BLANCHESTER — The defending state runner-up at 106 pounds made East Clinton wrestling history Saturday at Blanchester High School.
Wyatt Riddle became the Astros’ first sectional champion in program history at the Division III sectional wrestling tournament at BHS.
Riddle was one of eight Clinton County wrestlers to advance to the Division III district wrestling meet, beginning Friday at Hobart Arena in Troy.
He and Blanchester’s Steven Latchford both finished the weekend undefeated to bring home sectional titles.
Riddle will be joined by teammates Brayden Esposito (fourth at 113 pounds) and John Cline (second at 152 pounds).
“I was pretty pleased with how they wrestled, especially John Cline,” EC head coach Doug Stehlin said. “He was one we were talking about. Should he stay at 152 or bump up to 160. We talked about it all week and decided to go with our gut. To see him in the finals for first was huge.”
Latchford qualified for districts along with teammates Johnny Schirmer (second at 132 pounds), Clayton Schirmer (third at 152 pounds), Ramiro Torres (third at 170 pounds) and Christian Stubbs (third at 195 pounds).
It was an unpredictable weekend for the Wildcats.
“I got guys through that I didn’t think I was going to get through, and I got guys that didn’t make it that I thought would,” BHS head coach Scott Nicely said. “We had that talk this week. This is your season. I told them to leave it out there on the mat because there is no tomorrow.”
Riddle had little trouble in his first two matches, recording pinfall victories in 73 seconds and 34 seconds. He was pushed a bit more in the final, but he still ended with a decisive 10-5 victory over Wilber Compress of Reading.
“He had a very good weekend,” Stehlin said. “Very impressive. He doesn’t have a lot of matches, but each match I get to see him wrestle, he’s getting better. He’s getting into the groove now. He’s getting focused and ready. I think this is where he’s going to shine.”
Nicely said Latchford had a bit of a tough stretch heading into the sectional. After a pinfall win in his opener, he finished with 7-3 and 13-8 victories in the semifinals and finals to win the sectional title at 182 pounds.
“He hadn’t wrestled really well lately,” Nicely said. “We sat down and had a heart-to-heart before this weekend rolled around. He wrestled well. He wrestled as good as I’ve seen him wrestle in a long time. It was good to see him come out of it. He’s just got to stay with it.”
Blanchester could have had a second sectional champion. Stubbs led Bethel-Tate’s Nate Owens 9-5 in the final 15 seconds of their semifinal bout. Owens was able to score a late takedown and earn three near-fall points before time expired for a stunning 10-9 win.
Owens pinned his opponent in the final in 17 seconds. Stubbs rallied to win his consolation semifinal and the consolation final to finish third and earn a spot in the district tournament.
Blanchester finished with 161.5 points, which was second behind Bethel-Tate (235). East Clinton finished seventh out of 25 teams with 68 points.
Nicely was pleased with how his team responded after what he called a “disappointing” seventh-place overall finish at the SBC meet last weekend. He noted that his team had beaten the teams that finished in the fourth spots above them in dual matches throughout the year.
“This week in practice was a little brutal,” Nicely said. “We made sure we got in all the groups when we were wrestling live and reminded them what we’re here for. It paid off. I think they responded. That’s the thing I really like about this group.”
Wrestling begins at Hobart Arena 3 p.m. Friday. Two championship rounds and one consolation round will be wrestled Friday. Wrestling will resume at 10 a.m. Saturday with finals set for no earlier than 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The top four in each weight class will advance to the state wrestling meet.
Feb. 24, 2018
@ Blanchester High School
Division III Sectional Wrestling Tournament
Team Standings (top 10): Bethel-Tate 235, Blanchester 161.5, River Valley 127, Reading 119, Clermont NE 102, Wellston 70, East Clinton 68, Adena 66.5, Southeastern 66.5, Huntington 65.
106 – Wyatt Riddle pin Dreyden Osborne (Ironton) 1:13; pinned Joe Reinert (Bethel-Tate) 0:34; dec. Wilber Compress (Reading) 10-5. Finished first.
