High School wrestling: Greenon wins Clark County Clash for first time

Greenon's Arlie Benson Jr. was one of the Knights' seven individial champs at the Clark County Clash. Greg Billing/CONTRIBUTED
Greenon's Arlie Benson Jr. was one of the Knights' seven individial champs at the Clark County Clash. Greg Billing/CONTRIBUTED

SPRINGFIELD – Intensity is a requirement for the wrestling room at Greenon High School. Last week the Knights kicked it up a notch in preparation for the Clark County Clash.

“The week leading up to (Saturday) was a very hard week because we understood we had to go out there and beat everyone by points or by pin,” Greenon junior Arlie Benson Jr. said of the Knights’ bid for their first Clash team title. “We always have that mindset of keep pushing. Even if we do lose, we want to make sure the kid doesn’t want to wrestle us again.”

Greenon won individual titles in seven of the 13 classes (the 120-pound weight class was not contested) Saturday at Springfield High School. That effort helped the Knights hoist the program’s first Clash team title with 262 points. Shawnee was second with 125 and Kenton Ridge third with 123.

Benson won the 132-pound title with five pins and didn’t surrender a point. Junior Lucas Valley claimed his first tournament title winning at 145 with four pins and a decision. Senior Evan Davis scored four pins and a major decision at 152. Senior Chase Trainer had four pins and his title match at 160 ended when his opponent suffered an injury. Senior Kameron Cox used five pins to win at 170. Junior Trevor Stewart had three pins to claim the 182 title. Tyler Jenkins used a pair of pins in :38 seconds and :46 seconds to win the 285 class.

“That’s always the goal to beat everybody the best I can,” Cox said. “We go in every week with the mindset we’re going to go through every team and be the best.”

Four of his pins came in 09, 32, 45 and 31 seconds and a fifth in 4:29.

Stewart, who wrestled at Urbana last season, made the Knights’ deep wrestling room even deeper this season.

“They’re hard workers. They get after it every single day,” Stewart said of his teammates. “It was very welcoming. It felt like home. It was a good feeling the team and atmosphere gave off.”

Also at the Clash, Kenton Ridge claimed three individual championships. Freshman Dustin Bradam won at 106, sophomore Brady Walter took the 138 title and senior Hayden Cochran scored the victory at 220.

Clark County coaches voted Walter the wrestler of the meet following his five victories. Walter pinned four of his opponents and scored a 20-1 technical fall for the other. He won his championship match with a pin in 16 seconds.

“Surprise. Surprise and happy when I heard it,” Walter said. “I wasn’t sure who was going to get it. My coaches obviously put my name in, but I didn’t necessarily expect to get it.

“It feels good. I just have to keep working. But it does feel good to be a Clark County champ.”

Three schools grabbed solo titles. Shawnee freshman Brandon Day won at 113, Southeastern sophomore Connar Mitchell earned the title at 126 and Northwestern senior Evan Hager was the champ at 195.

Hager’s 6-2 decision over Greenon junior Ashton Simison in the title match was Hager’s the 100th career victory.

Simison was one of four Knights to finish second along with freshman Shane Small (113), senior Evan Fagan (126) and freshman Roman DeBolt (220). Freshman Brent Captain (106) finished third.

“As a whole I’m definitely proud of the team,” Greenon coach Tyler Westlund said. “We have alumni on our staff so (winning the Clash) means something to them, also. We train pretty hard to show we’re the best team in Clark County and I think we finally showed that today.”

“Coach, he’s pushed us to the limit,” Benson said. “We’ve had practices where I would say some of us were at our breaking point. But he makes sure we go past that. He wants us to make sure we always get better in the room. We go out with the mindset no one can beat us. If they do, then they wrestled a better match than us. We always go out to wrestle our hardest.”

Clark County Clash

Team Scores

1. Greenon 262.5 2. Shawnee 125.0 3. Kenton Ridge 123.0 4. Northwestern 94.5 5. Springfield 73.0 6. Northeastern 45.5 7. Southeastern 44.0 8. Catholic Central 7.0

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