The Oberlin Phoenix wrestling squad opened the season this past weekend at the 36th annual Knights of Columbus Tournament in Avon Lake.
Freshman James Thomas (152 pounds) and sophomores Robert Bouchonville (132) and Brendan Ortiz (145) hit the mats Friday in individual round robin pools.
The top two wrestlers in each pool qualifies 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.
Missing from the lineup were freshman Riley Horning (170) and sophomore Reggie Bouchonville (126). Bouchonville is still recovering from a broken collar bone he sustained during soccer and is expected to be out another four weeks. Horning is returning to the lineup this week after having seven stitches removed from his foot last week.
Thomas went 2-1 on Friday with two first period pins, the first in 1:03 and the second with one second remaining in the period at 1:59.
With these two victories, he qualified for the championship bracket and Saturday found the competition from older and more experienced opponents tough. Thomas suffered two losses by pin, finishing the weekend with a 2-3 record.
Bouchonville had an exceptional weekend, earning three wins against three losses. On Friday, his sole win was a pin in 14 seconds. Bouchonville secured a takedown and wasted no time executing a lace tilt stack. He added two more victories on Saturday, the first a 16-4 major decision and another lace tilt stack in 1:42.
Ortiz went 0-3 on Friday in his pool and gained his first victory of the season with a first period pin in 1:00 on Saturday. He ended the weekend with a 1-5 record.
Next up for the Phoenix will be the Cuyahoga Heights Reds Tournament on Saturday. Last season, Sam Wilson and Morality Anderson were the Phoenix placers where they took third and fourth respectfully. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m.
Courtesy photo James Thomas uses a reverse cradle for a quick pin for the Phoenix in competition in Avon Lake.