• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets hold wrestle-offs for upcoming season

The Woodford County High School wrestling team gave wrestling fans a preview of the upcoming 2016-17 season when the Mat Jackets hosted a wrestle-off in The Hive on Tuesday, Nov. 22. During the event, third-year head coach Rusty Parks Jr. split his team into two teams – black and gold – and then had team members wrestle in their weight classes for a potential starting spot on the varsity. Woodford’s first meet of the year is the Woodford Duals at home on Wednesday, Nov. 30, when the Mat Jackets host LaRue, Fern Creek and Taylor County. In the wrestle-offs on Tuesday, Woodford fans got to see some of the top returning wrestlers and some of the up-and-coming wrestlers as well. Among the returners to the team are: * Freshman Chase Yost, who won the state title last year at 116 pounds as an eighth grader. He moves up to the 120 -pound weight class. * Senior Joey Roberts, a three-time state placer, will be looking to end his high school career with a state title in the 145-pound weight class. * Senior Max Andreoni, who has finished second at state the last two years, is also looking to finish his high school career with a state title in the 182-pound weight class. * Senior Andrew Varble returns with, arguably, one of the best chances of winning a state title in the 195-pound weight class, as three of the top wrestlers in the division are out for the season due to injury or personal reasons. * Junior Jack Hill will be wrestling at 220 pounds again this year and Parks expects him to have a very successful season. Other returning and up-and-coming wrestlers include: * Freshman Ian Farrell and seventh-graders Gavin Andreoni and Reece Goss, will battle each other for a spot in the 106-pound weight class. * Junior Adam Bender, a two-time state placer at Lexington Catholic, transferred to Woodford and will compete in the 113-pound weight class. * Sophomores James Chavez and Wyatt Andreoni will battle for a chance to wrestle at 132 pounds. * Sophomore Juan Chavez and senior Isreal Angeles will battle for a chance to wrestler at 152 pounds. Those are just some of the wrestlers who participated in the wrestle-off. Two other wrestlers, senior Marik Black and junior Tylan Tucker, are currently injured, but are scheduled to return in January. Both were top wrestlers last year, and will be looking to get on the mat to help the team almost immediately upon their return.

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