By David Fong
TROY — There were plenty of injuries and illness, bumps and bruises and exhaustion and enervation to go around at Saturday’s Troy Invitational.
One thing that was in short supply for all of Miami County’s teams, however, were excuses.
“We’re happy with how we did, but we still feel like we could have wrestled better,” said Covington coach Tom Barbee, whose team finished third with 288.5 points, tops among the four county teams competing in the 12-team field. “We felt like this was a tournament we could have won, but we didn’t wrestle well enough to do it.
“We are a little beat up and a little tired right now, but that’s no excuse. Everyone is at this point in the season. We’ve got to learn to work through all of that.”
Three of the Miami County teams participating — Covington, Troy and Milton-Union — all competed in the GMVWA Holiday Tournament Monday and Tuesday, while a fourth, Miami East, competed at the Medina Invitational. All four teams were missing some of their top wrestlers, while the wrestlers they did have competing Saturday were far from fresh.
Again, though, no one was making any excuses.
“It’s a tough stretch, to wrestle Monday and Tuesday — especially for the kids who we had go deep into the tournament Tuesday — then come back hard in practice Wednesday and Thursday before taking it a little easy Friday,” Troy coach Doug Curnes said. “We had some kids who were worn down. But no excuses. You’ve just got to keep battling.”
Coldwater won the Troy Invitational with 328.0 points, Northmont was second with 303.0 and Covington was third. Troy finished fifth with 160.o, Miami East was sixth with 150.0 and Milton-Union was seventh with 147.0 points.
Covington led the way for Miami County with 11 placers, including three tournament champions. Ryan Ford (138 pounds), Lance Miller (160) and Brandon Magee (182) all captured Troy Invitational titles for the Buccaneers. Ford won his title match by technical fall, 23-8, Miller won his by a 3-1 decision and Magee won with a 7-2 decision.
While both Ford and Miller were favored to bring home titles, Magee was unseeded going into the tournament.
“Our top guys all wrestled well,” Barbee said. “Brandon really did a nice job.”
Jared Ford (126) took second for the Buccaneers. Connor Ryan (113) and Coleman Ryan (120) both took third. Gage DeHart was fifth at 152 pounds,while Kerington Martin (132), Joey Schmelzer (170) and Carl Lankford (285) all placed fifth. Seth Thomas placed seventh at 220.
Leading the way for Troy was Kobe Scott, who took second at 132 pounds. Brandon Lewis (106) and Shane Shoop (152) both took third for the Trojans. Shane Love (126) and Davin Snyder (182) both placed fifth. Kameron Block (285) placed sixth, Ben Andrews (113) took seventh and Will Brumfield (195) finished eighth.
“I’d give us a B,” Curnes said of his team’s performance. “We wrestled well, but we’ve still got some things to work on. I think some of our younger guys really stepped up and did a nice job. Overall, I’m happy with how we did. We just need to work on some things.”
Miami East heavyweight Ben Ferguson was dominant throughout the day, capping off his tournament by pinning his opponent in 1:32 to take first place. Graham Shore placed second at 113, Caden Hellyer was third at 220 and Cole Taylor (106), Andrew Harmon (138) and Matthew Welker (170) all placed seventh for the Vikings.
“We had some guys missing who could have helped us,” Miami East coach Mark Rose said. “We’ve completed in four pretty tough matches and tournament the past two weeks. But we’re not making any excuses. We’re happy with how we did, for sure, but we don’t feel like we wrestled up to the expectations we’ve set for ourselves.”
Milton-Union was bolstered by the return of Chase Mayabb, who missed the GMVWA Holiday Tournament with an injury. He placed second at 145 pounds to lead the Bulldogs. Hunter Gambriel (126) and Austin Menker (160) both placed third for Milton. Dylan Schenck (132) placed fourth, Jordan King (120) placed fifth and Jordan Cress (152) and Caleb Black (170) both placed sixth.
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong