Heidelberg looks strong heading into sections
Stars and Stripes February 5, 2011
HEIDELBERG, Germany — Heidelberg couldn’t have scripted a better scenario for its senior wrestling day, as four Lion seniors took top honors in their weight classes during the team’s final tuneup before next weekend’s DODDS-Europe sectionals.
Heidelberg used its balance Saturday to win eight of the 13 weight groups and capture the team race over runner-up Vilseck, which claimed three individual titles. Bamberg, which won the the other two weight classes, finished third and Mannheim was fourth.
“I think for the first time in a long time we have a chance to finish in the top three at Europeans,” Heidelberg coach Jason Duckworth said.
Despite Heidelberg’s success, perhaps the biggest roar reverberating through the Lions’ den came from Bamberg freshman Ryan Buettner.
Buettner put together a trifecta of first-period pins to head into the sectionals undefeated as he improved his season record to 19-0 in the 112-pound weight class.
Using a combination of stealth and speed to make quick work of his opponents, Buettner pounded on them early and didn’t let up.
“You can’t do anything against him,” said Heidelberg freshman Nick Baxter, one of his victims.
Buettner admitted he didn’t expect to be as dominant as he is in his first year of high school wrestling, but he’s warming up to the idea.
“I think sectionals will be tough, but I think I can do well,” he said.
Heidelberg junior Andrew Baxter, wrestling at 135, started the Lions off right when he squared off against Vilseck senior Scott Hammel in one of the more exciting matchups of the day.
Hammel defeated Baxter earlier in the season and it looked like the same fate was in store for Baxter as he entered the final period trailing 8-6.
After falling further behind, Baxter was able to adjust his game plan enough to crawl within a point of Hammel. “He was real strong, so I had to use technique and a little speed,” Baxter said.
With seconds left and still behind by a point, Baxter reversed control to score two points to grab the win.
Heidelberg seniors Andrew Bean, Jaron Henninger, Bronzen Williams and Turner Vite proved their mettle on the mat Saturday going a combined 8-0 on the day and improving to 47-8 on the year.
“This was our last home meet, a good morale boost going into sectionals,” Williams said after winning the 160-pound class.
Henninger, 15-1 as a 130-pound wrestler this year, won both his matches Saturday. He said his team is coming together at the right time.
“I believe we’ll be getting a plaque at Europeans this year,” he said.