There may still be better things in store this season, but the Eastwood wrestling team registered the biggest victory in school history last Sunday at the Division II state dual-meet tournament at Hillard Darby High School near Columbus.
The Eagles, Ohio's second-ranked D-II team, edged top-ranked and defending state champion St. Paris Graham 29-27 in the championship match. The win avenged a loss to Graham in last year's state dual finals, and a runner-up finish to the Falcons at the D-II state tournament last March.
With the match rotation beginning at 152 pounds, the battle with Graham, ranked ninth nationally, went down to the 13th of 14 matches, when Eagles senior Adam Hoffmann squeaked out a 4-3 victory over Aaron Taylor at 140 to give Eastwood a title-clinching 29-21 lead.
With the score tied 2-2, Hoffmann scored a two-point takedown with 10 seconds remaining, then survived a Taylor escape point and fended off a late takedown try.
Hoffmann's win made Jake Kyle's fall over Eastwood sophomore 145-pounder Eric Cubberly in the final match irrelevant.
The two teams split the 14 matches 7-7, but the Eagles prevailed behind extra-points on a pin from junior Adam Tinnel at 112, a forfeit win at 215, and major decisions by seniors Ryan Cubberly at 135 (11-2 over Zac Thomusseit) and Ryan Nachtrab at 275 (12-3 over Cody Walls).
Decisions by seven points or less earn three team points, major decisions (8 to 14-point wins) are worth four points, technical falls (15-point wins) five points, and pins and forfeits six points. Graham scored one pin, one technical fall, and one major decision.
Also recording wins by decision for Eastwood were sophomore Jeremy Foster at 171 and senior Brian Stickel at 189.
Eastwood, ranked 17th nationally, had defeated Hillsboro 66-18 in the quarterfinals of the eight-team tournament, and rolled to a 51-21 win over third-ranked Walsh Jesuit in the semifinals.
The Eagles' next tournament test comes tomorrow and Saturday at the prestigious 43-team Alliance Top Gun Tournament. Eastwood won the Top Gun last year and was third in 2004.
HYDE TO MSU: Fostoria's 6-1, 185-pound senior Marcus Hyde, a first-team All-Ohio quarterback in Division III, has verbally committed to continue his football career at Michigan State . He will sign a letter of intent on Feb. 1.
In just eight games as a senior for the 6-4 Redmen, Hyde completed 83 of 135 passes for 1,078 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus rushed for 915 yards and 12 TDs. He was also an All-Northern Ohio League first-team selection at defensive back, recording 71 tackles, causing five fumbles, intercepting three passes and breaking up 11 others.
ROSSFORD HALL: Matthew J. Gladieux (1995), Trisha Waypa Semler (1990), Chuck Tisdale Jr. (1976) and Neil MacKinnon (1961) will be inducted into the Rossford athletic hall of fame during a luncheon at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Gladieux graduated as the second-leading scorer in Rossford basketball history with 1,354 points. A four-year varsity starter, Gladieux, who was an honor student, earned Division II All-Ohio first-team honors as a junior and senior. He earned 11 total varsity letters for basketball (4), tennis (4) and cross country (3). He went on to play basketball at the University of Toledo before transferring to Coastal Carolina University where he was named the Big South Conference scholar-athlete of the year.
Semler earned six letters for volleyball (3) and basketball (3). She earned All-Ohio honorable mention for basketball and was a Northern Lakes League first team choice in basketball and volleyball. She attended the University of Toledo to play volleyball but an ankle injury resulted in her focusing on her studies.
Tisdale was a standout wrestler and football player. He became the first two-time state placer in wrestling in school history. He was state runner-up at 105 pounds as a senior after placing fourth at 98 as a junior. He was a two-time NLL wrestling champion and all-league in football.
MacKinnon made his impact as a prominent figure in supporting Bulldogs athletics. He has served on a number of projects, including treasurer of school levy campaigns. A longtime fixture with the booster club, MacKinnon has worked on projects that have enhanced the wrestling and football programs.
The group will be honored Saturday prior to the Bulldogs' home basketball game with Bowling Green.
BACK AT HOME: The December fire that struck Emmanuel Baptist has forced the boys basketball team to move tomorrow's scheduled home game with Ottawa Hills to the Green Bears' home court.
But athletic director and coach Dave Regnier hopes his team's travels will be ending soon.
"It's possible we could get the gym back as early as Jan. 17," Regnier said. On that date Emmanuel Baptist is scheduled to host Bettsville. Three days later the Warriors are slated to host Monclova Christian for the school's homecoming.
"The Monclova Christian game is the one we're really shooting for, because we'd like to have our homecoming on our home floor," Regnier said. "But with so many things switching around from day-to-day and week-to-week, we can't be sure of anything.
"When they hand me the keys [to the gym], that's when I'll know for sure we can get into the gym again."