His wrestlers made sure he got comfortable in his chair and put on a show as the Chargers sent 14 wrestlers to next weekend’s district meet and took the sectional championship by a landslide scoring an incredible 275.5 team points beating second place Sandusky St. Mary by 126 points. The Chargers had six wrestlers take sectional championships, four finish as runners-up, one took third, one fourth and one fifth for an impressive day on the mats.
The Chargers finished off a 3-week ride that included a State Dual championship, a Sandusky Bay Conference championship and now a sectional title. Edison coach Davy Hermes admits it is a great time to be the coach of the Edison Chargers.
“It has been very good,” Hermes said. “The hardest part has been staying focused after winning a state championship. In every other sport, the season is over after the state tournament. But we had to regroup and focus on the SBC and sectional.”
Ray Adams started the day off by winning the 106 division after pinning Western Reserve’s Gage Griffith to take the title. Jorge Gabriel of South Central joins Adams, Griffith and Sandusky St. Mary’s Will Blevins as the Top 4 in the weight class to move on. Dylan Burns of Edison took home the sectional title in the 113-weight class beating Wil Roth 5-1 in the championship bout. St. Paul’s Eric Crabbs and Clear Fork’s Mike Morganstern also move on from the division.
Max Wolfe took home the 132 title after defeating Owen Starcher of St. Paul 6-0 in the final round. Jacob Martz of Western Reserve and Teryn DeBold of Seneca East also move on in the weigh class. Brady Barnett took the 138 title over Sam Meyer of St. Paul 18-2 in the final round. They are joined by Trent Staley of Western Reserve and Kaden Keegan of Margaretta in the Top 4.
Dalto Burns won the 160-pound weight class after defeating Rhett Roeder of Monroeville 3-2 in the finals. Josh Dove of Plymouth and John Witschi of Clear Fork also advance to districts in the division. Rounding out the Edison sectional individual titles was Sam Stoll who took home the 195-pound title with a 15-4 major decision over New London’s Adonn Kruki. Montgomer Wells of Monroeville and Chris Loughman of Crestview round out the Top 4 in the weight class.
Hermes admits the Chargers are really starting to use the energy provided by teammates to power through some tough matches.
“The kids are starting to feed off of each other,” Hermes said. “When the kids want to win for each other, that is when you know things are going well. They do not want to disappoint the coaches or their teammates. Usually, at this level, kids are all about themselves. You saw our kids following each other around to different matches. Ever since the state duals we have really come together as a group.”
It was that energy mixed with an aggressive approach that allowed the six sectional champions to come away with individual titles.
“We preach being aggressive and our conditioning,” Hermes said. “We refuse to lose matches because of lack of conditioning. We are very aggressive too when some others may not be. We have to be careful with that because sometimes you go against kids who are not aggressive and it makes you look over aggressive. You could get called for unsportsman-likes or flagrants and that is not what we are trying to do.”
Things do not get any easier from here for the Chargers as next week’s district meet will tell a lot about where they stand.
“District will be tough,” Hermes said. “We have four of the Top 5 teams in the state in our district. We had a good sectional tournament. We dropped some matches I thought we could win, but in all, we have 12 guys advancing and all of them were in the Top 3. We should be OK.
“Our schedule at the end of the season prepares us for this tournament. We are battle-tested and we are not afraid to go out and win a 1-point match if we have to.”
Match of the night
The match of the night came in the 145-pound weight class. Derek Gross of St. Paul and Alex Neuberger of Edison squared off for the sectional title. Gross came into the bout sporting a 46-0 record while Neuberger rolled with a 38-11 mark. The two went into overtime tied at one as Gross scored a takedown in the closing seconds to take the match 3-1.
“Seeing him before prepared me for that match,” Gross said. “He is a great wrestler and it was a very tough match. I just wanted to go in and score a take down in overtime. If you want to win those close matches, you have to be aggressive. I wanted that higher seed at the district tournament so I knew it was important I win that one against him. I gave it my all, and I got it. I just have tunnel vision on the state finals now.”
Gross and Neuberger are joined by Zach Bene of New London and D.J. Slone of Willard in the all-area Top 4 in the weight class advancing to districts.
South Central’s Dakota Blanton took home the 120-pound weight class sectional title with a 7-2 decision over Gabe Mina Vazquez for Edison. Blanton admits he just stuck to the basics to blow through the competition.
“I just went out and wrestled my matches that I always do,” Blanton said. “I kept my pace up and made sure to use my stamina to my advantage. I tried to keep everything tight. I just want to keep working hard and not underestimate anyone and wrestle every match like it is my last.”
Western Reserve’s Gage Griffith took second place in the 106-pound weight class and advances to the district meet next week with one goal in mind even though he felt a bit disappointed with a second-place finish.
“I feel fine but it was just a tough loss,” Griffith said. “I will bounce back. I will be really focusing on my conditioning and the mental preparation for next week will be a big focus. I just want to really make it back to state.”
Freshman Tyler Ramage of Western Reserve took a runner-up finish in the 126-pound weight class after falling to Dominic Rosin of Sandusky St. Mary 20-7 in the championship bout. Trent Werner of Edison joins the two in the Top 3.
Sandusky St. Mary’s Jacob Near won the 152-pound weight class and is joined by Edison’s Collin Mancuso and Monroeville’s Colten Millis as district qualifiers. In the 170-pound weight class, John Mason Neer of Edison took third to advance. At 182, Joey Kasper of Edison and Tche Leroux of Monroeville finished in the Top 4 to become district qualifiers. At 220, Plymouth’s Seth Bailey took runner-up behind Chris Kuhn of SMCC and will make the trip to districts for the second time. Finally, at 285, Willard’s Raven Brant advances with a fourth place finish.
The Division III District Tournament begins on Friday and runs through Saturday at Toledo Waite High School.