Panthers win FAC wrestling title


By Chris Hoppes - [email protected]



Members of the Miami Trace High School wrestling team at Jackson High School after winning the FAC tournament Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Members of the Miami Trace High School wrestling team at Jackson High School after winning the FAC tournament Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.


Courtesy photos

Miami Trace senior Weston Melvin, left and Washington senior Branton Dawes at the FAC wrestling tournament at Jackson High School Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Both student-athletes won their fourth FAC title in as many years.


Courtesy photos

JACKSON — The Frontier Athletic Conference held its annual wrestling tournament at Jackson High School Friday, Feb. 18.

Miami Trace won nine of the 14 weight classes to complete another FAC championship season.

The Washington Blue Lions had three weight class champions and Jackson had two.

Winning their respective weight classes for the Panthers were: freshman Lyric Dickerson, 106; sophomore Corbin Melvin, 120; junior Riston LeBeau, 132; junior Aiden Johnson, 138; senior Weston Melvin, 144; junior Vincent Munro, 165; senior Kylan Knapp, 175; senior Jayden LeBeau, 190 and senior Bryce Bennett, 215.

Weight class champions for Washington were: senior Branton Dawes, 126; freshman Mack Parsley, 157 and senior Mason Mustain, 285.

Jackson’s two champions were senior Gavin Malone at 113 and senior Cody Brown at 150.

Dickerson beat Jackson freshman Makennah Craft, 2-0 and freshman Jonah Wilson of Hillsboro by pin in 1:24.

Corbin Melvin pinned sophomore Cade Howard of Chillicothe in 3:59 and then pinned freshman Kylan Brown of Hillsboro in :43.

Riston LeBeau pinned freshman Grant Berschi of Jackson in 1:07. He then recorded an 8-4 decision over sophomore Austin Cottrill of Washington and finished with an 11-4 decision over junior Mike Hicks of Chillicothe.

Johnson had a pin of Washington junior Coty Brown in 3:34. He then pinned sophomore Oscar Morgan of Chillicothe in 3:24.

Weston Melvin won his fourth FAC title, starting with a pin of junior James Berschi of Jackson in 3:14. Melvin then pinned sophomore Wesley Scott of Chillicothe in 3:59.

Munro pinned Hillsboro sophomore Rayden Sturgio in 1:22 and then pinned senior Ethan Rasp of Jackson in 3:52.

Knapp pinned sophomore Kaimon Allen of Chillicothe in 1:00 and then pinned freshman Bryce Dulaney of Jackson in 3:41.

Jayden LeBeau recorded a 14-3 major decision over sophomore Ethan Hill of McClain. He then pinned freshman Ryan Taylor of Jackson in 1:37 and pinned sophomore Gary Reno of Hillsboro in 3:50.

Bennett began his run with a pin of Hillsboro sophomore Chandler Bruson in :29. He pinned sophomore John Tomko of McClain in 1:02 and pinned sophomore Charles Souther of Washington in 3:21.

For the Blue Lions, Dawes pinned freshman Cam Storm of Hillsboro in :40. He then pinned freshman Jeremyah Teurman of Chillicothe in 2:34. It was the fourth FAC title for Dawes.

Parsley recorded a 12-5 decision over sophomore Cayden Snyder of Jackson and then an 8-4 decision over Miami Trace freshman Ethynn Munro. Munro had beaten Parsley earlier this season.

Mustain pinned junior Rocky Jeffers of McClain in :48 and then won a 4-1 decision over junior Trevor Banks of Chillicothe. It was the second FAC title for Mustain. He was pinned by Banks earlier in the season.

Malone of Jackson needed just one win to capture the 113-pound title, that being an 8-0 major decision over freshman Spencer Smith of Miami Trace.

Brown of Jackson pinned sophomore Tristan Vires of Washington in 2:28. His championship match was won by default.

“We had four seniors win their weight class,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said of Weston Melvin, Kylan Knapp, Jayden LeBeau and Bryce Bennett.

“We had a lot of young guys participate in the FAC (tournament) for the first time,” Fondale said. “They did everything the coaches asked them to do. They competed. They supported each other. The upperclassmen supported the underclassmen, setting a really good example for the younger guys.”

Expectations are high for the Panthers as they prepare this week for Friday’s Sectional tournament.

“We expect to take everybody to Districts,” Fondale said. The Panthers qualified 11 to the District tournament last year.

“Basically, we’re just trying to refine our technique,” Fondale said. “We’re reminding our wrestlers of things that have been working for their specific, individual styles or skills.

“Now is not the time to be trying to learn a lot of new things,” Fondale said. “Now’s the time to make sure you are in peak cardio condition. You’re focusing on the things that have been working for you all year, not taking as many risks at this point in the season.”

“We’ve been hurt,” Washington head coach Louis Reid said. “We had kids wrestling up weights. We’re not as healthy as we’d like to be. We were pretty happy with our placement.

“We finished tied for second overall with Chillicothe at 6-4,” Reid said. “Jackson finished 5-5, Hillsboro was 3-7 and McClain 0-10.” Miami Trace finished 10-0.

Washington High School will host the Division II Sectional tournament Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ohsaa.org/tickets.

There will be a total of nine schools taking part: Washington, Miami Trace, McClain, Hillsboro, Unioto, Fairfield Union, Circleville, Logan Elm and Waverly.

Contestants who finish in the top four in their weight class will advance to the District tournament that will be held Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5 at Gallia Academy High School. A top four placement at the District will qualify that wrestler to the State tournament in Columbus, set for Friday through Sunday, March 11-13.

“We’re hoping to get anywhere from five to 10 wrestlers out to the District,” Reid said.

Members of the Miami Trace High School wrestling team at Jackson High School after winning the FAC tournament Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/02/web1_MT-wrestling-team-wins-FAC-Feb-18-2022.jpgMembers of the Miami Trace High School wrestling team at Jackson High School after winning the FAC tournament Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Courtesy photos

Miami Trace senior Weston Melvin, left and Washington senior Branton Dawes at the FAC wrestling tournament at Jackson High School Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Both student-athletes won their fourth FAC title in as many years.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/02/web1_Weston-Melvin-and-Branton-Dawes-4-time-FAC-champs-Feb-18-2022.jpgMiami Trace senior Weston Melvin, left and Washington senior Branton Dawes at the FAC wrestling tournament at Jackson High School Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. Both student-athletes won their fourth FAC title in as many years. Courtesy photos

By Chris Hoppes

[email protected]