Van Buren Invitational Notebook: Special day for Swanton, Hallett

Swanton coach Greg Hallett dicusses strategy with one of his wrestlers during Saturday's Van Buren Invitational (Photo by Jamie Baker)

Swanton coach Greg Hallett dicusses strategy with one of his wrestlers during Saturday’s Van Buren Invitational (Photo by Jamie Baker)


VAN BUREN — It was a special day for Swanton’s Greg Hallett on Saturday.

He said he thinks his Bulldogs turned the corner after collecting their first-ever Van Buren Invitational wrestling title.

On the strength of championships from Trevor Schaller (120 pounds), Chase Moore (145) and Tommy Lytle (285), Swanton had more than enough firepower to outscore Eastwood 234-1711/2 to claim the crown at the 30-team event.

What made it even more special is the fact Hallett missed last year’s VBI when he was deployed in Guam for four months as a member of the National Guard.

“We were 12 hours ahead and it was 2 or 3 in the morning when we were wrestling here last year. I was up on my phone texting and watching live matches,” Hallett said.

“It really brought into perspective where you want to be and what you miss and how special some things are to you and you don’t even realize it.”

Veteran Hall of Fame coach Joe Wyant of Eastwood didn’t think his team had a chance at the runner-up trophy.

“I thought we’d finish in the top five … maybe. But second, no way. Our kids did a terrific job today. It was a team effort,” Wyant said.

Michael Burket (152) and Tyler Tudor (220) claimed championships to propel the Eagles to second place.

SECOND TIME: While five area wrestlers won championships, seven others reached the title match but lost.

It was toughest for Carey, Lakota and Elmwood who each had a pair of wrestlers lose finals matches.

Carey’s Jevyn Pratt (26-1) suffered his first setback when 27-0 Ruger Goeltzenleucher of Wayne Trace won his third straight VBI crown with a 16-6 victory at 126 pounds. Teammate Jon Racheter was denied the 220-pound crown when he gave up a takedown and nearfall in the final seconds in an 8-7 loss to Tudor.

For Elmwood, returning state qualifier Noah Baker was doubled up 8-4 in the 170-pound final against Gibsonburg’s Brad Mendoza while Dylan Hinton led in the third period before being pinned by Ottawa-Glandorf’s Daniel Beemer at 195 pounds.

Lakota’s unseeded 285-pounder, Dakota Klotz, beat the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds in the preliminary rounds but ran out of gas in the final when he was pinned by Lytle. Trevor Franks fell 14-4 to Eastwood’s Michael Burket in the 152-pound title tilt.

TOTALLY TITAN-IC: It was a big weekend for Ottawa-Glandorf in what was their first tournament of the season. An ice storm wiped out their trip to the Lakota Duals giving them a lengthy holiday break.

The Titans put together a solid effort and finished sixth despite losing WBL champ Tyler Ebbeskotte to an injury early in the tournament.

“We had some ups and down but overall we had a really good tournament. This is the best we’ve done here in awhile, a long while,” O-G head coach Randy Ebbeskotte said.

“We’ve been working really hard and it showed today. There were some matches we won maybe we wouldn’t have in the past. There was no quit in the kids.”

Daniel Beemer won at 195 while Lucas Palomo (120) was second, Grant Goecke (160) third and Danny Rosales (170) fourth.

ARGHHH MATEYS: Talented Bluffton sophomore, 195-pounder Deandre Nasser, was so close to a spot in the finals.

Nasser (18-3) gave returning state placer and VBI most valuable wrestler Beemer all he could handle in the semifinals before Beemer scored late for a 3-2 win.

Nasser was the victim of a quick 48-second pin by McComb’s Jake Crouse before rebounding to win his fifth-place bout.

Cole Wilson (160) also finished fifth for the Pirates while James Badial-Luna (138) ended up sixth.

PANTHER POWER: McComb led the eight Blanchard Valley Conference teams in the field with three placers.

Crouse (195) and freshman Jacob Dillon (138) had fourth-place showings. Dylan Montgomery was forced to default to sixth place at 120 with an injury.

