CENTERBURG — The Utica Redskins went into the Mid-Buckeye Conference Wrestling Championship meet as the top-seeded team to beat.
They came away as the team nobody could beat.
Utica claimed six individual titles as well as the team title, and showed all in attendance that it was the class of the MBC on the mat.
Utica won the team competition by defeating Northridge, 58-18, in the final dual. Utica was dominant in the prior rounds as well, defeating Loudonville and East Knox in separate duals.
Utica head coach Mike Garven was hoping for a shot at Northridge in the final dual.
“We beat them by one point last time,” Garven said. “After they beat Centerburg bad, I really had my doubts.”
Northridge earned a trip to the final dual by knocking off Centerburg in round three. The Trojans went on to claim the third-place finish by defeating East Knox, 48-22.
“We entered the tournament as the fourth seed, and we finished fourth,” East Knox coach Keith Kauffman said. “Wrestling dual meets here is really redundant. This should have been an individual tournament.”
Utica jumped out to a big lead over Northridge with wins by Shelton Faller (171 pounds), Kevin Bigler, (189 pounds) Tyler Donegan (215 pounds) and Bryce Stewart (heavyweight). Shane Mulligan (130 pounds) and Tom Williams (135 pounds) both scored wins to keep Northridge alive, but the Redskins were too far ahead.
In the third-place dual, Centerburg took an 18-0 lead thanks to two forfeits and two decisions by Austin Glasslock (119 pounds) and Thomas Thatcher (125 pounds). They beat two of East Knox’s best wrestlers, Cole Enderle and Adam Keeton, respectively.
Even when East Knox’s Cade Mickley (130 pounds) scored a pinfall, Baxter Westover (135 pounds) won by major decision and Trent Simmons (140 pounds) won by forfeit, the Bulldogs knew it was over. East Knox still had three more forfeits to go, and the team knew that gaining pinfalls in each remaining match would not gather enough points for a victory.