Mustangs place pair of wrestlers at Div 3 championships


COLUMBUS — Westfall has two new names to add to its wall of state placers after Gage Bolt took sixth and Antony Hoty placed seventh in the Division III state championships Sunday. 

Bolt, a junior, opened Sunday’s 165-pound action taking on Braxton Quiantance from Lakota in the consolation semifinals. A 10-5 loss dropped him into the fifth/sixth-place final against Tinora’s Dalton Wolfrum. 

That final match went into overtime. Bolt made a move to go for the win, but Wolfrum was able to capitalize on the action and claimed the match 3-1.

“Today was all about having fun and seeing what we could do,” Bolt said. “My first match was fun, I got to take him down a couple times. The last match, obviously, didn’t go nowhere near as well as I’d like.”

“He’s always going to fight to the end,” Westfall coach Will Breyer said. “The kid wasn’t doing nothing, (Bolt) tried to do a move and tried to take it and the kid caught him.”

Westfall’s Gage Bolt placed sixth in Division III at 165 pounds.

After not getting out of the sectionals last year, Bolt took a more relaxed approach to this season. 

“Last year, I feel like I took it too seriously. I wasn’t having fun and wasn’t able to enjoy it,” he said. “By the time the end of the year came around I was exhausted, just wanting it to be done.”

Hoty capped his high school career pinning Delta’s Tyler Barnes in 3:51 to finish seventh.

“I didn’t even notice it was there until I heard my coach yell it,” Hoty said. “I got it and he went straight to his back. I could not believe I’m about to end my season like this. 

“I knew he was starting to tire, but I don’t even know how I pulled that off, I’m not going to lie.”

“Senior year, losing, kept fighting, leg cradle, (picture on) the big (score)board, that’s a hell of a way to go out,” Breyer said. 

Westfall’s Antony Hoty celebrates pinning his opponent to place seventh at 113 pounds.

Westfall puts the names of all its state placers on a sign for all future wrestlers to see. After losing his semifinal Saturday night, Hoty said he did not want to have an eight next to his name on that board. 

“It feels so good, especially with the way I did it. I’m not going to be on the board for eight, I’m going to be on the board for seven,” Hoty said. “It doesn’t even feel real right now. Just placing seventh and doing it the way I did. That’s the highlight of my whole career.”

“I remember when was in seventh grade, him and his buddy Timmy – I’d be running practice and this kid would be, ‘Hey coach, hey coach, can I go wrestle in the corner?’ It’s fun to watch him for six years,” Breyer said. 

Bolt and Hoty follow in the steps of former teammate Starr Kelly, who placed second for the Mustangs at 195 two years ago.

“I’ve been here 11 years and we’ve been inching our way. The first three times we came here we went 0-6. They built the foundation,” Breyer said. “Then we got a win, they were just kids. They’ve totally hit a new standard and I know next year that we’ll keep growing. 

“Starr was the one who busted through the door and these guys are the guys who are just opening it wide open. The foundation is set. They watched him do it and I’ve got kids up (in the stands) who are watching them do it. It’s just a whole culture that they’ve created up here – a winning culture here at states.”

And the Mustangs’ wrestlers weren’t intimidated by the atmosphere. 

“It was awesome. I loved walking through the tunnel,” Bolt said. “Everybody talks about being nervous, but some of us have been waiting for that since we were little. I love being under the lights and seeing the crowd. It was an amazing experience. 

The Mustangs’ success this season – including Bryce Wickline and Hunter Probasco making it to the state tournament – got a boost from the administration. The wrestling program now uses the middle school gym for practice allowing more space for instruction and helping the middle school program alongside the high school.

“I don’t know how I ran practice in our other room, our other room was like four mats’ width. To be able to have a practice in a gym with 40 kids. The middle school is getting the information that they need,” Breyer said. “What our administration — (superintendent) Jeff Sheets, (principal) Jason Fife and (athletics director) Brian Wolfe — has done for us has taken us — one of the reasons we are here today is that they believed in us. They gave us the whole middle gym. It’s fantastic – I don’t know how I did practice before.”

Bolt and Hoty are the eight and ninth wrestlers to place for the Mustangs since the school began its wrestling program in the 1990s.

Antony Hoty pins his opponent to finish his high school career.

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