The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team hosted former South Central Ohio League rivals Wilmington for a dual match Thursday, Jan. 26.
It was Senior Night and the Panthers recognized their five seniors — Keegan Williams, Riston LeBeau, Aiden Johnson, Stephen Lehr and Ryan Smith — prior to the middle school match.
Miami Trace won the middle school match, 57-29.
The varsity match was much more competitive, with the Panthers taking the win, 36-31.
Miami Trace won four matches by pin: Stephen Lehr (175), :28; Lyric Dickerson (106), :38; Brice Perkins (126), 5:28 and Tyler Stevens (157), 1:22.
Evan Mollett (190) won, 10-0; Riston LeBeau (144) won, 6-2 and Asher LeBeau (150) won his match, 16-1.
All 14 weight classes were filled by both teams.
This was a real back and forth match with the teams trading the lead six times.
Wilmington led by as many as six points, 28-22.
With wins by Riston LeBeau, Asher LeBeau and Tyler Stevens, the Panthers finished on top.
“We knew Wilmington was a really tough team, all the way from the bottom to the top of their lineup,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “It was back and forth, as far as team points. That is kind of what we expected.
“Some of their weight classes matched up well with ours,” Fondale said. “Some of our weight classes matched up better against them.
“We had a couple of young guys come up big,” Fondale said. “Brice Perkins and Tyler Stevens had big pins for us. Those made a big difference.”
Fondale was pleased with the attentive attitude of the team members cheering on whomever was out on the mat.
“Our teammates stayed fired up the whole time,” Fondale said. “Overall, it was a great effort. We talked in the room a couple of days this week about maximizing team points if we’re going to win and minimizing team points if you’re in a match situation where you might not be able to get the victory.
“We have a few things to work on, just like always,” Fondale said. “We had enough guys step up to where it made a big difference.”
Fondale gave some thoughts about Miami Trace’s five senior wrestlers.
“I want to thank Aiden Johnson, Stephen Lehr, Riston LeBeau and Keegan Williams for wrestling all four years of high school for me,” Fondale said. “I want to thank Ryan Smith for coming out his senior year for his first year of wrestling.
“I want to thank those guys for all the work and sacrifice they’ve put in,” Fondale said. “I want to thank the parents for coming out and supporting them, as well.”
Next week the Panthers go to a double-dual at Mechanicsburg Wednesday, Feb. 1 and then there are the State Regional (duals) at Indian Valley.
MT wins middle school dual against Wilmington
In the middle school match, won by Miami Trace 57-29, earning victories by pin for the Panthers were: Harper Dotson (116), Gabe Carson (122), Jacob Rheinscheld (128), Landon LeBeau (134), Corbin Dotson (142), Tommy Garrison (205) and Luke Bennett (245).
Alejandro Utrera won a 12-6 decision at 160 pounds for the Panthers. Kaleb Carter won by forfeit at 150 pounds.
Miami Trace 36, Wilmington 31
175 – Stephen Lehr MT, pinned Azriel Reeder W, :28
190 – Evan Mollett MT dec. Owen Bloom W, 10-0
215 – Paul McKnight W, pinned Ryan Smith MT, :58
285 – Brylin Ruddle W, tech fall Josh McGraw, 19-3
106 – Lyric Dickerson MT, pinned Alonzo Woody W, :38
113 – Mythias Stuckey W, pinned Will Enochs MT, 3:21
120 – Ethan Bates W, dec. Evan Mullen MT, 20-6
126 – Brice Perkins MT, pinned Darius Stewart W, 5:28
132 – Carson Hibbs W, dec. Corbin Melvin MT, 5-1
138 – Thane McCoy W, dec. Aiden Johnson MT, 11-3
144 – Riston LeBeau MT, dec. Caydn Denniston W, 6-2
150 – Asher LeBeau MT, dec. Elijah Hibbs W, 16-1
157 – Tyler Stevens MT, pinned Kaison Dodge W, 1:22
160 – Gage Davis W, dec. Walker Glispie MT, 15-8