by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com
KINNIKINNICK — Westfall had four wrestlers take first and six more placed second as the Mustangs claimed their eighth straight Scioto Valley Conference wrestling championship Saturday.
Westfall accumulated 262 team points while Unioto was second with 179 and host Zane Trace was third with 138.5.
With seven of the eight SVC schools entered and not all carrying a full lineup, the tournament was wrestled over five rounds.
Antony Hoty went 3-0 to win at 113 pounds, Wayne Kitchen was 5-0 at 138, Gage Bolt went 4-0 to win at 165 and heavyweight Hunter Probasco went 2-0 to claim the crown.
“Tony Hoty, Hunter Probasco and Wayne Kitchen did a great job. They all came to play,” Westfall coach Will Breyer said of the three seniors.
It was Hoty’s second SVC title after taking second as a freshman and sophomore.
It also was the second title for Kitchen after placing fourth as a sophomore.
Probasco claimed his first SVC crown after placing third as a freshman and a junior.
“Hunter has come a long way. I know his freshman and sophomore year he was a .500 wrestler,” Breyer said. “He has continued to put the work in football and wrestling. He finally started to break through last year. Those two guys (JT Jenkins, Zane Trace, and Dakota Tennant, Paint Valley) have beaten him before, but this year he’s come back and done a great job to beat guys that he used to lose to.”
It was also the first title for Bolt, a junior.
Finishing in second for the Mustangs were: sophomore Noah Furniss (106 pounds), freshman Wyatt Ward (132), freshman Joey Wright (144), senior Timothy Ward (150), junior Bryce Wickline (175) and junior John Siders (215).
Westfall had a numerical advantage going in to the tournament in that it was the only school to have all 14 weight classes filled. Second-place Unioto was missing only two weight classes.
Despite that advantage, Breyer knew his team couldn’t afford to slip up.
“It’s a very easy tournament to lose with only seven teams,” he said. “Unioto did a great job. They’ve got 12 weight classes, so we can’t mess up. If we mess up, they get points, too. I was scared of Unioto and they did a great job.”
Westfall will host Washington Court House for a dual Wednesday in its final action before the sectional tournament on Feb. 25.
“This next week is hard for them. I’ll push them and we’re going to work real hard,” Breyer said. “The following week is about healing up and getting the legs fresh.”
Middle school Mustangs win SVC
Westfall had three champions and four wrestlers took second as the Mustangs won the SVC middle school title with 168 points.
Huntington finished second with 146 points and Unioto was third with 105.5 points.