LIMA – For Spencerville junior Logan Vandemark, shoving a bigger opponent around comes natural.
At 5-foot-11 and 240 pounds, Vandemark is considered by many as an undersized heavyweight wrestler.
Vandemark, who also plays on the defensive line for the Spencerville football team, has learned to overcome the size difference.
At Saturday’s finals of the Division III sectional wrestling tournament at Lima Central Catholic, Vandemark used his quickness and strength to pin Delphos St. John’s Nate Schroeder to win the sectional title in the 285-pound weight class. After this weekend’s tournament, Vandemark’s record this season is 32-3.
What’s even more impressive with Vandemark’s performance this season is that he took a year off from wrestling.
“Last year, I had to take the year off, coming out of injuries during football,” Vandemark said. “I’m glad to be back out this year.”
Vandemark did, however, wrestle his freshman year. The taste of success during his freshman season fueled his desire to come out strong this year.
“My freshman year when I wrestled, I came out of here in fourth (place),” Vandemark said. “This year, I’m glad I got first place. I worked really hard, and it paid off for me.”
His freshman year, Vandemark finished sixth at the district tournament.
According to Vandemark, being a defensive lineman has helped give him the tools he needs to overcome the size disadvantage he usually has on the wrestling mat.
“Playing on the defensive line, you have to learn how to move those big people. I think that really helps (in wrestling),” Vandemark said. “It’s a little bit of a weight advantage for them, but being in the weight room helps a lot and it really pays off in the end.”
The top four placers in each weight class at Saturday’s sectional tournament advance to next weekend’s Division III district tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena. Then, the top four placers at Troy will compete at the state wrestling tournament on Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at Ohio State.
In the final team scores Saturday, Coldwater notched the sectional title, defeating second-place Wayne Trace 220.5-167.5. St. John’s finished a close third (160.5), while Spencerville came in fourth (138). There were 13 teams in the sectional tournament.
Coldwater put six wrestlers in the championship round and came out with four champions. Jay Uhlenhake (113), Spencer Seibert (126), Landon Schlater (132) and Justin Post (220) all notched sectional crowns for Coldwater.
Uhlenhake (41-8), a sophomore, defeated Wayne Trace’s Dustin Taylor in the championship bout, 2-0.
“I wanted to get the take down at the beginning, but once I didn’t I knew I had to work the bottom,” Uhlenhake said. “My goal ever since last year was to make it to state. Hopefully, getting first here will give me a good draw next week.”
LCC junior Jack Huffman won the title at 195 on Saturday. Huffman decisioned Ada’s Jarod Woodland in the championship match, 8-0. This past week, Huffman also recorded his 100th career victory. He was recognized for this milestone during Friday’s first-round action of the sectional tournament.
Last season, Huffman made it to the districts, but finished sixth. This time around Huffman is focused on getting to the state tournament.
“I try to keep focused on what I’m doing and try to block out all of the hype about districts and getting out for state, because everybody wants to get down to Columbus,” Huffman said. “I just want to keep doing what I do and keep the mind right and be ready to go when the time comes.”
Other sectional champions Saturday included Wayne Trace’s George Clemens (106), Ruger Goeltzenleuchter (113) and Tyler Showalter (145); St. John’s Justin Siefker (138), Austin Martin (152) and Wes Buettner (170); Ada’s Austin Windle (160) and Delphos Jefferson’s Tyler Foust (182).
Division II Sectional
at Millbury Lake
Ottawa-Glandorf competed at the Division III sectional at Millbury Lake this weekend. As a team, O-G finished seventh.
O-G’s Derek Ebbeskotte won the sectional title at 195.
Those also advancing to next weekend’s district tournament for the Titans included Logan Balbaugh (fourth, 113), Ajan Brown (fourth, 126), Jeremy Gibson (fourth, 170) and Shaun Gibson (fourth, 285).
Division II Sectional
at Bowling Green
The Division II sectional at Bowling Green State University on Saturday was divided into two sectionals – North and South.
In the South Sectional, Defiance had the best local team performance, finishing third. Wapakoneta came in fifth, while Bath was sixth.
The following local wrestlers won sectional titles Saturday; Shawnee’s Hunter Lucas (106), Bath’s Colin Ingram (120) and Wapakoneta’s Heath Newman (170).
Other local athletes advancing to next weekend’s district tournament at BGSU are Bath’s Tre Wheeler (second, 132) and Kyle Lhamon (fourth, 220); Shawnee’s Derek Kuhlman (second, 145) and Dylan Hefner (third, 182); Wapakoneta’s Dallas Ambos (fourth, 145), Landon Hall (fourth, 182) and Colton Brown (third, 195); Kenton’s Sylas Smith (fourth, 195); St. Marys’ Jaden Hietkamp (second, 160).
In the North Sectional, there were just two local teams that competed. Celina finished 10th and Elida came in 12th. There were no local champions in the North Sectional.
Local wrestlers that finished in the top four and advanced to districts included Elida’s Blaine Hunter (third, 113) and Tyler Smith (second, 195); Celina’s Andy Garwood (fourth, 145) and Kevin Lockwood (fourth, 220).
Lima Senior finished ninth at this weekend’s Division I sectional at Mansfield.
Those advancing to next weekend’s district tournament at Cleveland State University for Lima Senior included Chris Proby (third, 152) and Terrence Minor (fourth, 220).