COLUMBUS — Seth Bowman and Skyler Straszheim bought into what Eaton wrestling coach Mark Silvers calls the “process” and the result was their first trip to the the OHSAA state wrestling tournament.
The due was joined by senior Wade Monebrake and alternate Zac Schmidt this season.
“It’s a great way to go,” Silvers said of having multiple qualifiers for the first time since 2013. “It’s what you want to have in that season is to get more than one guy there. It shows where the program’s at. We’ve got three or four young men back at the room that have the potential to make that step next year if they’re willing to do that buy in. If they’re willing to do the things it’s going to take to get there.”
The 82nd Annual State Wrestling Individual Tournament was held Thursday through Saturday, March 7-9 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
For Bowman and Straszheim the end results may not have been what they wanted but Silvers said the duo have shown a lot of growth while in the program.
Straszheim transferred to Eaton as a junior and it took a while for him to understand what was expected from Silvers.
“Last year, he didn’t have a winning record. Now, this year he’s got a winning record and goes to the state tournament. That’s awesome. It’s one of those things where he’s still finding himself as far as what it takes to be part of the program and making that total buy in. He’s done very. The growth that he’s shown and everything,” Silvers said. “He’s actually a very good athlete that just hasn’t figured out yet about how good he could be.”
Straszheim, who finished the season 29-12, lost both of his matches on Thursday. He lost to Ethan Depp of Richfield Reserve in the first round and fell to Adalberto Vega of Defiance in the first round of the consolation matches.
Bowman suffered the same fate, bowing out on the first day of the tournament. He lost to Cole Potts of Columbus St. Francis DeSales in round one and to Kyler Capizzi of Sandusky Perkins in the consolation round.
“A lot of times that first state tournament is pretty tough to get through,” Silvers said. “It’s very intimidating for the kids. It’s the big stage. Everybody that’s here is here because they earned it and they’ve got themselves into a position to do well.”
Bowman, who finished with a 33-14 record, came a long way from a freshman who won just a few matches.
“His growth over the four years has been awesome. He’s worked hard. He’s made himself a better wrestler. It’s just one of those things as a freshman he won one or two matches,” Silvers said. “Then each year there was that growth. There was that maturity. There was that confidence. He grew into his position and he’s done a really nice job with that. He came on last year and really improved and came a match away from coming here. Now, here he is. He got his opportunity. No one can take that away from him. To go from where he was to now being in the Top 16 in the state that’s a whale of an accomplishment. He’s got a lot to feel good about.”
Silvers said Bowman is planning on furthering his wrestling career at Defiance College next year.
“If he really works and goes after it he can have a lot of success next year. It’s just going to be a matter of the amount of commitment and stuff he wants to put into it,” Silvers said.
Monebrake finished fifth at 138 pounds.
Schmidt was a state alternate but did not make it into the field of 16 at the state meet.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH