• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Sports

Mat Jackets win Christian County Invitational

THE WCHS WRESTLING TEAM won the Christian County Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 23. The Jackets had five first place finishers and twelve top five placers in the tournament. (Photo submitted)

“It's an exciting time right now for this team,” said Parks. “Our kids are seeing that their hard work is paying dividends. For consecutive weeks we are seeing the fire that our athletes have. We had 10 out of 14 kids on the podium receiving medals and that is huge for us. Seven out of 14 varsity wrestlers were in the championship final and we won five of those matches. If we can do that at the state tournament, we will be very successful. ”

“Our JV team also competed in this event, and did very well. Most teams do not have their JV teams at varsity events but we do and we feel like we were able to see how competitive we are. Our JV team beat some really tough competition. Ashley Courtney placed fifth in the 106-pound division and Reece Goss was third in the 120-pound division.”

In the 106-pound division, Gavin Andreoni placed third. Andreoni's only loss of the day was to the champion of the division.

“Gavin is a tough kid,” said Parks. “He had a good day on the mat. I think if he faces that same kid again, he beats him seven out of 10 times and will likely get another shot at him at the WCI.”

Adam Bender placed first in the 113-pound division.

“Bender is back,” said Parks. “Adam had a rough start to the season but he has come back strong and has had two fantastic weeks on the mat for us. Adam is one of those kids that doesn't just want to be on the podium, he wants to stand on the top.”

Dylan Preston finished runner up in the 120-pound division. Preston has been on the podium in every event this season and continues to impress at his weight class.

“Dylan is just getting started in what he can do,” said Parks. Dylan is only a freshman and has a chance to be a state champion.”

Tylan Tucker placed first in the 126-pound division. Tucker continues to be a dominant force in his weight class.

“Tucker is one of the nicest kids off the mat but when it's time to wrestle, he becomes a nightmare for his opponents,” said Parks. “It makes me sad thinking about losing him after he graduates but we will certainly enjoy him while he's with us.”

CJ Cardwell finished first in the 132-pound division. Cardwell trailed for a large portion of the finals match but was able to score in the last fifteen seconds to win the championship.

“I believe CJ found an opportunity late in the match when his opponent relaxed and he took advantage of it,” said Parks. “That small window to score was there and Cardwell wins by a point. That kind of attitude and awareness with time ticking away is what makes Cardwell a huge part of what we need in order to be state champions.”

Chase Yost won the 138-pound division and continues to be a consistent performer for the Mat Jackets,

“I don't know that there is anyone in the state that works harder than Yost,” said Parks. “He's currently ranked second in the state but I think he's on a mission this season.”

Ronan Wyatt placed second in the 145-pound division. Wyatt lost a tough match in the finals to the number one ranked wrestler.

“Ronan was tough on Saturday,” said Parks. “He lost in the finals but he beat some really tough kids to get to that finals match. He's been someone we can count on every week.”

Wyatt Andreoni finished in first place in the 152-pound division.

“Wyatt is rolling right now,” said Parks. “He dominated his opponent 10-1 in the finals. Two weeks in a row now that Andreoni has been locked in and ready to face anyone. Wyatt could have won the Most Outstanding Wrestler award on Saturday but I think he'd rather have a state title in February.”

Triston Brooks placed fourth in the 160-pound division.

“Triston continues to climb up the rankings,” said Parks. “He started out not ranked at all and I think he has the chance to be on the podium at state. Triston stepped up and moved to 160 pounds for us and I think early on that was a struggle for him. Now he's coming into his own and being very successful.”

Tony Ornales placed seventh in the 170-pound division.

“Tony is a very coachable kid,” said Parks. “Tony is a good listener and he wants to improve. He's young and has a long way to go but he has the desire to be great and that fits what we are trying to do.”

We were a little down at 182-pounds and 195-pounds as well,” said Parks. “Pablo Companioni and Mason Smith have some work to do but they can be productive for us.

Jack Hill placed fourth in the 220-pound division.

“Jack had a tough match early on where he lost with one second left,” said Parks. “We had a good talk about it and I think he knows what he has to do. Jack is a leader for us and we'd love to get him on the podium in February.”

The Mat Jackets host the Woodford County Invitational on Dec. 29 and 30 at WCHS.

“Looking forward to the WCI, we have that confidence and want to keep it rolling,” said Parks. “We have 30 teams that are here to wrestle and show they are elite. We have to be ready for every team to bring their best. We are noticing that our athletes are putting in the extra work and pushing themselves. That kind of motivation will play a big part in our success. ”

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