Riders End WBL Season Empty-Handed

St. Marys' Clayton Drummond (106) pins Van Wert’s Killian Sudduth in the championship round of the 106-pound weight class on Saturday at the Western Buckeye League wrestling championship at Van Wert High School.
Jake Dowling
Sports Editor

Roughriders coach Larry Gruber points to Saturday as the reason why his team is not built for tournament games, while Clayton Drummond believed his team was over-confident coming in; either way, the St. Marys Roughriders walked out of Van Wert High School empty-handed.

“You feel disappointed,” Gruber said after Saturday’s Western Buckeye League wrestling championship. “But you are also happy for what some kids did today.”

Seven wrestlers finished in the top three places in their respected classes as the Roughriders entered Saturday’s tournament with the best record in WBL play.

But St. Marys finished fourth in the tournament, while Wapakoneta — a team the Roughriders defeated in dual play earlier this year — stole what the Riders thought was their title to have as St. Marys took runner-up in the league.

But there were bright moments for the Roughriders on Saturday.

The sophomore Drummond overcame last season’s runner-up finish at the 106-pound weight class to Defiance’s Tristan Villarreal — also this season’s WBL winner at 113 — with a pin of Van Wert’s Killian Sudduth in 2:15 for the league crown at 106 pounds.

“It’s pretty great,” Drummond said when asked how it made him feel to win a league title. “Last year, I was too over-confident and I got pinned, but this year I knew what I had to do and I have been working on it all week.
“My goal was to make 106 again and I started the season at 114, but I have been practicing really hard and I have been working hard to keep that weight down.”

The Roughriders also had seven wrestlers finish in the top three of their weight classes, including four in the championship match, but St. Marys finished the day 1-of-4 in the championship round.

Another bright spot for the Roughriders, however, was the fact that St. Marys won all of its three third/fourth place matches.

Regardless of how empty-handed the Roughriders might feel after Saturday’s meet, the season was one of the best in recent memory.
The Roughriders ended the regular at 8-1 in dual matches, the best mark in a season by a St. Marys team since the 2012-13 season and the team’s best finish to a season overall since finishing runner-up in three straight years from 1977-1980. St. Marys missed a share of the title this season by .75 of a point.
The 1976-77 season remains the last time a Roughriders team won the WBL crown, sharing it that season with Defiance.
St. Marys now gears up for the Division II sectional tournament beginning at 5 p.m. Feb. 23 and 9:30 a.m. Feb. 24 at Napoleon High School.
“I just have to keep working harder and go at it next week,” Drummond said.

2018 WBL Wrestling Tournament
1. Wapakoneta 146, 2. Ottawa-Glandorf 122.5, 3. Shawnee 113.5, 4. St. Marys 109, 5. Van Wert 106, 6. Defiance 86, 7. Bath 60, 8. Kenton 44, 9. Elida 43, 10. Celina 39.

WBL Coach of the Year: Jason Rostorfer, Wapakoneta

2018 WBL Wrestling Final Standings
1. Wapakoneta 9.25, 2. St. Marys 8.5, 3. Ottawa-Glandorf 7.5, 4. Shawnee 7, 5. Defiance 5.5, 6. Van Wert 5, 7. Celina 4.75, 8. Bath 3.25, 9. Elida 2.25, 10. Kenton 2.

2018 WBL Wrestling Tournament Champions
108: Clayton Drummond, St. Marys
115: Tristan Villarreal, Defiance
122: Lupe Martinez, Defiance
128: Luke Beach, Wapakoneta
134: Gabe Steyer, Van Wert
140: Isaiah Bretz, Van Wert
147: Collin Mell, Bath
154: Cain Bentz, Shawnee
162: Grant Goecke, Ottawa-Glandorf
172: Clay Adlesh, Shawnee
184: Daniel Beemer, Ottawa-Glandorf
197: Zach Miller, Wapakoneta
222: Evan Kaeck, Wapakoneta
287: Bobby Grothjan, Shawnee