Sports

Ferndale fends off OH comeback

One match.

That’s all that separated the Oak Harbor wrestling team from a 42-36 loss to Ferndale on Tuesday afternoon and one of the more exciting comebacks one will ever see in a wrestling meet.

Down 30-0, after suffering four pins and one forfeit in the first five matches, the Wildcats started to chip away at their large deficit.

“We had a rough start, then the adrenaline just started flowing through all of us,” senior Mike Poggie said.

Senior Karlson Miller started things off for Oak Harbor at 112 pounds, pinning Gabe Olivo with one minute left in the second period.

Two forfeits at 119 and 145 pounds, coupled with two first-round pins from Jeff Lang (135) and Chris Wichers (140) brought Oak Harbor to within nine, 39-30.

Poggie (160) gathered another pin for Oak Harbor in the final match, but it was what happened in the 125, 130 and 152 pound matches that made the difference.

In an inspired effort Oak Harbor junior Robert Lemme (125) battled toe-to-toe with last year’s 3A fifth-place state finisher Jordan Stevens, losing a close 3-1 decision.

Sophomore David Wasickanin (130) followed with another gritty match against Deven Krenz. Down 5-0, Wasickanin battled back with an escape and a near-fall to tie the match after one period. He then took a 13-7 lead via another near-fall, an escape and two takedowns, before Krenz pulled a quick reversal and pin with 32 seconds left in the second round.

Junior Jefferson Miller (152) put forth another hard-fought match. Up 6-5 with 44 seconds left in the final round Ferndale’s Tommy Callen gained a two-point reversal on Miller to take the lead. Needing an escape to tie, Miller pulled away from his opponent just as the buzzer sounded, but the referee ruled no point.

“It came down to one match, going either way,” OHHS head coach Brian Farmer said.

Ferndale built its large lead with its heavyweights.

“They’re really tough in their upper weights,” Farmer said.

Cody Leifhiet (171) started things off with a pin over Jeremy Soptich, followed by pins from Brice Cobean (189), Chad Woods (215) and two-time state champion Derek Altona (275).

Despite the loss, there was a certain feeling of confidence exuded by the Wildcats after their near comeback.

“The season had a rough start, but I think we’re going to turn the corner after break and start picking up big wins,” Poggie said.

Now 0-2 in league and 1-3 overall, the Wildcats prepare to travel to the North Mason tournament Thursday, Dec. 30 before hosting their next league meet at 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 6 at home against Monroe.

171 — Leifhiet (F) pinned Soptich, 2:36. 189 — Cobean (F) pinned Lange, 4:55. 215 — Woods (F) pinned Smith, 1:46. 275 — Altona (F) pinned Vigil 2:34. 103 — Adams (F) forfeit. 112 — K. Miller (OH) pin Olivo, 1:00. 119 — Stanford (OH) forfeit. 125 — Stevens (F) dec. Lemme, 3-1. 130 — Krenz (F) pinned Wasickanin, 3:28. 135 — Lang (OH) pinned Eytzen, :22. 140 — Wichers (OH) pinned Davis, :12. 152 — Callen dec. J. Miller, 7-6. 160 — Poggie (OH) pinned Polinder 3:25.

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