• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Mat Jackets finish 2nd in region by two points


In the end, in a day full of exciting competition, it all came down to two points that separated the Woodford County High School wrestling team and the Oldham County wrestling team for first and second place in the Region 5 wrestling tournament, which was played at Franklin County on Saturday, Feb. 11. Woodford finished in second place with 247 points, just two points behind Oldham County, which won the tournament with 249 points. “I’m not going to lie. It was a very tough pill to swallow on Saturday,” said Woodford head coach Rusty Parks Jr. “Being that close to having it won, in my opinion, and letting it slip through our fingers. So, that was tough, but at the same time, I always try to look at the positive side of it. We qualified 12 out of 13 for the state championships. That’s huge. “Overall, though, I think we did a great job,” he continued. “We placed second in the region for the fourth year in a row, unfortunately, to Oldham County. But, overall, I’m pleased. A lot of our young kids really stepped up and did a great job.” Individually, Woodford advanced eight wrestlers into the championship matches on the day, with six of them – Adam Bender, Chase Yost, Tylan Tucker, Wyatt Andreoni, Joey Roberts and Max Andreoni – winning region titles, while two of them – Andrew Varble and Jack Hill – finished second. In addition, Reece Goss, Ronan Wyatt and Isreal Angeles finished in third place and Marik Black was fourth. With those finishes, all 12 of those wrestlers advance to the KHSAA State Wrestling Championships, which will be held at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18. Here’s how the tournament unfolded. Team Results As mentioned, Oldham County finished first and Woodford was second. Rounding out the 10-team competition was South Oldham in third with 145 points, followed by North Oldham fourth with 139 points, Anderson County fifth with 109 points, Scott County sixth with 88 points, Franklin County seventh with 74.5 points, Western Hills eighth with 49 points, Spencer County ninth with 28 points and Grant County 10th with 9 points. Individual Results Adam Bender Wt.: 113 pounds Finish: 1st Adam Bender opened his day with a bye, then pinned Anderson County’s Ethan Fowler to advance to the championship match, where he won a 16-0 technical fall over Oldham County’s Brett Shea to win his second region title, but first with Woodford. Bender will go into the state championships with a 44-1 record. Chase Yost Wt.: 120 pounds Finish: 1st The 120-pound weight class had only three participants, which allowed Chase Yost to have a bye, which advanced him into the championship match, where he pinned Franklin County’s Zach Manns to win his second region title. Yost goes into the state championships with a 48-2 record and a chance to win his second state title. Tylan Tucker Wt.: 126 pounds Finish: 1st In the region tournament, Tylan Tucker was wrestling in just his second varsity competition of the season, after sustaining a knee injury at the end of last year that caused him to miss last year’s state tournament. After having a first-round bye, Tucker pinned his next two opponents, Anderson County’s Caleb Gettelfinger and Scott County’s Truman Galusha. With those wins, he advanced to the championship match where he won a 6-4 decision over North Oldham’s Drew Johnson to win his second region title. Tucker will go into the state championship meet with an 11-1 record. Wyatt Andreoni Wt.: 132 pounds Finish: 1st Wyatt Andreoni’s wrestling has been improving all season long and he showed how much in the region tournament. He opened the day with a pin over Grant County’s Tyler Moore, and followed that with a 22-7 technical fall over Western Hills’ Jaydon Garr. Those wins put him in the championship match, where he won a 5-2 decision over South Oldham’s Anthony Pierce to win his region title. Wyatt Andreoni enters the state championship meet with a 44-11 record. Joey Roberts Wt.: 145 pounds Finish: 1st Joey Roberts, ranked No. 1 in his weight class in the state, put in another strong performance in the region tournament. Following a first-round bye, he pinned Anderson County’s Andrew Lykins to advance to the championship final of his weight class, where he won a 15-6 major decision over Oldham County’s Jacob Henley to win his third region title and advance to the state championships with a 42-3 record. Max Andreoni Wt.: 182 pounds Finish: 1st Max Andreoni continued his quest for a state championship with another impressive performance. After a first-round bye, Andreoni pinned Western Hills’ Jacob Smith to advance to the state championships, where