OHS wrestlers look for success as postseason draws near

The Onaway High School wrestling team will compete Saturday at the Straits Area Conference meet, Thursday in the team district tournament, and next Saturday at the individual district tournament.

Though the Cardinals have had some individual success this season, coach Mark Grant has struggled to field a team due to low numbers. OHS has usually sent no more than six athletes to a meet.

With the postseason now upon the Cards, Grant is hopeful that his wrestlers will be able to put lesson learned to good use. Onaway will host the team district and will travel to Ishpeming for the individual district tourney.

On Saturday, five members of the wrestling team participated in the highly competitive Northern Michigan Championships at Gaylord. Onaway was one of 30 schools to send athletes to the meet.

Three of Onaway’s five wrestlers finished above their seeds at the tournament, with freshman Isaac Nave, who was seeded fifth but placed third at 103 pounds, the Cardinals’ top finisher.

Nave pinned David Bruner of Kingsley in 13 seconds, then defeated Larry Beek of Pinconning, 9-3, to advance to the semifinals. He dropped that match, but bounced back to pin TC West’s Vincent Priante in the match for third.

Casey Watson, seeded eighth at 189 pounds, also won three of his four matches, placing fifth in his weight division. Watson began his day by pinning Ryan Drake of TC West in 2:54.

He then fell to Dalton bailey of Houghton Lake, but bounced back to pin Jack Cronick of Gladstone and Austin Weekes of Alpena, the latter happening when he trailed in the match with just 14 seconds left.

Senior Morgan Robins split his four matches and finished sixth at 140 pounds. Robins pinned Clay Miller of Ogemaw Heights in his first match, but fell to RJ Centala of Alpena in his second.

He bounced back to defeat Gaylord’s Jacob Panosso, 13-3, but fell to Kaid Brookshire of Elk Rapids in the match for fifth. Robins is nearing the 100 career win plateau, with 94 and counting.

Fellow senior Justin Gedda was not seeded at 160 pounds, but wrestled well and finished eighth. Gedda dropped his first match to Dion Burke of Forest Area, but bounced back to pin Marquette’s Jackson Mahler and SSM’s Chris Freeborn.

He inadvertently injured his opponent in the match for seventh, forcing a disqualification and a 2-2 day. Frankie Ramos also wrestled for Onaway in the tourney, dropping his only match at 215 pounds.

Last Wednesday, the six Cardinals wrestled at Mio against Rogers City and the host Thunderbolts. Three of the six recorded two victories and all six earned at least one win.

Joe Traynham won a match by pin and one by void, Gedda won a match by pin and one by decision, and Robins won two by void. Watson and Ramos also recorded a pin, while Bryan Brenner won a match by void.