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Grapplers silver at Sectionals!

The Oakwood Varsity Wrestling team was definitely on their game at the 2009 Tippecanoe Division II Sectional Wrestling Tournament this last Saturday. Twelve teams all pitted against each other in heated competition. The tournament was run on a standard double elimination bracket - so two losses for any particular wrestler meant a seat on the bench and the end of the season. And likewise - a top four finish for the event meant so much more - progression to District competition next week and potentially a shot at going on to State. Wrestling was intense running simultaneously on three mats. The Jacks were ripped and ready amongst the field - and right in the midst of it all sat the ominous Graham team - a stacked powerhouse with a number of its members nationally ranked presenting a virtual steel wall to Gold in this small Division II match-up.

But this did not feel like the Oakwood grapplers last week at SWBL who struggled to throughout that tournament. This was a determined – poised and ready to strike - team undeterred in the shadow of Graham. In the words of Team Captain, Paul Hochwalt who is out on injury, “We needed everybody to perform throughout the day and to win big in the final rounds, and that’s exactly what they did! I’m proud of our team.” The Jacks essentially pulverized nearly everything in their path except for Graham. They wrestled as a team – the prevailed as individuals - and they emerged with might.

Beginning at 103, Sophomore Kevin Lee was third seed among a difficult weight class behind Bracetta of Graham and Maurice of Bellfountaine. Lee dominated over his competition only to arrive in finals to meet nemesis Bracetta of Graham. Lee defended well but succumbed to Bracetta to secure a Silver finish and a ticket to Districts next weekend. Excellent.

Daniel Jacobs, our Senior at 112 pounds was seeded second behind Isaac Jordon of Graham (yes he is one of those Jordons.) Jacobs won most all of his matches during the day losing one heart breaker to Cody Harding of Kenton Ridge 3-8 after
almost having him pinned in the 3rd period. Battling back through the consolation bracket Jacobs met Bryan Newland of Ben Logan. Our Jacobs delivered a humiliating defeat to his foe with an 11-0 decision to seize Bronze at the tournament’s end. Impressive.

Freshman Pat Debrosse held his ground at 119 looking strong and aggressive on the mat. Debrosse got caught in a couple of tough matches and fell in early rounds but will certainly be a sound contender for years to come for our Lumberjacks.
Brandon Bustillo, our senior at 125 was seeded third behind Graham and Justin Armstrong of Kenton Ridge. Bustillo was focused and menacing - he circles, sets up, shoots and finishes clean with gripping force. With that overwhelming presence he blazed through regular rounds finishing all his opponents including Armstrong with a savage pin. Then meeting Zach Neibert of Graham Bustillo lost by Tech Fall 16-1 to lock Silver for the event. Phenomenal!

At 130 third seed Alex Kooser continued this years winning campaign with raw will and technique. Alex won most all his matches losing only one during regular rounds to second seed Evan Storts of Shawnee. Alex then phoenixed back through
consolation rounds to dominate over Dylan Numbers of Kenton Ridge in a vicious win by major decision 14-1 to grab Bronze. Nice!

During regular rounds, Iron Will, our own Sophomore Will LeBoeuf, at 135 shocked the crowd with a brutal win over second seed junior Luke Smith of Ben Logan by pin. Leboeuf then met the nationally ranked prodigy David Taylor of Graham in finals and lost by fall in the third period to hold Silver. Outstanding!

Jameson Kordik, at 140 pounds was unseeded and lost in early rounds to Stephens of the Jordon Camp. Undaunted, he then moved into the consolation bracket striking back with sheer determination to find himself in the final round against another unseeded Junior from Tipp. This was a tumbler and Kordik pulled an astonishing win by pin to snatch Bronze and a pass to the District event. Sweet.

