The McClain High School Tigers varsity wrestling team took to the road Saturday to test themselves at the Eagle Rumble at Walnut Hills High School, taking home a team trophy and a 7-5 season record, according to information from McClain mat coach Shane Paul.
The Eagle Rumble is a 16-team dual meet tournament in which teams from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana compete. McClain entered the tournament with a season record of 4-3 while covering only 8 of the 14 weight classes.
In round one, the Tigers from MHS drew the Tigers from Cincinnati Withrow.
“This was the most physical team MHS has seen up to this point in the season,” Paul said. Paul told The Times-Gazette the Withrow Tigers were fast and strong, but McClain showed some toughness of their own and pulled out a 36-19 victory.
Round two saw MHS square up against Covington Holmes High School, their first out-of-state competition of the year. The lead changed three times in the match until Phil Waters (160) won by pin. The Tigers took a 16-12 lead and went on to post a 34-12 victory.
In round three, the Greenfield crew saw another out-of-state opponent in Milan High School of Indiana. Both teams entered the round at 2-0 on the day. Despite winning the majority of the matches, MHS was unable to compete against a full squad filling all 14 weight classes, and Milan took the match 49-23.
In round four, the opponent came from northwest Ohio. The Bowling Green Bobcats and the Tigers both entered the match at 2-1 on the day. The match came down to the final weight class, with the Tigers needing a pin to send it into tie-breaker criteria. The Bobcats secured the pin and won the match 36-24.
Round five saw MHS pitted against Connor High School of Hebron, Ky., also at 2-2 on the day. The Tigers had their work cut out for them, entering the match with an 18-point defecit due to their weight class forfeits. Undefeated Keegan Rawlins faced off against returning state qualifier Clayton Boyd at 145 pounds. In what was some fast action, the match was tied at 12-12 with 0:14 left on the clock when Rawlins pulled off a two-point reversal and won the match 14-12. This got the crowd on its feet, and the Tigers went into wrestling mode. McClain went on to win six of the seven contested weight classes, and defeated Connor 39-30.
McClain took home a team trophy to add to their trophy case, finishing 3-2 on the day after a tough rumble. The Tigers now stand at 7-5 on the season and keep their winning-team status intact.
Individually, five Tigers went 5-0 on the day. Quinton Smith (113), Dawson Immel (126), Keegan Rawlins (145/152), Kyler Trefz (170) and Kai Borrelli (220/285) were undefeated. Rawlins now stands at 17-0 on the season. Phil Waters (160) and Ethan Taylor (182) both went 2-3. Matthew Milnes (120) was 1-4.
The Tigers have now won 77 matches under the 7-year leadership of Shane Paul.
The McClain wrestlers will travel to Washington High School to face off against the Washington Blue Lions and the Chillicothe Cavaliers in an SCOL tri-match Dec. 22. Matches start at 6 p.m.