The Ross Rams wrestling team has a history of pulling off upsets in the state team tournament.
In 2013, the Rams entered the tournament seeded seventh and advanced to the semifinals with a win in criteria over second-seeded CVCA.
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Sunday, the Rams did it again at St. John Arena.
Sixth-seeded Ross rallied from a 36-12 deficit to tie third-seeded Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 36-36 before winning the match on criteria to advance to the semis.
“It’s amazing,” Ross coach Rich Dunn said. “We knew if we kept it close and kept knocking away at it, it would work out.”
Ross was eliminated 60-12 by second-seeded Mentor Lake Catholic.
“Emotionally and physically to go from that to jumping right into another match is tough,” Dunn said. “But we made it to the final four and that’s awesome. It’s great for our kids.”
For most of the opening dual, it looked like Ross may be one and done.
Logan Bruns recorded a pin at 113 and Jake Gentry a 7-3 decision at 120 for a 9-5 Ross lead, but that was to be the last match Ross would win until 170.
ASVSM recorded four pins, a major decision and a decision to take a 36-9 lead with five matches remaining, putting Ross’ backs against the wall.
“They had a couple of wins that we thought we would pull out,” Dunn said. “Bu none of our guys got rattled, they just kept working on keeping it close.”
Garrett Boyle got Ross back on track with a 13-9 win at 170 before the Rams caught a break.
Austin Hamblin trailed ASVSM’s David Heath 17-5 late in the third period when he was slammed and couldn’t continue.
The win by DQ was followed by forfeits to Griffin Peacock and Tom Coleman to cut the deficit to 36-30 heading into 285.
Sophomore Alex Coleman recorded the fall in 56 seconds to tie the match at 36-36 to take the match to criteria.
“That match had some defining moments, but I think the main one has to be the DQ,” Dunn said. “It came down to 285, and Alex went out and took the bull by the horns.
“Their 285 was solid. That was not some gimme match.”
Ross won on the third criteria – most wins by fall, forfeit, DQ and defaults – with a 5-4 edge on ASVSM.
Ross could never get on track against Mentor Lake Catholic.
Mentor Lake Catholic recorded the first 12 wins, earning bonus points in 11 of the 12 before Ross got on the board.
Tom Coleman and Alex Coleman recorded back-to-back pins to avoid the shut out.
“They have a lot of hammers,” Dunn said. “We knew they were a tough team coming in and the worse part is having to turn right around and wrestle again.”