The Delaware Hayes wrestling team punctuated its year-long dominance over OCC competition with an exclamation mark Thursday, blanking visiting New Albany 81-0 to wrap up at least a share of the OCC-Capital Division championship — it’s first in program history.
“It’s a nice accolade for the boys’ hard work,” Hayes coach Josh Heffernan said. “I’m very proud of the season-long focus these boys have kept. There were many chances — grades, injuries, sickness, high school peer pressure, the simple heartbreak this sport can give — where they could have folded … but they never did.”
The Pacers improved to 6-0 against league opponents with one more match left — a showdown with Worthington Kilbourne next week in Delaware. A win against the Wolves would lock the title up outright.
The win over the Eagles, meanwhile, was a total team effort. Max Wright picked up a pin in 3:11 to win at 113, Ryan Craun notched a 14-5 decision at 120, Greg Brusco forced his opponent to the mat in 1:24 at 126; Garrett Young nabbed a 19-4 win at 132, Brandyn Dydek won via pin at 138, Raezel Garrett pinned his opponent in 1:33 at 145, Nick Beyer picked up a pin win at 152, Ray Simpson won via pin at 160 and Shawn Johnson pinned his 182-pound opponent.
Tommy Detunno (106), Chris Martinez (170), Colton Richard (195), Andrew Sierawski (220) and Derek Louck (285) won via forfeit.
Heffernan said his guys wouldn’t have reached the top without the support they gave one another throughout the year.
“Collectively, they policed each other,” he said. “They supported each other and came through. There are so many opportunities for a championship season to slip through the fingers, but these guys refused to let that happen. It’s a testament to their toughness, their preparation and their focus.
“And it’s no accident,” he added. “This was their goal the whole time … and they have loftier goals to come.”
•Olentangy Orange, one of the teams chasing Hayes for a piece of the crown, knocked off host Big Walnut 45-28 in OCC action Thursday evening in Sunbury.
Pioneer winners included Grant Stewart (106), who pinned Nate Helsley in 4:48; Mike McQueeney (113), who pinned Nico Grier in 5:14; Chris Wallace (132), who pinned Drew Cochran in 5:41; Logan Broskie (145), who forced Jack Schnurr to the mat in 1:48; Hayden Knapp (152), who pinned Anthony Pisano in 3:05; Emerson Milner (182), who blanked Evan Watkins 7-0; Lenn’s Kamba (195), who pinned Tyler Hogg in 1:39; and Albert Van Fossen (285), who won via forfeit.
The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, picked up wins from Wes Landrum (120), who pinned David Schrader in 5:22; Jacob Hadden (126), who beat Nate Metzger 19-10; RJ Martin (138), who handled Alec Farmer 15-9; Austin Carr (160), who beat Connor Ryan 8-2; Alec Eisnnicher (170), who pinned Hunter Knipp in 1:42; and Austin Crow (220), who pinned Nicolas Lee in 1:12.