The word is out on Cyle Wells. Best to pin your hopes on a great defense when facing the standout Tecumseh High School wrestler.
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Wells, a junior, did what he does best by pinning Zander Ellison of Hilliard Bradley in 2:56 to place third in the Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament at Butler’s Student Activities Center on Friday. That was the highest Springfield-area placer from anyone not representing overall champion Graham.
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Wells set Tecumseh’s single-season pin record as a sophomore with 28. He’ll take a 14-3 record, seven pins and a sudden surge of confidence into the new year. His ultimate goal is for all that to translate into a spot in the Division I state tourney after being knocked out at the district last season.
“I’m looking for more,” admitted Wells. “I love to pin people. Honestly, by now, I think they know it’s coming.”
Graham had the overall combined team title wrapped up midway through Thursday’s competition of the 48-team event and won its seventh straight Holiday title, 306-168.5 over runner-up Springboro. Host Butler was third (155).
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Wayne junior Jacob Padilla was chosen most outstanding from 152-285 pounds. Jordan Crace, a senior at Bellefontaine and the 145 champ, was most outstanding at 106-145 after delivering three pins, a tech fall and major decision.
Chaminade Julienne senior Hunter Johns, the 182 champ, had the most pins in the least time (four in 5:46) and Graham sophomore Eric Thomas the most pins (five in 8:40).
The meet often is the first time many area teams compete extensively against each other.
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Wells had a shiner still lingering above an eye, courtesy of a poke in practice last week. It looked good on him.
“Made me look tougher,” he said, laughing. “Honestly, this feels really good.”
Also placing for Tecumseh was junior Lucas Rodgers (fifth at 132) and senior Tommy Rowe (seventh at 182).
• Graham had three winners in Nick Moore (132), Alek Martin (138) and Jeffrey Thomas (152). The Falcons also had four runners-up and placed in all but one class.
“We have a bunch of young guys and they need to get matches,” first-year Graham coach Travis McIntosh said. “The more we wrestle the more we see mistakes, then we can fix them. Wins and losses don’t really matter until we see March.”
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• Other Springfield-area placers were Kenton Ridge junior Bryce Stamps (defaulted for fifth at 138), Greeneview senior Devan Hendricks (seventh at 145) and Springfield sophomore Tressel Cochran (eighth at 220).
• Jordan Crace, a senior at Bellefontaine and the 145 champ, was chosen most outstanding at 106-145 after delivering three pins, a tech fall and major decision. CJ senior Hunter Johns, the 182 champ, had the most pins in the least time (four in 5:46) and Graham sophomore and Eric Thomas (170) the most pins (five matches in 8:40).
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• Inducted into the GMVWA Hall of Fame were longtime Kettering Van Buren Middle School coach Doug Callinan, Virgil Goodwine, a former Springfield head coach who died this past spring, and U.S. Rep Jim Jordan, a four-time state winner at Graham and the brother of former Falcons coach Jeff Jordan.
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