The McClain Tigers wrestling team took to the mats Saturday at Hilliard Heritage Middle School in a tri-match hosted by Hilliard Darby High School, according to McClain wrestling coach Shane Paul. Hilliard Bradley and Trenton Edgewood joined McClain as visitors at the match.
In round one, McClain took on Darby, which Paul said was far and away the toughest team the Tigers have faced this year. McClain wrestled tough, but was only able to secure one victory. Quinton Smith (113) won by a 7-5 score. The final team score was 70-3.
“We took this match because we wanted to wrestle Hilliard Darby,” Paul said. “Darby has six wrestlers ranked in the top 17 in the state for Division One wrestlers. Keegan Rawlins lost in the finals last season in the Xenia Invitational to Tai Bloch of Darby by major decision. If you don’t know, a major decision is a decision by an 8-14 point margin. The matchup happened again in this dual meet. Bloch, who is ranked 12th in the state at 138 pounds, won again this time, but the match was a lot closer. This time it ended with a 7-4 score. Keegan is a very tough wrestler and is a formidable opponent for almost anyone. We take on all challengers. It will pay off in spades when all of these underclassmen become upperclassmen.”
In round two, the Tigers faced off against Bradley High School. Bradley has one state ranked wrestler in 152-pounder Riley Amador, who is currently ranked 11th in the state. McClain’s Phil Waters (152) had a tough challenge for a freshman as he wrestled both the 11th-ranked and 13th-ranked wrestlers in consecutive matches. Waters lost both matches, but wrestled tough, taking a far-side cradle pinning combination against Amador, but he wasn’t able to finish the pin. Smith (113), Dawson Immel (120), and Keegan Rawlins (145) all took wins against Bradley. Bradley won the round two matchup by a final score of 61-12. McClain now sits at an even 8-8 on the season.
Individually, Smith (113) led the Tigers with a 2-0 record at the meet. Dawson Immel (120) and Keegan Rawlins (145) both split even at 1-1. Matthew Milnes (126), Phil Waters (152), Samantha Immel (160), Ethan Taylor (182) and Kai Borrelli (220) all finished at 0-2.
Up next for McClain is the next installment of the SCOL tri-matches. McClain will host both Wilmington and Clinton-Massie on Thursday. Clinton-Massie is undefeated so far in league matches. The junior high teams will also be competing simultaneously on side-by-side mats. The matches begin at 6 p.m.