By Garth Shanklin
Two Clermont County schools traveled to Vandalia Butler High School on Wednesday, Dec. 27 and Thursday, Dec. 28.
Wrestlers from West Clermont and Williamsburg competed at the event, with both squads posting solid finishes.
Two locals placed in the 152-pound class.West Clermont’s Matt Lewis defeated Big Walnut’s Ryan Colletta in a 13-1 major decision to start the tournament, then earned an 11-0 major decision win over Bellefontaine’s Noah Yoesting to advance to the third round of the tournament. In the third round Lewis defeated Moore Traditional’s Isaiah Newberry 3-2 to advance to the quarterfinals, where he fell to top-overall seed Zane Brown from Male.
Meanwhile, lower in the bracket, Williamsburg’s Wyatt Lefker pined Upper Sandusky’s Arik Schneider in 3:15 in his first match. In his next bout, Lefker pinned Austin Awan from Troy Christian in 5:37. Lefker then pinned Dae Viyon Hargrow from Pickerington Central in 2:51 to advance to the quarterfinals. Lefker then moved to the semifinals via forfeit, where he fell to Centerville’s Drew Weichers 11-3.
In the consolation bracket, Lewis defeated Hilliard Bradley’s J.T. Lemmermen 4-0 before falling to Oak Hill’s Chase Haehnle 5-1. Lewis was dropped to the seventh-place match, where he forfeited to place eighth.
Lefker, meanwhile, fell to Haehnle 8-1 in the consolation semifinals to face Brown in the fifth-place match. Lefker won the match by forfeit to earn fifth place on the podium.
In the 195-pound class, West Clermont’s Joe Wahl defeated Versailles’ Gage DeHart via 8-7 decision. He then pinned Milton-Union’s Hunter Ross in 1:27 to advance to the quarterfinal, where he defeated Upper Sandusky’s Mitchell Dewitt in an 11-3 major decision. In the semifinals, Wahl fell to Northmont’s Dylan Moran in a 12-7 decision to fall to the consolation bracket.
Hilliard Bradley’s Issa Khalil was next on the bracket for Wahl in the consolation semifinals. Wahl won the bout 4-1 to advance to the third-place match, where he fell to Hartley’s Griffin Rathburn 4-2.
Finally, Williamsburg’s Brian Stears proved his top-seed in the 285-pound class was deserved. Stears defeated Greeneview’s Chase Jordan via pin in 2:33, then defeated Wapakoneta’s Brenan Knueve via tech fall 18-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Stears’ defeated his next opponent, Wade Humphrey from Springboro, in a 17-7 major decision. He then earned a 10-0 victory over Wayne’s Jacob Padilla to advance to the finals against Centerville’s Jacob Charette. Stears defeated Charette 6-2 to win the title.
In the team standings, Williamsburg finished eighth in Division II-III with 72.5 points. West Clermont tied with Pickrington Central for 12th in Division I with 64 points.