In another rally of matches Senior Josh Hootman fell in early rounds to Grahams Senior Brian Stephens. Josh has a way of putting setbacks aside and without hesitation went to task working his way all the way back from the brink in consolation rounds only to meet Ben Noll of Shawnee in finals. Noll was not prepared for Hootmans unpredictable pace, style, and determination and so Noll fell with last second points claimed in a wild match with Josh victorious 7-4 harnessing Bronze and a ride to the big show next week. Awesome!

Senior Dan Kendig at 152 was also among victors giving up a few matches with mixed results during the day. Kendig slid into finals to meet Chandler Golden of Indian Lake who he crushed by pin in the first period. With a 5th place nod Kendig becomes a qualified substitute for District competition next week.

At 160, freshman Max Breidenbach began the day unseeded and after several close rounds fell to competition in a valiant stand. Max is coming up fast and we all see great things in him for years to come.

At 171 sophomore Andrew Raichle put on one heck of a show racking wins mixed with a few losses during the day. Moving into finals, Raichle met Clay Gates of Ben Logan in a gripping showdown. Raichle shattered Gates with a huge win by major decision 17-4 to pull out a fifth place finish for the day and a potential substitute spot at Districts.

Noah Roberts, our freshman at 189 who was unseeded was upset in early rounds and did not progress. Roberts has put up some huge wins on the board this season and has a promising future among the greats at Oakwood in the coming season.

Junior Ben Raichle, our 215 pounder won one and lost two difficult matches during regular rounds and so he didnt move on to the final rounds. Raichle has had a very productive year with sites on “bigness” for his senior run next year.

And then we had Big Jake Horlacher - the Jacks’ heavyweight. Jake knew the match was huge not only for himself but for the team. What he didn’t know was due to a late round win by the Ben Logan team - the scores had narrowed to where Benjamin Logan and Oakwood were neck and neck for team points for the tournament. So much so that if Jake didn’t win by pin it would mean the difference between a Silver or Bronze team finish. And Jake - who was seeded fourth - had his hands full squaring off against Junior Brad Fain the second seed out of Preble Shawnee. The match was low scoring and a dead heat with a curious break in action prompted by head gear malfunction in the second period. Then the pace turned - without warning Jake welled up and took control catching Fain on the mat he swiftly moved to a butcher finishing him by pin in the third period. Unbelievable!

With that - Oakwood finished astoundingly in second place behind Graham - over Benjamin Logan by a mere 1/2 point! What a tournament! Unlike most other tournaments, at sectionals no medals, plaques or trophies are presented. Its all about achievement and honor paid for hard with commitment, self discipline, work and perseverance. So the best earned rewards were held high in the form of laughter and grins and also surprisingly a few parents were moved to tears.

“It was really nice to have all 14 wrestlers do well at the same time. Sending eight wrestlers to Districts with two more as alternates is pretty good. We took Saturday night off to relax and enjoy what we accomplished this weekend, but now we are back to work with Districts coming up this Friday and Saturday at Goshen,” said Coach Gary Kessler.

The Jacks next stop is the 2009 OHSAA District tournament in Goshen. The event is next weekend beginning Friday evening at 6 p.m. and restarting on Saturday at 10 a.m and will continue throughout the day. This will be a thrilling event as we all are full of anticipation as to what spoils the tournament might hold for our young men.

Jills basketball prevails over Clinton Massie 58-47

The Oakwood Jills opened state tournament play this past weekend against Clinton Massie. The number three-seeded Jills posted an impressive 58-47 victory over the number six-seeded Lady Falcons. The Jills were led by Brooke Trauthwein with 21 points and Cathryn Hardy with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Molly Breidenbach provided an important 8 points including two very big three point baskets on back to back possessions in the second half. Alex Miller with 4 points, Claire Davis with 3, Hannah French with 2, and Meredith Livingston with 2 rounded out the Jills scoring.

The Jills will play in the sectional final this Friday at 6 p.m. at Springboro High School vs. Bellbrook High School. The winner of Friday nights contest will move on to the District Finals at Mason High School on Friday, March 6.

Please come out and support the Jills this Friday v. Bellbrook.

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February 24, 2009
Volume 18, No. 8

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