FAIRFIELD — Northmont’s varsity wrestling team turned in a strong performance Jan. 5 and 6 to place 7th out of 21 teams at the Ron Masanek Fairfield Invitational.
Finishing in the top third of the field was all the more impressive given the fact that the Thunderbolts had only 10 wrestlers compete. Four of the ten placed in the tournament.
“It is the first time I can remember in a long time that we had four guys in the finals win all four of their matches,” said Northmont Coach Scott Newburg.
Senior Dylan Moran won the 195 championship match by scoring a 10-5 decision over Max Boyle of Harrison.
“Dylan Moran has beaten a state ranked opponent the last two tournaments… at the Holiday Tournament and again this weekend,” Newburg noted. “He is doing a great job. He has moved himself up into the top 14 in the state in his weight class.”
After a first round bye Moran won by a fall (pin) in 1:44 against Ian Daugherty of Cooper High School (Union, Kentucky). In the quarterfinal match Moran scored a 16-5 major decision over Keegan Cundiff of Dixie Heights (Kenton County, Kentucky). In the semifinal match Moran pinned Walker Robinson of McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) to propel him into the finals where he defeated Boyle to win first place.
Junior Bryan Heyward (220 pounds) scored a 4-0 decision over Chase Looper of McCallie School to capture third place.
“Bryan Heyward continues to wrestle great,” Newburg said. “He goes out there and he is really unorthodox and he is kind of funky, but he beat some really good kids and he ended up third.”
After a first round bye Heyward pinned James Schnur of Kings in 1:03. In the quarterfinal match he scored an 8-2 decision over Lyle Campbell of Clay (Portsmouth). In the semifinal Heyward lost by a fall (5:02) to Cameron Sauerwein of Harrison to kick him into the battle for third place.
Sophomore Jaysen “Andrew” Knick placed fifth in the 132 pound weight class by scoring an 8-2 decision over Zach Ward of McCallie School.
“Andrew Knick had a couple of tight losses including a one point loss in overtime, but he is still getting himself acclimated to his weight class after wrestling at 113 pounds last year,” Newburg said.
Knick also earned a first round bye and in the second round of the tournament pinned Iverson Sung of Cincinnati Sycamore in 5:09. Knick lost a hard fought 9-8 decision in the quarterfinal round to Cody Betourne of West Lafayette (Indiana) High School. In the fourth consolation round Knick won by a fall (3:29) over Jon Rumph of Cincinnati Winton Woods. In the consolation quarterfinal he scored a 10-4 decision over Connar Davis of Lebanon. Knick lost a 5-4 decision in overtime in the consolation semifinal to James Davis of West Carrollton before defeating Ward for fifth place overall.
Senior Michael “Ezra” Smith (152 pounds) also placed fifth by defeating Eric Ruiz of West Lafayette by a 3-2 decision.
“Smith came back and beat kid that he had lost to the day before 13-3 to take fifth place, so I was real happy with that too,” Newburg said.
Smith opened his tournament by scoring a 14-13 decision over Noah Floyd of Northwest High School in the second round of the tourney. In the quarterfinal Smith lost to Ruiz by a 13-3 major decision to kick him into the fourth consolation round where he pinned Reed Day of Lakota East in 2:10. In the consolation quarterfinal Smith pinned Donovan Page of Cooper in 4:40. The consolation semifinal saw Smith lose by a fall (3:02) to Kyle Miller of Clay before coming back to get revenge against Ruiz in the battle for fifth place.
“I think we are on the right track,” Newburg added. “The younger kids are getting more experience and I think we will be OK by the time the end of the season gets here.”
Team Scoring Totals
1. Harrison 214.0
2. Clay 198.5
3. McCallie School 179.0
4. Fairfield 158.5
5. West Lafayette 155.5
6. Ross 148.5
7. Northmont 99.0
8. Winton Woods 76.0
9. Lebanon 74.0
10. Lak. West 65.5
11. Miamisburg 64.0
12. Sycamore 59.0
13. Lak. East 58.0
14. Campbell Co. 57.0
15. Clinton-Massie 45.5
16. Cooper 43.0
17. Dixie Heights 35.0
18. Northwest 19.5
19. West Carrollton 17.0
20. Kings 16.0
21. Piqua 11.5
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@AimMediaMidwest.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind