Created on Thursday, 12 February 2009 Written by AARON LaBATT
League action hits the mat Saturday and all the area teams are in action. Bellefontaine, Benjamin Logan and Indian Lake compete at Tecumseh in the Central Buckeye Conference meet.
The CBC meet begins at 11 a.m.
West Liberty-Salem and Triad battle in the Ohio Heritage Conference at Northeastern. The OHC meet begins at 10 a.m.
A good showing at the league tournament is important to wrestlers because the CBC meet is almost a mirror of the sectional tournament. Those who finish in the top four at CBC likely will be the top four seeds at the sectional and possibly earn berths to the district tournament.
As we hit the home stretch of the wrestling season, I have finished my annual LaBatt Report, which gives a look at my postseason outlook for some of the area teams. If interested, it can be viewed at http://www.freewebs.com/alabatt/LR%202009.pdf.
Ohio Wrestling Radio.com
With Graham again dominating the Central Buckeye Conference this season, in most cases it’s going to be a battle for second place behind one of the Falcons’ nationallyranked wrestlers.
Looking back at last year, Graham won all 14 CBC weight classes and took first place with 439 points. Ben Logan was closest to the Falcons in second with 180.5 points, while Indian Lake was third (173).
Overall, the CBC produced four state champions and a total of 16 state placers along with a total of 22 state qualifiers. Two of those state champions return this year in Graham’s David Taylor (135) and Zach Neibert (125). Seven state placers and nine state qualifiers also return.
Ben Logan head coach Tony Grant is hoping his team can get as close as possible to Graham.
“We could finish anywhere from second to fifth,” said Grant. “It just depends if we show up to wrestle. Tecumseh has some good guys so they will be a top team. Hopefully we can get some good pairings.
“Alex (Jackson) is capable of being a CBC champ, Jacob (Barnes) is wrestling well and Luke (Smith) is doing decent.”
Indian Lake head coach Scott Tressler has been gearing his team toward the CBC and postseason all year long. The Lakers have made progress of late and Tressler hopes that shines through Saturday.
“I’d like to see Kevin (Christman) perform well and his match with (Graham’s Kyle) Ryan should be a good one,” said Tressler. “Brandon (McAdams) has made vast improvement and Chris (Schulz) needs to build some consistency. I’d like to see our younger guys win some matches and show the progress we’ve made as a team.”
Ohio Heritage Conference
West Liberty-Salem competes in the Ohio Heritage Conference meet Saturday at Northeastern. The Tigers finished second last season behind the Jets (269-249).
Corey Thompson (171) is the only returning OHC champion for WL-Salem. His main challenger is Mechanicsburg state qualifier Cody Rogers. Britt Wooten (112) and Peter Lewis (160) both finished second at the OHC last year.
Triad state qualifier Jordan Deady (140) is back and will be looking to defend the OHC title he won last year.
For a league with just five schools, the OHC has a lot of quality wrestlers. The OHC had 12 state qualifiers last year and seven of those wrestlers placed.
The team race will be interesting, with Mechanicsburg, Greeneview and Northeastern all fielding competitive squads. Mechanicsburg looks like the team to beat Saturday.