The Bobcats were ready to end their regular season with a standard doubleheader at The Convo before things took a bizarre turn.
The team was going through its normal player introductions before its first duel Sunday against Buffalo.
Seconds after Shakur Laney’s name was called, the building went dark. The only light came from a few bulbs that survived a power outage that affected several buildings on Ohio University’s campus.
At first, everything was silent, but that was followed by cheers and laughter. The wrestlers weren’t going to let the lights ruin their day. The duel had already been delayed by 40 minutes due to a previous power outage, so the sudden darkness didn’t take the Bobcats by too much surprise.
After some deliberation between the coaches and officials, it was determined that the darkness wouldn’t impede the safety of the wrestlers. The two teams shook hands and prepared to make the most of a unique day inside The Convo.
There was no screen to keep the score posted for wrestlers and fans throughout the entire duel. Instead, a manual scoreboard was used, and there was also no buzzer sound when time expired. It was replaced by a whistle and a megaphone.
Even though it was the final day that Ohio’s seniors wrestled in The Convo, the power situation didn’t bring them down.
“It was almost like it was another obstacle that felt fitting for the last day,” Zac Carson said. “It wasn’t a big deal for me.”
Some of the seniors even enjoyed the extra hurdle.
“I kind of like when you have things that don’t go conveniently,“ Hunter Yeargan said. “You kind of have to go out of your comfort zone a little bit and overcome those adversities. I think we adjusted to the inconvenience.”
Power in The Convo initially went out at around 7:30 a.m. along with other parts of Ohio’s campus. At first, it looked as if the duel location would have to be moved to another location and time, such as the Ping Recreation Center or Athens Middle School. The power was restored after a few hours, however, and the only setback seemed to be a 40-minute delay.
Then, before the duel even started, the lights went off again. At that point, though, it was time to wrestle.
While The Convo’s lights were lacking energy, the crowd wasn’t. The cheers from parents, fans and the bench section were just as enthusiastic and loud as they were for any other duel, even if the wrestling was a bit more difficult to see.
Ohio’s performance wasn’t weakened, either, and it came away with a 27-10 victory.
When asked about how the situation compared to other interesting moments in his career, coach Joel Greenlee — who’s coached the Bobcats for 20 seasons — needed a moment to think.
“That’s right up there,” Greenlee said with a laugh. “I’ve got a lot of them.”