• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets win Gladiator wrestling tournaments

The Woodford County High School wrestling team gave itself an early Christmas present, as they won both the Gladiator Duals and Gladiator Tournament at Fern Creek on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 22 and 23. The Fern Creek tournament was a two-day affair and consisted of two parts – a dual tournament (Gladiator Duals) on Thursday, Dec. 22, and an individual tournament (Gladiator Tournament) on Friday, Dec. 23. “Our guys really did a great job both days at the Gladiator tournament,” said Woodford head coach Rusty Parks Jr. “On the first day of the duals our guys really came together and beat some good teams. We defeated a very tough team from Indiana and then beat Madison Central in the finals. The second day was very impressive for us as well.” In the Gladiator Duals on Thursday, Woodford went undefeated, finishing the day with a 4-0 record to take home first place. Madison Central finished second, while Evansville Reitz, Ind., finished third, and Spring Valley, W.Va., finished fourth. To capture first place, Woodford started the day with wins in both of its pool duals. The Mat Jackets opened the day with a 58-18 win over Bullitt East, and then defeated Louisville Moore 51-28. Those two wins put the Mat Jackets in the semifinals. In its semifinal dual, Woodford defeated Evansville Reitz, Ind., 47-21, to advance to the championship dual, where they defeated Madison Central in a very, close exciting dual, 37-34, to win the title. With that title under their belts, the Mat Jackets entered the individual tournament on Friday with a lot of confidence, which showed as they once again scored another championship win. In the tournament, Woodford scored 445.5 points to finish first, while Evansville Ritz, Ind. finished second with 408.5 points, Spring Valley, W. Va. was third with 337.5 points, Madison Central was fourth with 286 points, and Trinity was fifth with 273.5 points. In addition to its team title, Woodford had 11 placers in the tournament, which included four champions. Winning their divisions were Adam Bender in the 113-pound weight class, Chase Yost in the 120-pound weight class, Joey Roberts in the 152-pound weight class and Max Andreoni in the 182-pound weight class. “Adam Bender, Chase Yost, Joey Roberts, and Max Andreoni dominated all of their opponents to claim titles in their weight classes,” said Parks. “Max Andreoni looked like an absolute monster and claimed the most outstanding wrestler award.” Scoring a second-place finish was Andrew Varble in the 195-pound division. Woodford had two wrestlers, Wyatt Andreoni and Ronan Wyatt, finish fourth in their weight classes – Andreoni in the 132-pound division and Wyatt in the 138-pound division. Bringing home fifth place in their weight classes were Reece Goss at 106 pounds, CJ Cardwell at 126 pounds and Jack Hill at 220 pounds, while Richie Cunningham finished in seventh place in the 145-pound division. “We had a few other kids step up and wrestle really well (in the tournament)” said Parks. “Reece Goss took fifth place, CJ Cardwell took fifth place, Wyatt Andreoni took fourth place and Ronan Wyatt took fourth place, Jack Hill looked tough taking fifth place, and Andrew Varble came up a little short losing in the finals.” “That was a good test for us right before Christmas,” Parks continued. “Now everyone gets (a) two-pound weight allowance for the remainder of the season so it will be interesting to see who is dropping weight at the WCI. The WCI (Woodford County Invitational), takes place today (Thursday) and Friday, Dec. 29 and 30. There will be 25 teams competing. Also, Woodford will hold senior day and alumni day on Friday, Dec. 30.

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