ST. PARIS — Riding the momentum of winning its eighth league title in nine years last week, Eaton’s wrestling team added another championship by winning the Division II Graham 2 sectional on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Eagles, which scored 192 points, qualified nine to this coming weekends district tournament. Monroe was the runner-up with 168 points.
“Coming off winning the league last week we had high hopes for the sectional tournament,” Eaton coach Mark Silvers said. “The guys really competed well. Monroe felt like they should have won last week. They had really aimed at winning the SWBL. We showed it wasn’t a fluke by beating them two weeks in a row. The strength of our league showed with the top four teams were from the SWBL.”
Silvers said he believes winning the sectional will give his team even more confidence as they prepare for the district, which will be held on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2 at Wilmington High School.
“Winning the sectional really helped the guys confidence for next week,” Silvers said. “Having nine guys advance to the district is awesome. Now we prepare for a really tough tournament and the chance to advance to the state tournament.”
At the sectional, Eaton had six in championship matches and came away with a pair of champions.
Sophomore Owen Hewitt (120 pounds) started the parade of Eagles in championship bouts.
“Owen had a huge win in the semifinal’s pinning Devin Lucas of Oakwood,” Silvers said. “He had lost to him last week in the match for third.”
In the final, Hewitt fell 12-5 to No. 1 seed Joey Dima of Valley View.
“Owen continues to improve and builds for next week,” Silvers said.
Senior Wade Monebrake (138) claimed the first sectional title for Eaton. He won a hard fought championship 2-0 over Ayyoub Muhammed of Thurgood Marshall.
“Wade sets the pace for the guys and has really prepared himself for this tournament series. Now it’s on to the second step,” Silvers said.
At 145, senior Chris Weadick dropped a tough overtime match to Joel Abbott of Ben Logan 3-1 in the final.
“I look for him to rebound from this in a big way. He is extremely motivated,” Silvers said.
At 152 Junior KeAnthony Bales finished third.
Bales lost a tough semifinal match to Sam Price of Monroe and then bounced back to win his last two matches for a third place finish.
“He continues to grow and improve every match,” Silvers said.
At 160, junior Zac Schmidt lost a tough championship match to Steele Boysel of Ben Logan, 10-4.
“He continues to improve making it to the championship match the last two weeks. He is building for a strong finish,” Silvers said.
At 170, junior Logan Chapin put together his best tournament of the year finishing fourth and advancing to his first district tournament.
“After losing his opening match he showed real grit to advance to fourth,” Silvers said.
At 195, junior Holden Sittloh put together a great tournament finishing third, pinning Timothy Reed of Oakwood in the final match.
“Like our whole team he is really improving each match,” Silvers said.
At 220, senior Skyler Straszheim finished second to Carter Winch of Oakwood.
“He has continued to build and is ready for a great tournament next week,” Silvers said.
At 285, senior Seth Bowman was the Eagles second champion of the tournament. Bowman beat Cadmen Roose of Ben Logan 3-2 in the championship match.
“He is set for a great meet next week,” Silvers said.
Also competing and finishing their season were Jaelyn Trantanella (126), Dominic Isaacs (132) and Beau Austin (182), who finished sixth.
“Each of them always gave their best effort in every match,” Silvers said.
Silvers said he believes his team’s demanding schedule during the regular season has been key to postseason success so far.
“Our strength of schedule showed again this week. Excited about their potential,” he said. “Now it’s time compete and see where things land.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH