(1-26-18) Last night the two final undefeated wrestling teams in the WBL met in Defiance. Celina would win the final two weight classes as Sam Warner (Jr) and Logan Keiser (Jr) each earned six points to end the match 45-31 and the Green and White Bulldogs were alone at the top in the Western Buckeye League after 6 dual matches at 6-0.
Celina Head Coach James Miracle told SSN what the road win meant:
The win was big for several reasons. Obviously putting us in first place with three weeks left gives us some legitimacy. Second any win over Defiance in Wrestling is rare for us. Third it keeps our goal alive of winning the dual side of the league format. If you look even deeper you would see that our middle school won tonight like 55-25 and our JV won all three matches so the foundation is there to keep this going.
The win now allows Celina to win the dual portion of the WBL season without help from anyone.
On Wednesday night in the State Dual Regionals they lost a very close match to Wapakoneta 42-33, their next conference meet is next Thursday at home against the same Redskin squad.
What’s it going to take to win just their third WBL Championship, with 3 matches left?
Coach Miracle shared his thoughts:
Right now we are just trying to win the dual segment which accounts for 50% of the WBL Championship. To win this we have to win our rematch with Wapakoneta who beat us last night (Wednesday). It was a close dual that came down to the last match. If we get by them we still have to be a St. Mary’s squad who beat Wapakoneta early in the year and a young and improving Van Wert squad that we beat earlier in the year. To do this we need to get healthy, avoid injuries, make some lineup changes and most importantly wrestle better. If we can do all these things, then we need to maximize our placements at the league tournament that is going to be more competitive than usual as there isn’t one team that is dominate. Unfortunately, I don’t think we have the horsepower to place many of our wrestlers in the top two where the most points are scored so we will need to place most of our team to score high enough to claim the WBL outright.
In 47 years of wrestling in the WBL, Celina has only shared the title two times, the last time was ten years ago in 2008, the other title came in 2005.
So what makes this group so special this year?
The thing about this team is their commitment to our season. We have one of the largest teams in the state, many of our kids don’t get to wrestle much in the duals but they show up to practice and help prepare their teammates for the next competition. This group is so close that we are an extended family which helps with our retention of our athletes.
The last three matches of the season will set the stage for a possible third WBL title, followed by the WBL season ending tournament.
- 2-1-18 Wapakoneta
- 2-8-18 at St. Marys
- 2-13-18 Van Wert
The direction of the program continues to be a bright spot in Celina athletics, the win over Defiance, who had won 20 championships over the years, is a positive sign for the future.
Coach Miracle is looking to the future thanks to the development of the program:
I appreciate the acknowledgement of our accomplishments, we (coaching staff) are so inspired by our young team. We hope this season can turn into something significant that helps us build and develop our team for the future. There is nothing I would love more than to hand this program off to someone and know that it is established and recognized statewide.