February 14th, 2013

PREVIEW: State Wrestling Tournament

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor

PREVIEW: State Wrestling Tournament
photo courtesy of www.saintx.com

Trinity and St. Xavier prepare for state

A common saying in sports during the postseason is that the road ends here. For the state’s high school wrestlers, the road ends at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, where the state champions will be crowned Saturday night.

And St. Xavier and Trinity figure to be in the thick of things after the Tigers and Rocks came in first and second place in last weekend’s Fourth Region Tournament.

“Absolutely, they’re ready for this weekend,” St. X head coach Jim Kraeszig said of his wrestlers. “I think they’re ready to go against some higher-caliber competition after last weekend.

The Tigers qualified a wrestler for the state championships in all but one weight class.

“We’ve had a great year,” Kraeszig said. “My guys have seen a lot of these teams this year in the Jefferson County Tournament, the South Oldham tourney and the Eastern Kentucky tournaments. These are teams we will see this weekend. The season was a bit of a trial run.”  

A.J. Bindner (106-pound weight class), Michael Beets (113), Max Korfhage (120), Nathan Haddad (126), Elijah Allgeier (132), Noah Allgeir (138), Justin Lampe (145), Dominic Lampe (152), Hunter French (160), Noah Bauer (170), Brandon Pledger (182), John Crawford (195) and Konner Thompson (220)  made it through the regional for St. X.

“Our strongest group is from the 145- to 195-pound weight range,” Kraeszig said. “We’re right there with the best of them. Those are our elite wrestlers. That’s our anchor.”

Carrying Trinity’s hopes will be Bobby Bryant (285), Steven Stickrod (195), Tate Smith (182), Trevor Fultz (170), Lucas Miozza (160), Clayton Smith (152), Cody Webb (145), Ian Kahl (138), Ben Barton (132), Hudson Heidorf (126), Keegan Duncan (120) and Stephen Matheny (113).

For others, it’s a chance to shine individually in their respective weight classes even if their squad didn’t make it to state.  Only the top four teams in each regional get to participate.

Hunter Baum, who finished second in the Third Region’s 106-pound class, will represent Holy Cross. The Cougars finished 11th in the regional.

DeSales’ Nathan Thomson, Josh Garner, Austin Miller and Colton Elskin each will have the opportunity to bring home a state title. The Colts just missed out on qualifying for state with a fifth-place showing in the Third Region.

As for which team will win, Kraeszig expects it to be a three-squad race.

“It’ll be between us, Union, and Campbell County,” he said. “Union County is a bit of a dark horse. Campbell County is a very dominating team. But Union County beat Mater Dei this year and handed them their first loss to them in 25 years.”



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