A year ago, General McLane only sent one champion to the top of the podium at the Tool City Wrestling Tournament. Yet the Lancers still had enough points to win its first-ever team title at the event.
This season, the Lancers upped it’s number of champions to three — giving them the most individual champions of any of the 19 teams in the tournament.
Yet as the tournament wrapped up Saturday at Meadville High School, a repeat as team champs would not be in the offing for the Lancers. McLane finished third in the team standings behind champion Boiling Springs and runner-up Fort LeBoeuf.
“That’s kind of how we saw it shaping up to be,” said McLane head coach Ryan Cook. “We’re more of a top-heavy team this year. We’ve got some outstanding individuals. ... We had three champs, but we felt that we left a lot of points out on the mat.”
Winning titles for McLane was senior Joe Wheeling at 113, who bested McDowell’s Charlie Lenox 2-1 in the final.
At 152, senior Mike Sutton defended his title from last year, scoring a 6-2 decision over Howland, Ohio’s Jordan Radich.
And at 138, junior Keller Watkins rode out the third period on top of Saegertown’s Nick Monico to pull out a 1-0 victory in the title bout.
“The goal was to win that team title and we didn’t do it,” said Cook. “But it’s a tough tournament. And we had three champions, and I believe that’s the most that McLane has ever had here — three in one year.”
Reynolds repeats for Panthers
The Saegertown wrestling team managed to up its team finish from seventh last year to fifth this year, finishing the event with 149 points. The Panthers finished higher than McDowell and DuBois, which were both ahead of Saegertown in last year’s team standings.
The Panthers were led by junior 182-pounder Dylan Reynolds, who defended his tournament title with a 7-4 verdict over Greenville senior Justin Reynolds.
“Dylan stepped up,” said Panthers head coach Jim Mulligan. “I thought he was really dominant.”
All four of Justin Reynolds’ points were from escapes. Dylan Reynolds, meanwhile, had three takedowns and one escape for the win.
“My shots were all right,” said the Panthers junior. “Some of them needed finishing a little better, though.”
Saegertown also got a pair of runner-up finishes.
Tyler Vath finished second in a tough 132-pound bracket. He picked up a big win in the championship semifinals, beating defending tournament champ D.J. Fehlman of Warren 3-1. However, Vath then fell to Boiling Springs’ Kyle Shoop 5-0 in the title bout.
And at 138, Nick Monico couldn’t escape the clutches of General McLane’s Keller Watkins, who held on tight for a 1-0 victory over the Panthers’ sophomore.
Also placing for Saegertown was Bingbong Elizon, who was fifth at 120 after a 6-4 victory over Titusville’s Hunter Wagner in the consolation final; and 170-pounder Dan Simmerman, who finished sixth after dropping the fifth-place match by fall to McDowell’s Coleman Cousins.