By Brianna Weaver, Staff Writer
Wrestling is considered to be, along with running, the oldest competitive sport, dating back to the original Olympics in ancient Greece. Fast forward to 1961! West G. sponsored its first wrestling team! Why is that relevant? Well, for the first time in 60 years, the wrestling team at West Geauga won a sectional championship, outscoring Lake Catholic 201.0 to 198.0.
As to whether or not he expected to win sectional, third-year head coach, Mr. Ben Stehura, told the News Herald, “Uh, no. But you know what? This team really is a team.” Individual sectional champions for West G were juniors Jack Sparent (126 pounds) and Lucas Sadler (285). The wrestler who clinched the first place spot was junior Nathan Meyers (195). He wrestled Lake’s Danny Morgan. With 50 seconds left he scored the winning takedown and managed to hold Morgan down for the win. Meyers told the News-Herald, “I just wanted to wrestle to the best of my ability. Obviously, the best part was afterward when all of my teammates were hyping me up.” Ironically, he didn’t know beforehand that it was a “do or die” match in the close team race, with Lake Catholic being one point ahead of West Geauga before the match.
In keeping with the “team” theme, Sparent, Meyer and Sadler were joined as district qualifiers by 8 other Wolverine wrestlers. In weight class order they included the following: Junior Ty Boze placed 2nd at 106 pounds; Moore Gambrill (9th grade) placed 4th at 113; Bobo Kaleal (12) placed 3rd at 120; Robert Sabol (11) placed 4th at 145; Dante Mirabelli (12) placed 2nd at 152; Damien Gambrill (12) placed 2nd at 160; Justin Artino (10) placed 4th at 170 and James Mullally (12) placed 4th at 182. Also competing and contributing to the team championship were Thomas Randau (11) at 138 and Ethan Bartlett (9) at 132, both of whom placed 6th.
In addition to winning the sectional title, the team also pulled off another “first,” finishing the dual meet season undefeated. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, tournaments were, for the most part, abandoned by many schools this year. Other than the CVC tournament, the team competed exclusively in duals…and they won them all.
The season was completed when Jack Sparent placed 8th in the Division II state tournament. Look for that story shortly!
Congrats to the wrestlers for their season of “firsts.” See more at: https://wgwhirlwind.org/1638/sports/confident-our-victory-indicates-districts/