By Chris Chaney
The Southern Buckeye Conference named their First and Second Team Wrestling All-Conference All Stars last month following the completion of the SBC Tournament at Blanchester in early February.
Determined by the final match in each weight class, the American and National Divisions were combined at the tournament to determine a single winner, meaning that the All-Star team is not broken down by division as is the case with most other sports in the conference.
However, both divisions did have their own Players and Coaches of the Year, three of the four of which were claimed by Clermont County representatives.
Perhaps the breadwinner of the postseason awards, which were held on March 4 at Hammersville, were Coach Tom Donahue’s Bethel-Tate Tigers.
Donahue was named the Coach of the Year and his state-qualifying senior, Chip Ratcliff was named one of the Co-Wrestlers of the Year in the American Division. Ratcliff shared the award with fellow state qualifier, JR Forsee of New Richmond.
Ratcliff’s Bethel-Tate team edged Forsee’s Lions by just 2.5 points at the league meet, thanks in large part to the three other Bethel grapplers who won their weight class.
Joining Ratcliff and Forsee on the First Team All-Conference were three Bethel league champions: Aric Peters (120 lbs.), Brian Carter (126 lbs.) and Jeffrey Botts (152 lbs.). Forsee had a pair of teammates also on the First Team in Clay Loadman (145 lbs.) and Kevin Reid (170 lbs.)
Ratcliff won the 132 lbs. weight class and Forsee took home the title for the 285 lbs. weight class. Both advanced to state where Ratcliff was knocked out prior to the medal round, while Forsee was able to wrestle through the consolation bracket to secure a sixth-place finish.
Among the other First Teammers not from Bethel or New Richmond were Andy Clolinger of Amelia at 106 lbs.; Malachi Marlow of Western Brown at 113 lbs.; Rick Nicely of Blanchester at 138 lbs.; Jordan Dawson of Blanchester at 160 lbs.; Gabe Archer of Batavia at 182 lbs.; Tim Lee and Travis Boyd, both of Blanchester at 195 lbs. and 220 lbs., respectively.
Archer of Batavia, also a district qualifier, was named the National Division Wrestler of the Year. Archer had a very successful senior season and finished in fifth place at the Goshen district, one match short of heading to state.
Archer’s Batavia team finished as runners-up in the National Division, falling short to league champions Blanchester.
The second-place finishers at the SBC meet who were named to the Second Team All-Conference were Tyler Adkins of Western Brown at 106 lbs.; Josh McCloskey of Batavia at 113 lbs.; Isaac Shalash and Jake Hopper, both of Amelia at 120 lbs. and 126 lbs., respectively; Blake Silvis of Western Brown at 132 lbs.; Sterling Briggs of Goshen at 138 lbs.; Kenon Bowling of Western Brown at 145 lbs.; Dan Peters of Blanchester at 152 lbs.; Conner Rahm of Goshen at 160 lbs.; Brandon Breezley of Blanchester at 170 lbs.; James White of New Richmond at 182 lbs.; Derrick Hopper of Amelia at 195 lbs.; Nathan Dixon of New Richmond at 220 lbs.; and Cohen Canter of Amelia at 285 lbs.