By Garth Shanklin
This past weekend was a busy one for Clermont County wrestlers, with all but one of the county’s teams in action.
To start, the Bethel-Tate Tigers traveled to North College Hill for the Everett Howard Memorial Invitational. The Tigers won the tournament, collecting 262 points. East Clinton placed second with 166.5, followed by Northwest (166).
In the 106-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Joe Reinert finished third in pool play, advancing to the fifth-place match. Reinert defeated Miami Valley Christian’s Matthew Binning via pin in 21 seconds to earn the fifth-place spot.
Zack Gutknecht placed first in his pool in the 120-pound class. He then defeated Oak Hills’ Braden Miley via pin in 1:00 to advance to the first-place match, where he fell to Ross’ Logan Bruns in a 5-2 decision.
Another Tiger, Alex Whittington, placed sixth after falling to North College Hill’s Aaron Jackson.
Bethel-Tate’s Trey Sander won the title in the 126-pound class, finishing pool play with a perfect 4-0 mark that included three pins and a 16-0 tech fall. He then pinned Little Miami’s Joey Beck in 30 seconds to win the title.
Donnie Harrison split his two pool matches in the 132-pound class, sending him into the semifinals of the fifth-place bracket. Harrison defeated Summit’s Josiah Campbell in a 9-2 decision, then earned a major decision (14-3) win over St. Xavier’s Cole Dovoran to place fifth.
In the 145-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Mike Whittington swept his two pool matches to advance to the final eight wrestlers. He defeated Lakota East’s Max Pennix in the semifinals via tech fall (18-2) after pinning another Lakota East wrestler, Drew Baum, in 1:10 in the quarterfinals.
In the final match, Whittington earned an 11-3 major decision victory over Middletown’s Jermaine Richards to win the title.
Jonah Blankenship placed second for the Tigers in the 152-pound class. Blakenship won both of his pool matches via major decision, then defeated Western Hills’ Jason Harrison via pin in 1:10 to advance to the semifinals. Blankenship pinned Ross’ Zaak Morrell in 4:11 to advance to the finals, where he fell to Northwest’s Gage Starett 7-3.
In the 160-pound class, Bethel-Tate’s Connor Glenn finished first in his pool to advance to the final eight wrestlers in bracket play. He defeated Lakota East’s Jake Kuhn via pin in 1:53, but fell to East Clinton’s Josh Cline in the semifinals. Glenn defaulted in the third place match to finish fourth in the tournament.
Owen Mattes won both of his pool matches in the 182-pound class, then defeated Middletown’s Blake Maya via pin in 3:27 to advance to the semifinals. Mattes fell to St. Xavier’s Joel Martinez, dropping him to the third-place match. Oak Hills’ Will Davis defeated Mattes 7-1 in the third-place contest.
Nate Owens placed third in the 195-pound class. Owens finished 2-1 in pool play, drawing St. Xavier’s Johan Martinez in the first round. Martinez pinned Owens in 3:23, dropping the Tiger to the consolation bout against Cincinnati Country Day’s Noah Wise. Owens defeated Wise 7-4 to clinch third place.
Bradley Lewis won all five of his matches at 220 for the Tigers to take home the title. Lewis finished 4-0 in pool play and defeated Northwest’s Cesar Neri in a 14-2 major decision to place first overall. Teammate Blake Reed finished third after going 3-1 in the pool and winning the third place match by default.
Finally, Bethel-Tate’s Jayce Glenn pinned all three of his opponents in the 285-pound class to advance to the final four, where he defeated Northwest’s Simieon Salter via pin in 2:45 and Western Hills’ Reggie Taylor-Benton via pin in 1:33 to win the title.
Goshen also had a busy week on the mat, starting with a tri-match at home on Thursday, Dec. 7.
