CENTERVILLE — Three freshmen were among ten Northmont wrestlers that placed at the Division I sectional tournament Friday and Saturday at Centerville High School.
Freshmen that placed to advance to the district tournament included Luke Holloway (106 pounds) who placed third; Bryan Heyward (170 pounds) also with a third place finish; and Gabe Newburg (182 pounds) with a second place finish.
“We did an outstanding job at sectional,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “We told the kids that everybody is 0-0 now and that whatever anyone did before this point in the season means nothing because there are always kids that get to this point that have done well and then slack off, and there are others who reach this point that end up beating opponents that they have previously lost to.”
Other top performers included junior Chad Craft (113 pounds) who took first place and improved his record to 37-1. He won by a fall (3:10) against Ryan Whitten of Stebbins in the finals.
Junior Chase Craft (120 pounds) also took first place to improve to 33-3 overall. He scored an 11-0 major decision over Scott Osborne of Springboro in the finals.
Senior David Henson (220 pounds) scored a 2-1 decision in overtime in the finals against Matt Spaulding of Lakota East.
Junior Josh Winston (145 pounds) placed second, sophomore Dylan Moran (195 pounds) placed third, Ezra Smith (126 pounds) placed fifth, and senior Solomon Miller (160 pounds) placed sixth.
The top four placers in each weight class qualified for district. Smith’s fifth place finish earned a berth to district as an alternate. If another wrestler that qualified in the top four gets injured or does not meet weight Smith would then be thrust into district competition.
“Our kids did a fantastic job,” Newburg said. “I thought maybe we could get seven kids out. That was my goal and we had ten place and nine advance to district, one as an alternate, so they did a great job. We had a little lull in the middle of the season but after that they picked it back up again. With as young a team as we are to place second in the sectional just shows how much heart and determination and guts these kids have. They really wrestled above their age. Of our eight qualifiers three were freshmen. Luke Holloway did an outstanding job beating a kid who he was seeded below to take third place. Bryan Heyward is just a hard working kid who gets better every day and wound up taking third. He was one of the kids that really surprised me. I think Gabe Newburg did a great job making it to the finals the second week in a row losing to the same boy this week as he did last week, but he is close to winning 30 matches as a freshman, which is outstanding.”
Newburg also credited his veteran wrestlers for coming through strong. He noted that the Craft brothers came through big to win their second sectional titles in a row.
“Dylan Moran did a great job too,” Newburg added. “Dylan never quits and gives 100 percent all the time no matter who he is up against. David Henson moved down to 220 last week at GWOC and did a great job winning his weight class at sectional in overtime to give us three sectional first place finishers and two runners-up, so we had five make the finals which is pretty good when you consider that we only took 12 to the tournament. All the boys did well and we are looking forward to seeing what we can do at district and how many we can get through to state.”
The Division I district tournament will take place at Kettering’s Trent Arena starting at 4 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday at 10 a.m. with finals beginning at 6 p.m.
Final Team Scoring
1. Centerville 196.5
2. Northmont 183.5
3. Springboro 182.5
4. Lak. East 120.0
5. Troy 116.0
6. Springfield 115.5
7. Tre. Edgewood 91.0
8. Bellefontaine 80.0
9. Stebbins 73.5
10. Sidney 57.0
11. Little Miami 51.0
12. West Carrollton 38.0