VANDALIA – Versailles placed 20th overall as a team last week among numerous Division I schools at the 48th annual Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament.
The wrestling event was a two-day affair with both sessions starting at 11 a.m. at Vandalia’s Student Activity Center.
There were six mats on the main concourse area and several more for the 113-and 120-pound weight classes. There are 14 weight classes in all and Versailles was able to put in 13 wrestlers with one wrestler being out at the 170 bracket due to illness.
They had Division I on its own and then Divisions II and III combined for scoring purposes which they showed on two big screens in the main gymnasium. Among the competing teams was powerhouse St. Paris Graham which blew everyone away with 286 points. They were followed next by Springboro (Division I) at nearly 100 points behind them. Versailles ended up with 61.5 points just above big Division I Northmont. Covington from the area finished very well with 127 points.
Versailles has fared very well so far and won all of its dual meets and finished first in the Sidney Invitational under head coach A.J. Bey Sr. The orange and black had unseeded freshman Mike Reed at 106 pounds, sophomore Kobe Epperly seeded fifth at 113 pounds, freshman Caleb Kaiser unseeded at 120 pounds, senior Jacob Poling seeded fifth at 126 pounds, sophomore Trevor Huber seeded seventh at 132 pounds, junior Nick Monnier unseeded at 138 pounds, junior Cael Bey unseeded at 145 pounds, senior Dalton Didier unseeded at 152 pounds, sophomore Alex Kaiser unseeded at 160 pounds, senior Derek Cavin unseeded at 180 pounds, junior Isaac Grillot as the number 5 seed at 195 pounds, freshman Brayden Keihl unseeded at 220 pounds and sophomore Austin Nerderman unseeded at 285 pounds for the Tigers.
Versailles had two individual wrestlers place in the top eight of their respective weight class at the tournament. Grillot finished sixth in hi s195-pound class, while Epperly placed seventh at 113 pounds.
”We were in a pretty tough tournament and the kids were disappointed that they didn’t finish higher, but we will be back as the top 20 teams get invited back. We were actually fifth when you combine the Division II and III teams,” Bey said. “There were a total of 50 teams invited and 48 showed up and the other two would have showed up if it hadn’t been for holiday travel as schools come from everywhere for this event.
”The question the kids need to ask themselves is who did you lose to and all of our kids lost to quality opponents as there are no slouches here, just horses and thoroughbreds,” he continued. “If our 170 pounder would have wrestled in Tyler Gigandet we would have picked up another 20 or 30 points. I would like to mention our four seniors in Poling, Gigandet, Didier and Gavin as they are the backbone of our squad. Grillot wrestled well, Kaiser won two matches at 120 for a freshman and Epperly also had a good run in the tourney. We beat Covington twice early but they had the horses this weekend and that’s who we will be seeing down the road in the tournament coming up as we are both Division III. We are a very good dual meet team as we have solid kids in each weight class and do not have to forfeit any points which makes a difference going against schools that do,” stated Bey.