Few associated with the Perrysburg wrestling program could even remember the last time the Yellow Jackets basked in the spotlight of winning its own prestigious invitational tournament.
The Yellow Jackets captured the Perrysburg Invitational Tournament title for the first time since 1997 on Saturday night. In the 41st annual “PIT,” a spotlight once again focused on the finals and saw Perrsyburg celebrate with four individual champions.
Perrysburg entered the finals with seven wrestlers in the title matches. The Yellow Jackets got wins from Mario Guillen (113 pounds), Ryan Roth (145), J.P. Newton (152), and Rocco Caywood (170).
Perrysburg outdistanced second-place Wauseon by 39 points. The Indians had won three straight PIT team titles.
“This is fantastic,” Perrsyburg coach Sam Cotterman said.
“We surpassed all of my expectations. You always want to win your own tournament. The past couple years we've been up there in second and third. We thought today it would be another dogfight. Our kids came out and wrestled their butts off. I know they're having fun.”
Wauseon also had four individual champs: Austin Yarnell (138), Aaron Schuette (160), Alec Vonier (182), and Zane Krall (220).
Delta, which placed third as a team, had one first-place finisher as Kyle Keller won at 120. The Panthers had five wrestlers who took second place.
The meet also included an incredible milestone for North Baltimore senior Dalton Ishmael, who recorded his 144th career fall. When Ishmael pinned Perrysburg's Brady Clayton with six seconds left in the first period at 195, he took over the lead in career pins in Ohio state history.
Ishmael, who placed third at state last year, improved to 32-0 with the pin. He broke the career pin record set by Derrick Bendau of Mayfield Village Mayfield in 2003.
“This is a bonus,” Ishmael said. “It feels pretty good but I'm focusing on state right now. After that this will kick in. I wanted to get it done so it's not a burden anymore. But this just came along the way.”
Guillen, a freshman, got Perrysburg rolling in an action-filled bout at 113. Guillen (13-5) rallied dramatically to knock off Delta freshman Jake Spiess (19-4).
Spiess took a 4-0 lead after one period, but Guillen rallied with back points and the match was tied at 7 after two periods. In a wild third, Guillen hit a reversal and put Spiess on his back for five quick points and the home crowd went crazy as the freshman held on for a 12-8 victory.
“I knew I had to hit some big moves,” Guillen said. “I had a lot of support and that helped a lot.”
Minutes after the win, he was doing wind sprints in the halls as part of a “cool down.”
“Coach told me if I want to be a state champ I have to do the extra work,” a winded Guillen said.
His teammate Newton (11-4) nearly pinned Oak Harbor's Jared Chambers (13-5) just before the first-period buzzer. Newton went on to score an impressive 18-6 major decision.
“It means a lot because I've always looked up to the guys that have won the PIT. Now it's my turn,” Newton said. “I wanted to get the pin to get more points for my team. No one can remember the last time that we won a PIT title. It's a big step for the program.”
Perrysburg's Roth (14-4) held off a hard charge from Delta's Tyler Fahrer (22-4) to take a 5-3 win at 145.
Caywood added Perrysburg's fourth title with a tight 2-1 decision over Tony Reynolds (20-3) of Fostoria. Caywood (11-3) scored a takedown with 1:28 left in the first period and held on.
“The way we started the final round was huge,” Cotterman said.
“Mario got the adrenaline going there. I know [Roth] fed off that.”
Wauseon junior Alec Vonier (14-8) ended the Yellow Jackets' run by pinning Kadin Llewellyn (9-6) with 46 seconds left in the finals at 182.
“I'm happy it was a Perrysburg kid because last year a Perrysburg kid destroyed me. So I came back with some revenge,” Vonier said.
Whitmer senior heavyweight Marquise Moore beat Perrysburg sophomore Cale Bonner 4-2 in overtime in the final match of the night.
Schuette, a Wauseon junior, defended his 2012 PIT title with a fall in the 160 final.
Shuette (14-3) pinned Delta's Jared Mattin (16-7) with 56 seconds left in the second period.
Krall, a Wauseon senior, pinned Southview's Hunter Topolski to improve to 16-3.
In the 103 final, Napoleon freshman Seth Beard moved to 21-2 with an impressive 12-0 shutout of Southview junior Tanner Ruiz (20-4).
Delta's Keller, who had three pins in the meet, defeated Dinny Moore of Whitmer 9-2 at 120.
Keller, a junior, led 5-2 after two and remained undefeated (18-0).
In the 126 final, Defiance senior Santana Villareal (25-5) trailed Delta senior James Dailey (20-4) by a point after one period but came back to post a 5-4 decision.
Hicksville's Austin Laney remained undefeated (20-0) with a 6-0 shutout of Delta freshman Dustin Marteney (24-7) in the 132 final.
At 138, Yarnell (20-4), a Wauseon senior, decisoned Oak Harbor sophomore Ben Petersen 12-5.
The Yellow Jackets had grapplers in either the finals or consolation finals in 11 of the 14 classes.
“I knew we had a 50 point lead before the consolation round. I didn't know if anyone could catch us,” Cotterman said.
“I think after we won at 152 with a major decision, I didn't think anyone could catch us. This is one of our goals.
"We wanted to win the PIT. So we are on our way.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: email@example.com, 419-724-6354 or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.