Oak Harbor brings plenty of experience

Yaneek Smith

Oak Harbor has built up its wrestling program through the decades by testing itself against great competition, and this year is no different.

Coach George Bergman’s squad has 10 upperclassmen filling the 14 weight classes, and expectations are lofty. 

Leading the way is senior Wyatt Miller at 195 pounds, who was a district champion last season. Miller, who is currently ranked No. 1 in Division III and has signed on to wrestle at Appalachian State University. Fellow senior Tyler Davis (126) is a two-time state qualifier and Marc Spindler (182) is the other senior starter.

The state wrestling tournament did not take place last March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Rockets did place third at the Division III district tournament.

Michael Judge (113) and Cade Petersen (145) both qualified for the state tournament last year. The other starters are Tate Tomor (106), Tait Dusseau (120), Owen Miller (132), Zach Flip (138), Jack Zeitzheim (160), Broch Mansor (170) and Dylan Schiets. Hayden Buhro and Robbie Jacobsen are competing for a spot at 152. 

“I think each team you have, you find characteristics of it that you really like,” said Bergman. “We have for the first time, probably since 2017 when we had Jake Huston, Dylan Thorp, Kian Thompson and Trevor Scherf, where a majority of our starters are upperclassmen. We just want them to keep getting better, one percent each day. Then they’re ready to make that step to meet their goals. We have seven starters that are juniors and three starters that are seniors.”

Gone from last year are Matthew DeWitz (138), a state qualifier who is wrestling at Ohio Northern University, and Nathan Mansor (170), a district qualifier who is playing tennis at Tiffin University. 

A number of other Oak Harbor wrestlers have competed at the collegiate level in recent years like Kian Thompson (Tiffin), Luke Cramer (Ashland), Cam Dickman (Tiffin) and Dylan Mansor (Tiffin), among others.

The Rockets recently competed at the Lakota High School Pool Tourney and faced off against the likes of Eastwood, the reigning Northern Buckeye Conference champion, and Elmwood and Fremont Ross, among others. Oak Harbor won the seven-team tournament convincingly, taking first with 227 points while the Eagles came in second with 190.

Miller won his weight class and Judge, Davis, Miller, Petersen, Buhro, Zeitzheim and Mansor all finished second.

At a recent tri-meet with Genoa and Ross, Oak Harbor won both matches easily, beating the Little Giants, 57-21, and the Comets, 58-18.

Oak Harbor will also compete at the Frickers Duals in Archbold, a tournament that features some of the best programs Ohio has to offer like Elyria, Edison and St. Paris Graham. Elyria and Graham were the state runners-up in the D-I and D-II state duals last year, and Edison won in D-III.

“I want to see them attack and compete and just battle and fight the whole way and see how they do against great competition,” said Bergman. “The good thing about great competition is that they’re more than willing to point out the flaws. We’ll see what we need to work on.”

Edison is the favorite in the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division.

“Edison qualified 10 to state last year, and they won the dual meet going away. We wrestled them in the regional dual team finals and scored 16 points, the most any team had against them. We’re trying to catch up, they’re the clear-cut favorite,” said Bergman. 

“With the league, we have all the teams meeting on one day — Sandusky has some good kids, Tiffin Columbian has a good program, Bellevue has a good team. There are so many good programs and good kids. It’s definitely one of the better leagues in the whole state. Last year, Wyatt was rated second in the state and got beat in overtime by a three-time state placer; that’s how competitive it is.”






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