Springboro se­cures the fi­nal GWOC ti­tle

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS - By Greg Billing Con­tribut­ing Writer

The fu­ture of VANDALIA — the Greater West­ern Ohio Con­fer­ence cast a shadow over the wrestling cham­pi­onships that con­cluded Satur­day. With the 20-team con­fer­ence break­ing up af­ter this school year, the Springboro Pan­thers de­liv­ered the fi­nal take­down.

Springboro won the over­all GWOC cham­pi­onship with a 4.5-point vic­tory over run- ner-up Beaver­creek at Vandalia’s Stu­dent Ac­tiv­ity Cen­ter.

re­ally wanted to win this tour­na­ment to­day to win it for the last time be­fore it does break up. The kids talked about it all week,” Springboro coach Fred Boul- ton said.

Springboro’s team win was high­lighted by in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­onships from ju­nior Ma­son Klein­berg at 138 pounds and ju­nior Ja­cob Kowal­ski at 195. The Pan­thers placed in 11 of the 14 weight classes.

“It comes down to ev­ery match be­ing im­por­tant in a tour­na­ment,” Boul­ton said. “When you have a lot of good teams around, ev­ery sin­gle match is im­por­tant. It comes down to pinning peo­ple.”

One of Springboro’s sur­prises came at 132. Fresh­man Colton Smith, wres- tling in his first var­sity tour­na­ment, won his first var­sity match and placed sixth. He scored nine valu­able points for the Pan­thers.

Beaver­creek, which along with Cen­ter­ville placed four wrestlers in the fi­nals, re­ceived in­di­vid­ual ti­tles from ju­nior Gavin Bell (152) and se­nior Bradley Smith (220). The Beavers had 11 wrestlers place but didn’t com­pete at 106 or 132.

“They wres­tled hard. We could look back at a match here and a match there, but that’s sports,” said Beaver- creek coach Gary Wise, who coached Boul­ton in freestyle years ago. “We both knew com­ing into to­day what we needed to do and who we ex­pected to win.”

Cen­ter­ville, which fin­ished third with 176.5 points, scored a tour­na­ment-high four cham­pi­ons be­hind fresh­man Luke Acuna (113), fresh­man Damion Ryan (120), Lo­gan Brown (132) and se­nior Drew Wiech­ers (160).

Butler, Greenville, Pi­qua, Tippeca­noe, Troy, Fair­born, Sid­ney, Steb­bins, West Car- roll­ton and Xe­nia are leav­ing the GWOC af­ter this school year to re­form the Mi­ami Val­ley League. Le­banon is leav­ing for the East­ern Cincin­nati Con­fer­ence and Trot- wood-Madi­son was no­ti­fied in De­cem­ber that its GWOC mem­ber­ship was end­ing.

Poll po­si­tion: The state rank­ings call it an up­set. North­mont ju­nior An­drew Knick dis­agreed fol­low­ing his hard-fought 5-1 vic­tory over Wayne sopho­more Wayne Mullins for the 145-pound ti­tle. Knick en­tered ranked No. 21 in the state. Mullins was No. 9.

The score was tied 1-1, both on al­lowed es­capes, with 10 sec­onds left in the third pe­riod. Both were fran- tically grap­pling for con- trol when Knick man­aged to score the take­down and two back points in the fi­nal sec­onds.

“I re­ally don’t think it was an up­set. I feel like I was un­der­rated,” Knick said. “I feel like peo­ple are un­der- es­ti­mat­ing me so I just went out and wres­tled my match.”

Mullins and Knick­met ear­lier this sea­son with Mullins claim­ing an 8-6 win.

“I knew it was go­ing to be a tough one. He’s a great wrestler,” Knick said. “I grew up with him wrestling and we go back and forth . ... We knoweach oth­ers tech­nique and what each of us do, so it makes it more dif­fi­cult.”

Per­fect Padilla: Wayne ju­nior Ja­cob Padilla im­proved to 34-0 with an­other dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mance at 285. Padilla pinned his four oppo- nents in a com­bined 4:04. How im­pres­sive is that? Full matches last six min­utes.

Spread­ing the wealth: Nine dif­fer­ent schools cel­e­brated GWOC in­di­vid­ual ti­tles. Also claim­ing ti­tles were Greenville jun i or An­drew Stach­ler (106), Butler ju­nior Lo­gan Hoskins (126), Fair­mont ju­nior Ne­van Sn­od­grass (170) and Miamisburg se­nior Se­bas­tian Beach­ler.

Ti­tle towns: In ad­di­tion to the over­all GWOC ti­tle, Springboro also claimed the Na­tional West Di­vi­sion cham­pi­onship. Beaver­creek won the Na­tional East, Butler the Amer­i­can North and Xe­nia the Amer­i­can South.

GREG BILLING CON­TRIB­UTED BY

Springboro ju­nior Ma­son Klein­berg won a GWOC ti­tle at 138 pounds Satur­day at Vandalia-Butler.

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