Bellefontaine’s wrestling team gained some much-needed momentum by finishing sixth Saturday in a 19-team field at the Troy Invitational.
Loveland won the tournament, Covington was second, St. Xavier took third, Coldwater was fourth, Urbana came in fifth and the Chieftains were sixth. Team scores were not available.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said BHS head coach Rick Reed. “Our schedule in December has been a bear. Each of our guys has had to wrestle multiple state-ranked kids. We’ve seen state and nationally ranked schools at all three tournaments.
“A lot of people quit after getting kicked in the teeth. Our guys kept fighting and (Saturday) it paid off. We saw some competition that was more our speed and we wrestled great. Our approach was awesome, aggressive and unrelenting.”
Leading the way for Bellefontaine with runner-up finishes were Seth Newman (126) and Chase Wilcoxon (132).
Joe Rindfleisch (170) added a fourth-place finish and Bryan Ward (120) fought his way back to fifth.
“Chase Wilcoxon and Seth Newman had great days,” said Reed. “Runner-up at the Troy Invite is a nice feather in their cap. We need those two along with Joe to lead us into the postseason.
“Bryan Ward is a great example. We’ve been saying that it was only a matter of time until Bryan proved to everyone how tough he is. We see it every day. He stuck the second-seeded guy in the first round. That is because Bryan wrestles the same regardless of opponent.”
Coming in seventh for BHS were Logan Carr (106), Dylan Christman (113) and Brendan Bodenmiller (152), while eighth-place efforts came from Jon King (182) and Eric Escamilla (285).
Bellefontaine travels to Versailles on Tuesday.