|Wessell, Buettner lead local qualifiers to state wrestling|
|Monday, February 25, 2013 3:31 PM|
KETTERING — The high school post-season is all about surviving and moving on, hoping to get to the state tournament.
For wrestling, it’s about finishing at the 2012-13 OHSAA State Tournament at The Schott on the campus of Ohio State University and seeking to be on the podium as a top-8 placer in an individual weight category.
For four Delphos wrestlers: Jefferson seniors Quinten Wessell, Colin McConnahea and Geoff Ketcham and St. John’s senior Will Buettner; that dream is alive and well after performances at the Division III Kettering Fairmont District Saturday and Sunday at James S. Trent Arena.
The tournament was originally scheduled for Friday/Saturday but weather conditions Friday forced a postponement.
The two best placers were both runner-ups: Wessell was pinned by Travis Boyd of Blanchester in 2:25 in the 220-pound finals, while Buettner fell 9-0 to Bobby Sunderhaus of Lima Central Catholic in the 160-pound finals.
McConnahea (185 pounds) and 285-pounder Ketcham came in third: McConnahea defeated Joe Dilbert of Reading 10-4, while Ketcham got an escape to slip by Kody Bray of Reading 1-0.
Wessell was lamenting a mistake that cost him; Leading 5-0 at the start of the second period, Boyd caught him for a quick takedown and pin just 25 seconds into the period
“Just dumb, stupid mistakes and I got greedy. I thought I had to get the first throw and he caught me; it won’t happen again,” Wessell explained. “Sometimes, you have to go through that and learn the hard way. Fortunately, I get to wrestle next week and I can learn from my mistakes. Boyd’s a good wrestler to begin with.”
Despite finishing as runner-up and not champion, Wessell was pleased — and relieved — with the two days as a whole, especially after he got hurt last year with state in his sights and couldn’t continue on.
“It’s great to be going; it’s what you hope for. I was very hungry after the way it ended last year and how close I was,” Wessell added. “I, Colin and Geoff have been wrestling since kindergarten. We go at each other every day and have been for all these years. We’re the ‘Big 3’ and it’s nice to be going as a group. We had our skin issues this year throughout the lineup and some injuries and we’ve been fortunate to work through them. That makes it even better; we’ll go at it one more week and see if we can get on the podium.”
Ketcham pointed out that all three have had good models to follow in the upper-weight classes for the Wildcats: Stuart and Curtis Miller, both individual champions and current coaches with the Wildcat program.
“We watched them growing up and for a couple of years, we wrestled with Curtis. We want to follow in their footsteps; that’s been our goal for four years,” Ketcham explained. “We get to go against each other and them every day in practice. It’s so much better to go with all there instead of just one of us. We’ve been wrestling together since the Tri-County Wrestling Club.”
Ketcham “knocked on wood” because he was the only one of the three that didn’t miss matches this year due to illness and injury.
“I sprained an ankle at the NWC last year and finished sixth at District. I had a tough match today to get third,” he added. “I kind of just lost it Saturday — I lost my game — when I got beat (Nathan Jackson of Dayton Christian in the second round). I just never got it back until it was too late.”
McConnahea, who was an alternate at the weight last year, recovered from his first loss of the season (5-3 loss to Kyle Dieringer of Versailles) in the semifinals.
“I simply was not ready to wrestle that match; I was nervous and it got to me. In some ways, it might be helpful; the pressure of going unbeaten is off,” he explained. “I just went out in the last match and just wrestled. I knew I was going to state already so I could just go out and wrestle my match.”
McConnahea figures that he isn’t even 100 percent yet after struggling mid-season.
“I had that skin issue and then got mono. I had to miss matches and got back in time for the NWC meet,” he added. “We had two weeks off to get healthier and get back in shape. I’d say I’m around 85 percent, so hopefully by Thursday, I can be closer to 100 percent.
“I have gone from the 152-pound class as a freshman to 171 as a sophomore and 195 last year. I just got a lot stronger.”
Jefferson coach Mike Wilson was ecstatic.
“They’ve been dominant all season, even despite what they went through. They have worked hard for four years and they are seniors,” Wilson said. “They’ve had their hiccups during the season and today; they didn’t get to state the exact way we’d like but they are going. That’s all that matters; they get to wrestle there. We finished sixth as a team out of how many teams that were represented here, so that is pretty good.
“It would have been nice for some others to have advanced but we had some injuries and tough draws.”
Wilson also pointed out a fact.
“This will be the first time that someone other than a Miller or a Swick qualified for state. The previous four that qualified for us had either of those names,” he added.
Buettner was also glad to follow in the footsteps of his dad, Keith Buettner, after clinching his spot at Columbus.
“He made it in 1984. He’s been helping me throughout my career with tips and other stuff,” the younger Buettner pointed out.
As for this day, Sunderhaus got revenge on Buettner from a couple of weeks ago.
“He wrestled better today; he was firmer on top and I struggled in the neutral position,” he added. “I know Coach (Derek) Sterling has had high expectations of me all year but the main reason I got this far was staying focused on one match at a time. That’s what the focus will be in getting ready this week; only looking to the match coming. I want to do the best I can and see how far I can go.”
Two other locals: Spencerville senior 220-pounder Lucas Krouskop (default by Bath’s Kyle Lhamon) and Columbus Grove’s Alex Shaffer at 285 (2-1 defeat of Bath’s Caleb Neal; earned alternate places.
Columbus Grove’s Tregg Keysor ended up sixth at 106.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:46 PM|