The McClain High School wrestling team started out their season at the American Legion Post 81 Tournament Saturday at Jackson High School.
The field expanded this year to 14 teams, with the top three teams bringing home trophies. Zane Trace defended their team title. Jackson took home the runner up trophy, and Vinton County grabbed the third place trophy. The Tigers finished in fifth place and wrestled well with a relatively small and young team. Entering wrestlers in eight of the 14 weight classes, McClain had five finalists with one champion, and one sixth place finisher.
Keegan Rawlins (145), a junior, entered the tournament as the second seed in the toughest weight class in the tournament. Keegan was able to pin the 5th seeded wrestler Kyle Kirby from Jackson in round one. He defeated the third seed, Jeremiah Dobbins of River Valley in round five by a 6-4 decision. In the finals, he faced the top seed, Dawson Hoselton from Zane Trace. Rawlins pulled of a 4-3 decision to win his second consecutive tournament title. He went 5-0 on the day.
McClain’s other four finalists were underclassmen. Freshmen Quinton Smith (113) and Dawson Immel (126) finished runners-up and went 3-1 and 3-2 respectively. Sophomores Kyler Trefz (170) and Ethan Taylor (195) also finished in second place. They were both 4-1 on the day.
Freshman Phil Waters (160) went 3-2 on the day and was able to get 6th place team points. Samantha Immel (160) entered the tournament as a non point scorer and was unable to get a win in three tries. Only one wrestler per weight class can score points for their team.
Kai Borrelli was able to score team points by going 1-2 on the day.
“Smith, D. Immel, Waters, and Borrelli were all able to get their first career varsity wins,” said mat coach Shane Paul. “Many more are to come if they have the guts to stick with it for their entire high school years. Many young men have had potential, but lacked the toughness to stick it out. This is their challenge.”
The Tigers wrestlers will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 10 when they travel to Bellefontaine for the Jimmy Mac Duels where they will face state champion wrestlers.