High School wrestling: Centerville wins first GWOC title since 2016

The Centerville Elks wrestling team won the Greater Western Ohio Conference title for the first time since 2016. Contributed
The Centerville Elks wrestling team won the Greater Western Ohio Conference title for the first time since 2016. Contributed

CENTERVILLE – Injuries and quarantines have slowed down the Centerville Elks wrestling team this season. But there’s been no stopping them.

Centerville claimed its first Greater Western Ohio Conference title since 2016 with a convincing 199.5-155.5 victory over two-time defending champion Springboro on Saturday. The Elks put nine of their 14 wrestlers in the finals and came away with four individual champions.

Springboro had six in the finals and won four individual titles as well. Miamisburg and Wayne each won two weight classes and Beavercreek and Northmont one each.

The Elks won the GWOC from 2012-14 and again in 2016, but coach Alan Bair said bad luck, injuries and wrestlers moving out of state hindered their chances.

“We have been building this team since these kids were in the third and fourth grades,” Bair said referring to youth clubs and camps. “Honestly, it was just nice to wrestle in a tournament. All the kids contributed to the success as they have all year. In a small tournament anything can happen.”

Centerville’s individual titles came from junior Damion Ryan in the 120-pound weight class, junior Luke Acuna at 126, freshman Aydan George at 160 and senior Parker Hinkebein at 170.

“Damion is dominant and having a great season,” Bair said. “Luke is really starting to accept coaching and combining what he wants to do with what coaches think he should do.”

“Parker got put on his back in the finals. It took total guts to fight off his back. Most kids would have quit. Ayden is really talented and goes 100 percent. He is still making mistakes, but he does everything hard.”

Finishing second for Centerville were sophomore Nate Stevens (106), junior Simon Taylor (113), junior Spencer Meng (132), junior Nolan Winfield (145) and senior Jon Bruder (220).

Freshman Josh Cline (138), senior Justin Waller (152) and senior Josef Schlade (195) finished third.

Centerville and Springboro went head-to-head in the championship match four times with the Panthers winning at 113, 132 and 220 the Elks at 120.

Winning individual titles for Springboro were junior Hayden Hollis (113), freshman Conner Kleinberg (132), senior Parker Smith (182) and sophomore Myles Johnson 220).

Miamisburg freshman Jayden Cochran (106) and sophomore Gus Domitor (138), Wayne senior Ryder Pierce (195) and sophomore Joshua Padilla (285), Northmont junior Miles Moyer (145) and Beavercreek sophomore Hayden Randolph (152) also won individual titles.

The GWOC and other conferences held their conference meets on Saturday to give programs a two-week buffer between the sectional tournament should any concerns with COVID-19 arise. In a typical season league tournaments are held the week prior to sectional, which are scheduled for Feb. 27 at various locations.

“We have actually had a lot of injuries this season,” said Bair, adding Centerville’s wrestling season has twice been idled for COVID precautions. “It’s hard to start, stop, start and stop. As the head coach I am second-guessing myself all the time on how to practice, the scheduling, just everything. … With all of our injuries we have plugged a ton of younger guys in and have had a lot of success. The team I have been waiting for all season (with the addition of Gunnar Pool from injury) will be intact. Heading into the postseason we are healthy and COVID-free so our postseason looks bright.”

MVL: Butler won its second straight Miami Valley League championship with 253.5 points. Tippecanoe finished second with 137.5 and Sidney was third with 124.

The Aviators claimed eight individual titles. Junior D’Shawn McKinney (106), sophomore Noah Moreland (113), sophomore Parker Lee (120), sophomore Jack Hoskins (126), junior Colten Buckner (138), senior Bryce Echeman (145), senior Thomas Hicks (152) and senior Matt Motter (160) all won title for the Aviators.

In addition, Fairborn junior Brody Hayes (132), Tipp junior Collin Hanrahan (170), Piqua freshman Landen Martin (182), Stebbins senior Marvelous Rutledge (195), Xenia sophomore Jamell Smith (220) and West Carrollton senior Robert Shaw (285) also won titles.

SWBL: Brookville repeated as the Southwestern Buckeye League champions behind a pair of individual champs. The Blue Devils scored 189 points for their second straight title. Vincent Brookshire (120) and Dylan Starnes (170) both claimed weight-class championships.

Monroe finished second with 170.5 points and Milton-Union, the top finisher in the Buckeye Division, was third with 155.

Also winning individual titles were Valley View’s Evan Wilcox (113), Waynesville’s Matt Ellis (126), Preble Shawnee’s Brayden Doran (138), Milton-Union’s Colten Jacobe (152) and Oakwood’s Keaton Seim (160).

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