It was nearly a perfect meet for the Perrysburg wrestling team on Saturday as the Yellow Jackets thoroughly crushed the competition on a historic day at the Northern Lakes League tournament.
The Yellow Jackets earned nine individual titles to easily outdistance second-place Napoleon by 122.5 points. It is believed to be the widest margin of victory in the 51-year history of the tournament.
The Yellow Jackets had 10 wrestlers in the 14 championship matches at Springfield. They finished with place winners (top four) in all 14 weight classes.
Ryan Roth (145 pounds), J.P. Newton (152), and Rocco Caywood (170) all repeated as NLL champs.
Brock Jones (106), Mario Guillen (113), Leo Romp (126), Alec Herhold (132), Mark Delas (220), and Cale Bonner (285) also won individual titles for Perrysburg.
Perrysburg, which also went 7-0 in NLL dual meets, won its third consecutive league team title.
“All I can say is ‘wow, what a finals round,’” Perrysburg coach Sam Cotterman said. “Those kids all had a chance but all those guys came out and won. We rolled.”
Anthony Wayne senior Christian Yates became only the 29th wrestler to win three NLL titles. Yates, who captured titles as a freshman and sophomore, won by fall in the 120 final.
Springfield's Ross Lonsway also successfully defended his 2012 title.
Maumee brothers sophomore Anthony Arroyo (138) and junior Johnny Arroyo (195) each won individual titles.
The NLL team champion is determined by a combination of points from dual meets and the tournament. Perrysburg earned 14 points for its 7-0 dual meet record and finished with 38 total points. Napoleon was second with 33, followed by Southview 25, Anthony Wayne 24, and Maumee 18,
Roth, a Perrysburg senior, capped an unbelievable day with a fall in the finals at 145. Roth, who pinned Southview's Brendan Mulvaney with 24 seconds left in the second period, also successfully defended his 2012 NLL title.
Roth became the Yellow Jackets’ all-time winningest wrestler with his 122nd victory.
He said his coach told him just 15 minutes before his match that he could potentially set the program record for career wins.
“It made me nervous at first,” Roth said. “But I got down to it. This means a lot. All this hard work I've put in over the four years is paying off.”
Roth also pinned his way through the tournament with falls in all three matches.
“I want to be a hammer on top,” he said. “I am a pretty defensive wrestler, and I try to be funky with my style.”
Roth said the younger, lower weights pumped the team up.
Three Perrysburg freshmen, Jones, Guillen, and Romp, got the Yellow Jackets rolling. Jones beat Southview's Tanner Ruiz 10-6 in the opening match. Romp pinned Southview's Kenan Newbold with 42 seconds left in the second period.
In the second final of the night, Guillen was locked in a tight bout with Napoleon's Seth Beard. It was deadlocked at 0-0 until Guillen escaped with 1.8 seconds left as he pulled out a 1-0 win.
“I looked up at the clock, and I knew I had less than 10 seconds, and I knew to get up and get one [point] to win the match,” Guillen said. “It was an amazing feeling. I have great practice partners in the room that push me. I want to move on and win a state title.”
Caywood faced a familiar foe in Maumee's Cahle Paul in the 170 final. Caywood, who transferred from Maumee to rival Perrysburg before the school year, said he had wrestled against Paul hundreds of times. Caywood registered a technical fall, 18-3.
“He was my drill partner in practice, and we went at it every single day,” Caywood said. “It was a little bit strange. We both know each other, but it really comes down to how good you are. To get another [NLL title] under my belt is great.”
At 152, Perrysburg's Newton scored a double leg take down early before allowing Northview's Josh Parish to escape. He then got a front head lock before pinning Parish with a cradle 39 seconds into the match. It was Newton's third fall of the day.
“That feels good,” Newton said. “I wasn't sure we could win this way, but I knew we had the potential to. It's exciting. This gets the ball rolling for us.”
Yates, of AW, pinned all three of his foes on Saturday to become a first three-time winner. He pinned Napoleon's Jacob Pedraza in just 41 seconds in the final. He also set a new Springfield record for career pins and now has 63 falls.
“I wish I could have been a four-time, but things didn't happen that way. So I had to reset my goals,” Yates said. “One of my personal goals was to go for the school pin record, which was 60, and I got it my first match. I just wanted to keep it going. This provides confidence.”
Lonsway provided the only blemish for the Jackets. Lonsway battled Kadin Llewellyn in the finals at 182. Lonsway trailed 1-0 early but then pinned Llewellyn with 1:23 left in the second period before a thrilled home crowd.
Delas defeated an opponent that had pinned him earlier in the year. Then in the final, Delas knocked off Maumee's Nick Grzegorzeski, a 2011 NLL champ, 7-6 in overtime.
Napoleon, which had four in the finals, got a win from Logan Funchion at 160.
Perrysburg held a huge lead over Southview entering the finals with 183 points to the Cougars' 108.
“I knew it would be a long shot for us to lose,” Cotterman said “But I still couldn't sleep last night because you worry about every individual kid.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.