The 2008 high school wrestling season came to and end last week with the 2008 KHSAA State Wrestling Tournament being held Feb. 14 16 in the states capital at the Frankfort Civic Center.
Harrison County was represented in the event by 10 wrestlers and ended up placing 15th in the overall team standings for the double-elimination tournament.
This was a great team effort and it showed how well-balanced we were even without a 119 lbs. or 285 lbs. entry in the championships, said Harrison County coach Russ Riegel. We were a really good team.
Union County captured the team state championship with a first place finish. Ryle was the runner-up in second place. Woodford County rounded out the top three teams.
Highest honors for a Bred were captured by senior co-captain Beau Sanders who captured second place in the 145 lbs. weight class.
In the opening round on Thursday, Sanders faced Charles Crow of Meade County and won by a fall in 1:36.
On Friday morning for the preliminary round, Sanders faced a familiar foe in Union Countys Isaac Ervin. Ervin pinned Sanders with a fall in 4:45 in the Tates Creek Duals, the teams first event of the season. This time around, the outcome was very different.
In the first period, Sanders scored a take down and Ervin came back with an escape to make the score 2-1. In the second period, Sanders deferred, Ervin selected the bottom position and scored one escape. Sanders scored another take down to set the score at 4-3. In the third period, Sanders elected to start from the bottom position and got an escape to take a 5-3 lead. Ervin scored a take down to tie the match at five. With the score tied, Sanders escaped with 20 seconds remaining on the clock for a 6-5 victory.
Sanders had a considerably easier time in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. He defeated Mikal McNealy of Eastern by a fall in 2:29, and Ethan Whitt of Franklin County with a 17-7 decision to earn the right to wrestle in the championship round.
The 145 lbs. championship round turned out to be a re-match of the Region 7 finals of a week earlier, with Sanders facing the top-seeded and undefeated Harrison Courtney from Woodford County.
I questioned the 10 best coaches in the state to try to find out just how you beat Harrison Courtney, said Riegel. Needless to say, I got 10 different answers, but the general consensus was that you need a club. Since clubs are not allowed you just have to go get him and bust his butt.
Go after him Sanders did, but Courtney came away with the win by a fall in 3:48.
Sanders scored first with a take down, but Courtney came back twice with an escape for a 3-2 lead after the first period.
Fellow senior and co-captain Josh Ashbrook secured the third-place position in the 152 lbs. weight class for the Breds.
In the opening round, Ashbrook defeated Wayne Countys Matthew Sullivan with a fall in 2:24.
Ashbrook breezed through the preliminary and quarterfinal rounds, taking a 10-2 major decision over Marcell Haynes of North Hardin and a win by a fall in 1:17 over Conner Coyle of Ryle.
In the semifinal round, however, Ashbrook ran into trouble against Pleasure Ridge Parks Dakota Choate. Choate came away with a 5-4 decision after four overtime periods.
At the end of the first period, the score was tied at zero. Ashbrook took a 3-2 advantage in the second period after scoring an escape and getting a penalty point while Choate had a take down. In the third period, Choate got an escape to send the match to overtime in a 3-3 tie.
In the first one-minute sudden death period, neither wrestler found a way to score. In the second overtime period, both got escapes to keep a tie score at four.
To begin the fourth overtime period, a coin was tossed and Choate won control choice and took the bottom position. Choate scored an escape and won the match.
Josh was exhausted. He wasnt out of shape, that I can guarantee, but he was just exhausted. Maybe nerves played a part as well, said Riegel. Theres not a question for me that he was the best 152 lbs. wrestler there.
In the consolation semifinal, Ashbrook defeated Simon Kentons Ryan Vaughn by a fall in 1:34. In the consolation finals, Ashbrook took third place with an 18-5 major decision over Trint Webb of John Hardin.
Harrison County junior Andy Lenz took seventh place in the 112 lbs. weight class.
In the first round Lenz won by a fall in 4:40 against Clayton Adamy of Kentucky Country Day. The second round was an 8-5 decision in favor of Lenz over Isaac Thomas of Union County. In the semifinal round, Lenz fell to Wayne Countys Travis Sullivan by a 7-3 decision.
In consolation matches, Lenz defeated Kyle Terry of Central Hardin by a 6-5 decision and lost by a fall in 2:48 to Louisville Trinitys Dan Smith. Lenz won the seventh-place match with a second victory over Unions Thomas, this time a 4-3 decision.
As you analyze this after everything cools down, you know one second place, one third place, one seventh place and a 15th place for the team out of a field of 80 schools is not bad as long as we learn and improve, said Riegel. Our skills are good and getting better all the time. Our downfall is numbers! Our team should be 40 strong with two full squads. I can dream cant I?