Waite senior Devon Wheeler overcoming big obstacles

J. Patrick Eaken

        In his third season as Waite wrestling coach, Russell Jennings has six letter winners returning from last year’s Toledo City League championship team, led by captain and two-time City champion Devon Wheeler.
        Reloading was important for Jennings, and his team added six freshmen and eight sophomore wrestlers this season.
        “Barring any unforeseen injuries I believe we will have a chance to be very competitive in the City League again this year,” Jennings said.
        There is only one problem for Wheeler — if he wants to get to his 100th career win this season, he has a major obstacle to overcome. He seems to be on his way to doing that.
        “He had a bad injury during football that required major ankle surgery, which included screws and plates in his ankle. The doctors told us six months minimum return and we cut that time in half and he was back to competitive wrestling 12 weeks later,” Wheeler said.
        “We rehabbed hard, long hours seven days a week, including water therapy and he actually wrestled the first two tournaments of the year taking fifth at the Jim Derr Classic and was runner-up last week at St. John’s (Bill Urban Memorial Titan Invitational).
        Wheeler came into the season needing 26 wins for a 100 wins in his career and has compiled a 9-3 record so far this season. He placed fifth at Northwood’s Jim Derr Memorial Invitational, going 5-2, and winning a 5-2 medical forfeit victory over Anthony Wayne’s Adam Giesken in the fifth place match.
        There are others who are contributing for Waite.
        “My 120, Ricardo Oviedo, will also have a chance to make some noise this season as he is ranked 10th right now in the state of Ohio. He is also a senior,” Jennings said.
        At the Derr Invitational, Oviedo placed first, going 6-0 even though he wrestled at 126 pounds. He won his semifinal match over Landon Emch (Woodmore) by a 16-0 technical fall and then defeated Clay’s Cole Watson by a 12-0 major decision in the championship.
        At the Derr Invitational, Waite scored 100 points to finish ninth out of 25 teams. Lake (211½) was second, Woodmore (190) third, Clay (159) fourth, Northwood (98 ½) 10th and Oak Harbor (19) 22nd. Whitmer was the champion, scoring 282 points.
        Other Waite wrestlers placing were Roland Mackay (fifth) at 152, Jaimie Vasquez (sixth) at 195 and Arnoldo Cintron (seventh) at 132.


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