Four Chargers took home championships during Saturday’s Plymouth High School Wrestling Invite as Edison beat out 12 teams to also take the team title. The Chargers edged out Keystone 233.5-173.5 to take home the hardware. Piecing together a squad full of youngsters and a few starters, Edison controlled from the very beginning.
“I am pretty happy with everybody,” Edison Blue coach Gary Burns said. “We have had a pretty rough schedule this year so far with some of the kids going to Ironman, but some of the young kids were thrown to the wolves today because we had to fill some spots and they did a nice job of going after things and I was very happy with their performances.”
Jakey Neer took home the combined 106 and 113 class going a perfect 4-0 on the day and beating out Keystone’s Randy Hartle in a high scoring match 21-15. Griffin Soviak also took home a 4-0 record with four pins on the day. He pinned Keystone’s Chris Toth in the final round of the Round Robin tournament to cement his place atop the podium.
Max Wolfe won the 132 weight class running the table as well with a 3-0 record and earning a 10-5 victory over Keystone’s Jared Bender in the championship round. Finally, John Mason won a marathon of a day in the 170 class going 5-0 and beating teammate Carson Holmes in the final round. Holmes was 4-1 on the day and took second.
“We had three freshmen take first and another take second,” Burns said. “They did a really nice job. Neer came in and won a combined 106 and 113 group and he may have been the lightest kid in the class. He pulled out a nice close match in the finals.
“Soviak did a great job today going 4-0 with four pins and was very aggressive with his approach. Wolfe is a senior and took first and provided a lot of leadership today. Brewer came in at 152 as a freshman and took second. That is a tough weight class to come into as a freshman so I am proud of his effort today.”
The Chargers are back in action next weekend at the Marion Invitational that could be one of the biggest tests so far this season. Burns admits his guys should be going into the invite with their heads held high.
“It is a great tuneup for when we go over to the Marion tournament next weekend,” Burns said. “There will be 30-plus teams there and it is going to be a great test for our team. This was a huge confidence booster today with these younger kids coming in and placing. Some of them are going to be in that lineup next weekend.”
South Central’s Dakota Blanton took home the title in the 120 weight class going 3-0 with three pins and breezing his way through a competitive field. He pinned Margareta’s Cameron Suttle in the final round to earn the win.
“It was some great competition today,” Blanton said. “I was glad to be able to hit some of my moves and keep the speed of the match at a high level. I came in and really did not under estimate anyone and took every match seriously. I have some high hopes for the rest of the way that hopefully lands me at state.”
The Willard Flashes saw a pair of champions atop the podium at the end of the meet. Geron Poston took home the title at 138 going 5-0 with two pins and a nice 9-4 victory over Perkins’ Cody Best in the championship round. D.J. Slone also took home the title at 145 breezing through undefeated at 5-0 with two pins and a 17-0 major over Keystone’s Cody Foster in the championship round.
The host Plymouth Big Red saw a couple of impressive performances on the day. Josh Dove brought the Big Red their lone individual title at 160 going 4-0 with two pins and a 7-5 victory over Edison’s Max Soviak in the championship round. Seth Bailey made his return from knee surgery that has kept him sidelined for much of the season. He went 3-1 on the day with a pair of pins and fell to Port Clinton’s Russell Demarco who ended up being the tournament MVP 7-2 in the championship match.
“I was happy that we finally got almost our full team back,” Plymouth coach Jeremiah Balkin said. “We had one kid out today with an injury that caused weight issues, but we had just about everybody back. I was very happy to get Seth back after his injury and his long layoff. He still has some getting in shape to do with only a couple of days of mat time under him. Josh looked very good today and wrestled smart and was aggressive when he needed to be. I was happy for him to be able to win his final home meet as a senior.”
Balkin is the longest tenured coach at Plymouth and has been a part of the invite for many years. He admits it is a blessing to be able to provide the sport with a place to wrestle.
“We have been doing this for a long time,” Balkin said. “Dick Roll put this on even when I was in school so it has been going on since the early 90’s. We always have great teams here and we just like to get kids matches and prepare them for conference meets coming up and the post season.”
Overall team scores
Edison 233.5; Keystone 173.5; Perkins 145; Seneca East 125.5; Plymouth 113; Port Clinton 93.5; Willard 88.5; South Central 73; Margaretta 70; Lehman Catholic 67; Lucas 37.5; Buckeye Central 28