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Buchtel wrestling team ends strong season

3/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

WEST AKRON — Buchtel High School wrestling head coach Robert Hubbard said he is proud of the way his team competed this season.

“We ended the season around 10-6. We came in second at the City [Series] tournament. In the league, we were 4-1,” he said. “I think we had a pretty good year. We fought through a lot of adversity.”

Hubbard said his team had a good showing at the district tournament.

“We had four kids make it to districts and one alternate. They take the top four kids [to the state tournament] and we had two kids who came in sixth, so we just missed out,” he said. “If they would have won one more match, they would have qualified for state. They lost what they call their ‘go-to match.’”

One of the two wrestlers from Buchtel who finished sixth at the district tournament was sophomore Emmanuel White.

“Emmanuel is a very good kid. He’s young and still learning,” Hubbard said. “He uses a lot of strength and muscle and heart when he’s on the mat. He’s not afraid of anybody. The only thing with him is that when he’s at practice, he doesn’t put out his full effort. If I can get him to do that, it’s untold where this kid can end up.”

Senior Nevan Strobelt-McCann also finished sixth at the district tournament.

“Nevan was in a weight class [126 pounds] that was pretty brutal. It was a sandwich weight class where kids were trying to avoid the weight class above it and below it,” the coach said. “Nevan is a really good wrestler. He finished fourth at sectionals. He’s a great kid and a great student. He has a 4.1 GPA [grade point average] and he’s taking classes at The University of Akron.”

The highlight of Strobelt-McCann’s season was when he was named the City Series Wrestler of the Year.

“He had a really good season,” the coach said. “He was a City Series champ and he was named City Series Wrestler of the Year on Feb. 10.”

Another noteworthy honor for the team, Hubbard noted, was when junior 145-pounder William Wilson won the award for being the City Series Tournament Wrestler of the Year.

Hubbard said Wilson won the award both for his wrestling abilities and his sportsmanship.

“This was William’s first complete year of varsity wrestling. He’s done really well,” Hubbard said. “He was City Series champion at 145, and at the sectionals he placed fourth. He’s working hard. He has a lot of physical talent. I will be working on some things with him strategy-wise, but I think he wrestles really well. He had a chance to pull a couple of matches out at districts, but it just didn’t go his way.”

According to Hubbard, there were two seniors on this year’s team. In addition to Strobelt-McCann, Buchtel’s other senior was Tyler Green (182 pounds).

“Tyler wrestled for me in his freshman year, but in the last two years he started working and couldn’t make it out for us,” Hubbard said. “This year, he came back out and he did well for me. He wrestled well in City [Series], and he actually took fifth at sectionals, so he was an alternate for districts. He’s another really good student. He has a 3.5 GPA and he plans on going to culinary school after he graduates.”

Hubbard said this year’s team had a strong junior class, featuring Wilson, Jawaun Scruggs, Dupri Whatley, Darryl Thomas and Trevel Cooper.

“Hopefully, most of them will stick it out,” the coach stated. “We only lose two seniors next year, and with those juniors coming back, we should be pretty good. We also have some other good kids waiting to crack the lineup. So I think we should be ready for another good run next year. We’re going to try to win [the] City [Series] and get over that hump. The future looks good.”

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