• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun News Editor

Mat Jackets place second at Region 5 tournament

The Woodford County High School varsity wrestling team was runner-up by just a half of a point at the Region 5 tournament Saturday, Feb. 9 at North Oldham High School. The Jackets qualified 12 wrestlers and one alternate for the state tournament at Alltech Arena in Lexington Feb. 15-16. The Jackets hovered around the top-three for most of the tournament, but rallied with a wave of pins to put them in the lead, and went back-and-forth with Oldham County most of the day before falling just short in the end. Ashley Courtney placed fourth in the 106-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Courtney lost by fall to Cory Joos (North Oldham) in the opening round, but pinned Kelton Bailey (Western Hills) in the first consolation round. Courtney won by fall over Braydon Kessinger (Spencer County) to reach the third-place match, but she was pinned again by Joos in a rematch of the first round bout. Courtney is just the second female wrestler ever in Kentucky to qualify for the KHSAA state tournament. Joey Miele did not place in the 113-pound weight class. Miele pinned Charlie Jenkins (North Oldham) in the first round, but was pinned by Tyler Armstead (Oldham County) in the quarterfinals. Miele pinned Nathan Westcott (Spencer County) in the consolation round, but was eliminated when he was pinned by Gage Hill (Western Hills) in the third consolation round. Conner Dutton placed fourth in the 120-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Dutton received a bye in the first round then pinned Jamie Waddle (Franklin County) in the quarterfinals. Dutton lost by fall to Bryant Beane (South Oldham) in the semifinals, but earned a spot in the third-place match by pinning Jarrett Johnson (Spencer County). Dutton was pinned in the third-place match by Justin Krebs (North Oldham). "It's a really interesting environment to be part of for the first time," said Dutton. "There is a lot of pressure of being in the varsity lineup and trying to perform to help your team win a regional championship. As a team and an individual, I feel like we continue to improve and that's all I can ask for." Gavin Andreoni won the 126-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Andreoni received a bye in the first round and won by major decision over Gabe Bobay (North Oldham) in the semifinals. Andreoni won a 4-2 decision over Truman Galusha (Scott County) in the finals. "I expected to win today because I had it in my head that I was going to perform at a high level and I was able to do that," said Andreoni. "I'd like to get in the finals at state and hopefully walk out of there with a championship." Chase Yost won the 132-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Yost returned to action after an injury at the WCI sidelined him for six weeks. Yost received a bye through the quarterfinals and pinned Alex Hall (South Oldham) in the semifinals. In the championship match, Yost pinned Jalen Wideman (Franklin County). Dylan Preston placed second in the 138-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Preston pinned Jack Allen (Spencer County) in the quarterfinals then won by major decision over Cayden Graham (Scott County) in the semifinals. Preston lost a 7-4 decision to Anthony Pierce (South Oldham) in the finals. The loss was only Preston's third of the season. "I'm not happy with myself at all right now," said Preston. "I have to get back in the wrestling room and work. Rusty (Parks) has already told me some things that we need to work on this week. I think as a team we have done great today by putting seven wrestlers in the finals." Ronan Wyatt placed second in the 145-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Wyatt received a bye in the first round and won by major decision over Jeffrey Parker (Western Hills) in the quarterfinals. Wyatt won a 6-4 decision over Gabe Jacobs (Oldham County) in the semifinals but lost by technical fall in the finals to Nathaniel Lawrence (Franklin County). Wyatt Andreoni won the 152-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Andreoni pinned Frank Chisley (Scott County) in the quarterfinals and won by technical fall over Cole Nance (Anderson County) in the semifinals. Andreoni won by decision over Bryce Moberly (North Oldham) in the championship match. "When you step into an event like this you have to be ready and know you can't give up any points to win this tournament," said Andreoni. "I'm going to work all week on my conditioning and hopefully be the next Andreoni to win a state title." Andrew Kartner placed fifth in the 160-pound weight class and is an alternate for the state tournament. Kartner lost by technical fall in the quarterfinals to Zane Drury (Anderson County). Kartner responded with a win by fall over Zach Farrell (North Oldham) in the consolation round. In the consolation semifinals, Kartner lost by major decision to Richard Greenwell (Western Hills). Kartner won the fifth-place match by major decision over Andrew Archibald (South Oldham). Jackson Geilear placed second in the 170-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Geilear won by fall over Jeremiah Anderson (Spencer County) in the quarterfinals then won in overtime over Kyle Nash (North Oldham) in the semifinals. Geilear lost by fall in the championship match to Jackson Deckard (Oldham County). DJ Bernabe placed fourth in the 182-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Bernabe won by major decision over Khalid Asad (Oldham County) in the quarterfinals, but lost by decision to Mason Hall (South Oldham) in the semifinals. Bernabe pinned Collin OBrien (Western Hills) in the consolation round to reach the third-place match, but lost in the thirs-place match by injury default. Tony Ornelas won the 195-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Ornelas pinned his way to the finals with wins over Jacob Sizemore (Franklin County) and Jacob Fields (Western Hills). Ornelas won by major decision in the championship match over Caleb Bergquist (Oldham County). Jeremiah Shulze placed third in the 220-pound weight class and qualified for the state tournament. Shulze won by decision over Colton Kessinger (Spencer County) in the quarterfinals, but lost by fall to John Hulette (Scott County). Shulze won his next two matches by fall over Brayden Henson (Grant County) and Cameron Purvis (Western Hills). Luke Hill placed fourth in the heavyweight division and qualified for the state tournament. Hill pinned Dylan Crowell (Grant County) in the first round but lost by fall to Jalin Benson (Franklin County) in the semifinals. Hill won by injury default over William Moore (South Oldham) in the consolation semifinals. During the match, Hill threw his opponent to the mat and during the fall, Moore suffered a horrific injury to his arm and was taken to the hospital. Hill lost by fall in the third-place match to Samuel Tomah (Spencer County).

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