SPENCERVILLE — Ada junior wrestler Chase Sumner won the 138 pound title at the eight-team Northwest Conference championships in Spencerville last Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to a strong team finish.
Sumner (29-2 this season) recorded a pin over Delphos Jefferson's Wyatt Place in the finals at :57 to claim his third consecutive NWC individual crown.
After receiving a first round bye, top seed Sumner won by pin in the second and third rounds before getting another bye into the finals vs. Place in the four-man 138 lb. field.
For his efforts, Sumner was also voted NWC Wrestler of the Year, the first outright winner of the honor.
Sumner came into the NWC Championships as a two-time defending
champion and the top seed, with rival Place seeded second. Both would make short work of their opponents by pin fall leading to a 138 lbs. finals rematch.
Last season the two met in the 132 pound finals with Sumner winning by major decision, 16-4. Place, a senior, came into the tournament with a 30-2 record, with both losses coming to Sumner in two previous battles this season.
As the whistle sounded to start the match both would push the action to the boundary before going out of bounds twice. Sumner would get the first takedown and take a 2-0 lead and ride Place out of bounds to stop the action.
After the third restart, Sumner would break down Place and work for control. He was able to put Place in a cradle and turn him to his back where he would earn the pin fall in :57 seconds of the first period. Sumner leaped to his feet with an exuberant fist pump, realizing he just won his third straight NWC championship.
"Chase's victory was great for our team and our program," said head coach Jason Sumner. "Our young wrestlers look up to him, and seeing him succeed seems to fuel our guys to continue to improve."
Allen East had four champions at the meet as freshman Chase Caprella won the 106 pound championship, senior Schuyler Caprella won the 132 pound championship and junior Luke Brown won the 145 pound title. Freshman Brennan Davis was the champion at 285 pounds.
Freshman Bryce Belcher finished second at 152 pounds as did freshman Garrett Neth at 160 pounds. Junior Lucas Freeman was third at 138 pounds and junior Cody Kretzer was fourth at 113 pounds for the Mustangs.
Allen East edged Delphos Jefferson 209-206 to win the team title. Ada finished a solid fourth out of eight teams with 134.5 points, the best team finish at the league meet in program history. The Bulldogs were able to fill 10 of the 14 weight classes.
"Our young Bulldogs worked hard these last couple weeks in preparation for the Northwest Conference championships," said second-year coach Sumner. "They continue to improve each week
and that was our focus in our preparation.
"We asked them to give it all they had and to let any mistakes they make be stepping blocks to accomplish their goals," he continued. "Some were able to finish beyond our expectations and some can use their experience as lessons learned for next season."
Ada junior Adam Bailey finished a strong second at the 285 lbs. division. Bailey started the season as the backup at 285 lbs., but after a season-ending injury to starter Noah Mattson, he steadily improved each week.
He was able to win some close matches to land himself in the finals with Allen East freshman Brennan Davies. Davies would record a fall in 1:31.
"We were proud of Adam for his runner-up finish and look forward to helping him work hard the rest of the season," said Sumner.
Five Bulldog freshmen finished well. Frosh Dillion Foster took second at 120 lbs. and Damien Cameron finished third at 113 lbs. Reece Evans came in fourth at 152 lbs. while classmate Dylan East was fifth at 160, and Colby Kloeppel took sixth at 106.
"Freshman Damien Cameron has stepped up for us all year," said Sumner." He is actually one of our two 106-pounders but has wrestled almost all his matches at 113 lbs. He battled through adversity in his tough weight class but was able to finish third.
"Another freshman, Dillion Foster, has been a standout for
our team all year," Sumner added. "His record of 20-13 landed him a second seed and with a tough battle in the finals, he settled for second place."
Sophomore Matthew Middlebrook came in third at the 220 lbs. bracket.
Junior Kade Cortez ended up fourth at the 132 lbs. division, as did sophomore Jacob Debski at 145 lbs.
Ada individual placers (meet record in parentheses)
138 lbs.: 1st Chase Sumner (3-0)
120 lbs.: 2nd Dillion Foster (2-1)
285 lbs.: 2nd Adam Bailey (3-1)
113 lbs.: 3rd Damien Cameron (1-2)
220 lbs.: 3rd Matthew Middlebrook (0-2)
132 lbs.: 4th Kade Cortez (0-3)
145 lbs.: 4th Jacob Debski (2-3)
152 lbs.: 4th Reece Evans (0-3)
160 lbs.: 5th Dylan East (0-4)
106 lbs.: 6th Colby Kloeppel (0-5)
NWC team standings:
1. Allen East 209 points
2. Delphos Jefferson 206
3. Bluffton 155.5
4. Ada 134.5
5. Columbus Grove 105
6. Paulding 77
7. Spencerville 73
8. Lincolnview 45.5
Ada edged Bucyrus 33-30 and whipped Riverdale 54-18 in a double dual meet earlier in the week at Riverdale. The wins upped the Bulldog dual record to 7-2.
Ada hosts a tri-match Feb. 11 and then competes in the Lima sectionals February 24-25.