The Miami Trace Panthers wrestling team hosted 17 teams for the McDonald’s Invitational Saturday, Jan. 22.
Miami Trace won the tournament going away, with 305 team points.
London was second with 185.5 points.
“I’m pretty proud of the whole team,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “Everybody about performed to their potential.”
Lyric Dickerson (106), Weston Melvin (144), Kylan Knapp (175), Bryce Bennett (215) each won their weight class.
Dickerson and Bennett both went 5-0, while Melvin and Knapp each went 4-0.
“Lyric Dickerson was a champion, he’s a freshman,” Fondale said. “He’s looking to try (to qualify to) the State tournament this year.
“He’s been wrestling pretty consistently all year,” Fondale said of Weston Melvin. “His only losses have been to projected State placers (in Ohio) and bordering states.
“He’s probably our most aggressive wrestler,” Fondale said of Kylan Knapp. “He’s very physical. He’s just a hard-nosed kid. He goes after everybody, he doesn’t care about the skill level. He just comes at you and he’s very physical the entire match, it doesn’t matter who he is wrestling.
“Brice (Bennett) beat another State-qualifier in the finals,” Fondale said. “He just wrestled a smart match. He kept attacking and he didn’t back up at all. He ended up winning in the end, a really close match with Burns from London.
“Brice was aggressive and didn’t stop wrestling,” Fondale said. “He was going for it the entire six minutes and it paid off.”
Miami Trace had four weight class champions.
Dickerson began the tournament with a pin of Andrew Siembida of Circleville in 2:50.
Dickerson then pinned Jonah Wilson of Hillsboro in 1:19.
In his third match, Dickerson pinned Klayton Hollis of Chillicothe in :25.
Dickerson followed that with a 16-1 technical fall over Dawson Hudson of Logan Elm.
In the championship match at 106, Dickerson won a 7-2 decision against Unioto’s Layton Vennon.
Bennett began his run with a pin of Braxton Bufler of Taylor in 1:16.
Next up was Conner Withrow of Zane Trace and Bennett got the pin in :47.
Bennett continued his pinning streak with a one-minute match against Elliott Thompson of Batavia.
He pinned his way to the title match in 1:08 over Noah Jones of Circleville.
Bennett won the 215-weight class with a 2-1 decision over Antonio Burns of London.
Melvin pinned three of his four opponents on the way to winning at 144 pounds.
First was Brayden McLean of Wyoming in :46.
Second it was Daniel Gravett of Tecumseh in 2:57.
Next it was an 8-2 decision over Gage Bolt of Circleville.
For the championship, Melvin pinned Ben Hartzell of Greenville in 2:50.
In his first match at 175, Knapp pinned Blake Wheeler of Zane Trace in :46.
Next was a pin of Jason Williams of Warren in :40.
Knapp advanced via a default on the part of his opponent in the next match.
In the finals, Knapp pinned Ryan Mau of Hillsboro in 1:21.
Four Panthers placed second, two placed third and one placed fourth.
Corbin Melvin (120), Riston LeBeau (132), Jared Seymour (150) and Jayden LeBeau (190) all placed second for the Panthers.
“Corbin won the Logan Elm tournament a couple of weeks back,” Fondale said. “He’s been gaining confidence throughout the whole year and this is the time to gain confidence, toward the end of the season. We’re expecting big things out of him.
“Riston is also a very solid kid,” Fondale said. “He’s been solid throughout his career, but he’s really stepped it up this year. He had four pins on his way to the finals. He’s also been gaining confidence throughout the year.
“Jared was also a runner-up,” Fondale said. “He’s a senior who shows up every day and works hard. All of that hard work is starting to pay off for him this year. You’re starting to see that in some of his placements and his record.
“Jayden is our most explosive wrestler,” Fondale said. “He just comes out like a ball of fire. He was winning by two points in his finals match with about a minute left. He just got caught in an awkward situation and unfortunately ended up getting second.”
Melvin won his first three matches by pin, ending up 4-1 on the day.
Melvin began with a pin of Carder Napper of London in 2:27.
Next Melvin pinned Mitchel Rehl of Warren in 2:47.
Thirdly, Melvin pinned Zach Swearingen of Tecumseh in 1:16.
Melvin won a 4-2 decision against Zane Pickerrell of Zane Trace before falling in the championship by a 13-2 major decision to Malachi O’Leary of Wyoming.