Van Buren got sixth-place showings from Jake Emerine (160) and Tanner Schroer (220) while Arcadia’s Cole Cramer (152) also placed sixth.

1, Swanton 234. 2, Eastwood 171½. 3, Elmwood 138½. 4, Otsego 137½. 5, Gibsonburg 129½. 6, Ottawa-Glandorf 123½. 7, Mohawk 122. 8, Carey 100. 9, Lakota 91. 10, Allen East 86. 11, Delphos Jefferson 84. 12, Wayne Trace 82½. 13, Bluffton & McComb 68. 15, Ada 59½. 16, Seneca East & Fremont St. Joseph 59. 18, Van Buren 57. 19, Galion 54½. 20, Columbus Grove 54. 21, Tiffin Calvert 51. 22, Arcadia 46½. 23, Cory-Rawson 37. 24, North Baltimore 18. 25, Riverdale 17½. 26, Hopewell-Loudon 17. 27, Lincolnview 13. 28, Liberty-Benton 7. 29, Fostoria 6. 30, St. Wendelin 5.

106 — Manley (Ots) dec. C. Caprella (AE), 5-1, OT.
113 — Brubaker (CG) dec. Pollard (Ots), 10-8.
120 — T. Schaller (Swan) dec. Palomo (O-G), 6-4.
126 — Goeltzenleucher (WT) maj. dec. Pratt (Car), 16-6.
132 — S. Caprella (AE) pinned Vazquez (FSJ), 1:52.
138 — Sumner (Ada) dec. Place (DJ), 7-5.
145 — Moore (Swan) dec. Villareal (Gib), 3-2.
152 — Burket (East) maj. dec. Franks (Lak), 14-4.
160 — Brown (Moh) dec. Kwiat (TC), 5-3.
170 — Mendoza (Gib) dec. Baker (Elm), 8-4.
182 — Grossman (Elm) dec. M. Jaso (Gib), 6-5, OT.
195 — Beemer (O-G) pinned Hinton (Elm), 5:35.
220 — Tudor (East) dec. Racheter (Car), 8-7.
285 — Lytle (Swan) pinned Klotz (Lak), 2:52.

106 — Glaze (East) dec. Z. Schaller (Swan), 7-2.
113 — Bauer (WT) maj. dec. Mullholand (Car), 9-0.
120 — Foust (DJ) dec. Gurney (Moh), 6-0.
126 — Mancuso (Ots) pinned Loera (Elm), 4:42.
132 — Pachlhofer (Swan) dec. Hammond (CG), 10-5.
138 — Margraf (Moh) dec. Dillon (McC), 10-5.
145 — Edwards (Ots) dec. Biddle (Lak), 6-1.
152 — Marvin (Swan) dec. Showalter (WT), 7-6.
160 — Goecke (O-G) dec. B. Jaso (Gib), 6-4.
170 — Leahey (Swan) dec. Rosales (O-G), 6-4.
182 — Emshoff (Moh) dec. May (Car), 2-1.
195 — Zientek (East) pinned Crouse (McC), 3:53.
220 — Wilson (Swan) by forfeit over Price (FSJ).
285 — Weldon (Gal) dec. Brossia (Elm), 6-2.

106 — Johnson (Lak) dec. Bullinger (Lin), 7-2.
113 — Collins (Gib) pinned Cameron (Ada), 2:43.
120 — Wright (Ots) by default over Montgomery (McC).
126 — Lee (SE) pinned Brady (Gal), 4:07.
132 — Hahn (East) by default over Price (Moh).
138 — Saunders (Swan) dec. Badial-Luna (Blu), 3-1.
145 — Brown (AE) dec. Merritt (Elm), 9-2.
152 — Steele (Ots) dec. Cramer (Arc), 7-3.
160 — Wilson (Blu) pinned Emerine (VB), 2:32.
170 — Grant (DJ) maj. dec. Welch (East), 14-2.
182 — Martin (SE) dec. Kuns (Gal), 5-2.
195 — Nasser (Blu) dec. Oberheim (Swan), 6-5.
220 — Wannemacher (DJ) dec. Schroer (VB), 1-0.
285 — Farley (Ots) pinned E. Schlack (Car), 5:20, OT.

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