On the scoreboard, the Wapakoneta Redskins did enough to advance from the first night of the team state championships. Their coach, however, feels they can do better.
The Redskins beat the Shawnee Indians, 42-18, and Benjamin Logan Raiders, 47-26, on Wednesday at Wapakoneta High School in the regional quarterfinal round of high school wrestling’s team state championship tournament.
“Some of our guys wrestled well, but overall I didn’t see the intensity I saw at Top Gun this past weekend,” Wapak varsity coach Jason Rostorfer said. “We got two wins, but we always talk about it’s how you wrestle and not wins and losses.
“We had some guys win some matches but didn’t wrestle the way we want them to wrestle. We had heads on the mat a lot.”
Wapak, the No. 2 seed in Division II, Region 9-B, took care of Shawnee, 42-18, in its first match of the night, advancing to face Benjamin Logan, a 45-33 winner over Celina in the other opening match at WHS.
Recording their win over Benjamin Logan required a bit more work, as the Raiders led 20-12 after six weight classes were contested.
The Redskins improved their fortunes on the scoreboard, starting with a pin at 2:33 by Dallas Ambos in the 145-pound match to cut their lead to 20-18.
Ambos’ pin began a run of 29 straight points for Wapak, as Devin Knapke (152) scored a 19-4 win by technical fall, Kaleb Huffman (160) managed a 11-8 win by decision, Heath Newman (170) notched a 21-5 win by tech fall, Landon Hall (182) landed a 21-8 win by major decision and Colton Brown (195) capped the run with a pin at 3:14 to clinch the match win for the Redskins.
“They had a little bit of confidence going,” Rostorfer said. “They got us in a couple matches. I don’t look at the team score during the match but I realized we lost a couple matches there and we had to figure it out.”
David Duncan punctuated Wapak’s two wins with a pin in 13 seconds against the Raiders’ Dalton McCurdy.
Newman accounted for 11 points between the two matches, scoring a pin against Shawnee.
“The thing with Heath is we’ve go to get him shooting,” Rostorfer said. “He’s got such a good shot, and when he uses it, he’s tough to stop. Sometimes, we always say he doesn’t pull the trigger. We’ve got to get him doing that.”
Jayden Hefner began the scoring for Wapak against Benjamin Logan after dropping a 6-3 decision against Shawnee’s Hunter Lucas.
“Jayden wrestled tough,” Rostorfer said. “He only lost a decision and saved us some points. He came back and got a big win for us. I like to see young guys bounce back from tough losses.”
Hall lost a 6-4 decision to Shawnee’s Dylan Hefner.
“Landon came up short but that’s a good measuring tool,” Rostorfer said. “As a freshman, Landon wrestling that kid shows him he’s not far from where he needs to be. You like to see that kind of stuff.”
Jordan Kaeck, Wapak’s usual wrestler at 132, missed Wednesday’s match with an injury.
Darin Dean replaced Kaeck in the lineup and posted two wins, a 17-0 tech fall and a pin at 3:20.
Rostorfer saw slight improvement from three wrestlers — Brown, Huffman and Ambos — who were injured earlier this season and still getting acclimated to live opposition.
“They’re behind but every day it gets better,” the coach said. “It’s good to see them get live matches.”
The Redskins advanced to face the St. Marys Roughriders, who recorded two tight wins Wednesday over Bellefontaine, 35-34, and No. 1 seed Indian Lake, 37-34.
Wapak and St. Marys will meet at 5 p.m. next Wednesday at a site to be determined.
The Redskins won the two teams’ previous meeting this season in a Western Buckeye League dual match by a score of 49-25.