Missing two weeks of competition in the middle of the season can be tough, but it didn’t take Franklin County’s wrestling team long to get back in gear.
The Flyers captured the team title of the Wolverine Invitational, hosted by Western Hills, Saturday with eight wrestlers placing in the top four of their weight classes.
The last time FCHS competed was two weeks ago in the sectional duals tournament.
“You could tell early on we were a little rusty,” FCHS coach Zac Donnelly said, “but we really stepped it up. It’s tough when you haven’t been able to step on a mat for almost two weeks.”
The recent inclement weather had sidelined both the Flyers and Western Hills.
FCHS had three individual champions Saturday — Mick Marshall in the 152-pound weight class, Frederick Agyeman at 160 and Kyle Perkins at 170.
Marshall wrestled against Western Hills’ Josh Morris in the 152 final and won in a 10-4 decision.
The Flyers placed first out of 13 teams with 174.5 points, and Harrison County was runner-up with 160.5 points.
“It was a close race in the team standings the whole day,” Donnelly said. “To only have 10 wrestlers and eight of them made it out of the second round. I was really impressed with how they did.
“It was a total team effort. Everyone scored points today against good competition.”
Franklin County’s Francisco Perez was runner-up in the 195-pound class. Placing third for the Flyers were Marcus Bucerzan (126), Fernando Rebolledo (132), Aaron Valentine (138) and Dmitri Hubbard (145). Denwan Hall finished fourth in the 220-pound class.
“It’s good to see us wrestle like this as we get towards the end of the year,” Donnelly said. “You want to continue that positive showing in the next two weeks of the season.”
The regional tournament is two weeks away, Feb. 14-15, at Western Hills.
WHHS and its boosters gained plenty of experience running tournaments Saturday.
“It was awesome,” WHHS coach Scotty Teater said. “This is the first time I’ve run a tournament as a head coach, and it went really well.”
Morris had the top finish for the Wolverines, taking second in the 152-pound class. Keaton Kilgore tied for fifth place in the 182-pound class. There were no matches for fifth and sixth place.
Like Franklin County, the Wolverines also went two weeks between tournaments.
“We’ve had no matches but some practice the last couple of weeks,” Teater said. “We had a really good week of practice last week, and we came out and wrestled hard. We weren’t rusty.”
Bryan Station’s TayMarcus Taylor, who won the 120-pound class, was voted the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
WHHS recognized two seniors Saturday – wrestler Zach Rigsby and statistician Elizabeth Snook.
Franklin County will have its senior night Wednesday when it hosts Western Hills for the City Championships.
Senior night activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. with wrestling scheduled to start at 7.
1. Franklin Co. 174.5, 2. Harrison Co. 160.5, 3. Male 153, 4. Tates Creek 151, 5. Dixie Heights 124.5, 6. Iroquois 119, 7. Newport 116.5, 8. Boone Co. 98, 9. Madison Southern 68.5, 9. Walton-Verona 68.5, 11. Jeffersontown 58, 12. Bryan Station 39, 13. Western Hills 36.