he pinned Oldham County’s Andrew Vazquez to win his fourth region title. Andreoni goes into the state championships with a 50-0 record and ranked No. 1 in the state in his weight class. Andrew Varble Wt.: 195 pounds Finish: 2nd Andrew Varble had a good tournament, but with a tough ending. After an opening round bye, he pinned Franklin County’s Andrew Maupin to advance to the championship match. There, in a well-fought contest, he lost a 4-2 decision to Oldham County’s Daniel Kimbell and finished in second place in the tournament. Varble heads into the state tournament with a 42-9 record. Jack Hill Wt.: 220 pounds Finish: 2nd Jack Hill came into regions with a bad ankle. According to Parks, it “was wrapped four layers deep. Ankle brace on top of that. The Friday before regions he was at the hospital getting x-rays on his ankle because it was bad. “(But,) he sucked it up and did a great job. Took out the No. 1 seed in the semifinal, Tyler Cassinger from South Oldham, and made it to the region final. ... That was huge (for him).” After scoring a 9-0 major decision over North Oldham’s Ali Zarie, he won a 7-5 decision over the No. 1 seed in the tournament, Kassinger, to advance to the final; the first final and face-off appearance in his career. There, he appeared to have that match under control, but then at the last minute his opponent, Oldham County’ Alex Roberts, turned the tables and pinned him. With that result, Hill finished in second place in the region, but advances to the state tournament with a 34-21 record. Reece Goss Wt.: 106 pounds Finish: 3rd Reece Goss, who came into the region tournament following a fifth-place finish in the middle school state championship tournament, came through with a top finish at the region tournament. He opened his day with a pin over Western Hills’ Mary Swan, but then lost his next match by a pin to Oldham County’s Carson Deckard. The loss put him into the consolation bracket, where he bounced back with a pin over Grant County’s Noah Toomey, which put him into the third-place match, where he won a 6-2 decision over Scott County’s Cayden Graham. Goss goes into the state tournament with a 30-13 record. Ronan Wyatt Wt.: 138 pounds Finish: 3rd Ronan Wyatt worked hard all day and scored a great result. He open the day with a pin over Franklin County’s Charlie Hancock, but then lost his next match by a 4-1 decision to Anderson County’s Chase Fink. The loss sent him to the consolation bracket where he came back strong. First, he pinned Scott County’s Jase Rhodus, which put him into the third-place match, where he pinned South Oldham’s Walker McCubbin. Wyatt goes into the state tournament with a 39-11 record. Isreal Angeles Wt.: 160 pounds Finish: 3rd Isreal Angeles, “Izzy” to his fans, had a solid day on the mats at the region tournament. He opened with a pin over Spencer County’s Alex Jackson, but lost his next match by a 7-3 decision to South Oldham’s Alex Thompson. The loss put him into the consolation bracket, where he pinned North Oldham’s Kyle Nash go advance to the third-place match, where he pinned Scott County’s Sean Joerendt. Angeles goes into the state tournament with a 30-13 record. Marik Black Wt.: 152 pounds Finish: 4th Marik Black has not wrestled much this season, as he was out most of it with an injury. But, he’s returned to the mat in good fashion. He opened his region tournament with a pin over Western Hills’ Chris Hayes, but lost his next match by a pin to Anderson County’s Kenneth Sunborn. The loss sent Black into the consolation bracket, where he won a 16-6 major decision over Scott County’s Luke Rollins, which advanced him into the third-place match, where he lost a 9-3 decision to Franklin County’s Cameron Bixler to finish in fourth place. Black goes into the state tournament with a 16-6 record. John Stork also wrestled for Woodford in the region. He competed in the 170-pound weight class, but did not place. Next up: Woodford will participate in the KHSAA State Wrestling Tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18, at the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. Start times are approximately 9 a.m. both days. “Looking towards the state championships, we’ve got a good shot,” said Parks. “We’ve put ourselves in a good position to win it. We have to be firing on all cylinders now. You cannot hesitate. You cannot wait for stuff to come up. You cannot pass up any opportunities. If we take advantage of every opportunity, if we’re firing on all cylinders, if we’re hungry to win, and we have that integrity/intensity and that will to win, we can go win the team title this weekend. But, everybody has to be all in.”

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