LIMA – The Lima Senior wrestling program has been a work in progress.
Former Lima Senior wrestler P.J. Fought, who is in his fifth year as the head coach at his alma mater, realizes that it’s all about making strides each and every day.
At Saturday’s Spartan Invitational at Lima Senior, Fought witnessed the continual maturation of his squad as the Spartans had three wrestlers place in the top four spots of their respective weight classes, and the team finished 11th in the overall standings. There were 16 teams at the invite.
Kaleb Russell had the top finish for Lima Senior, placing second in the 126-pound weight class. Russell suffered a pin against Troy’s Kobe Scott in the championship match.
In the 120-pound weight class, Lima Senior’s Jaden Burk placed fourth. At 152, Aden Mack came in third for the Spartans.
“Right now, we only have one senior on the team, and that’s Travis Tuttle; which is promising for the years to come,” Fought said. “Aden Mack is a new kid this year; he’s a junior. He’s been away from wrestling for a while. He’s back in Ohio and has decided to give wrestling a shot again. He’s doing really well. It kind of rubs off on some of the other kids.
“At 120, we have Jaden Burk. He’s only suffered three losses on the year (before Saturday). The team is looking good. We don’t have a whole lot of numbers, but we have some more coming out and we should be growing.”
On Saturday, Tippecanoe took home the overall team title, edging out Eastwood 277-275. Troy finished third (189), Bellefontaine finished a close fourth (188) and St. Marys was fifth (176.5).
Probably the most anticipated match of the day was in the 195-pound weight class. Lima Central Catholic’s Jack Huffman and Delphos St. John’s Wes Buettner went at it for the third time this season.
Huffman placed seventh at last year’s Division III state meet at 195. Buettner was a state-qualifier at 170 at last season’s state tournament.
For the third time this season, Buettner walked off the mat as the victor against Huffman.
Saturday’s win came in overtime, when Buettner (20-1) got a takedown on Huffman, giving him the hard-fought 3-1 victory.
“He had a really good game plan (in the) first period,” Buettner said about Huffman. “He got in deep on a couple shots. In the second and third periods, I really started to pick up the pace. I got a couple shots in deep in the third period and almost scored. Then that’s when overtime came and I got my takedown for the win.”
Other area wrestlers notching titles on Saturday included: Delphos Jefferson’s Wyatt Place (132) and Tyler Foust (182); Lincolnview’s Alexander Rodriguez (120); St. John’s Austin Schulte (220); Paulding’s Kage Seals (113).