• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets win WCI; four wrestlers win titles

The Woodford County High School wrestling team got a one-day head start on celebrating the New Year when they won the 45th annual Woodford County Invitational, which was held in The Hive on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29 and 30. In addition, the team had 10 placers in the tournament, which included four division champions in Chase Yost, CJ Cardwell, Wyatt Andreoni and Max Andreoni; three second-place finishers in Joey Roberts, Andrew Varble and Adam Bender; one third-place finisher in Ronan Wyatt; and two sixth-place finishers in Isreal Angeles and Jack Hill. Here is a recap Woodford’s two-day tournament. Team competition Woodford finished in first place in the 21-team competition with 224.5 points. Coahulla Creek High School (Georgia) finished second with 209.5 points, while LaRue County was third with 204 points, John Hardin was fourth with 185 points and North Oldham was fifth with 131 points. Rounding out the rest of the field were Newport in sixth with 119.5 points, followed by Central Hardin seventh with 80.5 points, Scott County eighth with 79.5 points, Henry Clay ninth with 78 points, Bourbon County 10th with 72 points, McCreary Central 11th with 69 points, Taylor County 12th with 66.5 points, Montgomery County 13th with 55.5 points, Lafayette 14th with 52 points, Ashland 15th with 38 points, Jeffersonstown 16th with 22.5 points, East Jessamine, Grant County and West Jessamine in a three-way tie for 17th, each with 10 points, Woodford County Gold with nine points and Southern in 21st with seven points. Individual competition Chase Yost Wt.: Class: 120 lbs. Finish: 1st Chase Yost, a returning state champion, continued his march to a possible second state title with an impressive performance in the WCI. After a first-round bye, he pinned Central Hardin’s Peter Mark and John Hardin’s Brody Haverstick in the semifinals to advance to the championship match. In the final, Yost won a 5-3 decision over Henry Clay’s Tyler Storck to finish first in his weight class. CJ Cardwell Wt.: 126 lbs. Finish: 1st CJ Cardwell had one of the best tournaments of his high school wrestling career in the WCI. Following a first-round bye, he won his next three matches by pins. The first was over East Jessamine’s Dylan Isaacs, the second was over Scott County’s Truman Galusha and the third, which was a semifinal, over Taylor County’s Jackson Grimsley. With those wins, he advanced to his division’s championship match where he defeated Newport’s Lonnie Usleaman by a 9-4 decision to win his title Wyatt Andreoni Wt.: 132 lbs. Finish: 1st Wyatt Andreoni also had one of the best tournaments of his wrestling career in the WCI. He opened his tournament with a pin over Scott County’s Mathew Hullette, and then followed that with a pin over Jeffersontown’s Keyshawn Evans and a 4-2 decision over John Hardin’s Chase Wallace to reach the semifinals. In his semifinal, he won one of the most exciting matches of the day when he scored a 14-12 overtime decision over Bourbon County’s Braden Wyatt to advance to the championship match. In that match, Wyatt Andreoni won a 4-1 decision over LaRue County’s Stiles Metcalf to finish first in his weight class. Max Andreoni Wt.: 182 lbs. Finish: 1st Max Andreoni had, arguably, the best two days of any wrestler at the WCI tournament, as he won his weight class by pinning all of his opponents. He began his tournament with a pin over John Hardin’s Jalyn Redd, which put him into the semifinals where he pinned Coahulla Creek’s Trevor Holmes. With that win, Max Andreoni advanced to the championship of his division where he pinned McCreary County’s Nathan Prosser to finish in first place. Adam Bender Wt.: 113 lbs. Finish: 2nd Adam Bender had a strong tournament in the WCI, but a tough ending. He opened his tournament with a pin over Newport’s Achilles Lemon, and then followed that with a pin over Central Hardin’s Dylan Crouch, which put him in the semifinals. There he defeated Coahulla Creek’s James Loi by a 17-2 technical fall to advance to the championship match, where he lost a very close, hard-fought 2-1 decision to Taylor County’s Brandon Miller, which gave him second place in his division. Joey Roberts Wt.: 152 lbs. Finish: 2nd Like Bender, Roberts performed well in the WCI, but did not finish as expected. Following an opening round bye, Roberts pinned Montgomery County’s Dax Hays in his first contested match. He then followed that with a pin over Bourbon County’s Will Baber, which put him into the semifinals of his division. In the semifinals, Roberts won a 16-6 major decision over Henry Clay’s Christian Shelby to advance to the championship match. In the championship match, Roberts lost to John Hardin’s Derrick Smallwood by an 11-3 major decision to finish in second place. Andrew Varble Wt.: 195 lbs. Finish: 2nd Andrew Varble also had a good tournament in the two-day WCI. After an opening round bye, he pinned Lafayette’s William Marshall to get to the semifinals where he won a 5-3 decision over Coahulla Creek’s Kenton Baggett. With that win, Varble advanced to the championship match where he was pinned by LaRue County’s Matt Steven to finish second in his division. Ronan Wyatt Wt.: 138 lbs. Finish: 3rd Ronan Wyatt continues to improve in every tournament he has been in this year, which showed in the WCI, where he kept his composure to score a top finish. He opened the two-day tournament with two pins: the first over Henry Clay’s Ryan Pain and the second over Coahulla Creek’s Gerardo Ordonez. Then in his next match, he lost an 8-4 decision to Ashland’s Blake Day, which moved into the consolation bracket. There, Wyatt maintained his composure, shook off the loss and in his first match in the bracket pinned Newport’s Dillion Burton to advance to the third-place match, where he pinned North Oldham’s Marshal Royce to take home third place in his weight class. Isreal Angeles Wt.: 160 lbs. Finish: 6th Isreal Angeles lost his first round match and then worked very hard the rest of the tournament to try and reach the third-place match. He opened his tournament with a loss by a pin to Newport’s Logan Osborne, which sent him into the consolation bracket. There he started with a bye, and then pinned Central Hardin’s Levi Sanders and Lafayette’s Noah Rhode. But, in his next match, he lost a 10-2 major decision to Coahulla Creek’s Chuy Rodriguez to end his day with a strong sixth-place finish. Jack Hill Wt.: 220 lbs. Finish: 6th Jack Hill’s day was similar to Angeles’s. Hill opened his tournament with a bye, and then was pinned by Coahulla Creek’s Daniel Lopez, which put him into the consolation bracket. In that bracket, Hill scored two pins in a row; the first over Lafayette’s Jevaun Harris and the second over LaRue County’s Santiago Aguilar. However, in his next match, he lost a 6-4 decision to LaRue County’s Matt Underwood to end with a sixth-place finish. Reece Goss also competed for Woodford in the tournament. He wrestled in the 106-pound division, but did not place. Next up, Woodford heads back to West Virginia on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6 and 7, for the Army National Guard Duals in Beckley, W.Va.

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