Super Bowl weekend’s premier sports event in Ottawa County was Friday night’s sold-out wrestling match between two top-ten ranked Big Ten NCAA division I teams, #5 OSU and #6 Illinois.
In contrast to the Super Bowl, the exciting elite-level athletic event featured commercial-free action and bargain ticket prices ($8 for adults, $5 for children) that left enough time and money for many families to go out for pizza after the match.
Oak Harbor High School gymnasium was filled with over 2,000 mostly scarlet-and-grey-wearing OSU fans who were treated to a decisive 25-9 Buckeye victory. The outcome was decided early as OSU dominated the lighter weight classes.
The loudest cheers were for the two OSU wrestlers who are Oak Harbor High School graduates. 125-pound red-shirt sophomore Drew Stone wrestled an exhibition match to begin the evening. Senior C.J. Magrum, who was a three-time state champion at Oak Harbor, suffered a narrow, controversial and hard-fought 2-1 loss at 184 pounds.
For those who were unable to attend the event, following are some sound-bites:
“OH” from one side of the gym.
“IO” from the other side of the gym.
“Our gym has never been so full,” from Guy Parmigian, BCS superintendent of schools.
“Go C.J!” and “Let’s go Bucks!” from the crowd, cheering on C. J. Magrum.
“Boooooo!” from many in the crowd when Magrum lost his match on riding points.
“OH” from one side.
“IO” from the other.
“Do you wrestle? What weight class?” from an OSU wrestler as he signed a shy young fan’s t-shirt at the post-game autograph session.
“That was great,” from many of the departing fans who appreciated the efforts of Oak Harbor High School and OSU in bringing the Big Ten match to the small Ohio town with a big wrestling history.
More photos from the match are posted on this website in photostream or by clicking the photos tab.