By Garth Shanklin
Five of Clermont County’s eight wrestling teams spent the weekend battling schools from across the region at Harrison High School in the Glenn Sample Invitational, hosted by the Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association.
Bethel-Tate posted the highest team score of all local squads, tallying 73 points to finish 14th overall. West Clermont (55.5) and Goshen (53) finished 21st and 22nd, respectively, with Williamsburg recording 39 points and a 31st-place team finish. Milford totaled 29 points, good for a 36th-place finish out of 46 teams.
Goshen’s Chase Huff pinned his first two opponents in the 106-pound class to advance to the quarterfinals, where he defeated Moeller’s Nolan Moore 4-0 to advance to the semifinals.
Huff then defeated Fairfield’s Andrew Newkirk via a 10-6 decision, setting up a bout against Elder’s Willie Doepker in the finals. Doepker won the match 5-0, droppping Huff to second place.
Two locals placed in the 126-pound class. Milford’s Kobey Bronaugh pinned his first two opponents, then defeated a third in a 6-4 decision to advance to the semifinals against Fairfield’s Jabari Thomas. Thomas defeated Bronaugh 6-4, then won the title with a 10-6 decision victory over Elder’s Jack Collins.
Meanwhile, Bethel-Tate’s Trey Sander lost his first-round match in 44 seconds to Beavercreek’s J.P. Pfander. Sander won four straight matches in the consolation bracket, two by pin and one by forfeit, to advance to the semifinals against Bronaugh. The lone match that went the distance was a rematch against Pfander, one Sander won 14-5.
Bronaugh pinned Sander in 3:39 to advance to the third-place match against Harrison’s Cameron Baird. Baird defeated Bronaugh 6-1, dropping the Eagle grappler to third place.
Meanwhile, Sander drew Scott’s Seth Lutes in the fifth-place match. The Tiger earned a 7-3 decision win to lock up fifth place.
In the 138-pound class, Goshen’s Thomas Hill fell to Lebanon’s Tyler Grogg 13-6 in the first round.
Hill then rolled through the consolation bracket, defeating the first two wrestlers by a total score of 19-3. He then pinned Kilbourne’s Alex Rader in 3:31 before earning another victory over Edgewood’s Justin Boyle, an 8-3 decision that sent him to the consolation quarterfinals. Sycamore’s Josh Haunert defeated Hill in a major decision (17-2), dropping the Warrior to the seventh-place match. Ross’ Brayden Ploehs defeated Hill 6-0 in that match.
The county’s next placer came in the 160-pound class. Bethel-Tate’s Matt Hall defeated his first two opponents to advance to the championship quarterfinals, where he fell to Talawanda’s Sean Mondello 6-3.
In the consolation bracket, Hall defeated wrestlers from Mount Vernon and Lakota East before falling in the consolation semifinals to Oak Hills’ Chase Haehnle 7-1. Hall then defeated Fairfield’s Connor Beerman 5-4 in the fifth-place match.
Another Tiger placed in the 182-pound class. Bethel-Tate’s Owen Holtke pinned his first opponent, then defeated his second 10-4 to advance to the championship semifinals. Holtke dropped a 3-1 decision to Marysville’s Nathan Dewitt, dropping him to the consolation bracket. Holtke was then pinned by Beavercreek’s Reece Blackmore in 2:37, forcing the Tiger to the fifth-place match.
In the fifth-place bout, Holtke fell to Walton-Verona’s Braden Mulcahy 3-2.
Two more locals placed in the 220-pound class. Three Clermont wrestlers, Bethel-Tate’s Bradley Lewis, Goshen’s Jake Tatman and West Clermont’s Joe Wahl all won their first-round match, and two of the three fell in the second round. Lewis defeated his opponent 3-1 to advance to the consolation quarterfinals, where he lost a 7-2 decision to eventual champion Joe Cochran of Springfield.
In the consolation bracket, Wahl and Tatman won a pair of matches. Eventually, Tatman faced off against Lewis, with Lewis earning the win via pin in 4:29, knocking Tatman off the podium. Wahl defeated Beavercreek’s Bradley Smith 6-5 to advance ot the consolation quarterfinals against Lewis. Wahl defeated Lewis 5-2, then pinned Norwood’s Mikey Addis in 5:46. Wahl fell to Harrison’s Cameron Sauerwein 11-3 in the third-place match. Lewis dropped a 6-5 decision to Little Miami’s Ben Blevins in the seventh-place bout.
Finally, one Clermont wrestler walked away with a title. Williamsburg senior Brian Stears defeated every opponent he faced during the two-day event. Stears pinned his first two opponents in a total of 2:10 before defeating St. Xavier’s Jack Heyob 4-2, then Stears won the title with a 6-3 victory over Elder’s Alec Moore-Nash.