FAIRFIELD — The Northmont wrestling team missed its goal of finishing in the top five at the Ron Masanek Fairfield Invitational Tournament held Friday and Saturday.
The Thunderbolts scored 111 points to miss placing the top five by only two points. Injuries have sidelined key members of the team, which affected Northmont’s ability to score.
“We are in the grind part of the season right now and have some injuries,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg. “Dylan Moran pulled a rib at Centerville so he couldn’t participate. Gabe Newburg has had issues with appendicitis surgery before the season and now he is having neck trouble, so I had to default him after his semifinal match. Our goal was to finish in the top five and missed that by two points. With those two guys in there I think we would have accomplished our goal pretty easily.”
Chad Craft won the 120 pound weight class scoring a 7-3 decision over Jabari Thomas of Fairfield in the championship match. Chase Craft also won the championship match at 126 pounds with a tough 1-0 decision over Tanner Yenter of Campbell County, KY. Freshman Andrew Knick placed second at 113 pounds losing a close 6-4 decision to Zach Shupp of Fairfield in the final. Gabe Newburg placed sixth at 182 pounds, losing by injury default to Drew Katona of Lakota East.
In the first round of the tournament Ezra Smith (138) dropped a 10-5 decision to Quinzell Foster of Harrison.
Second round action saw Knick score a 4-1 decision in overtime against Jake Gentry of Ross. Chad Craft scored a 14-1 major decision against Sam Herndon of Piqua. Chase Craft won by a pin (0:19) over Jason Martin of Clinton-Massie. Bryce Asher (132) lost by pin (1:10) to Elijah Perkins of Miamisburg. Hunter Terrill (145) lost by a pin (3:10) to Andrew Bolin of Piqua. Weston Hoening (152) lost by a pin (1:10) to Joey Bradberry of Lakota West. Josh Winston (160) won by a pin (1:05) over Richard Szczepaniak of Lakota West. Fouad Saleh (170) lost by a pin (1:12) to Austin Hamblin of Ross. Newburg (182) scored an 18-3 technical fall over Adam Bartels of Fairfield. Chuck Saul (285) lost an 8-4 decision to Jon Spaulding of Lakota East.
In the second consolation round Ezra Smith (138) lost a 10-1 major decision to Marc Gallinger of Lebanon.
In the third consolation round Bryce Asher (132) lost an 11-6 decision to Daniel Gurlock of Lebanon. Hunter Terrill (145) scored a 17-1 technical fall over Hunter Chaney of Harrison. Weston Hoening (152) pinned (2:42) Melachi Wright of Dixie Heights. Fouad Saleh lost a 9-4 decision to Aziz Asanbekov of Lakota West. Chuck Saul pinned (1:28) Brandon Pruitt of Harrison.
Fourth consolation action saw Weston Hoening (152) lose by a fall (2:09) to Brandon Bohman of Waynesville. Josh Winston (160) scored a 4-0 decision over Kyle Rodriguez of Waynesville. Bryan Heyward (195) scored a 3-0 decision over Keegan Cundiff of Dixie Heights. Timmy Sexton (220) scored an 11-3 major decision over Ethan Demmitt of Lebanon. Chuck Saul (285) lost in overtime 3-1 to Kairus Washington of Dixie Heights.
Consolation quarterfinal action saw Hunter Terrill (145) lose by a fall (4:07) to Amar Thomas of Fairfield. Josh Winston (160) lost a 9-0 major decision to Connor Beermann of Fairfield. Bryan Heyward (195) lost by a fall (1:00) to Cody Collingham of Clinton-Massie. Timmy Sexton lost by a fall (2:20) to Sam Brothers of Clinton-Massie.
In the quarterfinals Andrew Knick (113) pinned (2:50) Christian Hamilton of Clay. Chad Craft (120) pinned (1:19) Grant Middleton of Miamisburg. Chase Craft (126) scored a 3-0 decision over Braden Treglown of Hewitt Trussville. Josh Winston (160) lost a 7-1 decision to Troy Murphy of Clay. Gabe Newburg (182) scored a 4-3 decision over Max Boyle of Harrison. Bryan Heyward (195) lost a 5-4 decision to Seth Campbell of Miamisburg. Timmy Sexton (220) lost by a fall (3:20) to Kemal Sarvalov of Lakota East.
In the semifinals Andrew Knick (113) scored a 4-1 decision over Logan Hoskins of Butler. Chad Craft (120) scored an 8-0 major decision over Brady Wells of Campbell County. Chase Craft (126) scored a 13-1 major decision over Tristan Hostetter of Piqua. Gabe Newburg lost a 4-2 decision to Caleb Harris of Lakota West.
One of Northmont’s goals was to close the gap on Butler at this tournament, but the Aviators finished in fourth place with 31 more points than the Thunderbolts.
“Overall, we are OK,” Newburg said. “We just need to get our injured people back in the lineup so we can finish strong. The Crafts did a great job and finished as our two champions. They wrestle all the time and you can tell. They go out there and don’t miss a beat. They wrestle the finals match just like it’s a first round match and do an outstanding job. Andrew Knick is an outstanding freshman that we picked up this year and is beating state caliber kids that will allow us to do really well in the lower weights. We have strong kids in the upper weights, so we’re just trying to pick up the kids in the middle weights so by the end of the year we can compete with the top teams, not only in Dayton, but the tops teams in Cincinnati at our district.”
Newburg pointed out that was one of the reasons he chose to compete at Fairfield this year, to expose his team to some of the Cincinnati area schools his wrestlers will face in postseason tourneys.
“Now we have kind of a feeling of what we have to do to get to that point by the end of the season,” Newburg added. “Bryan Heyward was a district qualifier for us last year and now he is a backup for us this year because he just can’t beat the kids that we have up top. He filled in for Dylan Moran at Fairfield and did a nice job. He goes in there whenever we need him and wrestles hard, so he is our ‘Champion of the Week.’ He won two matches at Centerville against varsity kids and won another couple at Fairfield, so he is one of those kids that if we are missing somebody at 182 or 195, he fills in real nicely.”