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Ohio's Germane Lindsey wrestles Eastern Michigan's Seth Schaner during the Feb. 20 match in The Convo. The Bobcats won 28-9. They wrestle in the MAC Championships in DeKalb, Ill., this weekend. (Maddie Meyer | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Wrestling: Sweet dreams replace nightmarish backstory

To appreciate how historic the Bobcats’ past two seasons have been, the forgettable years that came before them need to be remembered.

Coach Joel Greenlee did just that in the days after Feb. 20, when Ohio clinched a share of its first regular-season Mid-American Conference title since 2001.

“We’ve come a long way in four years,” Greenlee said. “Four years ago, we were the worst team in the MAC.”

The 14th-year coach started his career at Ohio with two wins at the MAC Championships in his first four seasons, but the team had not come close to a title until now.

Since 2002 the Bobcats placed no better than third during the regular season. Ohio also finished third or worse in every MAC Championships since 2001.

The past five years have been particularly rough for the Bobcats. Until last season, when five Bobcats went to the NCAA Championships, they sent just two wrestlers to Nationals since 2005-06 and placed no better than fourth in the MAC tournament since 2003-04.

“I still think four years ago we could have been the best team in the MAC,” Greenlee said. “We just had a lot of injuries.”

Two seasons ago, the Bobcats lost two of their most promising wrestlers to career-ending injuries. Matt Reedy and Tommy Weinkam, part of the same recruiting class as seniors Germane Lindsey and Erik Schuth, did not compete after the 2008-09 season.

Reedy (149 pounds) and Weinkam (165) would have filled positions where Ohio currently does not have its strongest wrestlers.

“If we’d had those guys in our lineup, we’d have won a MAC championship,” Greenlee said. “Easily.”

Injuries were not the Bobcats’ only problem. Some older wrestlers were not as disciplined in their training as Ohio’s current veterans are.

Many wrestlers lived in houses of up to 12 people. The distraction of a crowded house led to many late nights.

But two years ago, Greenlee instated a rule that wrestlers could have only three roommates. Suddenly, wrestlers who had been showing up to practice tired were able to get good workouts in.

 “People stopped going out during the season,” redshirt junior Nick Purdue said. “People buckled down, people started studying more. People started cutting weight better. … The results showed.”


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