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Harrison wrestlers compete in Conner Invitational

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By Joey Lewis

Last Saturday, Jan. 5, the Harrison County Thorobred wrestling team traveled to the Conner Invitational Wrestling Tournament. The Breds have been involved in the CIWT for each of the last 14 years since the tournaments inception in 1994. This year, Harrison County scored in the middle of the pack with a fourth place finish among a field of teams that included Conner, Finneytown (Ohio), Lawrenceburg (Ind.), North Oldham, Scott, South Dearborn (Ind.), South Oldham, and Woodford County.

Out of 14 possible weight classes, the Breds competed in nine, with two alternate wrestlers available. With 11 wrestlers competing, seven Breds won individual places in their weight classes.

In the 152 lbs. weight class, senior Josh Ashbrook came into the day as the number one seeded athlete. His 3-0 performance proved the merit of his seeding and earned him a first place finish. He took wins by a forfeit in his first round, a 9-1 major decision against Woodford County in the second round, and a 13-3 major decision against South Dearborn in the third round.

Breds senior Beau Sanders came into the tournament as the top-ranked seed in the 160 lbs. weight class and also posted a 3-0 mark on the day to take the top spot. Sanders won his matches by a fall in 2:42 against Conner in the first round, a 12-2 major decision against Woodford County in the second round, and 13-3 major decision against South Oldham in the finals.

Sanders filled the spot in the 160 lbs. weight class for the injured Mike Cordray. Cordray is 14-3 on the year and is expected to be back in the Breds line-up in two to three weeks. Sanders usual 145 lbs. weight class assignment was filled by Breds sophomore Chris Brunker. Brunker finished 1-2 on the day, losing by a fall in 3:32 to South Oldham, winning by a 9-1 decision against Lawrenceburg, and losing by a 10-3 decision to Conner.

Harrison County junior Andy Lenz was seeded first in the 112 lbs. weight class, but finished in second place with a 2-1 performance. In the first and second rounds, he won by a fall in 4:16 and a 17-0 technical fall against South Oldham and North Oldham respectively. In the finals, Lenz lost by a fall in 0:59 to South Dearborn.

In the 171 lbs. weight class, Breds senior Bobby Barkley was seeded fourth but posted a 3-1 mark that was good enough for a third place finish. In his first round, Barkley won by a fall in 0:38 against his Conner opponent. The semi-final round was a loss by a fall in 0:49 against South Oldham. In consolation matches Barkley won by a fall in 0:42 against North Oldham and won by an 11-8 decision against Scott.

Freshman Brandon Barnett continued his fantastic season, coming into the tournament he was seeded sixth in the 189 lbs. weight class and went 3-1 on the day and took the third place finish.

In his first match, Barnett faced Houston Dockery of Conner and lost by a fall in 2:19. In consolation matches, Barnett won by a fall in 1:51 against North Oldham and won by a 7-5 decision against Scott. In the consolation final, Barnett was again paired with Conners Dockery. This time Barnett took a 4-0 decision.

Harrison County juniors, and twin brothers, Caleb and Coty Berry had more in common than appearance in the CIWT. The brothers took fourth place finishes, won their quarter final match, lost their semifinal match, won their consolation semifinal match and lost their consolation final.

Caleb Berry was seeded third in the 135 lbs. weight class and Coty Berry was seeded fourth in the 140 lbs. class. Caleb Berry is 26-14 on the year, while his brother Coty is 22-8.

Its unbelievable how they seem to do the same, said Breds coach Russ Riegel. The coaches cant tell them apart.

In the 215 lbs. weight class, Breds sophomore Shawn Lenz was 0-2 on the day, losing to Lawrenceburg by a fall in 1:02 and Conner by a fall in 0:42.

The Breds alternate wrestlers for the tournament were sophomore Josh Moss, who finished 1-2 in the 135 lbs. weight class, and junior Seth Coy, who finished 0-2 in the 152 lbs. weight class.

In the overall team standings, South Dearborn took the tournament title with a score of 217.5. South Oldham was in second with 134, Woodford County took third place with 119, and the Breds claimed fourth with a score of 109.5.

Harrison Countys scheduled match last Wednesday against John Hardin at Anderson County was canceled.

The Breds were scheduled to host Campbell County last night on the Hilltop and will hit the mats next when they travel to Lafayette to compete in the Five Star Classic this Saturday.