There is an old saying that “there is no substitute for hard work.”
The Miami Trace Panthers have been hard at work since mid-November, and had a nice payoff at the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association (GMVWA) Holiday Tournament Dec. 27 and 28.
Despite missing three weight classes (106, 126 and 160 lbs), the Panthers had a top three finish in the small school division behind perennial powerhouse Graham High School and top-ranked Division III Xenia Legacy Academy. The Panthers finished fifth overall in the 48-team field.
Panther coach Ben Fondale, was happy with his squad.
“Our coaching staff is proud of our performance at the GMVWA,” Fondale said. “It is difficult to place as high as we did. Our placement is a testament to how hard our wrestlers have been working over the winter break.”
The Panther coach went on to say, “It was a team effort throughout the two-day tournament and all of our guys contributed.”
Overall, the Panthers had seven individual placers: Mcale Callahan (152 lbs) and Grant DeBruin (285 lbs) earned third place; Weston Melvin (113 lbs) finished fourth overall; Graham Carson (145 lbs), Jayden LeBeau (170 lbs) and Bryce Bennett (195 lbs) earned sixth place finishes; while freshman Aiden Johnson (120 lbs) finished seventh overall.
Also during the tournament, junior Mcale Callahan picked up his 100th high school wrestling victory, joining a number of Panther alumni to reach this career benchmark.
Jayden LeBeau (170 pound) podium 6th place