Smith, Taylor, Strouse earn WIT titles, Knights take second

Smith, Taylor, Strouse earn WIT titles, Knights take second

Behind championship performances from 106-pounder senior Brady Smith, 113-pounder junior Mason Taylor and 138-pounder senior Dylan Strouse, plus 10 other Knights wrestlers earning top-six placements, the West Holmes High School varsity wrestling team chalked up a runner-up team finish on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the 50th Wayne Invitational Tournament held inside Berkey Fieldhouse at Smithville High School in Smithville.

The Knights came up just short of winning the team title, losing the team crown by five points to Massillon Washington, 196-191. Wadsworth placed third with 137.5 points, just ahead of Triway at 137 and fifth-place Cadiz Harrison Central at 128.

“Coming into the weekend, I thought we had a chance to win the tournament,” Knights head coach Scott Vaughn said following the tournament. “In the end we came pretty darn close. Next week we should get a couple more kids back in the line-up, which will be nice.”

In addition to the championship efforts, senior Conner Varnes (144 pounds, 3-1, two falls) scored a runner-up finish while sophomore Grady Toye (120, 5-1, three falls) and junior Blake Norman (150, 3-1) pocketed third-place finishes. Senior Noah Tish (126, 4-2, three falls) and sophomore Grant Miller (215, 4-2, four falls) each placed fifth, and freshman Morgan Smith (132, 2-3) finished in sixth place.

Also earning podium finishes as “B” Team wrestlers were freshman AAJ Roberts (106, 3-1, two falls) in third while fellow freshman Mac Miller (120, 2-2, one fall) and senior Hunter Eberhard (150, 4-2, two falls) placed fifth and freshman Hunter McCluggage (126, 2-3) placed sixth. However, as extra wrestlers they did not accumulate team points.

“It was nice to get some of the varsity B kids some varsity experience,” Vaughn said. “I think we got some good matches and good experience. We still have a lot of work to do.”

Brady Smith went 3-0 with one fall on the day including a 19-4 tech fall beatdown of Justin Sampson of Cadiz Harrison Central at the 3:31 mark in his championship bout. Taylor (3-0, two falls) dominated Marcus Fricke of Massillon Washington by posting an 18-3 tech fall at 5:40 for his title. Strouse was the class of his bracket, sticking Devan Greathouse of Smithville at 3:43 for gold and finished his tournament 4-0 and all by fall.

“We are going with all three tournament champions as the Knight of the Week,” Vaughn said. “Brady, Mason and Dylan all had great tournaments. They won all their matches by either fall or tech fall. I would say that’s deserving of Knight of the Week.”

Also competing for the Knights were junior Dakota Patterson (175, 2-2, one fall) and B team wrestlers Logan Vansickle (138, 1-2, one fall), junior Caleb Larimore (144, 2-2) and freshman Braylen McKinney (215, 0-2).

Martin, Dixon and Milam score titles at Chippewa Invite, four others runner-up

The West Holmes Middle School wrestling team had a great showing on Saturday, Dec. 11, snaring the team championship with three champions, four runner-up finishers and another dozen wrestlers earning placements at the Chippewa Junior High School Invitational at Serpentini Fieldhouse at Doylestown High School.

The Knights totaled 179 points to edge out Dalton’s 170.

Leading the way for the Knights were eighth-grade champions Peyton Martin (98 pounds, 5-0, five falls), Louden Dixon (134, 4-0, four falls) and Royce Milam (142, 4-0, two falls).

Scoring runner-up honors were eighth-graders Cam McCluggage (122, 3-1, three falls), Dylan Sours (150, 4-1, four falls), Logan Van Dalen (160, 4-1, one fall) and seventh-grader Choen Wilson (172, 4-1, four falls).

“I am happy with the way we battled in matches, especially in matches that went all three periods,” WHMS wrestling head coach Jeremy Dombrady said after the tournament. “Fifteen of the 19 wrestlers that competed won at least one match, and 14 of the 19 won at least two matches.”

Dombrady was pleased with the performances of Martin and Dixon. “Peyton and Louden each had one very solid opponent, but both were in complete control. Both continue to rack up points in bunches with pins following.”

However, Royce Milam really shone as coach Dombrady named Milam as the West Holmes Middle School Wrestling Knight of the Week.

“Royce was a JV wrestler last year who continued to improve throughout the year,” Dombrady said. “He has looked well at practice this year, and his hard work is starting to pay off. He went 4-0, winning the tournament and earning bonus points in every match.”

Also adding to the team championship were Chris Williams (128, 2-2) and Wesley Yoder (heavyweight, 0-2) with third-place finishes. Carson Horn (128, 2-3) and Parker Hoxworth (205, 2-3) placed fourth. Wyatt Garens (104, 2-2), Colton Leyda (134, 0-4) and Grady Hawkins (172, 3-2) finished in fifth. Bronson Myers (98, 0-5) and Ava Fleming (142, 2-3) placed sixth. Lincoln Goans (142, 2-2) and Chet Cooper (172, 2-3) earned seventh, and Charlie Cooper (160, 0-4) placed ninth.