March 11th, 2015

Rocks' wrestlers place third; Tigers eighth

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Conor Revell

Managing Editor


Rocks' wrestlers place third; Tigers eighth
Trinity’s wrestling team had reason to smile after Keegan Duncan, Ben Barton and Tyler Frankrone won state championships / photo by Conor Revell

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Considering all the misfortune Trinity’s wrestling team faced this winter, head coach Eddie Rudolph was thrilled about his team’s third-place finish at the state tournament Wednesday night at the Kentucky Horse Park.

 “We had adversity right at the start of the season because Landon Corolla tore his ACL during football and was ranked No. 3, so we lost him,” Rudolph said. “We were ranked No. 1 in the preseason because of him. Then we lost Chase Smith and Steven Matheny. For what we did, and for what we went through, I’m tickled to death today.”

The state meet was scheduled for Feb. 20 and 21 but had to be postponed because of a winter storm that hit Kentucky. Despite the delay, the Shamrocks had a strong showing at the two-day event that began Tuesday.

Trinity’s Keegan Duncan, Ben Barton and Tyler Frankrone won championships in their respective weight divisions.

Fern Creek won the team championship with 158.5 points and defending champion Union County placed second with 153. Trinity totaled 138.5 points; St. X came in eighth with 100.5.

“We definitely could have performed better,” Duncan said. “We did OK considering what happened. We had a guy that went down, but we persevered through the last matches and I’m proud of my teammates.”

Hudson Heidorf was one of the favorites to win the 145-pound weight class but was upset in the quarterfinals by Dylan Gray of Caldwell County, who won 11-0. But Heidorf is only a junior and will have another chance to win a state title, as will his three Trinity classmates who won Wednesday.

“Next year we plan to dominate,” Frankrone said. “We don’t want to lose a tournament. Hudson Heidorf is one of our best wrestlers, if not our best wrestler. He could go undefeated next year. I’m excited for him and our team.”

Duncan (49-1) recorded the Shamrocks’ first state title when he defeated Fern Creek’s A.J. Binder (65-6) in a 3-1 decision to win the 132-pound class.

“For me, it was all about confidence,” Duncan said. “I had to trust that my coaches put me through the proper training and keep the pace up because I felt like I was in better shape than him. I never let him rest and I wasn’t going to let him win.”

This was Duncan’s fifth state tournament but his first title. He wrestled as a seventh and eighth grader for North Oldham before transferring to Trinity.  

To make the final, Duncan beat Calloway County’s Jack Haynes in the first round, Wayne County’s Cameron Nevels in the second round and Walton Verona’s Mason Smith in the quarterfinals before pinning University Heights’ Chance Collins in 3:46 in the semifinals.

Barton, wrestling in his third state tournament, gave Trinity the championship in the 152-pound weight when took down Andrew Ackley of Nelson County in a 9-5 decision.

“I just wanted to wrestle my game and last as long as I could,” Barton said. “I had to stay outside of him, because he was much bigger than me, and stay fast.”

En route to the final, Barton beat, in order, Pike County’s Charles Cokley, LaRue County’s Griffin Dulak and Union County’s Jackson Oxford before winning a 12-8 decision over Fern Creek’s Bryce Hoffman in the semifinals.

“I’ve know that kid (Barton) since he was 6 or 7 years old because I coached his older brother Jake,” Rudolph said. “We used to call him Cottontop because he had that blond head when he came in. He’s the hardest working kid I have every worked with. He comes in every day and puts in the extra work. For me to get to see that smile on his face, it was awesome.”

Frankrone gave the Rocks their third state champion when he won his second consecutive state title at 182 pounds by beating Moore’s Mikey Smith via a 6-1 decision.

“Battle,” Frankrone said about getting his victory. “I had the same ol’ motto as last year. That’s to do the best I could do. If I get it done, I get it done. At least I did my best.”

Last year Frankrone had bronchitis during the state tournament and found himself fighting it off again last week.

“For the most part he was healthy,” Rudolph said. “He was taking antibiotics until last night. It was like, ‘Are we ever going to get healthy?’ But he had no physical injury this year like he did last year with the ankle injury. That was good.”

Newport’s Gage Jones lost a 9-0 decision to Frankrone in the semifinals. Frankrone recorded victories over Danville’s Seamus Sallee in the first round, Simon Kenton’s Casey Cornett in the second round and Scott County’s Talor Hines in the quarterfinals.

Nathan Haddad was the only St. X wrestler to advance to the final round. Haddad, who had never placed before this year, lost a 4-2 decision to Ryle’s Johnny Meiman in the championship match of the 160-pound class.

“Nathan is the epitome of what we want out of a wrestler,” St. X head coach Jim Kraezig said. “He wants to be a Midshipmen, and he should do great wrestling for them. He’s a really great young man to look up to and I’m proud of him.”

To get to the final, Haddad beat University Height’s William Crabtree in the first round, Newport’s David Lynam in the second round and North Hardin’s Johnathan Little in the quarterfinals before pinning John Hardin’s Joe Jackson in 2:16 in the semifinals.

The St. X senior explained his improvement this year thusly: “I just tried to wrestle every day nonstop and went to every event that I could go to. I continued to press every day in order to get better.”

His next step is waiting on to see if he’ll be able to wrestle for Navy next year.

“I’m waiting for my response,” he said. “I’ve been on my visit and gotten to the furthest step. I plan on wrestling for them next year.”

The Tigers were dealt a big blow when Dominic Lampe, last year’s 160-pound champ who was the favorite in this year’s 170-pound class, was suspended last month because he broke school rules. As a result, he had to miss at least 10 percent of the season, which included regionals and the state tournament.


 

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