Wrestling teams ready to get season started

MIAMI COUNTY — Doug Curnes returns as Troy wrestling coach.

Curnes is optimistic about this season.

“We have a large, close knit freshman class with zero first year wrestlers,” Curnes said. “And a solid core of first, upper classmen that are leading the way in and out of the wrestling room.”

Key returners include Nolan Fox (113), Zach Evans (132-138) and Noah Leach (170-182).

“Nolan is a big and strong sophomore that had a very successful season last year,” Curnes said. “Zach Evans made the match to go to state as a freshman. He is now a junior and stronger than ever. Noah Leach decided to take the off-season serious and is ready to roll. He is a good rugby player who is looking to go on in that sport.”

The top newcomers include Nathan Brewster (132-138), Caleb Gray (106) and Clay Smith (285).

“Nathan Brewster looks very promising,” Curnes said. “He is a strong kid who eats up the sport. He will be Zach Evans’ drill partner. Caleb Gray is a tough, agile and good spirited kid that will fill the 106 pound class just fine. Clay Smith shows a lot of potential at the heavyweight position.”

PIQUA

Scott Kaye returns as coach.

Lance Reaves (285 pounds, returning district qualifier and MVL champion) will probably miss his senior season due to an injury suffered during the football season.

Senior Isaac Bushnell (152) and juniors Andru Hollopeter (145) and Elizabeth Herndon (138) are key returners.

Bushnell is a three-year lettermen, Hollopeter was MVL runnerup last year and Herndon qualified for the girls state tournament last year.

The freshman class includes Averi Wiley (106), Max Kaye (126, two-time junior high state qualifier), Landon Martin (170) and Jonathan Stavinoha (220).

“A lot of our scoring power returning depends of if Lance (Reaves-Hicks) is able to return,” Kaye said. “Otherwise, the team will lean heavily a freshmen group and a group of returning lettermen, all with decent wrestling experience. Looking to climb a few spots from last season’s finish.”

Kaye sees Vandalia-Butler and and Xenia as the teams to beat in the MVL.

“We want to get through the season with our health,” Kaye said. “We want to progress as a team towards being competitive with any opponent we may face by season’s end. We want to bring out the best in each other.”

TIPPECANOE

Nick Petro returns as coach.

The key returners for Tippecanoe include district qualifier Oliver Murray (120 pounds, sophomore), junior district alternate Sean Kelly (138), sophomore district alternate Zack Shellhammer (145), senior Jacob Smith (182) and junior Colin Hanrahan (160).

“We have another good group of freshman that has come in and we look forward to them making an impact right away this year,” Petro said. “We want to win 75 percent of our duals and advance as many wrestlers as possible to the district and state tournament.”

Petro hopes to be in the top three in the MVL.

COVINGTON

Eric Vanderhorst returns as coach and has a talented staff. Three-time state champion Jarred Ganger has joined th staff, along with Dan Smith.

The Buccs had a 25-4 dual meet record a year ago, advancing to the regional semifininals

Covington will be led by seniors Trentin Alexander (170), Kellan Anderson (126), Duncan Cooper (195), David Robinson (145) and Cael Vanderhorst (138).

Anderson and Vanderhorst are returning state placers and three-time state qualifiers, while Alexander is a returning district placer, Cooper is a returning district qualifier and Robinson is a district alternate.

The junior class includes Scott Blumenstock (285), Caleb Miller (160), Connor Sindelir (152), Ricky Stephan (220) and Jensen Wagoner (182). Blumenstock, Sindelir and Wagoner are returning district qualifiers, while Miller is a district alternate and Stephan is a returning letterman.

The sophomore class includes Trey Kiser (160) and Corey Turner (195). Rounding out the roster are freshmen Hayden Barker (220), Luke Brown (145), Michael Hagan (113), Kamden Hughes, Jericho Quinter (120), Megan Rose (138), Jackson Shiverdecker (132), Carson Taylor (106) and Chase Vanderhorst (132).

“We look forward to competing with the mix of Division 1, 2 and 3 teams that are on their schedule,” Vanderhorst said. “The Coronavirus pandemic has shut down some of the larger tournaments we usually attend, like the GMVWA Holiday tournament as well as the OHSAA Duals, but the team hopes the Lima Central Catholic (LCC) Invitational will still take place. They will also compete in the Northeastern, Versailles and Troy Invitationals. Covington will once again square off with some of the top dual-meet teams in the western part of the state, including Versailles, Miami East, Coldwater, Allen East and Eaton. Additionally, the JV team will travel to some very competitive reserve meets including Versailles and Vandalia-Butler.”

Covington currently has three home duals and will once again host the Covington Duals tournament – which includes their Cross County Conference rivals, along with Lehman. The Buccs will then host the Division III sectional tournament – whose participants have proven to be among the most successful among all divisions in Ohio at the state tournament several times over the past decade.

LEHMAN CATHOLIC

Bill Long returns as Lehman coach.

The Cavaliers have two returning district qualifiers in junior Brock Bostick, who was 18-17 last year and John Edwards, who was 31-9 last year.

Unfortunately, Edwards and senior John Wesners will miss the season with season-ending shoulder surgery.

This year’s team will be led by senior Evan Fogt (285), who missed last season with a knee injury.

He was 19-14 as a sophomore and there are high expectations for him this season.

Long expects breakout seasoons from juniors Bostick (120), Matthew Peoples (126) and Anthony Stumpo (195).

Sophomore Aiden Burns (152) returns and first-year wrestlers Dylan Karns (160), Wyatt Earhart (170) and girls wrestler Ellia Stumpo.

“All our returning wrestlers look to improve upon last year’s individual records and rest assured all the Lehman Cavalier wrestlers will compete hard and work to place at sectional and qualify for district\state,” Long said.

The Cavaliers will fill eight of the 14 weight classes with a good mix of experience and youth.

TROY CHRISTIAN

Steve Goudy returns to run the very successful Eagles program.

The Eagles return another strong group including senior Austin Awan, junior Troy Kennedy and sophomores Jason Shaffer, Connor Havill and Lee Burkett.

Key newcomers will include junior David Stumpff, sophomore Kyle Schroer and freshman Paul McDonald.

The Eagles goals are high as always, including a top-five finish at state.