The coaches at the Mary Kerr Memorial Invitational Tournament faced a difficult task in choosing the most valuable wrestler last night at Waite.
Defending state champion Jamison Moss of Delta barely edged out Springfield's Cody Reitmeier for the top honor at the 27-team tournament. Moss and Reitmeier won individual championships while Reynoldsburg captured the team title in the event that featured some 300 wrestlers competing before about 1,100 spectators.
Moss registered three technical falls and two pins, including one fall in the finals of the 145-pound weight class. Reitmeier, who was seeded third in the 171-pound weight class, upset a defending state champion and a district champion to go 5-0 and win his division. Reitmeier also recorded the most falls in the least amount of time with four pins in 6:55.
Moss received 11 first-place votes and Reitmeier earned nine. Overall, Moss edged his Blue Devil counterpart by nine points in the voting.
"It's a shame both of them couldn't get it," said Delta coach Jeff Wolford. "I think sometimes those awards are won in years past. The Springfield kid really did something amazing. Of course, I like to see my kids take those kinds of awards and Jamison really wrestled an outstanding tournament. So he is deserving also. They really both deserve it."
Moss, who captured his third Kerr title, helped his Panthers finish fifth. Waite, which got second-place finishes from freshman Vinny Lopez and Josh Sneyd, took eighth. Along with Reitmeier's title, Springfield also got third-place finishes from Matt Dennis and Bryan McKenzie to take ninth.
Moss struggled early with Ashland's Brent Weisenstein in the 145 final. Moss (18-1) led 2-1 after the first period, but caught Weisenstein in a scramble, put him on his back and pinned him with 13 seconds remaining in the second.
"I just wanted to ride him tough and wait until I could catch him," said Moss, who won a Division III state title last year. "I really didn't want to stick him. I wanted to see if I could do better on my feet against him in the third period just in case I see him down the road."
Reitmeier pinned Reynoldsburg's Mike Marrero to take the title at 171. Marrero, who won a New Jersey state crown last year, trailed 3-0 with just 21 seconds left in the second period when Reitmeier (24-2) used a rare three-quarter nelson to register the fall.
Sli Bostelman of Otsego posted perhaps the most dramatic win of the championship finals at 152. Bostelman fought Reynoldsburg's Mazin Shalash to a 1-1 deadlock to force overtime. Just 28 seconds into the sudden-death, extra period, Bostelman (24-2) took Shalash down with a single leg to capture a 3-1 win.
"That was fun," Bostelman said. "I go into a lot of overtime matches, so I don't get winded easily. He shot and I just countered his shot."
Delta, which finished fourth at the Kerr last year, got first-place finishes from Moss and Jared Evans (103), and a second-place finish from Ryan Gombash (135).
The Indians' Sneyd was forced to take an injury default against Evans. Sneyd entered the tournament with the injury, but still reached the championship finals. Evans (17-0) posted three pins en route to his title.
Start's Roshawn Jones battled Michael Lybarger of Mt. Vernon at 112. Jones led 3-2 early in the first period but was pinned with just seven seconds left.
Genoa sophomore Nick Purdue fell to 26-2 when he lost 6-4 to Mt. Vernon's Travis Popham in the 160 final.
Lopez, who was seeded fourth with a 14-5 record, stayed right with senior Ryan Reddinger of Lorain Southview. The ninth- grader scored a takedown with
1:25 left in the match to pull within a point, but Reddinger held Lopez off to escape with a 6-4 win.
Delta's Gombash (14-2) suffered only his second defeat of the year when he dropped an 8-4 decision to Brush's Sammy Deliberato in the 135-pound finals.
Libbey's Shaun Mitchell (21-3) was pinned late in the 140-pound championship by Reynoldsburg's Sean Stevenson.
Overall, wrestlers registered pins in seven of the 14 championship final matches.
In the consolation matches, Delta's Matt Meiring (171), Springfield's McKenzie (215) and Corbert Griffith (275) of Northwood all chalked up pins.
Another local third-place finisher was Whitmer's Todd Bowman (103).
Sylvania Southview, which finished 12th, had three fourth-place finishers: Kyle Bradley (125), Kevin Hijioka (130) and Erik Mayer (135).