by Todd Spencer
Five Loveland Middle School wrestlers earned the title “Conference Champion” at the 2017 ECC Championship Meet held January 27th at Milford High School.
The first champion of the evening was Brett Hogan, as he took care of business in the 80-pound weight class. Other champs were: Kevin Witter (104 lbs), MoMo Wilson (128), Ethan Segrist (160), and Calvin Spencer (172).
As a team, the 3-time defending champion Tigers finished second behind host Milford.
Segrist led the team in scoring with 24 points, followed by Witter (21), Spencer (18), and Wilson (17).
The most dramatic bout of the evening came when Spencer, giving away 9 to 12 pounds to all his opponents, defeated his foe from Kings in a come-from-behind win that saw him take a 10-9 lead with 5 seconds to go and win-by-pin at the buzzer. Coach John Hart said, “Calvin showed amazing heart and effort by finding a way (to win).” When the referee slapped the mat in favor of Spencer, the numerous Tiger fans shook the gym with joyous cheers.
Wilson also gave the Orange plenty to cheer about, as he used his signature throw moves to dominate the field and elicit numerous, “ooh’s, ah’s, and woo-hoo’s.”
Witter saved his best wrestling for last, as he won his first tournament of the season. Coach Jason Ammerman noted that, “Kevin worked extremely hard to wrestle at 104 pounds, where the team needed him, and he came through when we needed him most.”
Five other Tiger grapplers had successful meets with second place finishes: Gavin Folzenlogen (92 lbs), Jack McCaleb (110), Jake Case (116), Reese Matre (150), and Hrissy Stanchev (205). The coaches expressed great pride in their squad, with Hart saying, “I’m extremely proud of our boys. They showed great courage, heart, and dedication this season.” Ammerman followed with, “This team trained and wrestled hard all year. My veteran 8th graders were leaders at practice and in competition, and our first-year boys have really come a long way. We battled through injuries and inexperience, and I’m very happy with our showing. (Loveland wrestling) is in great shape for next year.”