ROCKFORD – Well before the semifinals started Saturday afternoon, the focus shifted on who was going to garner second place.
Celina scored well in nearly every weight class, and ran away with the team title at Saturday’s Parkway Holiday Invitational with a final score of 384 points.
During the finals, Spencerville (294) slipped past Parkway (279) – who was in second place for most of the day – to grab the runner-up spot. Tippecanoe (215) and Delphos Jefferson (170.5) rounded out the top five wrestling squads in the 10-team field at Parkway High School.
“It was about what we expected,” Celina coach James Miracle said. “There was a stud wrestler in about every weight class, today. Some of our kids came up a little bit short. So, we have some things to work on.”
In the previous Parkway Holiday Invites, Miracle’s squad normally consisted of junior varsity athletes.
“Normally, we just send our backups. Today, we had 12 of our 14 starters. So, it was pretty much our ‘A’ team,” Miracle said.
Celina has not struggled on getting athletes out for wrestling.
“We have 39 kids,” Miracle said. “We’re at least two (wrestlers) deep in every weight class.”
Landon Engle (120 pounds) and Jaden King (138) were the two champions for Celina on Saturday.
Spencerville, who is coming off a second-place finish to Allen East at last Saturday’s Allen County Tournament, had five wrestlers notch titles Saturday at Parkway.
Nyah Hodge Miller (106), Carder Miller (113), Jay Goetz (132), Brandon Dues (220) and Darius Clark (285) all won titles for the Bearcats.
Goetz (10-2), a junior, notched his second Parkway Holiday title Saturday. In the championship match, Goetz pinned Celina’s Nathan Wilson, late in the second period.
“He was pretty strong, and pretty quick,” Goetz said about Wilson. “I had the mentality to just go out there and get it done – just go out there and do what I do.”
In the championship match at 113, Spencerville freshman Carder Miller (7-7), won a hard-fought match against Parkway’s Skyler Fokine, 5-3. Fokine battled through an injury that he suffered during that match.
“I’ve wrestled him for a couple years,” Miller said, in refence to Fokine. “Last year, he beat me all year. Today’s finals match was crazy. … He’s a good friend of mine. It was terrible to see him get hurt.”
In the 220-pound final, the matchup between Spencerville’s Brandon Dues and Celina’s Cory Fortkamp was highly-anticipated.
After Dues got up 3-1 on Fortkamp, Dues (13-0) hung on for a hard-fought 3-2 decision.
“It’s so intense, knowing that one slip up and you can either tie the match up or lose the match,” Dues said. “The last thing I wanted was overtime. I’m a little gassed. He (Fortkamp) is such a great kid.”
Dues was fully aware of Saturday’s situation. He realized he could not afford to let Fortkamp score in the waning moments of the match.
“Any wrestler that says he doesn’t look up at the scoreboard, is lying,” Dues said with a smile. “You know what the score is. You know how much rides on if you get up, or if you get out. … If you get taken down, or if you get a take down. I knew the score.”
Delphos St. John’s had four wrestlers get their arms raised in the finals. As a team, the Blue Jays finished sixth (152).
Mason Vonderwell (152), Troy Smith (160), Mark Wrasman (182) and Chase Martin (170) all won titles Saturday for St. John’s.
Martin, a junior, improved his record to 20-1 on the season, after recording a 12-3 major-decision over Celina’s Aric Gallimore in the championship match.
For his performance on Saturday, the coaches voted Martin the most valuable wrestler of the tournament.
“I had a slow start at the beginning (of the season), but it’s going pretty good now,” Martin said.
Martin, a two-time Parkway Holiday champion and a two-time district qualifier, has his sights set high for this season. His ultimate goal is to qualify for the Division III state tournament.
“That’s my main goal this year,” Martin said. “That’s what my focus is for this year.”
Also winning titles Saturday were Delphos Jefferson’s Johnathon Brooks (126), Parkway’s Abe Meyer (145) and Kaine Younker (195).