Riston LeBeau went 4-1, pinning his way to the finals.
LeBeau’s opening match resulted in a pin of Aiden Caudill of Unioto in 1:59.
Next came a pin of Michael Davis of London in 3:36.
LeBeau pinned Kayleb Chambers of Wyoming in 1:25 before felling Brady Allen of Logan Elm in 2:56.
In the finals, Tate Bein of Batavia pinned LeBeau in :30.
Seymour went 3-1 at the tournament.
He began with a pin of Quinton Rogers of Greenville in 3:03.
Next was a pin of Scott Gaskin of Logan Elm in 4:34.
Seymour won a 5-4 overtime decision against Ethan Summar of Unioto.
In the title match, Chillicothe’s Evan Lake won a 10-0 major decision against Seymour.
Jayden LeBeau pinned his way to the finals at 190 pounds.
All four of LeBeau’s pins came in the first minute of the first period.
First was Zach Janes of Chillicothe in 14; second was Mark Brudder of Circleville in :43; third to fall was Anthony Earick of Sidney in :44 and then LeBeau pinned Matt Griffin of Unioto in :54.
In the finals, LeBeau lost a battle that lasted longer and his four pins combined as he fell by pin to Dillon Davidson of Taylor in 4:24.
Aiden Johnson (138) and Vincent Munro (165) both placed third for the Panthers.
“Those guys have two or three moves that they’re just very good at,” Fondale said. “They just work on what’s been working for them. We just have a couple of things to improve on, some mat awareness things. Just like all the other guys on the team, they always give their full effort, they work hard in practice. They’re always willing to learn and ask questions on how to get better. We also have high expectations for those guys.
Johnson went 4-1 in the tournament.
In his first match, Johnson pinned Ivan Spencer of Sidney in 4:40.
Next Johnson pinned Carleton Jones of Warren in :47.
Joel Hancock of Wyoming was next for Johnson. The Panther won this match by pin in 3:39.
In his next match, Johnson lost to Logan Thatcher of Greenville by an 8-3 decision.
In the match for third or fourth place, Johnson pinned Hunter Schoemborn of Logan Elm in 2:11.
Munro began with an 8-3 loss to Aden Strahler of Warren.
In his second match, Munro pinned Lane Stewart of Zane Trace in 4:46.
Munro lost in his third match to Antwan Burns of London by technical fall, 21-6.
In the match for third or fourth place, Munro pinned Christopher Hossfeld of Westfall in 4:08.
Ethynn Munro went 3-2 in the tournament, placing fourth for the Panthers at 157 pounds.
“Ethynn is one of those guys who has almost perfected one or two moves,” Fondale said. “That’s enough to get you plenty of victories. We just have to find a couple more ways to score and work on a couple of positions.”
First for Munro was a pin of Clayton Scaggs of London in 3:27.
Munro won a technical fall over Austin Cordle of Logan Elm, 22-7.
His next match was a pin of Circleville’s Logan Holbrook in 4:44.
In the following match, Munro lost to Brodie Tait of Warren by a 13-4 major decison.
In the match for third or fourth, Munro fell by pin to Brice Hughes of Sidney in 3:22.
Garrett Carson placed seventh for Miami Trace at 126 pounds.
Carson went 3-2 on the day.
To begin with, Carson pinned Cam Storm of Hillsboro in 1:48.
He improved to 2-0 with a 7-6 decision over Farell Hall of Tecumseh.
His first setback came in his third match, being pinned by Tristan Hanning of Logan Elm in 3:37.
Carson lost by pin in :27 to Jeremyah Teurman of Chillicothe.
In the match for seventh or eighth place, Carson pinned Brian Barrett of Sidney in 2:27.
Miami Trace will be traveling to take part in the Regional duals.
The Panthers are the No. 5 seed in the tournament. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 at West Holmes High School. West Holmes is the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
Miami Trace will compete against Gallia Academy.
“If we are victorious against Gallia Academy, we will more than likely face West Holmes,” Fondale said. “The team State dual championships are the following week.
“This Saturday we are taking some of our junior-varsity wrestlers to the Shelby Duals,” Fondale said. “One of our female wrestlers, Hunter Johnson, will be competing in the Iron Maiden tournament in Bellefontaine.”