Hatchet grapplers win thriller at Rebel Invite in Wabeno
By Jed Buelow
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor, Sports and Nature Editor
There’s a reason they call him “The Legend.”
And over the weekend he reminded folks why, as Hatchet heavy weight Tony “The Legend” Matti got the 7-0 decision win in the championship match to help Tomahawk win the Rebel Invite held in Laono-Wabeno over the weekend.
Leading up to the 285 pound weight class showdown that would decide a neck-and-neck battle between Tomahawk and Cedar Grove-Belgium, Tomahawk’s 220 pounder Eric Decker helped set the stage for the epic battle by getting the 4-3 win over Marcus Ramirez from Cedar Grove/Belgium to pull the Hatchets within striking distance. Decker (5-2) also scored a 5-2 decision win and got a fall in 1:49 to finish in 3rd place in his weight class in Rebel Nation.
Of course wrestling isn’t just an individual sport and it took an entire team to get the big win over Cedar Grove/Belgium. The Hatchets needed big nights from a couple of other wrestlers and they got them from Marco Matti (6-1) at 170 and Kade Wenninger (5-2) at 182 to win the Rebel Invite.
Both wrestlers notched a 2nd place finishes in their respective weight classes. Marco opened with a bye and then scored a major decision before getting a 6-1 win before falling in the championship match to finish runner up. Wrestling at 182, K. Wenninger (5-2) also had a big day as he got a bye, got the pin in 3:03 and got a 7-6 decision before dropping his final match by a 5-3 score.
Also scoring a 2nd place finish at the Rebel Invite, Mason Evans (5-2) was impressive wrestling at 132. After opening with a bye, Evans got the tech fall in round two and then added on a 5-4 decision before falling in the championship match.
A pair of Hatchet grapplers scored 3rd place finishes to help score the win. Wrestling at 160 pounds, Logan Bishop (5-2) opened with a fall in 34 seconds before following it up with a pin in just 27 seconds. After falling in the next round, he would finish with a 12-6 decision to end the day in 3rd place. Luke Knight (6-1) finished in 3rd wrestling at 126 after getting an opening round bye he scored a fall in 1:26 and finished out the day with a 11-6 decision win.
Also scoring some impressive wins to help Tomahawk get the victory, Micha Arnott got a pin at 138 in 3:50, Addison Pissec (6-1) got a 16-4 major decision win; at 145 Alex Bishop got a pin in 3:49 and followed it up with a pair of falls in 2:49 and 1:50 and Chris Bushong (5-2) got a fall in 2:48 and a 3-1 decision wrestling at 113.
Additional wins at Laona-Wabeno came from Lance Knight (4-3) as he got a pin in 44 seconds wrestling at 120 and 152-pound wrestler Tom Rigney (5-3) got a pin in 4 minutes to open and additional falls in 2:19 and 4:13 to finish out an impressive day.
As for The Legend, Tony Matti would open with a bye before getting pins in 3:22 and 3:16 to advance to the championship round. In the match to decide the Laona-Wabeno victor, Matti (7-0) would get the 6-2 decision win over Mitchell Gore of Athens (9-1) to propel Tomahawk to victory for a second straight week to start the season.
Tomahawk won the Rebel Invite by the narrowest of margins scoring 205.5 to upend Cedar Grove/Belgium’s 2nd place finish with 202.5. Athens (172), Gladstone, MI (139) and Reedsville (136.5) rounded out the top five finishers at the 17-team Rebel Invite.
The Hatchet grapplers will look to keep their fantastic start to the season going when they travel to Lakeland Thursday, Dec. 19 for the GNC opener at 7 p.m. before hosting the Hatchet Invite at Hatchet Fieldhouse this Friday, Dec. 20 that begins at 3:45 p.m.