GREENFIELD — The Washington Blue Lion wrestling team opened competition in the South Central Ohio League with matches against Chillicothe and McClain at McClain High School Thursday.
Washington won both duals in dominating fashion.
The Blue Lions beat McClain, 57-18 and defeated Chillicothe, 66-12.
“I was happy with the way we wrestled,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We have a really young team. We have seven returning guys and seven guys who are new to the lineup. I was happy with all 14 wrestlers tonight.
“We saw big improvements from the whole team,” Reid said. “We’ve worked hard the last two weeks on just the fundamentals. We’ve got to work on our conditioning. We’ve got to work on improving from all three positions: neutral, top and bottom. I was really proud of my wrestlers.”
Collin George (106) went 2-0 and Chris Martin went 2-0 at 113 pounds.
“Both of those guys each picked up a pin, which was huge,” Reid said. “Collin is a freshman and Chris is a sophomore and he beat a really good kid from Chillicothe. I was really proud of him. You could see the hard work that he’s put in really pay off.”
At 120 pounds, Tre Thomas was technically sound, according to Reid.
“Tre won by technical fall against a McClain wrestler and he looked really good,” Reid said.
“At 126, Chance Hall won a match by forfeit,” Reid said. “He’s a first-year wrestler and he’s improving.
“At 132, we split our matches,” Reid said. “Both of our guys at 132 are really good. Zane Nelson beat a returning District qualifier (from McClain) in Keegan Rawlins. He’s one of McClain’s best wrestlers. That was a really good match and Zane came out on top.
“Connor Chrisman pinned Darius Harris of Chillicothe,” Reid said.
Chris Conger had two pins for Washington at 138 pounds.
At 145 pounds, Austin Hixon went 1-1.
“He lost to a really good Lawhorn kid from Chillicothe,” Reid said. “That kid is really tough. Austin bounced back. This was his first time making 145 pounds, so, he was a little tired. I think as he settles into the weight class, he’ll be really good.
“Jerry Knapp at 152, he just came back to us,” Reid said. “He stepped into the starting lineup and did well.
“Eli Shaw went out and won a great match for us against Chillicothe,” Reid said. “He looked really solid. Then he lost to one of McClain’s best or second-best wrestler, Jake Badgley. (Badgley) caught him and pinned him.
“At 170, junior Ethan Stewart stepped into the starting lineup for the first time and won a huge match,” Reid said. “He went 2-0 and wrestled really smart.
“At 182, senior Mason McCane continues to roll along,” Reid said. “He bounced back from a Franklin tournament where he finished second and looked dominate against Chillicothe. That kid from Chillicothe is a pretty tough kid.
“At 195, senior Stephen Willis went 2-0, beating a solid kid from Chillicothe,” Reid said.
“At 220, freshman Colten McNicols stepped into the lineup and earned a really tough victory against a Chillicothe kid,” Reid said. “That match went back and forth.
“At 285, junior Trevor Hicks continues to wrestle really well,” Reid said. “Trevor stays undefeated by going 2-0 tonight. He picked up a pin against a good Chillicothe kid.
“This starts us off 2-0 in the SCOL,” Reid said. “This is a really competitive league. All of the teams in the league are really tough. Wilmington, Miami Trace and Clinton-Massie looked to be the front-runners. We feel if we can get things together, we can be really tough.”
Washington wrestles at home Saturday in the Quali-Tee Duals, beginning at 10 a.m. Teams joining Washington for that meet will be New Lexington, Paint Valley, Chillicothe, West Jefferson and Bellfontaine.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1