Ridgewood’s Ben Hostetler keeps his grip on Dayton Christian’s George Hall Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, during the wrestling dual team tournament at St. John Arena on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus. Hostetler won a 4-2 tie breaker decision in the 182-lbs. match.
COLUMBUS – It would have been easy for No. 7 seed Ridgewood to just be happy to be in Columbus after trailing second seed Dayton Christian 38-0 through seven weight classes Saturday, at St. John Arena.
But, that was when the Generals wrestled their best.
They earned points in six of the last seven matches to end their first appearance in the Division III state dual tournament on a positive note despite suffering a 41-30 loss to the Warriors.
“Dayton Christian is a very good team with great lightweights,” Ridgewood coach Nate Carpenter said. “But we knew our kids at the back end were pretty good and could get us some points if they wrestled well.”
Dayton Christian won five of its first six matches via pin and added a Josh Clary 5-2 decision over Kyle Bethel at 132 pounds to lead 33-0.
After a tech fall by the Warriors’ Nick Vestal over Javon Merrill at 145, Abram Buckler received a forfeit win at 152 for the Generals to get them on the board, but a Janson Love 10-0 major decision over Kasey Bethel at 160 made it 42-6 Warriors.
But then the Generals found their groove.
Derek Stocker defeated Parker Slaton 1-0 at 170, Ben Hostetler picked up a 4-2 overtime win over George Hall at 182, then James Kedigh (195) and Dillan Shepler (220) posted back-to-back pins.
Shepler’s match ended via a pin in 25 seconds and his opponent caused a loss of a team point after an unsportsmanlike penalty for throwing his headgear after the pin.
Kelly Barthalow won via forfeit at 285 to round out the scoring.
Carpenter was proud of the fight his team had after getting down by such a big margin.
“I wish we could have fought off a few of those pins early to give us a chance to win, but I’m still really happy with how everyone performed,” he said. “Our heavier kids kept their mind in their match and got some great wins after the dual was already decided.”
Carpenter also hopes they can continue to wrestle solid the remainder of the season.
“Hopefully this experience and how they performed gives them a lot of confidence going into the end of the season,” he said. “Our expectations remain high and there are still some things we would like to accomplish before the year is done.”
For Shepler, this was an experience he will never forget and is something he hopes the team can build on for the remainder of the season.
“We really wanted to win, but I think in losing we still brought some wrestling respect to our area,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep getting better the rest of the year for IVCs, sectionals and districts.”