The Wapakoneta Redskin high school wrestling team traveled to Alliance, Ohio this past Friday and Saturday for the Top Gun Tournament, and one Redskin wrestler brought home top honors.
John “JT” Martin earned first place in the 106-pound weight class to bring home an individual championship for Wapakoneta.
As a team, the Redskins finished in 8th place out of a 42 team field. The Top Gun tournament has been around for 27 years, and this year teams from three different states competed.
Martin entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and didn’t disappoint the Redskin faithful at all.
He started quickly with a pin of Haydon Weldy from Piqua. In the next round he beat Dakota Oliver from Louisville 11-1.
In the quarterfinals he faced one of the better wrestlers in the state, Alex Mackall, from Walsh Jesuit High school. Martin won an exciting match 5-1 to move on to the semifinals against Cory Simpson from Field High School. Martin pinned Simpson in the third period to move into the championship match.
In the finals Martin faced Tyler Warner from Claymont high school. Martin won a hard fought 3-2 decision with a last minute takedown to win his first Top Gun Championship.
JT becomes only the second wrestler from Wapakoneta to win a Top Gun Championship. He joins Brent Miller in this elite circle of Wapak wrestlers. Miller won 2 Top Guns while wrestling for the Redskins.
Martin will continue his wrestling career next year at Cleveland State.
Another significant moment for the Redskins was AJ Brown winning his 100th career varsity match with a 10-1 win over Tyler Holtz from North Canton Hoover in the first round. Brown went on to reach the podium with a 7th place finish for the Redskins.
Nate Valentine brought home a 4th place finish in the 145-pound weight class. He started quickly in the first round tech falling Nick Niner from Alliance 15-0. In the second round he pinned Alex Arbogast from Dover. In the third round he won 3-1 over Dalton Hartshorn from Minerva to move to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals he fell 3-0 to Max Rohskopf from West Holmes.
Rohskopf ended up the Top Gun Champ.
Valentine bounced back with a 4-1 win over Cody Pollitt from Olentangy.
He then beat Tyler Sowards from Kenton Ridge 5-1 and then beat Zach Mackall from Austintown by the same score.
The team had Martin, Valentine, Brown, Holden Hengstler, Jared Carpenter, Colton Brown and Dylan Plaugher all advance from Friday into Saturday.
The Redskins will be back in action Tuesday night at Wapakoneta High School with a Tri meet with Dayton Dunbar and Toledo St. Johns. Wrestling starts at 6:00pm. This will be the last home match for the Redskin seniors.
The team will also wrestle in the first round of the New State Duals tournament Wednesday night at Indian Lake middle school against Springfield Northwestern. Wrestling starts at 6:00. The team will also be competing Saturday in Celina in the Lions tournament.