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No. 8 Wrestling Looks to Five-Peat as Ohio Athletic Conference Champions

Pictured left to right: Senior Charlie Nash and Senior Zeckary Lehman
Pictured left to right: Senior Charlie Nash and Senior Zeckary Lehman

BEREA, Ohio – The four-time defending Ohio Athletic Conference Champion Baldwin Wallace University wrestling team will aim for a school-record five straight OAC Championships.

Under the direction of ninth-year Head Coach Jamie Gibbs, who earned OAC Coach of the Year the previous four seasons, owns a career record of 172-75. Gibbs returns 16 letterwinners, two All-Americans, three All-OAC performers, and eight national qualifiers from last year's squad that finished the year ranked fifth nationally.

Leading BW out of the senior class are the two All-Americans in Charlie Nash (Norwalk) and Zeckary Lehman (Akron/Revere). Nash, who is ranked No. 1 at 133 pounds, placed fourth at the 2019 National Championship and owns an 82-37 career record that lands him 22nd all-time in school history. Lehman ranks fourth at 197 pounds and placed seventh at the 2019 National Championships. His career mark is 86-22, which places him 18th all-time in school history.

Rounding out the senior class is Adam Green (Austintown/Fitch), Benjamin Hooff (Worthington/Thomas Worthington), and Aaron Kelly (Rocky River). Green finished the year with a record of 18-20 with nine pins and four technical falls. Hooff closed out the year with a mark of 2-3. Aaron Kelly concluded his season at 16-6 with one pin and five tech-falls.

Junior All-OAC and two-time Academic All-OAC Stanley Bleich (North Ridgeville/Elyria Catholic), who ranks eighth at 149 pounds, will lead the junior class. He finished the year 29-7 with two pins and his overall record of 61-18 places him 37th on the all-time career wins at BW. Junior 125 pounder Chad Craft (Dayton/Northmont) wrapped up his sophomore season with a record of 16-9 with five pins and three tech-falls.

Junior All-OAC and Academic All-OAC Tanner McHugh (New Ringgold, Pa./Tamaqua) returns after a record of 31-11 as a sophomore. Junior Dalton Leightner (Ravenna/Rootstown) enters his third season after a record of 34-12 with 17 pins, six tech-falls and a Wrestler of the Week accolade as a sophomore.

Filling out the upperclassmen are juniors Ryan Orr (Wadsworth), Trevor Scherf (Graytwon/Oak Harbor), and Maxwell Bourque (Avon) and Kevin Kelly (North Olmstead). Orr finished last season with a record of 14-17 with three pins. Scherf sealed his sophomore campaign with a record of 10-6 with two pins and Bourque finished with a 9-11 record with four pins and one tech-fall.

Heading the sophomore class will be Parker Meaney (Ashtabula/Lakeside), Ryan Haas (Toledo/Maumee), and Jarod Miller (Greenville, Pa./Reynolds). Meaney wrapped up last year with a record of 19-17 with nine pins and one tech-fall. Haas finished with a 10-8 record with four pins and three tech-falls while Miller established a 14-13 mark with three pins.

Rounding out the sophomore class are Andrew Bachie (Berea/Berea-Midpark), Dominic Shelley (Mentor), Aidan Cardaman (Geneva), and Quinton Kelley (Akron/Archbishop Hoban). Bachie concluded last year with an 8-15 record with three pins and one tech-fall. Shelley went 8-17 with three pins and one tech fall, while Cardaman wrapped his freshman campaign at 7-17 with four pins.

The 14 freshman of Zachery Anderson (Elyria/Midview), Doug Byrne (Wickliffe), Connor DeBoe (Mentor), Mack Groah (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck), Luke Hopkins (Cuyahoga Heights), Joey Koplow (Newbury/Kenston), Jakiere Legoskey (Pine Hill/Overbrook), Drew Levis (Elyria), Lucas Moore (Tipp City/Troy Christian), Griffin Rathburn (New Albany/Bishop Hartley), Luke Salmon (Sandusky/Perkins), Jack Stanley (Brecksville/Brecksville-Broadview Heights), Hunter Thompson (Greenville/Reynolds), and Matthew Werts (Buffalo, N.Y./Saint Joseph's College Institute) will look to add depth and bring competition to the mat.

The Yellow Jackets open the 2019-20 schedule by competing in the Ithaca (N.Y.) College Invitational on November 1 & 2. BW opens up OAC action on Tuesday November 19 at Ohio Northern University at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets host the BW Invitational on Saturday November 23 in the Lou Higgins Center Fieldhouse before welcoming the University of Mount Union to Ursprung on Tuesday December 3.