VANDALIA – The Versailles Tigers wrestling squad clawed to an impressive third place finish in the Division II-III portion last week at Vandalia’s Student Activity Center.
This was part of the prestigious Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Wrestling Tournament that was comprised of 49 teams. Versailles was fifth overall in all the divisions, losing out to all powerful Graham, Buford from Georgia, Dublin Coffman and Walton-Verona out of Kentucky. The crowd was standing room only as the top and bottom sections were filled to the brim in this Montgomery County edifice.
A.J. Bey heads up the tenacious Tigers who compete in the mighty Midwest Athletic Conference. Versailles is currently 8-1 in dual meets with its only loss to Division I Springboro in overtime.
Versailles had all weight classes represented, except for one, as this helped immensely in accumulating points the Tigers’114 points. Placing was difficult to do as wrestlers had to finish in the top eight to place.
At 106 pounds, Kobe Epperly was one win away from placing in the lowest weight class of grappling. Epperly is only a freshman with plenty of energy left for the next three years. Epperly went 2-2 overall.
Versailles 113 pounder Trevor Huber was 0-2, going down to the No. 3 seed and then the No. 5 seed in being eliminated at the SAC. Huber is also a freshman and has three productive years left to gain new wrestling heights for Coach Bey.
The Tigers’ 120 pounder Jake Poling placed fifth overall as his first loss came in the quarterfinals. Poling is only a junior and was seeded sixth going into the beginning of the tourney.
Versailles 126 pound wrestler Cael Bey placed by finishing seventh overall in the two-day extravaganza attended by many wrestling aficionados from all over the Midwest. Bey finished 4-3 overall as all his matches were very close.
The Tigers’ 132 pounder Preston Platfoot was seeded eighth but ended up fifth. Platfoot is a senior and lost out to the defending champ in one of his matches as all his matches were extremely close.
Versailles 138 pound grappler Kyle Wuebker wrestled well and won three and lost two for the orange and black. Wuebker lost his final match going for eighth place as this senior represented himself well for Coach Bey’s brigade.
Versailles’ 145 pounder Nathan Wagner went 1-2 as this is his first year of wrestling for the terrific Tigers. Wagner is only a sophomore and has two more years left on the mats for Versailles.
Tiger 152 pound wrestler Dalton Didier was unseeded and finished 2-2 with two pins over Lakota West and Benjamin Logan. Didier lost out to the No. 1 seed. Only a junior, Didier has more year to do his due diligence for Coach Bey’s squad.
Versailles 160 pounder Derek Cavin is a junior and he was able to cave in three opponents while only falling to two grapplers of renown. Cavin was only one win away from placing as he lost a heartbreaker at 3-2 to finish off the podium.
The Tigers’ 170 pound grappler Tyler Gigandet, a junior, finished 3-2 with one win away from placing. Gigandet got beat out by the first and seventh place finishers in this 48-hour event.
Versailles had no wrestler at 182 pounds as the Tigers had to forfeit in this weight category.
Versailles 195 pound Gage Dehart is one of the seniors for Tiger Nation, and he finished 1-2 for the two-day affair. Dehart lost two engaging matches at 8-7 and 2-1 in two overtimes. Dehart lost his two heartbreakers to the No. 3 and 7 seeds.
The Tigers’ 220 pound Isaac Grilliot compiled a 1-2 record and was beaten by the No. 2 seed once while his one win was against a much bigger school individual. Grilliot wrestled real well and has two more years of mat time as he is only a sophomore.
Versailles 285 pounder Jeff Ware is a senior and was unseeded but wrestled his way to an impressive fourth place finish. Ware wore out six opponents and only went down twice. Interestingly enough his two losses were to the same kid from Wayne at 11-0 and later on 3-0.
“We wrestled really well with great crowd support as Tiger Nation was alive and kicking,” Versailles Coach A.J. Bey said. “We look forward to wrestling the best of the best, and this was certainly the case for us the last couple days. We go off to Bellefontaine for a tri-match with Clinton- Massie coming up this Thursday.”