FORT WAYNE – Sniders SAC wrestling meet championship already had been decided, Matt Swartzs shoulder was throbbing, and he had only 38 seconds to go before he could celebrate with his Panther teammates standing a few feet away in their home gym.
He had something else in mind.
Score, Swartz said. I knew my team needed the points, and I really wanted to win SAC. So I just pushed myself.
Swartz, trailing 3-2, proceeded to push his way to escape the grasp of Concordias Alex Kunkel to earn a match-tying point with 4 seconds remaining. He then dropped Kunkel during the extra session to win the individual title at 285 pounds and put the finishing touch on another conference championship for the Panthers.
Snider rode five individual champions and two runners-up finishes to the SAC title with 238.5 points. Bishop Dwenger was second with 212.5 points and Wayne third with 209.5.
Its a huge accomplishment for us, Swartz said. Its something weve worked for since the beginning of the season. Its the first thing we write on our board – SAC champs. Its a great accomplishment.
Winning the SAC was a goal that began about a year ago when the Panthers won the championship but felt short-changed when Dwenger won the SAC dual title.
We wont have to share it with anyone like last year, said Snider senior Dustin Wells, who won a championship at 152 pounds. Its really important with our team. We talk about it all the time.
Joining Swartz and Wells as SAC champs for Snider were: Erique Early at 126, Bobby Humphrey at 132 and Russell Davies at 182. Jaydon Nance (120) and Trevor Thomas, who entered the meet unseeded at 195, added second-place finishes. All 14 Snider wrestlers placed in the top six.
That says a lot about the group weve got, Snider coach Dave Mohr said. They just bonded really well and put together a room that is intense and is a team atmosphere where everybody encourages each other and everybody works together for a common goal.
Dominic Garrett (138), Austin Hillman (145) and Jared Deininger (170) won individual titles for Dwenger. Nick Lehman finished second to Wells at 152, and Juston Stewarts third-place win over Waynes Jyron Gunn at 285 pushed the Saints past the Generals.
Wayne had three individual champions in Rashaam Hill (113), Shaun Johnson (160) and Kanez Omar (195)
Omar remained undefeated at 34-0 with his win at 195 over Sniders Thomas. An SAC title was the first of a series of goals Omar hopes to reach in the next few weeks.
Ive got to keep working and ultimately reach my goal of a state championship, said Omar, who made it to the semistate round last year.
Other SAC title winners included: Ben Streeter of North Side (106), Northrops Logan Aldrich (120) and Tyree Elkins of South Side (220).