To the surprise of few, the Upper Sandusky Rams won six weight classes and finished second in two others to win the North Central Conference wrestling tournament at Galion High School for the second year in a row.
Not only were the Rams defending NCC champions, they are in the final eight of the state duals in Division III.
“It means a lot,” Upper Sandusky coach Chris Rodriguez said. “The boys have worked hard. I couldn’t be more proud of them. We had six first-place and three second-place finishes in 14 weight classes.”
The meet — originally scheduled for today — was moved to Friday night to allow the Rams to wrestle in the state dual meet. Upper Sandusky also had to wrestle Wednesday to qualify for the state meet.
“We’ll go home and be back at the high school at 6 a.m.,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll have time to be tired Sunday.”
The Rams’ 420 team points outdistanced the second-place Galion Tigers, who totaled 379. Riverdale was next with 279, Buckeye Central had 152 and Bucyrus finished with 87.
“They beat us last week, so I thought they were the favorites,” Galion coach Brent Tyrell said of the Rams. “Our first goal is to win the league championship. Now it’s off to the post season. Our goal is to make the district tournament.”
For the Bucyrus Redmen, Nate Johns finished third in the 220 weight class and Adam Ponziani was third in the 106 class.
“Nate beat Ryan Wilfer from Buckeye Central,” Bucyrus coach Matt Makeever said. “Wilfer is state ranked in a lot of publications. It was a real good win for Nate.”
Buckeye Central coach Chris Smith thought his team wrestled well overall.
“We beat some kids we lost to earlier in the year,” Smith said. “We’re happy with that. Shawn Kissell got his 100th career win and won the heavy weight class.”
The Redmen have sustained some injuries and field a young team.
“Upper Sandusky is a real good team and will continue to be a good team for a reason,” Makeever said. “We’re young but I think we’re very athletic. We will get better.”
Makeever also thinks the the NCC is very deep in wrestling talent.
“This is the best the league has been since wrestling has become a league sport, at least since I’ve been around” Makeever said.