Senior Sam Wilson started the new season by claiming his first varsity championship, aggressively winning the 182 pound weight at the 16-team Knights of Columbus Tournament at Avon Lake this past weekend with a 5-1 record.
Fellow senior Morality Anderson went 3-3 and finished in sixth place in the heavyweight division.
The tournament is new to the schedule this season, but not new to the program. The last time Oberlin participated in this season opening tournament was in 2008 when Hugh Thorton won the heavyweight championship.
On Friday, freshman Robert Bouchonville (132 pounds), Edden Phillips (132), Brendan Ortiz (145), junior Zach Thomas (152), and seniors Kobe Fields (160), Wilson, and Anderson hit the mats in individual round robin pools.
The three seniors went 2-1 in their respective pool and qualified for the eight-person double elimination tournament on Saturday.
Also on Saturday wrestlers not in the bracketed tournament participated in another round robin pool to gain valuable experience with wrestlers of similar abilities and skills.
The three freshmen each won a match by pin over the two days of competition.
Bouchonville won his first match on Friday in 1:31 after gaining a 4-1 lead. Ortiz scored two takedowns before his pin in 2:55 for his victory and Phillips built up a commanding 11-5 lead before getting his fall in 4:34.
Thomas lost the two matches he wrestled on Friday and defaulted out of the tournament due to an ankle injury.
Fields went 2-1 on Friday with two first period pins, the first in just 27 seconds and the second with one second remaining in the period at 1:59. On Saturday he suffered two losses, the first by a pin and the second an 8-4 decision.
Anderson also started out quickly with two first period pins of his own. He needed just 19 seconds for his first pin and followed it with a 42 second pin. Anderson defaulted his last match on Friday to help preserve his injured knee.
He lost his first match Saturday to a much larger heavyweight but rebounded with a pin in 5:44 after the strength of takedown and a 12-2 lead. He placed sixth with a loss in the finals by pin.
Wilson opened up the tournament with a 58 second pin and a 15-7 major decision but lost his third match by a close 5-4 decision.
He continued his winning streak on Saturday by securing two pins to advance to the finals. In the finals he scored a three-point near fall and took an early 3-0 lead. He was able to hold on to a 4-3 decision and the championship.
This tournament was a great measuring stick for each wrestler. It showed where they are and where they need to be. It highlighted areas of strength and weakness and everyone came away with an area or two to improve.
Sam Wilson tries to pin his opponent at the Knights of Columbus Tournament.