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AW Wrestlers Go 7-3 At Fricker’s Duals in Defiance

AW sophomore Bryce Gilts wrestles in a match against Perrysburg’s Colin Ruby on December 14. Gilts won that match by technical fall and went 9-1 last weekend in the Fricker’s Duals at Defiance College. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY JOEL SENSENIG | MIRROR SPORTS — The Anthony Wayne wrestling team had a solid weekend at Archbold’s Fricker’s Duals hosted at Defiance College, going 7-3 in 10 duals over the course of two days. AW began the weekend by going 5-0 last Friday with wins over Elmwood (60-12), Romeo (Mich.) (46-33), Ayersville (58-16), River Valley (69-9) and Miami Trace (74-6). The Generals lost on Saturday to Wauseon (50-24), Richmond (Mich.) (44-28) and Edison (36-34), but they defeated Tiffin Columbian (42-31) and Hilliard Darby (46-32). Key performers for Anthony Wayne included sophomore Bryce Gilts (106/113 pounds, 9-1 in the tournament); senior Cody Hutt (126, 8-2); sophomore Zack Snyder (132, 9-1); senior Dom Caraccio (160/170, 8-2); and senior Cole Ragan (285, 8-2). The team was competing without senior state qualifier Nick Schneider, who injured his ankle in a match against Napoleon earlier in the week. The event followed two Northern Lakes League losses earlier in the week for the Generals (39-21 to Napoleon and 39-28 to Perrysburg). “As a staff, we were very pleased with what we saw in comparison to our first two duals,” said AW coach Ryan Donley. “In those duals, we were kind of flat, lacked a little energy and camaraderie. We just didn’t compete real hard, I didn’t think.” Going 7-3 over the weekend was a positive sign of things to come, Donley noted. “This weekend, we challenged them. Ten duals in two days is a lot of work,” he said. “The kids responded well. Their competition level was high. We wrestled in a different style – the style we preach, the style we practice – and we were really, really pleased with what they did. “We still have a lot to build on, but as far as steps in the right direction, it was like watching a completely different team compete this weekend.” Donley said this is a team he believes will get stronger as the season progresses and peak at the right time, as it nears the league and state tournaments. Although there are a lot seniors on the squad, many of them have been stuck behind great athletes such as Caleb Yates and Cody Moosman, thus never getting a chance to crack the varsity lineup until this year. “We’re going to get better as the year goes on,” Donley said. “That’s just from kids getting experience and –knock on wood – it seems the last few years we’ve peaked at the end anyway. “We’ve had a couple kids that have been having mediocre years end up in the district tournament and last year we took three kids to the state tournament.”

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