LIMA ? At last year?s Spartan Invitational, Shawnee was in first place, heading into the finals. However, by the end of the finals the Indians found themselves in third.
Not this year.
On Saturday, Shawnee finished strong as it notched the team title, edging out Fremont Ross, 287-256. Johnstown-Monroe finished third (210). There were 16 teams in the invitational at Lima Senior.
Other top area finishes included Spencerville (fifth, 187.5), Paulding (sixth, 185), Delphos Jefferson (seventh, 155), Bath (11th, 129.5) and Lima Senior (13th, 104).
?I think our kids are really solid,? Shawnee coach Dick West said. ?When one guy doesn?t do well, there is always someone else stepping up.?
One of those athletes West was referring to was 152-pounder Kyler Washam. Washam defeated Washington Courthouse?s Blaine Bailey in the finals, pinning him in the second period to win the title.
West pointed to Washam?s victory as one of the more important wins of the day for his team.
?He gave us a spark there in the finals,? West said of Washam?s performance.
Washam said the secret to Shawnee?s success this season is the way the team has bought into the system.
?Our coach recognized our potential,? Washam said. ?So, we got out earlier this year and worked even harder.?
Lima Senior?s Javon Wright won the title at 112 pounds. Wright is just coming back from a concussion he suffered earlier in the season. Saturday?s invitational was just the second time Wright has competed since the injury.
?He suffered a concussion on December 29 at Marion Harding,? Lima Senior coach Josh Inglis said. ?We?re just being cautious with him. He?s one of our leaders. But, between us and our trainers, we are keeping a close eye on him.?
Other locals winning titles on Saturday were Bath?s Josh Beemer (125); Spencerville?s Zac Clum (140) and Tyler Obringer (285); Paulding?s Dustin Carnahan (130) and Delphos Jefferson?s Stuart Miller (189).
Miller was also named the most valuable wrestler of the tournament by the coaches.