ROSS — One point. That was the difference between moving on to state or heading home for the Eaton wrestling squad.
Unfortunately, they were on the wrong side of that one point, losing to Ross 36-35 during the Division II regional team dual finals on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Ross High School.
“It’s one of those, you look at it, we won a couple matches, they won a couple matches. There were a couple matches that we just had some inexperience and lost – we probably could have won or should have won – and had some areas that we did well,” said Eaton head coach Mark Silvers. “The kids did a really good job. I’m proud of what they’ve done. To make top 16 in the state is an accomplishment. It’s something they can hang their hats on.”
Eaton jumped out to a 26-9 lead before Ross won five of the next seven matches, winning four of those matches via pin.
“They had some better boys. That’s the bottom line. They had some guys that were a little more experienced and were a little better than we were. That’s just the way it happens sometimes,” said Silvers.
The Eagles were up 35-30 heading into the final match before Ross’s 285-pounder pinned the Eaton wrestler in 13 seconds for the walk-off victory.
Each team won seven matches on the night and both squads tallied four pins.
For Eaton, Wade Monebrake (106) and Justin Welcome (138) won by major decision while Coleman Manning (126), Brandon Weaver (132), Mac Altom (145) and Drew Moore (160) won by pinfall.
Matt Todd (220), in perhaps one of the most intense matches on the night, also won 6-4 to give his team a 35-30 lead heading into the final match.
The Eagles got to the regional finals with a dominating 51-24 win over Madison in the same day.
Altom, Spencer Reynolds (182) and Melling all won by pin while Moore won a 4-2 decision on the day. Eaton also won via five forfeits in the match.
“With this team, I have over eight kids in their first year of varsity. That in itself speaks volumes that they were able to step up and make it to this level. To be one point away from going to state, that’s a great accomplishment,” said Silvers.
Reach Jeremy at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.