• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets finish 2nd to St. X at State Duals

JACK HILL, shown earlier this season, went 3-1 on the day for the Woodford County High School wrestling team at the State Duals, which were held at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 28. The Mat Jackets took home second place in the tournament. (Photo by Rick Capone)

The Woodford County High School wrestling team took to the road on Saturday, Jan. 28, to participate in the State Duals, which were held at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, and came home with a second-place trophy. After defeating Apollo 62-15, Madison Central 40-27, and Simon Kenton 39-28, Woodford faced St. Xavier in the final and came up just short, losing the championship dual 37-28. “We really did put in a great team effort,” said Woodford head coach Rusty Parks Jr. “We have continued to get better every week and it definitely showed. We have placed top three in every single tournament this season. Hopefully, we can continue to do that, but now we have a very good chance at winning a region title, which hasn’t been done in a few years, in two weeks. And then (we have) a very good chance at winning the state. “I couldn’t be happier with my athletes. They fought their butts off and got beat by nose at the wire. Luckily we have three weeks left before the individual state championships so that gives us time to work on some of the kinks in our armor.” The complete order of finish on the day: St. Xavier was first, Woodford was second, Simon Kenton was third and Oldham County was fourth. Rounding out the 12-team tournament: Johnson Central was fifth, followed by Madison Central sixth, Trinity (Louisville) seventh, Christian County eighth, Apollo ninth, Meade County 10th, Fern Creek 11th and Ryle 12th. Here is how the tournament played out for the Mat Jackets. Rd. 1: WCHS def. Apollo, 62-15 Woodford won 10 of 14 matches in this dual. Reece Goss wrestled in the 106-pound weight class and won a 7-2 decision over David Gerkin, while Adam Bender won the 113-pound match with a 16-5 technical fall over Preston Mattingly. Chase Yost wrestled in the 120-pound division and lost an 11-6 decision to Jake Insko. It was his second loss of the season. Woodford then won four straight matches. It started with CJ Cardwell pinning Travis Roby in the 126-pound division, Wyatt Andreoni winning in the 132-pound division by forfeit, Ronan Wyatt pinning Cameron Baker in the 138-pound division and Joey Roberts pinning Jaiden Kendall in the 145-pound division. Following a loss by Marik Black in the 152-pound division, Isreal Angeles pinned Bryson Tay in the 160-pound division, but DJ Bernabe lost his match in the 170-pound division. Woodford forfeited the 182-pound weight class, and moved their remaining three wrestlers up a weight class for strategic purposes. All three Mat Jackets won their matches, two by forfeit. Max Andreoni wrestled in the 195-pound division and won by forfeit, Andrew Varble pinned Quenin Miller in the 220-pound division and Jack Hill won by forfeit in the heavyweight division. “Our first round opponent Apollo had some very good individual wrestlers, but we’re definitely not on our level when it came to team competition,” said Parks. Rd. 2: WCHS def. Madison Central, 40-27 In this dual, Woodford won nine of the 14 matches. Goss lost at the 106-pound weight class, but Woodford won the next two matches, as Bender beat Zach Cowan by a 15-0 technical fall in the 113-pound division and Yost pinned Aaron Johnson in the 120-pound division. Cardwell lost his match in the 126-pound division, but Woodford won the next four matches. It began with Wyatt Andreoni winning an 18-7 major decision over Will Kenney in the 132-pound division, Wyatt winning a 7-1 decision over Joey Stuart in the 138-pound division, Roberts defeating Ryan McManus by a 15-7 major decision in the 145-pound division, and Black beating Daniel Baker in the 152-pound division by a 10-4 decision. Angeles and Bernabe lost their matches in the 152-pound and 160-pound divisions, respectively. But two of the next three wrestlers were back in their regular weight classes and won. Max Andreoni pinned Trevor Reynolds in the 182-pound division and Varble pinned Zade Hawkins in the 182-pound division. Woodford forfeited the 220-pound match, and Hill, still wrestling up a weight class at heavyweight, won a close 2-1 decision over Darius Allen to give the Mat Jackets the win. “In the second-round we had Madison, a very tough opponent we had beaten previously this year two times, but nonetheless still very competitive,” said Parks. “We are just more physical and tougher than they are.” Semifinal: WCHS def. Simon Kenton, 39-28 In a hard fought contest, Woodford won nine of 14 weight classes to get the win. Following a loss by Goss in the 106-pound division, Bender won a 4-3 decision over Trevor Firetsch in the 113-pound division, Yost won a 4-2 decision over Michael Whisner in the 120-pound division and Cardwell won a 10-2 major decision over Richter Morgan in the 126-pound division. Wyatt Andreoni lost his match in the 132-pound division, but Wyatt won an 8-5 decision over Salim Mardis in the 138-pound division, Roberts won a 20-4 technical fall over Spencer Carpenter in the 145-pound division and Black pinned Brennon Scott in the 152-pound division. Bernabe lost his match at 170-pounds, but Max Andreoni pinned Kyler Martin at 182 pounds, Varble won a 7-4 decision over Elijah Jackson and Hill, wrestling at his regular weight of 220 pounds, pinned Ian Hughes. Woodford forfeited the heavyweight match in this dual, but got the win over Simon Kenton to advance to the final where they faced St. Xavier. “Our semifinal matchup with Simon Kenton was very intense,” said Parks. “They have a great group of wrestlers and coaches and always have. We literally put our nose in there and fought it out and came out victorious to send WCHS to the state championship finals for the second year in a row.” Final: WCHS lost to St. Xavier, 37-28 Woodford won six of the 14 matches in the final, but had to default one weight class and lost the other five, which gave St. Xavier the win. At 106 pounds, Goss scored a 4-2 decision over Nathan Ohlmann in the 106-pound division. Bender defeated Joshua Schmidt by a 15-0 technical fall in the 113-pound division, and Yost won a 3-0 decision over Nate Wheeler in the 120-pound division. It was a bit of redemption for Yost, as he had lost a 4-2 decision to Wheeler at last week’s Dragon Invitational at South Oldham. At 132 pounds, Wyatt Andreoni lost his match, as did Wyatt lose at 138 pounds. Roberts won at 145 pounds with a pin over Clayton Hanson, but Black, Angeles and Bernabe lost their matches in the 152-pound, 160-pound and 170-pound divisions, respectively. Max Andreoni won his match by pin over Zach Cumella in the 182-pound division, and Varble won his match at 195 pounds over Denis Diemer by a 17-1 technical fall. Hill lost his match at 220 pounds and Woodford had to default the heavyweight match, so St. Xavier won the dual 37-28 and took home the State Duals championship, while Woodford finished a strong second. Next up, Woodford is at North Oldham for the Mustang Classic on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m.

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