Parkway Holiday Tournament Results
Team Scores: 1. Celina 384, 2. Spencerville 294, 3. Parkway 279, 4. Tippecanoe 215, 5. Delphos Jefferson 170.5, 6. Delphos St. John’s 152, 7. Ada 94, 8. Lincolnview 68, 9. Hicksville 67, 10. Lehman Catholic 65.
First Place: Nyah Hodge Miller (Sp) def. Oliver Murray (T), 14-11.
Third Place: Hutch Ridenour (P) def. Andrew Hines (C) 13-2.
Fifth Place: Bryson Younker (P) pinned Austin Campbell (C), :56.
First Place: Carder Miller (S) def. Skyler Fokine (P), 5-3.
Third Place: Brycen Miracle (C) pinned Ethan Henderson (T), 1:43.
Fifth Place: Audrey Johnsonbaugh (H) pinned Antonio Petitt (A), 3:49.
First Place: Landon Engle (C) def. Carson Robbins (T), 9-3.
Third Place: Collin Fokine (P), Colton Biederman (A), 3-2.
Fifth Place: Brock Bostic (LC) pinned Jacob Zizelman (P), :31.
First Place: Johnathon Brooks (DJ) def. Parker Mihm (P), 15-2.
Third Place: Zack King (C) pinned Kalib Hurley (C), 2:02.
Fifth Place: Henry Murry (P) pinned Isaac Cross (DJ), 1:46.
First Place: Jay Goetz (S) pinned Nathan Wilson (C), 3:47.
Third Place: Anthony Bodine (DJ) def. Isaac Grogg (P), 12-1.
Fifth Place: Joe Warner (C) pinned Cymon Dalrymple (T), 3:56.
First Place: Jaden King (C) pinned Grayson Ford (S), 1:40.
Third Place: Cody Redmon (DJ) def. Kyler Bowlby (C), 13-10.
Fifth Place: Billy Roberts (C) pinned Asher Hubble (L), 5:00.
First Place: Abe Meyer (P) pinned Sean Kelly (T), :25.
Third Place: Garrett Jones (S) def. Gavin Brown (C), 3-2.
Fifth Place: Jakob Poor (C) def. Jordan Feldes (P), 10-5.
First Place: Mason Vonderwell (DSJ) pinned Ethan Ly (C), 3:00.
Third Place: Taylor Thompson (DJ) def. Colin Hanrahan (T), 16-15.
Fifth Place: Graham Farmer (P) pinned Aaron Winhoven (C), :39.
First Place: Troy Smith (DSJ) def. Reece Evans (A), 8-4.
Third Place: Dylan Boywer (Li) pinned Romam Graber (H), 2:28.
Fifth Place: Chaz Neuenschwander (P) pinned Donnie Riorden (DJ), 2:51.
First Place: Chase Martin (DSJ) def. Aric Gallimore (C), 12-3.
Third Place: Blake Cyphers (T) pinned Bruce Hutchinson (DJ), :22.
Fifth Place: Bryce Mihm (P) pinned Tyler Ulrey (Li), 4:00.
First Place: Mar Wrasman (DSJ) pinned John Edwards (LC), No Time Reported.
Third Place: Hayden Ridenour (P) def. Tyler Carlin (C), 6-0.
Fifth Place: Reyce Robey (S) def. Rece Rutledge (C), 4-2.
First Place: Kaine Younker (P) pinned Alex Stachler (C), No Time Reported.
Third Place: John Borton (T) pinned Heah Gaskill (S), 5:45.
Fifth Place: Brok Bill (Li) pinned Anthony Stumpo (LC), 4:48.
First Place: Brandon Dues (S) def. Cory Fortkamp (C), 3-2.
Third Place: Joey Posada (C) pinned Jonathan McClain (A), 1:40.
Fifth Place: Braxton Coil (Li) pinned Eli Kill (DJ), No Time Reported.
First Place: Darius Clark (S) pinned Cayden Thomson (C), :31.
Third Place: Caleb Begley (H) pinned Noah Arnett (A), 1:25.
Fifth Place: Louis Ulrey (Li) def. Logan Johnson (Sp), 8-1.