OH wrestlers advance to regional semifinals

Behind two stellar performances last week, the Oak Harbor Rockets advanced to the regional semifinals of the Division III State Duals Tournament. Oak Harbor defeated Genoa, 41-20, and also beat Hopewell-Loudon, 57-18, to advance.In the matchup with the Comets, the reigning Northern Buckeye Conference Champions, the Rockets won nine of the first 10 matches to win handily. 

Jeremy Balboa, Bruce Hrynciw and Brody Hennig pinned their opponents with Balboa downing Robert Wilson in 31 seconds, Hrynciw doing so in 1:10 and Hennig claiming victory in 1:28.  The other winners were Nick Bergman (7-0), Jake Huston (13-3), Rhett Petersen (5-1), Ben Petersen (6-2) and Stephen Simkus (15-2), all of whom won convincingly, and Kian Thompson (6-5) and T.J. Lawrence (5-3), who had to eke out their victories.

“I thought we competed very hard and the things we’ve been working hard (the kids) implemented them on the mats, ” head coach George Bergman said. “I thought it was all good.”

Against the Chieftans, Hrynciw, Huston and Lawrence won by forfeit while five wrestlers, among them Balboa (3:07), Simkus (2:56), Ben Petersen (5:27), Rhett Petersen (2:27) and Dylan Mansor (5:08) won via the pin. Henning won, 7-0, Thompson won, 6-4, and Jaret Parker won his match, 5-1.

Bergman was particularly pleased with the performance of Lawrence and Nick Bergman, both of whom recently returned from injuries. “Nick and T.J. got back out there and T.J. had a nice win against a Genoa opponent who was undefeated,” Bergman said. “T.J. showed a lot of heart after not being on the mat since the 11th. He had to reach down deep to pull the win out.”

The Rockets will face Delta High School on the road on Wednesday.“I’m interested to see how our guys compete,” Bergman said. “Delta is very, very good. They won it all last year in the state duals and I think they were second or third individually and I think they’re better this year. I’ll be surprised if they don’t win it this year.”

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