EATON — Traditionally, the last week of January for Eaton’s wrestling team has been reserved for its half-century old invitational.
This season, due to COVID-19 concerns, the Eagles still hosted a meet, but it was quad with three of the top-performing teams from last season’s invitational — Hamilton Ross, Wilmington and Carroll.
“Honestly, it hurts me that we couldn’t have it because it’s one of the oldest tournaments in the state,” Eaton wrestling coach Nathan Islamovsky said. “We’re looking at 50-plus years of having the Invitational. And not having it really hurts. I‘m not frustrated, but just disappointed we couldn’t have it.
“We picked three of the teams that scored top 10 last year in the invite that we haven’t seen yet, weren’t gonna see until the district tournament. They are all teams that are in our division, Division II teams that are in either our sectional or district. So, we tried to pick good competition and I think we did. We had three good teams come in. We wrestled and competed well with them. I’m thankful for it. I know all the coaches who were here were very thankful to be able to be here, so that’s nice.”
Eaton went 2-1 in the night, picking up wins over Carroll (43-12) and Wilmington (41-30) before falling to Ross (42-21).
“We came out hot. [Carroll] was solid,” Islamovsky said. “They’ve got a good program over there, but I know they’ve had some injury trouble and some COVID stuff going on where they had some kids out. I was really happy with how we wrestled, we came out and kind of did what I wanted to do.”
Overall, Islamovsky was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We wrestled well the whole day, honestly,” he said.
Eaton won every match it put a wrestler on the mat against Carroll, losing only twice due to forfeits.
One of the opening highlights was Jaelynn Trantanella securing a pin for just her second varsity win.
“Jaelynn getting a win is always great. It’s not easy for a girl wrestling 126 pounds against guys. For her to go out and get a win is special,” Islamovsky said.
Against Ross, senior Owen Hewitt closed out his last home match with a 4-3 over Sean Beltran, a returning state qualifier for the Rams.
“It’s a huge confidence booster. He should know where he’s at and he should be ready to raise his level for the end of the season,” Islamovsky said of Hewitt.
Others who picked up wins against Carroll included Lucas Abner, Logan Littrel, Brayden Deem, Dominc Isaacs, Danny Caldwell, Sage Bowman and Matthew Michael.
Against Wilmington, Littrel, Isaacs, Caldwell, Hewitt, Bowman, Michael, Zac Schaffer and Abner all won.
Against Ross, Isaacs, Hewitt, Bowman, Michael, and Schaffer all won.
Eaton will return to action this weekend when they travel to Bellbrook for the SWBL Tournament.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr