VERSAILLES – The Versailles wrestling team is going to state having won the Ohio High School Athletic Association Region 23 dual team tournament championship on Wednesday night.
Versailles beat Covington in the regional semifinals and Williamsburg the regional finals Wednesday to earn the trip to state – its first appearance in the dual team state tournament since 2013, which was the first year the OHSAA held the team tournament.
“Our kids have been working hard,” Versailles coach A.J. Bey said. “This is one of their goals. They achieved the goal. They just told me in there they’re not satisfied with this so we’ll see what happens in Columbus.”
Versailles dominated both of Wednesday’s regional matches, beginning with a 45-13 win against a short-handed Covington squad. The Tigers were ready for a tough matchup against the Buccaneers, Coach Bey said, but found an easier than anticipated matchup when Covington arrived with three injured wrestlers.
“They had some real good kids out, which was unfortunate because it was going to be I’d say a real barnburner,” he said. “My two assistant coaches, Jerry (Bey) and Scott (Magoteaux), had scenarios written down. We were kind of ready for anything they had.”
Versailles took a 6-0 lead on Covington with freshman Jacob Poling winning by forfeit in the 106 pound match.
Covington senior Connor Ryan then won a 16-5 major decision against Versailles sophomore Marcus Marshal in the 113 pound match to cut the Tiger lead to 6-4.
Versailles sophomore Preston Platfoot won a 4-2 overtime decision against Covington senior Coleman Ryan for a 9-4 Versailles lead.
Covington won back-to-back matches to take a 10-9 lead with sophomore Jared Ford defeating Versailles sophomore Steven Mangen 9-2 in the 126 pound match and freshman Keringten Martin defeating Versailles sophomore Kyle Wuebker 7-2 in the 132 pound match.
Versailles regained the lead when junior Lane Feltz won by forfeit at 138 and went up 18-10 with a 15-8 win by junior Tanner Bey over Covington junior Josh Sowers in the 145 pound match.
Covington’s final win of the night came at the 152 pound match where sophomore Gage DeHart beat Versailles freshman Tyler Gigandet 6-2, making the score 18-13.
Senior Corey Dieringer got Versailles back on the winning track with a 17-8 major decision against Covington freshman Gavin McReynolds in the 160 pound match. Junior Jonny Moorman then won a 15-5 major decision over Covington sophomore Joey Schmelzer at 170 pounds to put Versailles up 26-13.
Versailles sealed the match victory when junior Bo Bey pinned Covington senior Brandon Magee 22 seconds into the second period of the 182 pound match, which put Versailles up 32-13.
Junior Jacob Rismiller then won by forfeit to increase Versailles’ lead to 38-13.
Senior Kyle Gigandet won 14-4 over Covington junior Seth Thomas in the 220 pound match and sophomore Jeffrey Ware won 11-8 over Covington junior Carl Lankford in the 285 pound match to give Versailles a 45-13 victory.
Versailles then advanced to the regional final against Williamsburg, who beat Bethel-Tate 40-30 in Wednesday’s other regional semifinal in Versailles.
Versailles led throughout the match against Williamsburg with freshman Jacob Poling winning by pin in 40 seconds over freshman Seth Herndon in the 106 pound match and sophomore Marcus Marshal winning by pin over senior Caleb Nipper in 55 seconds in the 113 pound match to set the tone for the rest of the wrestlers.
“I’m sure that wasn’t a real nice bus trip up here for Williamsburg so we told our ’6 pounder and ’13 pounder, said, hey, let’s get on them early, quick and get the ball rolling, and they did a great job,” Coach Bey said.
Versailles increased its lead to 16-0 when sophomore Preston Platfoot won a 12-5 major decision over freshman Ezra Wallace in the 120 pound bout.
Williamsburg got its first victory of the match when senior Kendal Johnson beat Versailles sophomore Steven Mangen 1-0 in the 126 pound match, cutting the Tiger lead to 16-3.
Versailles went up 28-3 with back-to-back pins, first by sophomore Kyle Wuebker over senior Trent Brewer with just one second remaining in the second period of the 132 pound match and then by junior Lane Feltz just 32 seconds into his 138 pound match against freshman Aaron Tigert.
Junior Tanner Bey increased Versailles’ lead to 31-3 by defeating sophomore Wyatt Lefker 7-1 in the 145 pound match.
Williamsburg senior Randy Thornberry won a 2-0 decision against Versailles freshman Tyler Gigandet in the 152 pound match to make it 31-6.
Versailles senior Corey Dieringer won a 16-7 major decision over senior Nate Golden in the 160 pound match, increasing Versailles’ lead to 35-6.
Williamsburg’s final victory of the season came in the 170 pound match with senior Dawson Davis beating Versailles junior Jonny Moorman 5-4.
Versailles junior Bo Bey pinned senior Spencer Clowery in 33 seconds in the 182 pound match, and then junior Jacob Rismiller won a 19-6 major decision over Williamsburg junior Dylan Bailey to put Versailles up 45-9.
Versailles senior Kyle Gigandet pinned junior Trevor Berry with three seconds remaining in the opening period of the 220 pound match, and then sophomore Jeffery Ware won 2-1 over Williamsburg sophomore Brian Stears to give Versailles a 54-9 victory.
Versailles now advances to the state tournament, which will be held Feb. 14 at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus. The Tigers will be one of eight Division III teams in the state tournament.
When Versailles made the state tournament in 2013 it beat Upper Sandusky in the state quarterfinals before losing to Delta in the state semifinals.
Delta is the defending Division III state champion and will be one of the teams in this year’s state tournament along with Oak Harbor, Rootstown, Apple Creek Waynedale, Shadyside, Amanda-Clearcreek and Mechanicsburg.
“I’m sure they’re probably one of the favored teams down there so we’ll see what kind of draw we get and go from there,” Coach Bey said.