Wrestling continues undefeated dual season, takes down rival Moeller
Ellie Uecker | Staff Writer
The Comet wrestling program continued its undefeated team dual streak against the number one in the city team, the Moeller Crusaders.
Winning the night 37-25, the Comets wrapped up with three pins, two regular decisions, and one major decision. Head coach Craig Murnan said that despite Moeller’s usual dominance, Mason pulled out for an impressive team win.
“They’re a good program,” Murnan said. “And they’ve been the top dog for a number of years, so for us to come into their gym and wrestle a really good team, it was what we needed to do and we did a really nice job. Kids stepped up; they followed the game plan and I’m excited for them.”
Starting at the 220 weight class was Moeller’s senior Jack Meyer against sophomore Zaid Hamdan. In the first period, Meyer had two takedowns with an additional two back points securing him a 6-0 lead. Meyer continued his dominance into the second period and won the match with a pin off a tilt series forty seconds into the period.
At 285, Mason’s senior Doug Mullen faced Moeller senior Joe Hensley. The first period went scoreless while both wrestlers took little action. Mullen won the coin toss and elected to choose down in the second and won the escape with 20 seconds left in the period.
For the third period, Mullen chose to start neutral and award the tieing point to Hensley, meaning the next takedown would win the match. The third period included more aggressive hand-fighting until Mullen was able to get the takedown with three seconds left for the win off of a turn around on a carry. Mullen won 3-1.
Moeller forfeited its 106 and 113 matches, awarding Mason’s team six points each. Mason lead the Crusaders 18-6.
The 120 match was junior Colin Schuster against Moeller freshman Jordan Ward. Impressive scrambling from both grapplers in the first period up until the final seconds when Schuster was able to get his hips on top for the takedown. In the second period, Schuster was able to score on two more takedowns against Ward until working him into the pin, giving the Comets six more points in the dual score.
At 126, junior Jaimen Hood wrestled for Mason against sophomore Mitchell Moore. Off the whistle, Hood scored a takedown and let Moore up; Moore countered back with a takedown of his own from a scramble. Into the second period, Moore was awarded the release point, however got a takedown on Hood again. Hood finished the second period with an explosive escape to make the score 7-6 Hood. Into the third period, Hood started down and earned another escape point. The wrestlers scrambled until Hood was able to get two more takedowns in the last 20 seconds and win the match 12-7.
Wrestling at 132 for Mason was junior Zack Donathan against senior Jalen Summerours. Off the whistle, the match began with explosive and skilled scrambling from both wrestlers who executed great shots as well as solid defense. It wasn’t enough in the end for Summerours when Zack Donathan was able to secure the takedown with a carry and return to mat for the pin with 51 seconds left in the first period.
Following his brother, freshman Chris Donathan wrestled at 138 for Mason against senior Cooper Graves. Chris Donathan began immediately off the whistle and wrestled with power to make up for the height difference between him and Graves. Chris Donathan finished the first period with a takedown for two points in the last seconds. The second period began with Graves down and Chris Donathan working right off the whistle to tilt him to his back and secured the pin with the half nelson 16 seconds into the second period.
Murnan said the Donathan brothers help Mason extend their leads due to their collected attitudes on the mat.
“Their experience and their confidence in a lot of different situations shows,” Murnan said. “They don’t panic. They just wrestle through positions, and you saw that on the mat tonight. There were times where either one of those two were in compromising positions, and they just relaxed and go the next takedown. Once they get a lead, they extend the lead.”
After six matches and two forfeits, Mason lead the number one Crusaders 33-6.
At the 145 weight class, Mason junior Jack Stein wrestled against senior Tiese Gideon. Continuing in the pattern for Mason, Stein secured a takedown in the last seconds of the first period. Into the second period, Gideon got the escape point and Stein retaliated with a single to carry for a takedown and working his way to three back points and won the second period 7-1. Into the third period, Stein worked relentlessly to gain the major decision over Gideon for the four points to the team score. With two more takedowns, one fashioning a single to double that threw Gideon to his back, Stein won the match 11-3 and got the major decision for Mason.
Stein was Mason’s last winner of the night as Moeller moved into their highly qualified upper weights. At 152, Mason junior Cameron Sweitzer wrestled against three time state placer senior Jacoby Ward. Jacoby Ward got Sweitzer in a takedown off a single and worked him for two back points. Into the second period, Jacoby Ward scored four takedowns, each beginning with a shot to Sweitzer’s right leg. The third period was cut short on account of Jacoby Ward scoring 15 more points than Sweitzer which calls for a technical fall and awards five points to Moeller’s team score.
At 160, Mason senior Nick D’Agostino was against junior Drew Hobbs. Equally matched physically, the first period included two stalemates and D’Agostino winning an escape point off a restart. Into the second period, Hobbs equalized the score with an escape of his own. The third period went down to the wire with Hobbs scoring a takedown when he caught D’Agostino in a turned position and clamped down on him for the takedown position. D’Agostino escaped and was down by one point and needed the takedown to win but was unable to do so in the short time; Hobbs won the match 3-2.
Mason’s 170 wrestler of the night was junior Andrew Hauer against junior Brett Bryant. Bryant showed his dominance with a return to mat on Hauer that slammed him straight on his back and earned him two back points. The first period ended 10-0 and the second period was cut short on the technical fall where Bryant won 15-0.
At 182, Mason sophomore Eric Vermillion wrestled sophomore Trevor Hankins. Hankins scored a takedown and additional two back points in the first period. The second period was scoreless for both wrestlers as Vermillion worked for an escape and Hankins held on to his position. Into the third period Hankin earned an escape and turned to Vermillion for the takedown. Vermillion escaped in the end, but Hankin won the match 7-1.
The final match of the night was Mason junior Seph Wiegand against sophomore Sam Wyche at the 195 weight class. An impressive bout by the two wrestlers left the first period scoreless. Wyche had the down position and earned the escape in the second period as well as a stall point from Wiegand. Into the third period, Wyche won the takedown, but Wiegand displayed impressive defense with a solid sprawl to avoid the pin until he was able to escape. Wyche finished with one more take down and won the match 5-2.
A major key to success for Mason’s win tonight was the depth in their roster, especially where Moeller lacked in some weight classes and had to move around wrestlers for match ups. This dual showcased ten Mason underclassmen including one freshman. Murnan said this is a common lineup for the Comets.
“When we put our line up together, we can start anywhere between eleven and twelve underclassmen,” Murnan said.
Mason and Moeller were placed in the same region this year for state dual playoffs. The next time they would meet would most likely be at regional finals for the duals tournament. This weekend Mason will travel to Indianapolis for a tournament against the top teams in Indiana.
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Photos by Staff Writer Jonathan McCollough