Eaton advances in state duals

Eddie Mowen Jr.

January 29, 2014

Preble County wrestling teams were competitive during the opening night of the State Duals last week.

Eaton emerged as the only county team to advance to the regional semifinals, which are to be held at Graham, Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Eaton was the top-seed in the Division II Sub-Region 16-A and advanced with a 60-15 win over Thurgood Marshall.

In Division III, at West Carrollton, Preble Shawnee lost in the opening round to Dixie, 38-31. National Trail lost to Milton-Union 48-24.

In Division III, at Greeneview, Twin Valley South lost to Chaminade Julienne 28-27 in the first round, while Tri-County North came up just short of upsetting the host Rams, falling 40-36.

All matches were held Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Eaton also hosted its own invitational, but the meet was canceled after one day of competition due to inclement weather. The Eagles were in 9th place after Friday’s action, with 48.5 points. National Trail was 15th with 35 points.

Carlisle (65), Northmont (56.5) and Milton-Union (53.5) were the top three.

Tri-County North traveled to Lima Central Catholic for the Thunderbird Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Panthers finished 21st with 43.5 points.

“This tournament is a good chance to see where you stand in your respected weight class. There are only Division III schools there,” North coach Brad Statzer said. “Some that you will not see until districts. Some that you will not see until state. Some wrestlers look at it as a measuring stick of who’s who in each weight. Our wrestlers that have been giving up weight took the chance at actually wrestling their weight and succeeded. Historically speaking, those athletes that we have had place at this tournament have made it to districts, if not state.

Junior Colton Booth (who normally gives up about 15-20 lbs) wrestled for the first time at 182 pounds. Booth came into the tournament 27-3 while competing at 195 pounds.

He ended up improving to an impressive 30-4 and earning second place. Booth currently has 21 pins on the season. His only loss on the weekend was in the championship match to Greeneview’s Amani Robinson, who has placed twice at state (2nd & 3rd).

The Panthers also had solid performances from junior Blake Lawson at 170 pounds.

Lawson normally has been wrestling up a weight class as well.

Lawson came into the meet with a 21-7 record at at 182 pounds.

“He was firing on all cylinders as he defeated the number one seeded wrestler in his first match of the weekend,” Statzer said. “He carried that win with two consecutive pins to earn a semifinal matchup. He wrestled hard the next three matches, but coming out on the short end. Blake came away with a sixth place finish in a tough tournament.”

Lawson finished the tournament going 3-3 to see his overall record go to 24-10.

Eaton and Preble Shawnee are scheduled to compete at the Southwestern Buckeye League meet on Friday and Saturday at Carlisle.

National Trail, Tri-County North will next compete at Covington on Feb. 8.

Twin Valley South is scheduled to compete at Miami East Saturday, Feb. 1.