CALEDONIA – River Valley wrestlers Jackson Law and Devin Hessler both took unconventional routes to their 100th career victories on Saturday.
Each officially reached the 100 mark via forfeits during the 22nd Bender Duals at River Valley High School.
Law was sitting on 99 wins heading into his opening match which wound up being a forfeit triumph when Pickerington North did not trot out an opponent for him at 126 pounds.
“I don’t really count that,” said Law, a senior, after he displayed a sheepish smile while having his hand raised in victory. “I like the competition.
“My next match win will be my 100th.”
River Valley’s Devin Hessler (left) defeats Bradley Collins of Pickerington North in the 138 weight class at the Bender Duals 2015 held at River Valley High School on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015. James Miller/The Marion Star
He didn’t have to wait long for it. Law pinned Josh Shull of Marion Harding in 31 seconds to record what in his book is victory number 100.
Hessler, a junior 145-pounder, had notched 98 triumphs entering his school’s big meet of the season.
He was an 8-5 winner in his first match of the day, and he then won by forfeit in his second for his official milestone.
Hessler, however, found an opponent to wrestle in an exhibition moments later, and he pinned Drake Doersam of Pickerington North in 1:45.
“I told my parents not to count a forfeit for 100,” Hessler said. “I figured I might as well work for something. I’ve worked three years to get it.”
No matter how they got them, River Valley coach Mark McGuire was still impressed with their milestone victories.
“We’ve had quite a few 100-win wrestlers (25), and with guys getting about 150 matches in a career now, that’s winning two out of three and that says quite a bit,” McGuire said. “One-hundred wins means you are on the right track.”
Bellevue was on the right track in collecting the team title with a 5-0 record. The championship came down to the final match between Bellevue and River Valley, one which Bellevue won 36-26.
River Valley, which finished second, had claimed the last four Bender crowns.
River Valley defeated Pickerington North B 63-15, a combined Marion Harding/Olentangy Orange B squad 62-17, Coshocton 51-24 and Hilliard Darby B 72-11 in other matches.
Harding/Orange beat Pickerington North B 38-28 and also lost to Hilliard Darby B 42-36, Bellevue 59-24, and Coshocton 40-30.
Following are results of other matches: Bellevue 61, Coshocton 13; Bellevue 54, Hilliard Darby B 20; Hilliard Darby B 33, Pickerington North B 27; Coshocton 51, Pickerington North B 25; and Coshocton 51, Hilliard Darby B 18.
Devin Hessler (145). Efren Silva (160), Jackson Law (126), Bryce Hessler (132), Devin Hopkins (138), Evan Main (170), Justin Townsend (182), and Sterling Edler (113) were the top individuals for River Valley.
Devin Hessler, Law, and Silva were 5-0 to claim weight-class championships. Bryce Hessler, Hopkins, Main, Townsend, and Edler were all 4-1. Devin Hessler, Law amd Silva defended titles they won in 2014.
Vikings R.J. Clayton (106), Grant Isler (120), and Austin Winegarner (220) all picked three wins on the day.
Raymond Candela was 4-1 at 195 to lead Marion Harding while Josh Shull went 3-2 at 120 and 220-pounder Morgan Hollenbach captured two wins.
The other weight-division winners were Dominic Torio (106) of Olentangy Orange; Treston Francis (113), tournament most valuable wrestler Luke Leonard (132), Collin Adkins (138), Gabe Smythe (182), Chris Harris (152), Jarod Hoy (220), and Grant Moyer (285) of Bellevue; Zack Donatelli (170) from Hilliard Darby; and Kyle Bergeron (120) and Dom Johns (195) of Coshocton.
To see a video of some of the action from Saturday’s Bender Duals, visit http://www.marionstar.com.