If Jacob Padilla had his way, he would take every wrestling match to the six-minute limit. Instead, the Wayne High School junior is mostly a quick-pin specialist in the 285-pound class.
“I like close matches,” admitted Padilla after earning most valuable honors during the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament at Butler’s Student Activities Center on Friday. “I don’t like just going out and pinning someone real quick.”
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Padilla got his wish, outlasting Graham’s Johnny Shafer 5-3 in overtime to conclude the 48-team event.
Graham had the overall combined team title wrapped up midway through Thursday’s opening day and won its seventh straight Holiday title, 306-168.5 over runner-up Springboro. Host Butler was third (155).
Padilla was chosen most outstanding from 152-285 pounds. He broke into Wayne’s offensive line as a rare freshman starter at guard and switched to center the last two seasons. His father Mike Padilla also was a standout in football and wrestling at Wayne.
“I’m more a football guy,” said Jacob, who placed eighth in the D-I state meet at 285 last season. “This is a building block.”
»» PHOTOS: GMVWA Holiday Tournament
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The 285 title bout was significant because Shafer was third in the D-II state at 220 last season. Tied at 3-all, Padilla’s takedown 30 seconds into OT was the difference.
“Once we got going it was pretty fun,” he said after improving to 13-0 with 11 pins. Seeded third at the Holiday, Padilla will now be among the state 285 favorites.
• Legacy Christian, guided by first-year coach Tim Begley, did the most with the least. The entire Knights team consists of six freshmen. It also should be a D-III state contender.
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That’s because four of the Knights placed, including winners Camron Lacure (120) and Gavin Brown (126). Brown competed nationally in middle school for the renowned New Jersey Scorpions.
“I kind of expected not to be seeded because I’m a freshman, but that didn’t stop me from knowing I was going to come in there and win the tournament,” said Brown, whose only two losses in 20 matches were to nationally ranked competitors at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman. “This season is a lot more fun because it means a lot more for me.”
Begley previously had a productive run as Chaminde Julienne’s coach and likes what he sees.
“It’s a super group of real positive kids,” he said. “We’re a new program. They work hard and like to go twice a day if they could. They’re very dedicated.”
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• Graham had three winners in Nick Moore (132), Alek Martin (138) and Jeffrey Thomas (152). The Falcons also had four runners-up and placed in all but one class.
“We have a bunch of young guys and they need to get matches,” first-year Graham coach Travis McIntosh said. “The more we wrestle the more we see mistakes, then we can fix them. Wins and losses don’t really matter until we see March.”
• Jordan Crace, a senior at Bellefontaine and the 145 champ, was chosen most outstanding at 106-145 after delivering three pins, a tech fall and major decision. CJ senior Hunter Johns, the 182 champ, had the most pins in the least time (four in 5:46) and Graham sophomore and Eric Thomas (170) the most pins (five matches in 8:40).
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• Inducted into the GMVWA Hall of Fame were longtime Kettering Van Buren Middle School coach Doug Callinan, Virgil Goodwine, a former Springfield head coach who died this past spring, and U.S. Rep Jim Jordan, a four-time state winner at Graham and the brother of former Falcons coach Jeff Jordan.
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