BOWLING GREEN — Central Catholic sophomore Nate Hagan settled two scores at the Division II district wrestling tournament Saturday night.
Facing the opponent who beat him at sectionals a week earlier at the meet where he finished second last year, Hagan's 4-2 decision over Defiance senior Santana Villareal in the 126-pound title highlighted a dominant lightweight showing by the runner-up Fighting Irish.
Hagan was among Central’s three finalists and two district champions — all at weights 138 pounds or lighter. Alex Mossing won the 138-pound title match while senior Matt Pool advanced to the final round at 113, where he fell 9-4 to Edison’s Jude Michel.
"I just went out there and gave it all I could," Hagan said. "I didn't hold back like I did last week and the weeks before. I worked my butt off all week and knew what I had to do. Last year, I took second and had a tough guy in the finals. This year, I wasn't taking anything less than first place. I just felt like I had a responsibility that I had to take care of, and I feel like I did that."
Count Mossing in the same category. The junior, who finished third at last year’s state tournament, said he returned purposely this winter — and showed it this weekend. Mossing (34-4) earned bonus-point victories in the two early rounds, pinned his semifinal opponent, and handled Padua Franciscan’s Kyle Kaminsky in a 7-2 decision in the finals.
"I've wrestled well this whole year," Mossing said. "I've wrestled some of the best competition in the state already this year, and beat them. I’ve just got to put it together one more weekend."
The Fighting Irish’s 113.5 points were good for second place behind Clyde (124). Oak Harbor and Wauseon finished sixth and seventh with 83.5 and 81.5 points, respectively.
Aaron Schuette and Zane Krall led Wauseon with decisions in title matches at 160 and 220 pounds, respectively, while Luke Cramer led four Oak Harbor state qualifiers with a 17-2 technical fall over Bryan’s Brock Nagel at 170.
Elsewhere, Napoleon’s Seth Beard won a 2-1 decision over Edison’s Evan Cheek at 106 pounds and Bryan’s Shelden Struble pinned Clyde’s Beau Minnick in 3:46 at 145. The top four finishers in each weight class moved on to the state tournament, which begins Thursday at Value City Arena in Columbus.
Other area qualifiers included Rossford’s C.J. Ball (120), Wauseon's Wade Hodges (126 pounds), Oak Harbor's Alec Bowlick (132), Jared Chambers (152), and T.J. Lawrence (285), Bryan's Wes Walter (152), Eastwood's Randy Caris (170), and Port Clinton's Zach Wheeler (182).