By Chris Chaney
As the sectional tournament looms over the Clermont County wrestling scene, the grapplers had one last chance to gain some acclaim at their respective conference tournaments over the weekend.
Both the Eastern Cincinnati Conference, home of Milford and Glen Este, as well as the Southern Buckeye Conference, represented by Amelia, Batavia, Bethel-Tate, Clermont Northeastern, Goshen, New Richmond and Williamsburg, held their league championships with locals claiming two of the three titles.
In the ECC, Glen Este won the team championship by one-half of a point over Loveland. To go along with the close victory, the Trojans’ head coach, Jason Roush, was named the inaugural Coach of the Year in the conference.
Glen Este had six weight class winners. At 106 lbs., sophomore Gage Branson won by major decision over Loveland’s Pete Vuyk, 13-1. At 120 lbs., freshman Brandon Smith defeated Anderson’s Conor Brockman, 5-3. At 126 lbs., sophomore Matt Sicurella won by major decision over Turpin’s Colin Stevens. At 132 lbs., sophomore Evan Gottis defeated his opponent also from Anderson, 12-8. At 170 lbs., sophomore Matt Kenedy pinned Loveland’s Dylan Norton in 1:10. Finally, in heavyweight 285 lbs., freshman Seth Crissman pinned Loveland’s Jamie Demers in 2:17.
The Trojans also had second-place finishers in freshman Brandon Hertel at 113 lbs. and Clayton McCune at 220 lbs.
Milford finished in fourth place, thanks to getting 10 wrestlers to the third-place matches. The Eagles won half of those matches, getting wins from Trevor Worley (106 lbs.), Bobby Hall (145 lbs.), Dominick Serge (152 lbs.), Jack Noll (160 lbs.) and Dominick Hathaway (172 lbs.).
In the SBC, Bethel-Tate came away with a close win in the American Division, edging New Richmond by just 2.5 points. Amelia finished third and Goshen came in fifth.
Bethel-Tate’s Tom Donahue was named the Coach of the Year and the Co-Wrestlers of the Year were given to Bethel’s Chip Ratcliff (132 lbs) and JR Forsee (285 lbs.) of New Richmond, both of whom won their weight classes.
In the National Division, Blanchester took first place over second-place Batavia, third-place Clermont Northeastern and fourth-place Williamsburg.
Batavia’s Gabe Archer (182 lbs.) was named the Wrestler of the Year in the Division and also won his weight class.
Other winners were Amelia’s Andy Clolinger at 106 lbs., Bethel’s Aric Peters at 120 lbs., Brian Carter at 136 lbs. Jeffery Botts at 152 lbs., New Richmond’s Clay Loadman at 145 lbs. and Kevin Reed at 170 lbs.
Second-place finishers included Batavia’s Josh McCloskey at 113 lbs., Amelia’s Isaac Shalash at 120 lbs., Jake Hopper at 195 lbs. and Cohen Canter at 285 lbs., Goshen’s Sterling Briggs at 138 lbs. and Tanner Raham at 160 lbs., and New Richmond’s pair of James White at 182 lbs. and Nathan Dixon at 220 lbs.
The teams have two weeks of preparations before they begin their journey through the sectional tournament.