Defending Maumee Bay Classic wrestling champion Wauseon could not produce a repeat Saturday, as the Elyria Pioneers posted 213.5 points to take the team championship at Clay High School in the ninth annual installment of northwest Ohio’s biggest regular season tournament.
Wauseon, which was without four starters, three of which were out with injuries, edged host Clay 184 to 182½ for second place in the team standings. The Indians were led by senior individual champions Hunter Yackee at 138 pounds and Sandro Ramirez at 152.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Wauseon coach Mike Ritter said. “We really haven’t had our full team together, and I thought this was the week we would have everyone together. Who knows what would’ve happened if we did, but take nothing away from Elyria because they’re a great team.
“Clay also has a great team, and it came down to the last match at heavyweight to decide it. This was a competitive event, and it’s going to help us prepare for the [state] tournament schedule ahead of us.”
Wauseon's Sandro Ramirez takes down Elyria's Farouq Muhammed 4-1 in the 152-pound championship match during the Maumee Bay Classic wrestling tournament .
BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge
PHOTO GALLERY: Maumee Bay Classic
Clay coach Ralph Cubberly was pleased by what he considered an overachieving team performance.
“Our team wrestled really well,” Cubberly said. “If somebody would’ve told me coming into this tournament that we would even be in the top five, I wouldn’t have thought we would do that.
“But the kids rose to the occasion again. In the last two weeks we scored 198 points at the Fairfield Invitational near Cincinnati, and this week we score 182 and a half. When you get that many points at a tournament of this caliber, that’s a big deal.”
Yackee (30-4 season record) squeezed out a tight-fought 5-3 decision over Matt Zuckerman. Yackee also won an MBC title last year.
“Obviously, coming out with a championship is good,” Yackee said of his weekend. “I feel like I could’ve wrestled a little better, but a win’s a win. I want to keep moving forward. I just happy getting a title.
“I thank my coach Mike Ritter for going over those [late-match] situations every day in practice, and being able to break down a match.”
Ramirez (25-4), who recently returned after being sidelined for two weeks with an injury, held off Elyria’s Farouq Muhammed for a 4-1 decision, scoring a two-point takedown in the closing seconds to clinch it.
“I had some knee problems, so it felt good to compete again,” Ramirez said. “My coaches said to go and score a lot of points, and I went out and did that. Farouq is a tough cat, but my coaches gave me a game plan and I just kind of stuck to it.
“I just stayed calm [at end] and stayed composed and wrestled ho I wanted to wrestle.”
Ramirez also won an MBC title in last year here.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy placed fourth with 121 points, and Bedford tied Medina for fifth at 109½ each.
Also finishing among the top 10 teams were Findlay (seventh, 102 points) and Delta (eighth, 98.5).
Clay had one champion in freshman Jacob Moon, who pushed his season record to 27-5 with five victories in the 45-team event, including his 9-3 decision in the 106-pound championship match over Kyle Rowan of Perry.
“I think I wrestled pretty well,” Moon said. “I was a little sloppy in my semifinal match, but coming into the finals I was pretty confident.
“I think I was a little bit stronger, and was able to pull and snap him down when he tried to do his slide-by. I countered off of that to the single, and just broke him after that.”
Delta junior Cole Mattin captured the title at 126, lifting his season record to 25-2 with hard-fought 4-2 decision over longtime friend Mick Burnett of Elyria. Mattin has known Burnett, and practice with him on and off since he was seven years old, but until Saturday had never wrestled an official match against him.
“I had a good tournament up to that match, and I knew Nick was a great wrestler,” Mattin said. “I’ve wrestled him since we were little, and I knew coming in I was ready for it. I knew could ride him out.
“We had gone live in practice, but never wrestled him in a match. He’s a great guy, and we’re great friends. I just caught him slipping a little bit on bottom and got him.”
The only other individual champion from northwest Ohio was Archbold senior Gavin Grime, who won the first regular season tournament of his career by edging Clay’s Garret Anderson 5-3 in overtime. Grime raised his season record to 28-1.
“I made a decent cut down to 145 this week, and I think it helped because I wasn’t feeling as strong as I wanted to at 152,” Grime said. “I had a couple close matches and just stuck in there at the end and got it done when it mattered.
“He took a shot at the end [in OT] and I saw an ankle, so I just grabbed the ankle and was able to scoop it up and get around for atakedown.”
Wauseon also had individual runners-up with Gavin Ritter at 113 and Alex Slattman at 120.
Clay had two runners-up in Mike Daly at 126 and Anderson at 145, as did Delta with J.D. Osborn at 170 and Dylan Rogers at 195.
Other second-place finishers included Ryan Haas of Maumee at 182, Noah Price of Fremont St. Joe at 220, and Austin Emerson of Bedford at 285.
The other champions were Dylan Shawver (113) and Brendon Fenton (120) of Elyria, Jordan Decatur (132) and Breslin Walker (220) of CVCA, Jaden Mattox (160) of Grove City Central Crossing, Brady Chrisman (170) of Medina, Conner Dixon (182) of Indian Lake, Ashton Spurgeon (195) of Mt. Vernon, and Matt Lee (285) of Amherst Steele.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.