Whether your team is a veteran squad or a work-in-progress, facing tough competition is a staple for developing postseason success. Logan County coaches are well aware of this as a challenging slate of tournaments await this weekend.
There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by wrestling good opponents. A lofty record created by wins over bad wrestlers is not going to do any favors when the postseason arrives.
That is not rocket science. What gets overlooked, though, are quality losses. Most people just focus on winning or losing to determine a team’s value.
In wrestling, that happens all the time.
Wrestlers who might not have an undefeated record or are nearing 10 losses aren’t given a second thought. That’s because they went to several of the state’s toughest tournaments to prepare them for what was ahead.
Logan County teams have to make long drives for that to happen. Indian Lake is in Toledo this weekend and Bellefontaine is going to Cincinnati. Ben Logan has gone to Indiana in previous seasons and the Chiefs have traveled as far as Alliance.
Who you wrestle matters, and with that in mind, here is a closer look at where our area teams are headed this weekend:
Indian Lake at Maumee Bay Classic
Indian Lake is taking six of its wrestlers to the Maumee Bay Classic, which runs today and Saturday at Oregon Clay High School near Toledo. Wrestling started today at 11 a.m. and resumes at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
The MBC is considered the third-toughest regular-season tournament behind Ironman and Brecksville. I personally believe Maumee Bay is even with Brecksville in terms of high-end teams, but Brecksville probably has better depth.
Nationally-ranked Elyria and Brighton High School of Michigan lead the field of nearly 50 teams. Brighton, ranked 26th, beat Elyria, ranked 15th, by just six points last year at this tournament. Louisville and Perrysburg are also in the upper tier of teams at Maumee Bay.
Indian Lake returning state placer Hayden Pummel is seeded fifth at 170 pounds. He finished seventh at this meet last season and went on to place seventh at the Division III state meet. Needless to say, if you do well at Maumee Bay you will do well later when it matters the most.
Bellefontaine at Hammer and Anvil Invitational
Bellefontaine returns to the Hammer and Anvil Invitational Saturday at Western Brown High School. The Chieftains went to this tournament for several years before taking a hiatus the last two seasons.
There are over 20 teams competing. Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m. This year’s tourney features a very solid field of teams led by Lebanon and Kentucky schools Walton Verona and Campbell County.
A lot of tough southwest Ohio teams come to this tournament. If you can place high here then you should have a promising postseason. That is why the Chiefs are back to test some of their better wrestlers. Noah Yoesting (152) is on a two-tournament win streak, while Garrett Gross (195) will see his best competition of the season.
Ben Logan, WL-Salem at North Union Invitational
Benjamin Logan and West Liberty-Salem compete at the North Union Invitational on Saturday in Richwood. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m.
The Raiders are returning to this meet and they have a solid chance to win the tournament title. The Tigers are making their first appearance at this meet.
Last year’s champion London is not returing and neither is last year’s runner-up Marion Pleasant. That opens the door of opportunity for Ben Logan’s wrestlers. The Raiders are surging and have a senior-led group that could do a lot of damage this weekend.