WRESTLING - Truckers break through for NOL title

GALION - The Norwalk wrestling team set itself up for the Northern Ohio League title with a 7-0 mark in the league duals Jan. 22 and 23.
Mike Greco
Aug 25, 2010

GALION — The Norwalk wrestling team set itself up for the Northern Ohio League title with a 7-0 mark in the league duals Jan. 22 and 23.
The Truckers also did their part in the league tournament Saturday with 217 points for the top spot.
Norwalk captured its first outright NOL title since 1991.
At the league tournament, the Truckers went 8-5 in the finals and placed 13 of 14 weight class, including four champions.
“It was a great weekend for us,’’ Norwalk coach Danny Helton said. “The kids showed a lot of heart and mental toughness. Our program took a big step on Saturday. Obviously, winning the title is a great achievement for the kids.” 
The champs were Kyle Lang at 103 pounds, Tyler Sparks 119, Jordan Teeters 125 and Phil Hurst 130.
In the finals, Lang gained a 9-2 decision over Willard’s Dominic Cummins, Sparks collected a 13-5 major decision over Willard’s Kyle Niedermeier, Teeters grabbed a 7-2 decision over Bellevue’s Damon Cheek and Hurst decisioned Upper Sandusky’s Steve Nye 10-4.
Lang (28-4) won his first match by a pin. Sparks (22-14) also garnered a decision and pin on the day. Teeters (26-19) registered two pins to reach the finals. And Hurst posted a pair of pins prior to his finals match.
“The four champs all did outstanding,’’ Helton said. “Kyle Lang, Tyler Sparks, Jordan Teeters and Phil Hurst were all impressive throughout the day. Lang and Hurst remained undefeated in the NOL, while Teeters avenged a loss from the duals.
“If the tournament crowned an MVP, it would have to go to Tyler Sparks 119.  The kid was unseeded and for him to go out there and beat the No. 3, 2 and 1 seeds to win it was a lot of fun to watch.  He was a man on a mission out there and he just dominated.” 
Norwalk also recorded four seconds, four thirds and a fourth.
Jake Montana at 112, Nick Davis 135, Carl Hokes 140 and Alan Hoyt 171 all claimed second, Scott Alexander 152, Jacob Beamer 160, Jake Alexander 189 and Jake Cooper 215 each picked up third and Alex Doughty checked in fourth 145.
“It was a total team effort with every kid contributing to the title,’’ Helton said. “We stressed a winning record in the finals and the kids came through, winning eight of 13 weight classes we were in.  I thought Jake Montana wrestled well all day. He keeps getting closer to the Tiffin kid and if it wasn't for a small mistake at the end of the match, he was right there in the thick of things.
“Jacob Cooper is another big contributor. He gives up anywhere between 20 to 30 pounds when he wrestles but you never hear him complain about it,’’ the coach added. “We are all very proud of their accomplishment.
“Probably the greatest thing about it is that we are a young team. Three of the four NOL champs were underclassmen, along with six other placers.” 
The Redmen, with five champs, finished second at 203.5 points.
Willard claimed fifth with 83 points.
In addition to the seconds from Cummins and Niedermeier, Ben Petrie at 160 and Ryan Polacheck 215 both recorded second for the Flashes.
Petrie lost a 4-2 overtime decision to Bellevue’s Will Stephens.
Scott Smith at 125 attained third.
Tiffin Columbian placed third with 143.5 points.
Both Norwalk and Willard are at the Division II Shelby sectional tournament site Friday and Saturday. The top four in each weight class move on to the district tournament Feb. 26 and 27 at Marion Harding.
“Now it’s time to focus on individual accomplishments,’’ Helton said. “We are right back to work with early workouts. It doesn’t get any easier as we compete in one of the toughest sectionals and districts in the state. The coaching staff will challenge the kids and I am sure that they will rise up to it.”