WILMINGTON — Although Mark Silvers would have liked more state qualifiers, he was in no way disappointed in the way his Eaton wrestling team performed at the Division II District Tournament last weekend at Wilmington High School.
The Eagles qualified three and have an alternate for the state tournament, which will be held Thursday-Friday, March 7-9, at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
As team, Eaton finished third at the district.
“The sectional and district wrestling meets are the best and worst time of the year for me,” Silvers said. “The best, because you see the payoff of the work that was put in all year for some, all season for others. The worst, because it is the end of the season for some and the end of a career for others.”
Eaton seniors Wade Monebrake, Skylar Straszheim and Seth Bowman all earned berth at state with top four finishes, while junior Zac Schmidt placed fifth to earn an alternate spot.
At 138 pounds, Monebrake went 3-1 finishing second.
“The championship was a meeting of two returning state runner ups. With his normal confidence and composure he came off the mat mat with a plan and he/we look forward to a second meeting,” Silvers said of losing to 4-1 to Alek Martin of Graham. “Wade is 37-3 and now holds the career wins record for Eaton at 157. With his work and attitude, I expect that to grow.”
At 220, Straszheim was 3-1 finishing second. He lost in the championship 14-17 to Nathan Armstrong of Alter.
“Skylar got a great draw and he did something with it,” Silvers said. “Skylar had three pins going into the finals and if he competes like that next week he can challenge to be on the podium.”
At 285, Bowman went 3-2 to finish.
“His record stands at 33-12. Seth did what he had to do and is now on to Columbus to compete for a spot on the podium,” Silvers said.
At 160, Schmidt went 4-2 this weekend.
“In just his second true season, he has grown by leaps and bounds. His record stands at 27-13,” Silver said. “His work ethic and commitment will carry him in his every endeavor. This weekend 16 alternates made it into the district. Hopefully for Zac, lightning will strike next week and he can get a chance to compete.”
In all, the Eagles had nine competing at the district and all nine advanced to the second day.
“We entered this district tournament not even mentioned in the top ten rankings,” Silvers said. “This group earned respect finishing third, 10.5 points out of second. I was asked if I was disappointed? Now way! I’m excited and proud of this group and their district tournament. Did we get everything we hoped for? No. But we have three state qualifiers and one alternate. Now, everyone’s record is 0-0. It just comes down to who performs at the state tournament.”
Silvers noted all nine won at least one match.
“Winning a match at the district is tough, everyone is tough there. Everyone on our team won at least one match,” he said, “That’s why we scored well as a team.”
At 120 pounds, sophomore Owen Hewitt finished his season going 2-2 at tournament.
”Owen gained great experience this year and I look for him to be a great team leader the next two years,” Silvers said.
At 145, senior Chris Weadick went 2-2 this weekend going up short of his goal for the season.
”Chris missed his entire junior year due to a football injury. Then came back like gangbusters,” Silver said. “He finished with a 35-13 season, placing in every tournament. He leads the team in take downs with 82 and had 17 pins. There were no words after that last loss. He can be proud of a great senior season.”
At 152, junior KeAnthony Bales went 2-2 this weekend.
”Ke finishes only his second wrestling season 17-7 and only got to wrestle the last couple meets of the season, he was behind Chris. When he got his chance, he made the best of it, 12 0f his 17 wins were by pin. He really has the potential for a great senior season,” Silvers said.
At 170, Logan Chapin finished 1-2.
”Logan wrestled up all year and struggled. But the last two meets, he showed what the true potential is for next year,” Silver said.
At 195, Junior Holden Sittloh went 1-2 this weekend.
“Holden gained great experience this season and is poised for a great senior season,” Silvers said.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday with Division III. Division II is scheduled to begin at approximately 4:10 p.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH