Heading into the Clark County Clash tournament last week, Kenton Ridge High School wrestling coach Cameron Doggett was not sure what to expect.
The Cougars had changed their schedule this season and Doggett had yet to see a lot of the Clark County teams who were participating in the tournament.
“We haven’t wrestled around here as much as we have in the past,” Doggett said. “We changed the schedule to see some tougher competition, different kids than in the past so we had not seen the other teams here. I was not real sure what to expect.”
Even with the change in schedule, the Cougars entered the tournament without Tyler Armstrong in the lineup.
“You can speculate all you want during the week about how things will go,” Doggett said. “But, until you go and wrestle, you don’t know how things will turn out. You never know who is going to step up.”
The Cougars jumped to the lead right away and never relinquished it in claiming the title by eight points over Northwestern 380-372 at Shawnee High School.
“They were neck and neck with us,” Doggett said. “I told the guys we had to wrestle hard for us to win anything with giving up five weight classes and we did.”
The Cougars placed all nine wrestlers they took to the tournament with five advancing to the finals and four claiming titles.
“We weren’t really expected to win it, but we were able to put at lot of guys in the finals,” Doggett said. “Our 106 (David Stroud) kind of surprised me. He had been struggling a little bit and I was hoping he could be in the top three or four, but he ended up winning it and wasn’t seeded coming in.”
Stroud, Brandon Townsend (113), Preston Bowshier (132) and Tyler Sowards (145) all claimed titles for the Cougars while Elijah Cochran (145) was second. Three others finished third and one finished fifth as the Cougars went 8-1 in the finals to seal the win.
“We had a lot of guys reach the finals, which is important,” Doggett said. “It was a whole team effort. Everyone wrestled hard every match and pushed to score as many points as they could.”
Northwestern finished with three champs. Devin Rogers (120), Brandon Rogers (182) and Zach Weekley (195) all claimed titles for the runner-ups. Catholic Central had a trio of champs in Anthony DeCarlo (138), Cameron Luther (160) and Matt Neiswinger (170). Springfield had a pair of champs with Devin Nye (220) and Aaron Cosby (285).
Wade Smitty claimed Shawnee’s title at 126 and Tecumseh’s Chuck Buchanan won the title at 152 for the third-place Arrows.