• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets win TCI; third straight tourney title


Less than a week after capturing the WCI title in impressive fashion, the Woodford County High School wrestling team was back on the mat on Saturday, Jan. 2, and defeated 17 teams to win the Tates Creek Invitational in Lexington at Tates Creek High School. In the team competition, the Mat Jackets finished first with 263 points, almost 100 points ahead of second-place finisher Madison Central, which had 164 points. In third place was Henry Clay with 138.50 points, followed by Male High School in fourth with 129.50 points and Ryle High School in fifth with 114.50 points. Rounding out the order of finish was Tates Creek in sixth with 103 points, followed by LaRue County (95.50 points), Cooper High School (94), Franklin County (68.50), Scott County (54), Ashland Blazer (53.50), Anderson County (53), Bourbon County (50.50), Madison Southern (36), Bryan Station (30), Western Hills (22) and Holmes (0). Individually, Woodford had 11 wrestlers place. Of those, eight reached the finals of their weight classes, with six of them going undefeated and winning, and four of those winning all of their matches by pins. In addition, two wrestlers finished second and three finished fourth. “We did great; dominated the competition,” said Woodford head coach Rusty Parks Jr. “We had six champions again; eight in the finals. A very impressive holiday break for us winning three big tournaments in a row. … We are getting better and better as a team every day. My boys are hungry for a state title.” Here’s a breakdown of the Mat Jackets day at the TCI. Champions Chase Yost wrestled in the 106-pound weight class, went undefeated and won his title all by pins. He opened by pinning Western Hills’ Ethan Woolums, and then followed that by pinning Ryle’s Aaron Brossart. He then pinned Henry Clay’s Bradley Miller to win his title. Tylan Tucker wrestled in the 113-pound weight class, also went undefeated and won his title by pinning all of his competition. Tucker opened with a pin over Cooper’s Chris Collins, and then followed that with a pin over Ryle’s Shay Horton. In the finals, he pinned Brandon Miller of Henry Clay to win his title. Tucker Hurst wrestled in the 120-pound weight class, went undefeated and also won all of his matches by pins. He started the day with a pin over Western Hills’ Jaydon Garr, and then followed that with a pin over Anderson County’s Jordan Barber. He finished the day with a pin over Franklin County’s Zach Manns to capture his title. Joey Roberts wrestled in the 132-pound weight class and finished the day undefeated. He opened with a win by pinning Holmes’s Tyler Loechel, and then followed that with a win over Madison Central’s Will Keeney by a pin. In the finals, he defeated Cooper’s Jordan Monroe by a 9-7 decision to win his title. Max Andreoni wrestled in the 160-pound weight class, went undefeated and won all of his matches by pins. He started the day with a win over Western Hills’ Matthew Riley by a pin, and then followed that with a win over Cooper’s Alex Lake by a pin, and a pin over Madison Central’s Gavin Williams. In the final, Andreoni faced Henry Clay’s Evan Cannon and won by a pin to claim his title. Emir Bernabe was Woodford’s sixth champion. He wrestled in the 195-pound division, and went undefeated while winning all of his matches by pins. He opened with a pin over Ryle’s Cody Lonkard, and then followed that with a pin over Anderson County’s Caleb Boyles. Bernabe then earned his title with a pin over Ashland’s Gant Kruegar in the final. Those six Mat Jackets were Parks’s Wrestlers of the Week. Parks said those wrestlers earned that recognition because they won titles at both the TCI, and the WCI (Woodford County Invitational), which was held at home in The Hive on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 28 and 29. 2nd-Place finishers Two wrestlers earned second-place finishes at the TCI: Marik Black and Michael Eldridge. Black wrestled in the 126-pound weight class and opened with a win over Tates Creek’s Zach Morgan by a pin. Next, he defeated Madison Central’s Ryan McManus by a 6-2 decision to advance to the final, where he lost to Bryan Station’s Derek Soper by a 12-5 decision to finish second in his division. Eldridge wrestled in then 170-pound weight class and started the day with a win over Male’s Zach Candler by a pin. He next defeated Cooper’s Jordan Kidwell by a pin, to advance to the final where he lost to Madison Central’s Chris Morrow to finish in second place. 4th-Place finishers Matthew Fallon wrestled in the 145-pound weight division and began his day with a win over Scott County’s Trent Gilbert by a pin. In his next match, Fallon lost to Madison Central’s Jim Morrison by a 10-8 decision. Fallon bounced back and defeated Ashland’s Blake Day by a pin to reach the 3rd/4th place match, where he defeated Tates Creek’s Odeh Equal by a pin to capture fourth place. Gage Thompson wrestled in the 152-pound weight class and had a tough start to the day, losing to Tates Creek’s Elias Equal by a pin in his opening match. He came right back, however, and defeated Bourbon County’s Will Barber by an 11-0 major decision and Madison Central’s Drake Hager by forfeit. That placed Thompson in the 3rd/4th-place match, where he lost to Male’s Jack Lucas by a pin to finish in fourth place. Andrew Varble wrestled in the 182-pound weight class and opened his day with a pin over Holmes’s Jayvin Jones, before losing to Henry Clay’s Blake Denny by a 7-4 decision. Varble came back in the consolation bracket and scored a win over Tates Creek’s Barkley Truax by an 11-5 decision, and a win over Cooper’s Dylan Bailey by a 7-2 decision, which placed him into the 3rd-4th-place match. There he lost to Madison Central’s Dylan Mayes on a forfeit to finish in fourth place. Two other Woodford wrestlers participated in the TCI – Jack Hill (220 pounds), Helio Reyes (285 pounds) – but did not place. Next up, Woodford travels to Johnson City, Tenn., on Saturday, Jan. 9, to participate in the Fandetti-Richardson Brawl at Science Hill High School.

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