KETTERING — Northmont placed 6th overall at the Greater Western Ohio wrestling championships Saturday at Kettering’s Trent Arena.
“The GWOC is a tough tournament this year,” said Northmont coach Scott Newburg. “Four of the eight teams ranked in the district are from this league. We knew with six freshmen starting for us it was going to be a tough road to hoe to come in here and place in the top three or four.”
He noted that the team’s focus all year has been to improve each week.
“Our freshmen didn’t wrestle as well as I thought they could of today, but you have to remember that last year these young kids were done with their season almost a month ago but they are still going hard now,” Newburg noted.
“It is kind of hard to acclimate yourself to going an extra month because you are tired and kind of beat up a little bit,” he said. “They just have to realize that before they become upperclassmen in order to go the full season. The older guys who realize that – Andrew Knick, Seth Frantz, Phil Tracey, Bryce Asher, Jake Staley, and James Wilson – those kinds of kids know what it’s like to get to this spot. Even though you are sore, tired and beat up, you still have to wrestle hard and continue to do that and that’s what keeps you competitive in tournaments like this.”
The team was without the services of sophomore Miles Moyer, who has a record of 25-10 with eight pins, due to an illness. His absence no doubt cost the team some needed points.
Freshman Christian Pendleton (126 pounds) who entered the tournament at 25-18 lost to freshman Conner Kleinberg of Springboro (33-5) by a fall in 1:12 to place fourth overall.
Senior Andrew Knick (152 pounds) who is 42-2 overall, took first place by scoring a 7-0 decision over senior Avery Blair of Centerville. Knick now owns the school record for most career victories with 166 and is on pace to break the single season record for most wins (46) held by Jesse Walker.
At 182 pounds senior Bryce Asher (30-12) placed fourth losing a 6-5 decision to freshman Myles Johnson (28-13) of Springboro.
In the 195 pound weight class junior Phil Tracey (32-6) took third place by scoring an 11-2 major decision over freshman Tyler Hicks (32-10) of Beavercreek.
At 220 pounds senior Jake Staley (26-16) placed fourth losing by a fall in 1:33 to freshman Joshua Padilla (26-9) of Wayne.
In the heavyweight championship senior Seth Frantz (37-2) lost by a fall in 1:41 to defending state champion Jacob Padilla (31-3) to place second.
The Thunderbolts return to action in two weeks when they compete in the Division I sectional tournament at Centerville on Friday, Feb. 28 starting at 6 p.m. and continuing on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 10 a.m.
Reach Ron Nunnari at (937) 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com or on Twitter @RonNunnari