BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — Some of Brian Buck’s best memories from being a high school wrestler were out-of-town tournaments, but now as the Maumee coach, he admits the wrestlers can either drive you a little nuts or make it a great experience.
The Panthers went on the road to Barnesville High School, nearly four hours away, for a 29-team tournament last weekend. Maumee finished 21st in the team standings, with juniors Jayden Gordon (190 pounds) and Kamari Braswell (215) finishing on the podium.
“I know those experiences still resonate with me and I hope this will be something our kids always remember,” Buck said. “I know to coach with coach (Ken) Walczak all those years, we did these tournaments, so kids could get used to traveling, staying in a hotel, the time schedules and all the other things that come with it.”
Taking the team on a 250-mile road trip near the West Virginia border will help the team adjust to road trips later in the season, to district and state meets.
“If you never experience traveling and staying at a hotel, it can be a shock to kids when they actually encounter it,” Buck said. “It challenges the kids in new ways.
“You also do it so you can see other teams. If you were to just do tournaments in Northwest Ohio, you usually see the same old teams.”
As for team-building and bonding, Buck said he heard plenty of laughter and saw his wrestlers cheer on their teammates.
“I also believe they have some new stories to tell their parents and friends,” he said.
Braswell went 4-2 over the weekend, finishing fifth at 215. Gordon finished 3-3 at 190, placing sixth in his weight class. The Panthers didn’t have any placers last year at Barnesville.
“I believe every time we compete and you lose, it should motivate you to step up your game and keep improving and do things better than before,” Buck said.
“This sport is what you put in it, so if you lose, you need to look where you went wrong and work on improving your technique and how hard you work in the room and challenge yourself and your teammates.
“Kamari and Jayden can be proud of their placement, but they also realize they need to continue to put work in and change some things that could have helped them place higher.”
Perrysburg 45, Maumee 20
The night before they departed for Barnsville, the Maumee wrestling team hosted the Perrysburg B team in a non-league match.
The Panthers picked up four match wins against the Yellow Jackets. Zayvion Bradley won a 5-4 decision in the 138-pound weight class over Will Schafer. Tristen Dotson won by technical fall (15-0) over Mathias Vasquez at 157.
Cam Wilgus pinned Del Warner at 2 minutes, 53 seconds at 175, and Ramsey Quinn pinned Eric Bush at 3:18 at 285.