ROCKFORD — In times when most high school wrestling programs are struggling to field a full team, Celina is filling out more than one lineup.
Celina brought primarily a junior varsity squad to Saturday’s Parkway Holiday Invitational and came away with the team title, edging out defending champion Parkway, 215-200. Delphos St. John’s finished third (186.5), Versailles was fourth (146) and West Carrollton rounded out the top five squads (132.5) in the 15-team field.
Celina coach James Miracle was pleasantly surprised at how his team competed Saturday.
“We thought we would be in the running, but we definitely did not think we would win this,” Miracle said. “We come here every year. To come here with basically nine of our backup wrestlers and to win this, feels pretty good. They wrestled tough. I have a few injuries that are a little concerning. But, it’s a nice way to go into the break. We came out of here with three champions, three fourth-place finishes and a bunch of fifths and sixths. I would have liked to have seen more seconds and thirds, but there are some good kids here.”
Grant Grieshop (113-pound weight class), Aric Gallimore (145) and Seth Huston (285) all won titles for Celina Saturday.
“Five years ago, we had 12 kids,” Miracle said. “We’ve been in the 30s and 40s the past four years. We have double tournaments on the weekends, because we have 36 guys. The last three years they have double booked tournaments for us. We wrestle two varsity squads. We haven’t won the other tournaments when we send the other guys, but we’re usually placing fourth or fifth.”
Celina was not the only team that brought junior varsity wrestlers to Parkway on Saturday.
“I think it was us, Versailles, Wayne Trace and maybe one other team had some backups,” Miracle said.
One of the Celina wrestlers that stepped up Saturday was Grant Grieshop (113). Grieshop defeated Parkway’s Parker Mihm in the championship match, 16-10.
“I wrestled him (Mihm) a tournament back and I beat him in like 20 seconds,” Grieshop said. “I was expecting an easy match (on Saturday), but he gave me a run for my money. He definitely wrestled better than he did last time. I wasn’t really wrestling to my full potential (on Saturday). He was head hunting me a lot, because I didn’t keep my head up.”
With Saturday’s performance, Grieshop is now 17-2 on the season.
Spencerville junior Jay Goetz steamrolled through Saturday’s competition. Goetz was a perfect 5-0 Saturday as he pinned Hicksville’s Jack Figgins, midway into the second period of the title match at 138.
“Two weeks ago, I wrestled him (Figgins) at Lincolnview. I was up 8-0 and ended up pinning him,” Goetz said.
After Saturday’s performance, Goetz is 14-1 with 13 pins on the season. His only loss this season came to Elida’s Bailey Gibson at the Allen County Tournament. Gibson is one of only three wrestlers to have ever won an Allen County title four times.
After making it to the district tournament last season, Goetz is aiming to take it one step further.
“My goal this year is to at least make it out (to the state tournament),” Goetz said.
Delphos St. John’s wrestled well in Saturday’s finals.
Peter Ankerman (160), Mark Wrasman (170), Justin Wieging (195) and Trent Vonderwell (220) all won titles for St. John’s Saturday.
Wieging, a senior, made quick work of Spencerville’s Reuben Noriega in his title match, pinning him in 43 seconds. Wieging’s record this season is 18-1.
Last season, Wieging placed sixth at the district tournament. The top four placers in each weight class at districts advance to the state tournament.
“There were a couple things I should have done differently, in order to make it to state (last season), but it didn’t happen. So, I’m just hungry for this year,” Wieging said.
Ankerman had a little tougher route to his title Saturday, as he defeated West Carrollton’s Hayden Caskey 5-1 in his championship match.
“I controlled it (finals match),” Ankerman said. “I just did the best I could. I was trying to stick him. … We needed those team points.”
Other champions Saturday included Lehman Catholic’s John Edwards (182), Parkway’s Abe Meyer (126) and Graham Farmer (152), Toledo Start’s William Zaborski (120), West Carrollton’s Jacob Philbeck (106), and Versailles’ Carson Bey (132).