The Heidelberg University wrestling team is crowned Ohio Athletic Conference regular season champions once again.
A 21-11 win over the 17th ranked Polar Bears of Ohio Northern on Senior Night caused a three-way tie for the OAC regular season title between the Purple Raiders of Mount Union, the Polar Bears of Ohio Northern and the Student Princes.
“What happened is a result of everybody on our team,” said second year head coach Ned Shuck. “Everyone should take pride in this win whether they were in the lineup tonight or not.”
Three senior Student Princes ended their career at Heidelberg in the win over Ohio Northern. 149-pounder Andrew Johnson (Weston/Otsego), 165-pounder Justin Wharton (Oregon/Clay) and 197-pounder Andy Lovins (Clinton Township, MI./Lake Shore) all came out on top in their respective matches.
The night began with a Heidelberg victory at 125-pounds. Junior Delian Schneider (Tiffin/Columbian) downed his Ohio Northern counterpart Jerome Pasquale in a 10-5 decision.
Schneider finishes the OAC season undefeated and boasts an overall record of 18-8.
133-pounder freshman Colin McDermitt (Lima/Shawnee) surrendered the Berg’s first loss of the evening in a 7-4 decision.
Chris Osborne (McComb) began a four-match win streak for the Student Princes at 141-pounds with and 11-4 victory over Shaun Lee.
Johnson collected another victory at 149-pounds with an 11-4 decision over J.P. Hoops, extending the Heidelberg lead to 9-3.
“Andrew wrestled a great match,” said Shuck. “He faced a solid opponent and Andrew did well to keep him at bay by wrestling hard. I am proud of him and it was a great win for him and going out strong with a win on Senior Night is great for Andrew and the team,” said Shuck.
Freshman Damon Cheek (Bellevue) collected another win at 157-pounds with another decision victory, 6-2.
Wharton continued the Berg’s streak at 165-pounds with a 14-8 victory over Tyler Gargano. With the victory over Gargano, Wharton finishes the OAC schedule unblemished at 5-0.
“Justin went out on top with a big win for the team,” said Shuck. “He did a great job and has put in a tremendous amount of work into get to where he is.”
Junior, 174-pounder Jeremy Stepp (Cincinnati/Princeton) surrendered the second loss of the evening to number one ranked Kyle Kwiat.
It was somewhat of a homecoming for Kwiat, being a Tiffin native and having wrestled at Tiffin Calvert High School. Kwiat downed Stepp with an 18-0 technical fall in 4:20.
Sophomore transfer Richard Dowdley (Cleveland/Ginn Academy) picked up a crucial win for the Student Princes at 184-pounds in his 7-6 decision with riding time in the final seconds of the match.
The last senior to compete for the Berg was Andy Lovins at 197-pounds, who faced long-time foe Michael Pawlitz. The bout was a rematch of the OAC championship a year ago where Lovins pinned Pawlitz in the second round.
Lovins and Pawlitz would need overtime to decide a winner with Lovins coming out on top 7-6.
“Andy won a tough match and ended his Heidelberg dual career on top with a big win, said Shuck. “He went out and wrestled his match. Andy got in on his leg attacks and ended up tying the match before the end of regulation to send it in to overtime. He wrestled tough in overtime and ended up beating Pawlitz in a tough match that put it away for us,” Shuck added.
Lovins ends his 2012-2013 OAC dual match schedule undefeated at 5-0.
Freshman, 285-pounder Nino Majoy (Huron) would surrender the final loss of the evning to national honorable mention Cody Lovejoy in an 8-3 decision.
“The support we get from the staff and faculty here at Heidelberg is awesome,” said Shuck in reference to the crowd that flooded Seiberling Gymnasium for the Ohio Northern dual match.
The Heidelberg wrestling team returns to the mat on Saturday, February 16 when they travel to Alma College to compete in the Mid-State Invitational. Action from Alma, Michigan is slated for 9:00 p.m.