The Warriors swept both matches, starting with a 39-18 win over Reading. Jake Reynolds, Chase Huff, Sebastian Sancartier, Collin Briggs, Chad Jarvis, Jake Tatman, and Andrew Arnold all won matches against Reading. The team followed that up with a 48-21 win over Batavia, in which Reynolds, Huff, Bryce Briggs, Collin Briggs, Jarvis, J.J. Vonderau, Tatman and Arnold picked up victories.
The Warriors then traveled to Ryle High School for the Ryle Raider Rumble. Goshen placed 16th in the event, collecting 47 points. West Clermont also competed at Ryle, finishing 13th with 84 points.
West Clermont freshman Brian Hertel placed sixth, falling to Jayssen hanson of St. Xavier via pin in the fifth-place match at the 106 -pound class. Goshen’s Huff placed fourth in the 113-pound class, falling to Scott’s Brendan Pye in a 10-4 decision. West Clermont’s Dylan Rowland was eighth in the 113-pound class.
Another Wolf, Luigi Lattero, placed sixth in the 120-pound class.
Goshen’s Garret Ward finished fifth, defeating South Oldham’s Chas Fudold via pin in 4:07. Matt Lewis placed fifth in the 160-pound class for the Wolves, defeating Trinity’s Jon Gaudin via tech fall (15-0).
In the 220-pound class, Goshen’s Jacob Tatman placed fifth, defeating Union County’s Ross Hicks via pin at 2:25.
West Clermonts’ Jaxon Frysinger rounded out the local placers with a fourth-place finish in the 285-pound class, falling to Scott’s Noah Hunter via pin at 1:55.
A third Clermont County school also competed in Kentucky this past weekend. Williamsburg traveled a bit further south to take part in the King of the Bluegrass competition at Fairdale High School in Louisville.
The Wildcats placed sixth in the team standings, with just nine wrestlers earning 107.5 points.
Stephanie Abrams placed sixth for Williamsburg, falling to St. Xavier’s Charles Cooper in the fifth-place match.
Ezra Wallace won his fifth-place match via forfeit against Ohio County’s Jack Probus.
Williamsburg’s Wyatt Lefker placed second in the 152-pound class, falling to Doss’ Keaon Taylor in a 4-2 sudden victory.
Gavin Barnhart also placed fifth for the Wildcats, with teammate Ivan Wallace placing fifth in the 220-pound class by pinning Desales’ Mekhi Lewis in 2:36.
Brian Stears won the title in the 285-pound class, defeating Desales’ Dejuan Watkins via tech fall (19-2).
Finally, Milford’s wrestlers competed at Edgewood High School in Trenton, Ohio.
The team placed 15th out of 28 squads, totaling 70 points. Miamisburg won the team title with 167 points.
In the 120-pound class, Milford’s Max Ward pinned his first three opponents, then fell to Greeneville’s Austin Lacey in a 13-8 decision in the semifinals.Ward pinned teammate Raymond Clayton in the consolation semifinals, dropping Clayton to the fifth-place match. Ward won the third-place match in a 3-2 decision while Clayton placed fifth with an 8-5 win.
Kobey Bronaugh placed second for the Eagles, pinning two opponents and defeating a third by major decision to advance to the finals, where he fell to Troy’s Joe Pascale 5-4.
Another Eagle, Mason Roy, placed sixth in the 145-pound class. Roy fell to Preble Shawnee’s Travis Howard in his first match, but three pins in the consolation bracket sent him to the consolation semifinals, where he was defeated 8-1 by Greenville’s Jacob Mikesell. In the fifth-place match, Roy dropped a 7-2 decision to Tupin’s John McGuire.
No other Eagle wrestler qualified for the podium, but they’ll get their shot this week at the Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches’ Association Classic, held on Dec. 16 and 17 at Harrison High School. In addition to the Eagles, Bethel-Tate, Goshen, West Clermont and Williamsburg will also wrestle at Harrison. The county’s three remaining schools (Batavia, Clermont Northeastern, and New Richmond) are competing at the Blanchester Duals.