Fast start buries Bearcats

Junior Tony Nicolas works toward a 12-7 decision over Monroe’s Mike Studley Thursday night. Nicolas improved his season record to 24-1. - Kevin Endejan
Junior Tony Nicolas works toward a 12-7 decision over Monroe’s Mike Studley Thursday night. Nicolas improved his season record to 24-1.
— image credit: Kevin Endejan

A blink of the eye and the quick start by the Oak Harbor wrestling team could have easily been missed Thursday night.

The Wildcats exploded out of the blocks with their heavyweight wrestlers receiving three pins in a row over the Monroe Bearcats. The impressive start helped the Cats cruise to a 53-14 team victory.

Junior Blake Ward (189) started the evening off by pinning his opponent with 13 seconds remaining in the first round. Sophomore Nathan Davis (215) followed suit with a second round pin and brother Michael Davis (275) completed the sweep of the heavyweights with a first round pin.

“We started off strong with our heavyweights, which is real pleasant,” Oak Harbor head coach Brian Farmer said. “I knew Blake would do his usual good job at 189 but I was really, really pleased with the Davis brothers, Nathan and Michael who just did a fabulous job against two pretty tough kids. They just took it at them and both came up with huge pins. I think we just kind of roller-coastered from there. They got the momentum going for us then we got the forfeited three and we just kept going.”

After receiving a forfeited win at 103 pounds, the Wildcats had a commanding 24-0 lead over the Bearcats.

By the time the meet was over, Oak Harbor captured wins in 11 of the 14 weight classes.

Junior Tony Nicolas (140) improved his record to 24-1 with a hard-fought 12-7 decision over Monroe’s Mike Studley, who he narrowly beat last year.

“I wrestled him last year and beat him like in the last eight seconds,” Nicolas said.

Nicolas, who worked extremely hard in the off-season, is pleased with what the extra effort has done for him. He has already beaten five potential state contenders.

“So far I’m right where I want to be,” Nicolas said. “I want to be district champion this year, top two in the region and top six in the state.”

Also receiving wins by decision, were juniors Joel Crouch (119), Grayson Miller (125), Randy Eggen (130) and Eric MacMillan (145).

Junior Patrick O’Brien added on to his outstanding season by improving his record to 24-2, with a second round pin over Mike Ancera. O’Brien’s only losses have come in non-league matches while competing in tournaments. Also picking up a pin was sophomore Chris Wichers (135), who took his opponent down 1:32 into the second round.

With the WesCo North win, Oak Harbor improves to 3-4 in league and 5-5 overall.

Despite losing their previous three meets, everyone still seems to have their head up.

“We’ve had a good season so far, I’m happy with it,” O’Brien said. “The losses I could do without but they happen every once and a while. They keep your head from getting too big.”

Up next for the Cats is their final dual meet of the season at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 30 at Arlington.

“Arlington is a good tough team too so we’ll have to wrestle tough,” Farmers said. “There’s no weak schools in the WesCo North, they’re all tough, so we’ll just have to keep wrestling our best.”

The next step for the Cats is the sub-regional tournament, which takes place Feb. 7-8 at Stanwood.

103-Miller (OH) won by forfeit; 112-Lampers (M) tech fall over Lemme, 16-0; 119-Crouch (OH) dec. Pwedt, 7-3; 125-G. Miller (OH) dec. Shepard, 10-5; 130-Eggen (OH) dec. Jacobsen,19-6; 135-Wichers (OH) pinned Pearson, 1;32, 2nd; 140-Nicolas (OH) dec. Studley, 12-7;145-MacMillan (OH) dec. McKenzie, 10-2; 152-Ward (M) pinned Taflinger, 1:57, 1st;160-Huber (M) dec. Poole, 12-6; 171-O'Brien (OH) pinned Ancern, 1:10, 2nd; 189-Ward (OH) pinned Hopkins, 1:47, 1st; 215-N. Davis (OH) pinned Hoeker; 275-M. Davis (OH) pinned Van Bulle.

Records-Oak Harbor 3-4, 5-5; Monroe 1-6 in league, 3-7 overall.

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