Panther trio advances at State


By Chris Hoppes - [email protected]



Miami Trace High School senior Weston Melvin wrestles senior Ben Hartzell of Greenville in the first round of the 85th annual State wrestling tournament at The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Melvin won this match pin at 5:45 to advance to the championship quarterfinals Saturday at 10:35 a.m.

Miami Trace High School senior Weston Melvin wrestles senior Ben Hartzell of Greenville in the first round of the 85th annual State wrestling tournament at The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Melvin won this match pin at 5:45 to advance to the championship quarterfinals Saturday at 10:35 a.m.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School senior Kylan Knapp gains control of his opponent, senior Zane Panetta of Blanchester, in the first round of the Division II State tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Knapp won this match,6-0 to move on to the championship quarterfinals Saturday morning.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School senior Bryce Bennett, wrestles junior Bryson Getz of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at the State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022. Bennett won by a 6-0 decision to move on to the championship quarterfinals which are scheduled to begin Saturday at 10:35 a.m.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School freshman Lyric Dickerson wrestles returning State champion at 106 pounds, Beric Jordan of St. Paris Graham, in the opening round of the Division II State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022 at The Ohio State University. Jordan won the match by a 26-11 technical fall. Dickerson came back and wrestled again Friday evening.


Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

COLUMBUS — The Miami Trace Panthers had 11 wrestlers compete at the Division II District tournament last weekend at Gallia Academy High School.

From there, four Panthers qualified to the 85th annual State tournament at The Ohio State University in Columbus, which got underway Friday.

Competing for the Panthers were: freshman Lyric Dickerson at 106 pounds and seniors Weston Melvin (144), Kylan Knapp (175) and Bryce Bennett (215).

Freshman Lyric Dickerson had arguably the toughest opponent he could have faced in returning State champion Beric Jordan of St. Paris Graham, who entered the tournament with a record of 40-0.

Jordan won the match by a 26-11 technical fall. The loss sent Dickerson into the consolation bracket for another match later Friday night.

“Sometimes the draw doesn’t work out,” Miami Trace head coach Ben Fondale said. “He’ll just have to go out there and get the next one.”

“I really wasn’t expecting much,” Dickerson said. “I’ve wrestled that kid before. I actually felt better this time. I’ll just go out there and get the next one, I guess.”

The next match for Dickerson was against freshman Tate Hisey of St Mary’s Memorial.

Next up for the Panthers was Melvin, who faced off against senior Ben Hartzell of Greenville.

Melvin won the match by pin in 5:45.

“We were fairly confident going into that (match),” Fondale said. “We had wrestled him earlier in the year. We wrestled him in the finals of the McDonald’s tournament.

“We knew that kid would come after us,” Fondale said. “Now we’re just going to get focused on our next match.”

“It feels good to be back up here again, wrestling at the State tournament,” Melvin said. “I didn’t end up where I wanted to last year.

“I expected to get a pin to begin with,” Melvin said. “That’s always what I want. He wrestled good, but, at the end I just got him.”

Knapp faced senior Zane Panetta of Blanchester and won that match, 6-0.

“Kylan wrestled really well,” Fondale said. “You could tell he was a little nervous. Once he started wrestling he opened up and looked great.”

Knapp said he felt lethargic to start the match.

“Once I got moving, I was fine,” Knapp said. “That was my first match. I’ve never been to State before. It was pretty fun.”

Bennett competed against junior Bryson Ketz of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and won the match, 6-0.

“My first match was just another match,” Bennett said. “I had to win it to advance to tomorrow. If I had lost today I would have had to come back and wrestle (Friday night).

“I went out and wrestled my match,” Bennett said. “The coaches were assuring me that if I wrestled my match, I would do fine. They were right. I went out and wrestled like I know how and got the job done.”

“With Bryce winning, that makes three guys we’ve got going to the next round of the championship bracket,” Fondale said. “Bryce just got to the tie-ups that he’s been comfortable with all year. It worked out for him. He was able to get a take down and go from there. He made the kid work and he made him make mistakes. Bryce wrestled just a solid match.”

Friday evening it was time for Dickerson to make his second appearance on the mats at State.

“Lyric’s second match was a lot closer than the score might indicate,” Fondale said.

Dickerson lost his match to Hisey, 8-1, ending his first trip to the State tournament.

“We were in deep on one shot and couldn’t quite finish,” Fondale said. “The kid ended up on top of us. He had one good take-down on us and we did pretty good leg defense the rest of the match, we just didn’t have enough time.

“We’re proud of Lyric, proud of the season he had,” Fondale said. Dickerson finished his freshman season with a record of 43-13.

“He knows he has a lot of work to do in the off-season,” Fondale said. “He’s setting his goals to place at State next year.”

“I didn’t really feel the greatest,” Dickerson said after his second match. “I don’t know what it was. I just didn’t wrestle like I normally do.

“I didn’t really expect a whole lot,” Dickerson said. “I just wanted to win a few matches. It’s just a good experience for the following years.”

Miami Trace High School senior Weston Melvin wrestles senior Ben Hartzell of Greenville in the first round of the 85th annual State wrestling tournament at The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Melvin won this match pin at 5:45 to advance to the championship quarterfinals Saturday at 10:35 a.m.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_Weston-Melvin-3-11-2022.jpgMiami Trace High School senior Weston Melvin wrestles senior Ben Hartzell of Greenville in the first round of the 85th annual State wrestling tournament at The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Melvin won this match pin at 5:45 to advance to the championship quarterfinals Saturday at 10:35 a.m. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School senior Kylan Knapp gains control of his opponent, senior Zane Panetta of Blanchester, in the first round of the Division II State tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Knapp won this match,6-0 to move on to the championship quarterfinals Saturday morning.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_Kylan-Knapp-3-11-2022.jpgMiami Trace High School senior Kylan Knapp gains control of his opponent, senior Zane Panetta of Blanchester, in the first round of the Division II State tournament at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University Friday, March 11, 2022. Knapp won this match,6-0 to move on to the championship quarterfinals Saturday morning. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School senior Bryce Bennett, wrestles junior Bryson Getz of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at the State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022. Bennett won by a 6-0 decision to move on to the championship quarterfinals which are scheduled to begin Saturday at 10:35 a.m.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_Bryce-Bennett-3-11-2022.jpgMiami Trace High School senior Bryce Bennett, wrestles junior Bryson Getz of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary at the State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022. Bennett won by a 6-0 decision to move on to the championship quarterfinals which are scheduled to begin Saturday at 10:35 a.m. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

Miami Trace High School freshman Lyric Dickerson wrestles returning State champion at 106 pounds, Beric Jordan of St. Paris Graham, in the opening round of the Division II State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022 at The Ohio State University. Jordan won the match by a 26-11 technical fall. Dickerson came back and wrestled again Friday evening.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_Lyric-Dickerson-3-11-2022.jpgMiami Trace High School freshman Lyric Dickerson wrestles returning State champion at 106 pounds, Beric Jordan of St. Paris Graham, in the opening round of the Division II State tournament Friday, March 11, 2022 at The Ohio State University. Jordan won the match by a 26-11 technical fall. Dickerson came back and wrestled again Friday evening. Chris Hoppes | Record-Herald

By Chris Hoppes

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