got a little bit better. Two, our young kids who were so-so got a lot better,” Wyant said.
“Our freshmen really helped out this year and everybody scored points for us. It’s not always your best kids who are expected to win, it’s getting the lesser talented kids better. For me, that is some of the best things about coaching is to see the younger guys get better.”
Maynard (44-5), a junior, was Eastwood’s first champion, taking the 113-pound crown by defeating Woodmore senior Chase Dickerson (32-7), 5-4.
Hahn (44-2), a junior, took the 126-pound title by winning a 21-4 technical fall in 4:28 over Otsego freshman Donovan Farley (24-19) in the championship. For third place, Genoa senior Corey Welsh (26-15) won 5-3 against Woodmore sophomore Landon Emch (33-9).
Escobedo (37-12), a sophomore, won 5-4 against Lake senior Luke Wamer (32-10) in the 132 pound championship. In the consolation, Genoa junior Darin Muir (16-13) defeated Otsego sophomore Max London (5-19), 5-3.
At 106 pounds, Lake sophomore Eli Guyton (32-11) won the championship, defeating Woodmore sophomore Lukus Schaub (21-19), 9-5, in the final. Eastwood freshman Cody Perkins (9-17) finished third, pinning Rossford sophomore Matthew Cassaubon (10-16) in 46 seconds.
At 120 pounds, Eastwood sophomore Gavin Owens (42-6) was league runner-up after losing 5-1 in the championship to Otsego senior Jake Manley (43-0). In the consolation final, Lake sophomore Christian Lecki (35-6) pinned Elmwood freshman Easton Thomas (25-18) in 1:29.
Lake senior Antonio Lecki (36-2) won the 138-pound championship by pinning Eastwood senior Mason Glaze (36-14) in 2:18 during the title bout. For third place, Genoa junior Quinton Banks (15-21) won 8-5 over Elmwood freshman Frank Blair (25-19).
Eastwood freshman Bryce Hasselbart (32-9) was runner-up at 145, getting pinned by Otsego senior Jesse Wright (36-7) in 3:17 during the championship. Lake sophomore Keagon Henry (29-11) won the consolation final 5-1 over Genoa senior Shawn Wick (2-4).
Genoa got an NBC champion at 152 in returning state champion Kevin Contos (40-3), a senior, who won a 14-3 major decision over Eastwood junior Jimmy Recknagel (36-9) to take his second league title. Woodmore senior Brett Sandwisch (28-9) won third place by pinning Elmwood freshman Mason Oliver (26-21) in 2:05.
At 160, Woodmore junior Cameron Overmyer (31-13) won third place with an 11-1 major decision over fourth place Caden Hartman (16-18), an Otsego sophomore.
Woodmore junior Weston Angel (19-12) was league runner-up at 170, losing in the championship by a 19-3 technical fall (2:41) to Elmwood senior Sanford Fraley (37-9). Eastwood senior Ross Beaverson (35-15) placed fourth, losing in the consolation final to Rossford sophomore Christian Brown (15-11) because of an injury default after 48 seconds of wrestling.
Woodmore also had a runner-up at 182 as junior Mike Brzeczek (35-9) was pinned (2:36) in the championship by Rossford senior Carl Roberts (29-3).
At 195, Lake senior Ryland Morlock (22-14) placed third, defeating Rossford junior Herbert Eckhart (26-17) 5-1 in the consolation final and avenging an earlier loss to Eckhart. Eckhart had pinned Morlock in 2:45 in the opening round.
The upper weight classes are where Eastwood struggled in their state dual meet loss to Brookside, but Wyant got some results at the league meet.
        “My 220 and heavyweight (285) are pretty decent — above average,” Wyant said. “We got the (285 sophomore Tyler) Bowman kid back — had him back now for three weeks, and he came back and took second and that was a lot of points there, too.”
At 220, Eastwood senior Austen Nissen (28-13) reached the final, but lost a 13-3 major decision to Elmwood senior Will Bechstein (39-5) to finish as league runner-up.
At 285, Bowman (26-14) reached the championship, where he was pinned by Rossford junior John Sanders in 2:49. Genoa freshman Drew Posey (16-24) reached the consolation final, where he was pinned by Elmwood sophomore Kaleb Loera (21-17) in 2:28.


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