Saturday, August 23, 2014

OHS senior wrestlers take on big leadership role

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 2/7/2014

The Ottawa High School senior wrestlers are more than just team members. The trio of seniors have been leaders and so-called assistant coaches for the young Cyclone squad.

Nine of the Cyclone wrestlers on the mat Friday in its dual with Mill Valley in Ottawa were either freshmen or sophomores.

The Ottawa High School senior wrestlers are more than just team members. The trio of seniors have been leaders and so-called assistant coaches for the young Cyclone squad.

Nine of the Cyclone wrestlers on the mat Friday in its dual with Mill Valley in Ottawa were either freshmen or sophomores.

“They have been some of the finest leaders that we have had,” Ottawa coach Tokarz said after the 64-9 home dual loss to Mill Valley. “They have stepped up and become assistant coaches. I could not be more proud of the way they have handled themselves through the season. How they have worked and worked with their craft and worked and worked with others also. Having expectations for themselves and having expectations for their teammates.

“The seniors have had to burden the load. They have done so well.”

It was senior night and senior wrestlers Brandin Bell, Caleb Parenti and Dalton Weidl along with senior managers Hannah Hedges and Samantha Johnson were honored before the dual.

Weidl said it has not been a burden on the seniors to take the younger wrestlers under their wing.

“The freshmen are learning so quick,” he said. “By the time they are seniors, they will be studs. It is fun teaching them. I was in that spot at one time. I am glad to be a leader.”

The Cyclones showed their inexperience against a Jaguar team with state championship caliber wrestlers.

“We wrestled a great team,” Weidl said. “We were in almost all our matches. We just did not come out on top in the end.”

Tokarz said, “They have studs up and down their lineup. We went out and challenged them hard. We have kids that are coming along.”

Ottawa won just two of the 14 matches. Parenti made quick work of his foe with a pin in 27 seconds. Weidl won 6-4 in his rematch against Jake Gramke.

“It was nice for both of us to show what we can do,” Weidl said.

For Weidl, it was redemption after losing 3-1 earlier this season to Gramke.

“He is a great guy,” Weidl said. “I have been ready all day. We are at the same level. It is amazing feeling.”

Tokarz said Weidl put together a game plan and stuck with it.

“It was big scoring those first points,” Tokarz said. “He wrestled a great match.”

Ottawa wrestles 5 p.m. Tuesday in a home dual with Basehor-Linwood. Ottawa competes today in a junior varsity tournament at Blue Valley.

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