113 – Brayden Esposito dec. Casey St. Pierre (Waynesville) 5-4; was tech falled by Max Boaz (CCD) 16-0; dec. Dylan Carroll (Huntington) 8-5; was dec. by Zack Gutknecht (Bethel-Tate) 10-2. Finished fourth.
138 – Matt Horn was pinned by Colton Robins (Reading) 0:56; was pinned by Dray Remy (Wellston) 2:47. Did not place.
145 – Josh Cline was dec. by Jonah Blankenship (Bethel-Tate) 11-7; pinned Joey Putnam (Clermont NE) 2:40; was dec. by Thomas Foster (Waynesville) 10-1; was dec. by Gage Huston (Blanchester) 14-8. Finished sixth.
152 – John Cline pinned Chip Riechmann (Summit CD) 1:52; pinned Derek Johnson 4:55; dec. Dalton Metzger (Adena) 11-3; was def. by Matt Hall (Bethel-Tate) injury default. Finished second.
170 – Nathan Vest was pinned by Nathan Michael (River Valley) 0:36; was dec. by Skylar Murphy (Huntington) 7-0. Did not place.
106 – Daniel Davenport was pinned by Joe Reinert (Bethel-Tate) 1:29; was dec. by Christian Lindsey (Southeastern) 4-3. Did not place.
113 – Gage Berwanger was tech falled by Max Boaz (CCD) 16-0; pinned Orlando Smith (Reading) 4:11; pinned Kobe Jones (Madeira) 2:06; was pinned by Zack Gutknecht (Bethel-Tate) 3:58; was pinned by Dylan Carroll (Huntington) 2:11. Finished sixth.
126 – Andrew Frump pinned Coalton Burns (River Valley) 5:06; was dec. by Sam Patterson (CNE) 12-1; pinned Jack Stewart (Summit CD) 1:21; was dec. by Ezra Wallace (Williamsburg) 131. Did not place.
132 – Johnny Schirmer pinned Gabe Wilson (Deer Park) 1:12; tech falled Marion Pope (Purcell Marian) 16-1; pinned Cole Thompson (Paint Valley) 3:37; was dec. by Dustin Robins (Reading) 10-5. Finished second.
138 – Kadin Berwanger was dec. by Mike Whittington (Bethel-Tate) 11-9; pinned Owen Lewis (Purcell Marian) 0:50; pinned Alex Peck (South Gallia) 0:59; was pinned by Tyler Conley (Clermont NE) 2:38; pinned Todd Davidson (Ironton) 1:35. Finished fifth.
145 – Gage Huston was pinned by Issia Johnson (Reading) 3:05; pinned Corey Tomlin (N. College Hill) 2:45; was pinned by Jonah Blankenship (Bethel-Tate) 4:42; dec. Josh Cline (East Clinton) 14-8. Finished fifth.
152 – Clayton Schirmer pinned Nylan Mosley (Purcell Marian) 1:35; pinned Justin Butler (South Gallia) 2:29; was dec. by Matt Hall (Bethel-Tate) 6-3; pinned Derek Johnson (River Valley) 2:30; pinned Dalton Metzger (Adena) 4:04. Finished third.
160 – Colt Conover pinned Joseph Bechtol (Williamsburg) 0:45; pinned George Vieth (Roger Bacon) 2:23; was pinned by Seth Henderson (Miami Valley Christian) 0:37; was pinned by Luke Rayburn (Clermont NE) 4:17; pinned George Vieth (Roger Bacon) 2:49. Finished fifth.
170 – Ramiro Torres pinned Ryan McClain (Ironton) 2:23; was pinned by Owen Holtke (Bethel-Tate) 2:46; pinned Skylan Murphy (Huntington) 1:50; pinned Ryan McClain (Ironton) 2:16. Finished third.
182 – Steven Latchford pinned K.C. Collins (River Collins) 1:03; pinned Matt Davis (Ironton) 0:43; dec. David Pride (Clermont NE) 7-3; dec. Matthew Moore (Waynesville) 13-8. Finished first.
195 – Christian Stubbs pinned Chris Mocabee (Adena) 0:37; was dec. by Nate Owens (Bethel-Tate) 10-9; pinned Ryan Weber (River Valley) 0:47; dec. Aidan Reid (Madeira) 9-1. Finished third.