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Bobcat redshirt junior Cody Walters battles with Buffalo's Wally Maziarz. Walters won in a 2-0 decision. Ohio won overall 24-13. 

Wrestling: Ohio’s student section helps team surge after bad start, Bobcats defeat Huskies 23-10

The Bobcats got a bad start on Friday, but were able to get the win against the Huskies. 

A surprisingly sizable group of about 30 students came to Ohio’s match Friday evening at The Convo, despite the level 2 snow emergency. 

The boisterous yells of the student section would help Ohio (7-3, 2-3 Mid-American Conference) defeat Northern Illinois (5-6, 0-3 MAC) 23-10.

“It (student section) pumps you up,” redshirt senior Spartak Chino said. “Any type of angst or uncomfortabilty you have going into the match dissipates whenever you look in the student section.”

Redshirt senior Phil Wellington said the student section provides comic relief for the team, enabling them to not be as serious while on the bench.

Although the student section destroyed the Huskies for the entire match, the Bobcats did not.

Ohio would lose two of its first three matches, with redshirt sophomore Noah Forrider losing 5-2 and redshirt sophomore Zach Wilson losing 12-3 in his first match of the season.

Wilson replaced a hurt redshirt sophomore Cullen Cummings at 149 pounds. Coach Joel Greenlee declined to comment on the extent of Cummings’ injury.

The Bobcats didn’t stay grounded for long, however. Though the team had a slow start, Chino won 8- 4 — the team would win four straight matches following Chino’s win. 

“My job is to bring the energy when we’re a little down, and to dominate every single time” Chino said. “I just focus on what I need to go do, wrestle as hard as I can, and pump up the crowd after the match.”

This surge caused the student section to only have more snide comments toward Northern Illinois, especially when Wellington won by technical fall 20-5. 

"I was mostly focused on this week in myself because at Kent State, I definitely did not wrestle myself," Wellington said.  "I don't want to wrestle like that ever again."

Students help carry the mats off the floor following home matches.

“It means we don’t have to do it (carry the mats),” said Greenlee. “Either the students do it or we do it after the match.”

With the students providing support despite inclement weather conditions, the Bobcats will look to extend their win streak to three Sunday against Buffalo. 


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