By Rob Kiser
HUBER HEIGHTS — The Piqua wrestlers had a long wait to get the season started.
But, coach Scott Kaye had to be pleased with what he saw in a double dual with Wayne, Kenton Ridge and Eaton.
The Indians, despite forfeiting six weight classes, pulled off a 42-36 win over Wayne, before losing 47-25 to Eaton.
“The kid had been talking about waiting for the first match,” Kaye said. “Then yesterday, it was like wow, it is almost here. They were excited.”
While the forfeits caught up to them against the Eagles, Piqua won six of the eight matches wrestled in that match and won 10 of 13 matches wrestled on the night.
“We had some guys that got down early against Wayne, but were able to turn things around,” Kaye said. “Eaton (who filled all 14 weight classes) it came down to winning as many matches as we could. And we did a good job of that. They have a really nice team.”
The Wayne match was not without drama.
Forfeit wins by Sam Herndon (113), Jesse Ceyler (132) and Andrew Bolin (138) — along with pins by Nick Baker (120) and Tristan Hostetter (126) had given Piqua a 30-0 lead.
Returning state qualifier Hunter Bryant (152) added a pin. But, five forfeits and Brennan Hicks (145) losing by pin left the match tied at 36.
The 106 weight class was a double forfeit — meaning the 285-pound match would determine the winner.
Wayne sent a wrestler out that normally wrestles 220 — but gave them the best chance against Piqua senior Jake Hetzler.
Hetzler delivered with a pin in 2:45 to finish off the win.
“Jake (Hetzler) did a nice job out there,” Kaye said. “They felt like their 220 had more experience and had a better shot. It was a good win.”
Piqua won four of the first six matches wrestled against Eaton to take a 16-11 lead.
Baker had a 4-0 lead after two periods in the opening match — with neither wrestler scoring in the final two minutes after Baker started down.
Hostetter hit a move near the end of the first period for a pin in 1:47.
After Ceyler was pinned, Boling dominated his match with a 15-4 major decision.
Hicks was pinned, before Bryant recorded a 10-4 decision.
Hetzler would win by pin in 22 seconds, but six forfeits caught up with Piqua, before Herndon ended the night by hanging for a 5-3 victory.
“It was a pretty close match,” Kaye said. “Sam (Herndon) moved up a weight class and is still adjusting to the strength.”
As Piqua gets ready for a big match at Sidney Tuesday, Kaye was happy with what he saw overall.
“It was just great for them to get out on the mat, learn some things and we see where we are at,” Kaye said.
And for Piqua, it was definitely worth the wait.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.