Vikings pin down third straight MSL title

by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com

ASHVILLE — Teays Valley placed a wrestler in all 14 weight classes on the way to winning its third straight Mid-State League Buckeye Division title Friday night. 

“I don’t think we’ve every done that,” long-time TV coach Todd Nace said. “We only lost three matches in the finals – it’s just awesome. I thought the kids wrestled really well.”

The Vikings had five individual champions on the way to amassing 225 team points. Amanda-Clearcreek was second with three champions and 151 points, Circleville was third with 104 and two titles and Logan Elm was fifth with 88 points and two title winners. 

Leading the way for TV was senior Zander Graham at 144 pounds who won his fourth MSL championship. He pinned Amanda-Clearcreek’s Landon L’huillier in the championship match.

“He’s had one point scored on him in the Mid-State League. It’s just incredible,” Nace said. “He knows how to put things together at the end of the year. He’s finally getting healthy, he’s getting his lungs under him and a lot of things are going well for him.”

Joey Thurston pinned Circleville’s Trent Fulgham to win the heavyweight title and the 100th match of his career. Gunner Havens passed that milestone a few days ago and won the title at 113 pounds with a decision over Fairfield Union’s James Worthington.

“We’ve been counting it down,” Nace said. “Gunner Havens got his 100th win Wednesday night and then Joey was right behind him to get his 100th win here.”

(click here to see more photos from the MSL championships)

Cam McDanel (190) won his second MSL title with a pin of Bloom-Carroll’s Clay Dozer and Jacob Robinette (175) – who wrestled at 190 last year – won his first MSL title with a pin of Logan Elm’s Uk Burns. 

While the titles belonged to some of TV’s junior and seniors, three freshmen and two sophomores placed third. 

“It was just an incredible night to come in here and have 14 placers,” Nace said. “We’re just so happy with our younger kids as well. I hate to see our seniors go out, but it’s going to be a good future, too.

Amanda-Clearcreek had nine wrestlers place Friday. 

Leading the way were Luke Herron who won at 132 pounds with a pin of Logan Elm’s Brady Allen, Grant Guiler (157) who won a 7-4 decision against Fairfield Union’s Mitchell King and Hunter Matheny (165) who pinned Liberty Union’s Vinson Haines in the finals. 

Circleville placed eight wrestlers on the way to taking third. 

Jacob Johnson won the 126-pound title with a 12-10 decision over Logan Elm’s Tristan Tanning and Gage Bolt took home the 138-pound title with a 3-2 win over Amanda-Clearcreek’s Bobbby Pieratt. 

Logan Elm had its five placers take one of the top two spots. Blaine Holzschuh won at 106 pounds with a 9-8 decision over Bloom-Carroll’s Ethan Moore and Gavin Hoover won the 120-pound title with an 8-6 decision over Teays Valley’s Kadin Walls. 

Up next 

The teams will now be preparing for the sectional wrestling tournaments in two weeks. 

“We basically have a week of nothing and then its full blast. We’ll have some light time but then we just grind it, grind it, grind it,” Nace said. “We haven’t even peaked yet. In two weeks, we’ll be ready to rock n’ roll.”

For complete results from the MSL Buckeye championships, click here.

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