|Jackets' seek 4th straight NLL title (11-26-13)|
|Written by JOE SZYMCZAK Sentinel Sports Writer|
|Tuesday, 26 November 2013 10:30|
PERRYSBURG - Perrysburg's wrestling team can be summed up in one word - loaded.
Coach Sam Cotterman returns many of his stars from a team that had a great season last year.
The Jackets' placed 14th in the Division I state individual tournament, qualifying four and placing three.
The team was one match away from reaching the finals in the first state team tournament. It placed fourth in the tough Cleveland State district where eight individuals placed.
Perrysburg won its third consecutive Northern Lakes League Tournament with 240 1/2 points, 122 1/2 points ahead of the nearest team. It returns seven of the 10 champions from that team.
The leader of the team looks to be JP Newton (152). Newton, who has signed to wrestle collegiately at Ohio State, placed third at 152 at the state tournament with his only loss coming at the hands of the state champion.
Newton is shooting for his fourth NLL title this year. That feat would make him only the sixth in the 51-year history of the NLL and the fourth from Perrysburg.
"JP is just a pure competitor,' said Cotterman. "He doesn't shy away from competition. He wants the tough match. JP has to deal with me in two sports. I saw his toughness at a young age and made him a defensive lineman for the football team. He earned a starting spot as a sophomore and has been a 160-170-pound three-year starter for us on some great teams, especially this year as he was named first-team All-NLL and hopefully more accolades to come."
Sophomore Mario Guillen (113) placed fifth at state at 106, third in the district and was the NLL champion. Junior Cale Bonner (285) placed eighth at state, second in the district and won an NLL championship. Bonner was also a member of the football team.
Senior Rocco Caywood (182) was 33-7 last season and qualified for state. He placed fourth in the district and won his second NLL title.
Multi-sport athlete senior Mark Delas (220) was an NLL champion and placed fifth at the district meet along fellow football teammate senior Kadin Llewellyn (195), who placed second in the NLL and sixth at in the district.
Perrysburg finished seventh at the Disney Duals this summer. Mario Guillen, Caywood, and Newton went unbeaten and Bonner only lost one match.
"(Newton and Bonner) went down to Fargo (North Dakota) this summer and were All-Americans and (Caywood) just returned from a fourth-place finish at Super 32s," said Cotterman.
Sophomores Brock Jones (120) won an NLL title at 106, Leo Romp (132) won at 126, and Adam Shue (145) placed fourth at 135. Junior Nathan Meyers took third at 120.
Seniors, Lucas Manning (170) and Mat Rich (138); juniors Dan Waltmeyer (160) and Matt Waltermeyer (145) all could find a spot in the lineup.
"Keep your eyes out on those Waltermeyer twins," said Cotterman. "They have been under the radar having been behind very good wrestlers, but they will find a spot this year and make a great impact. They are very very tough kids."
Freshman Moises Guillen (106), Josh Herhold (126) and Chase Newton (170) will take their junior high success to the varsity level
"Of course, Mario's brother, Moises, will make an immediate impact," said Cotterman. "He was third at the junior high state meet. He is a very different type of wrestler than Mario. Mario uses finesse, while Mo tries to hurt you."
"Josh Herhold and Chase Newton also had great junior high careers, qualifying and placing at the junior high states. Josh and Mo won NLL both years while chase won his eighth-grade year. Josh should find a spot on the starting line up," said Cotterman.
Perrysburg has been ranked as high as third in an early wrestling publications and looks to have a shot to reach Columbus in the state duals.
The Yellow Jackets face a formidable schedule. They will wrestle in the Iron Man at Walsh Jesuit and Brecksville, two of the nation's toughest tournaments.
"It is well known how tough our district is," Cotterman opined. "Our schedule is so important. I don't want the kids to wait until the district tournament to see that high caliber of wrestling. We take the kids all over there to get the best competition to better prepare them for the end of the year run."
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