Mat Jackets take seventh at KHSAA State Wrestling Championships
An abrupt coaching change before the season put the Woodford County High School wrestling team in an uncertain place. After Rusty Parks stepped down as head coach, assistant Travis Baney was tabbed as the interim replacement. Three months later, it’s hard to argue the move was anything but the right one as Baney stepped in to lead the Jackets to a successful season. After a 14th place finish at last year’s KHSAA state championships, the Mat Jackets returned to top 10 status with a seventh-place finish Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park as four Jackets placed. Chase Yost (second, 138 pounds), Dylan Preston (third, 152), Triston Brooks (fifth, 160) and Jackson Geilear (eighth, 182) all earned hardware for their finishes after a hectic two days. Alltech Arena hosted over 800 matches in two days before Chase Yost’s tournament-concluding championship match with Union County’s Jake Insko. Like four Union County wrestlers before him, Insko came away with the state championship for his weight class to help the Braves to a state championship for the fifth year in a row. Union County scored 299 points, placing them well ahead of second place Christian County’s 200.5 and the 131.5 points scored by third place Johnson Central. The Jackets scored 93 points, up 28 points from a total of 65.5 last year. Yost’s championship loss, a 6-4 decision, came down to the final minute. Insko, trailing early in the bout, scored a key two points midway through the third round and held on for the victory, turning away all of Yost’s attempts to tie the score. The loss was only the 18th of Yost’s five-year run with the Jackets. As an eighth grader, Yost won the 106-pound state championship and although he never quite reached those state champion level heights again, the WCHS senior placed in all five of his state tournament appearances with no finish worse than his sixth place finish as a junior during an injury-shortened title run. Yost went 190-18 as a Mat Jacket. WCHS junior Dylan Preston finished in third place at 152 pounds but proved to be a tough match for eventual state champion Brayden Gianonne. Preston’s 5-4 decision loss to his counterpart from Lafayette in the semifinal dropped him to the third-place match where he earned an 11-0 major decision over Western Hills’ Jeffrey Parker. At 160 pounds, Triston Brooks won his final match as a Mat Jacket with 2-1 decision over Trinity’s Landon Lenhart to close his senior season with a fifth-place finish. Brooks went 38-5 this season. Sophomore Jackson Geilear was the youngest WCHS wrestler to end up on the podium Saturday, fighting his way to an eighth-place finish at 182 pounds.