COLUMBUS – For the second year in a row, Swanton competed in the Division III State Dual Wrestling Tournament at St. John Arena in Columbus. After falling in the quarterfinal in 2017, on Sunday the Bulldogs won a dual, 39-31, in the quarterfinal over Nelsonville-York, before falling to Massilon Tuslaw 34-22 in the state semifinal.
“We knew it was gonna be anywhere from plus or minus just a handful of points,” said Swanton coach Greg Hallett on the loss to Tuslaw. “So, we knew it was gonna come down to the wire. Every point matters.”
The Dogs trailed just 28-22 ahead of the 220-pound bout between Greg Wilson and Crawford Hamrick of Tuslaw. Wilson tied up the match late in the third period, but fell 6-4 in overtime.
“That’s just one example of the level of effort that these kids gave,” said Hallett of Wilson’s match. “An absolutely amazing effort. You know, it is such a risk when you put it all out there and you give it your best. And, it just hurts a little bit more.”
Although it did not matter, Brayden Phillips of Tuslaw then added a 3-1 overtime win over Swanton’s Tommy Lytle at 285 pounds.
However, Lytle was the hero in the opener with Nelsonville-York.
The Bulldog lead was just 33-31 going into the final match, so any win for the Buckeyes would put them on top. But Lytle left nothing to chance, pinning Chris Yinger in 50 seconds.
Other winners for the Dogs in the quarterfinal were Trevor Schaller by pin at 126 pounds, Gage Pachlhofer (145) with a 5-3 decision, and Chase Moore (152) and Crew Oberheim (195) who also had pins.
Although it was not the result they desired, years down the road they can look back on what a special team this was.
“They’ve been lifelong friends. They grew up in the program together,” said Hallett when asked what makes this team special. “Each one is the other’s biggest cheerleader. Biggest fan.
“(I have) love for them all.”
Genoa out of the Northern Buckeye Conference defeated Tuslaw 40-20 to claim the D-III title.
Dogs down Streaks, Bears
On Thursday, the Bulldogs hosted a Northwest Ohio Athletic League Quad where they picked up two wins. They won 31-18 win against Archbold, then added a 70-6 win over Bryan.
Starting with the 160-pound match versus the Blue Streaks, Swanton’s Ryan Marvin earned a 13-5 major decision against Archbold’s Carson Meyer.
Despite dropping decisions in three of the next four matches, a pin for Crew Oberheim at 195 pounds kept the Dogs ahead 10-9 through 220 pounds.
Swanton’s Tommy Lytle won 7-0 over Anthony Gonzalez at 285 pounds, then there was a double forfeit at 106 pounds.
Archbold would take the lead back, 15-13, on Shane Eicher’s pin of Zeth Zawodni at 113 pounds. However, Swanton responded quickly to put it away.
They won five of the next six matches, starting with a 4-3 win for Zach Schaller over Andrew Francis at 120 pounds. Trevor Schaller (126) followed with a 5-1 win over Juan Garcia, then Ethan Branum (132) got a pin to make the score 25-15.
Swanton’s Noah Saunders (138) and Chase Moore (152) each earned 3-2 decisions around Archbold’s Gavin Grime (145) who defeated Gage Pachlhofer 6-0, closing out the match.
The Dogs lost just one match in the dual with Bryan. They also had six forfeit victories.
Earning pins against the Golden Bears were Trevor Schaller (126), Moore (152), Mitchell Reisinger (160) and Oberheim (195). Additionally, Branum earned a 10-2 major decision over Spencer Yoder at 132 pounds, while Greg Wilson won via an injury to his opponent at 220 pounds.
Swanton will host the Northwest Ohio Athletic League Tournament this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010