HOWLAND — There’s a certain aura to the Howland wrestling program.
The Tigers’ history is rich with success. They’ve had four state champions, six runners-up, 31 state placers and 74 state qualifiers.
Brad Gintert is a legend within the Mahoning Valley wrestling community — winning two state titles and finishing as a runner-up in the early 1980s — and David-Brian Whisler, a three-time state qualifier and a state champion in 2015, is currently wrestling for the University of Maryland.
Matthew Woomer did something neither of them accomplished and added some history of his own to the Tigers’ lineage.
Woomer will wrestle in today’s OHSAA Individual State Wrestling Tournament — and he’ll be the first freshman in school history to do so.
He surprised a lot of people — including his coach — by placing fourth at the Division II Alliance District tournament, but Woomer wasn’t surprised.
“I didn’t know I was the first freshman after I qualified,” he said. “My coach was talking to people around me and told me I was the first to qualify as a freshman. I wasn’t really surprised by myself because I put a lot of work in over the season, after practices and going to the gym.”
The All-American Conference is an OHSAA-sanctioned league, created in 2008 as the result of the merger between the Trumbull Athletic Conference and the Metro Athletic Conference in Ohio. The league has 21 different member schools, with 17 sports offered throughout fall, winter and spring sports seasons.