NEW LEBANON — Preble Shawnee’s wrestling team tuned up for the state duals with a pair of dual matches last week at Dixie.
The Arrows swept both Tri-County North and the host Greyhounds on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
North beat Dixie 46-30 in the first match of the night. Shawnee then beat North 53-29, then beat Dixie in the final match of the night, 53-19.
“It went real well. I knew Dixie, they don’t have the numbers we have, but they have all solid kids,” Shawnee coach Jake Follick said. “Tri-County North always has a bunch of tough, hard-nosed kids. We’re working pretty hard getting ready for the state duals.”
Now, Shawnee will turn its attention to the state duals, which it will host for the first time, on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m., according to Follick.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us,” Follick said of hosting the event. “For me, it’s a big deal for us. I love the state duals. I thinks its great for the sport and it’s hard to get people out. It’s going to be pretty exciting.”
Follick is hoping for the “home field” advantage.
“I would love to see it packed,” Follick said.
Follick said his team is finally getting healthy as the tournament time approaches.
“Everything is looking up for us right now,” Follick said. “I feel really good about tonight, but I really feel good about the state duals and then on further.”
North coach Brad Statzer said he thought his team was a little sluggish coming off a second place finish at its own invitational the previous weekend.
“To be honest, it was a little letdown compared to what we wrestled this weekend. Guys were a little sluggish, a little tired, but we battled through that and came away with some key wins,” Statzer said. “Yesterday, we had pretty intense workout and it showed out here tonight.”
With a split, North is now 6-6 in dual matches this season.
The Panthers will not be taking part in the state duals this season.
North and Shawnee each will compete at the Lima Central Catholic tournament on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.