BELLBROOK — The wrestling season is in full swing, and 14 schools gathered at the 41st Bellbrook Invitational, Saturday to showcase their talents.
For the host school, Bellbrook, it was a chance to show off its stars as well as promote the sport in general. The Golden Eagles, who came in second place overall with 119.5 points, had multiple highlights during the meet, including junior Cameron Kelly’s comeback from an elbow injury and junior Ben Schram’s exciting victory in the featured match.
“All in all, the kids wrestled really well, and to have five in the finals was nice,” said Bellbrook coach Bob Kosins. “And for us to take second shows where our team is going and where we’re at. Hopefully we can take that into league and have a good showing there and maybe win that.”
His team was in good spirits after having five wrestlers in the finals, including a surprise when sophomore Nick Weaver took out the first seed in the 113-pound weight class, Dominic Castellano of Dixie Heights in Kentucky, to reach the finals. And even though he would fall in the last match, he still felt like it was his best effort.
“I think I just did 100 percent. I don’t think I could have done it any better and I’m glad that happened,” said Weaver. “All the matches I went aggressive, but the last one I did was the best out of all of them.”
The Three Amigos — Tyler Wiederholt, Kelly and Schram — all placed first in their respective weight classes. Heavyweight C.J. Broderick, who turns the Three Amigos into the Fantastic Four, also made it to the finals, but would just barely lose to Fairborn standout, Gunnar Parr, 6-5 after three periods.
The Skyhawks had a good showing at the Bellbrook Invitational as well, with five making it into the finals, and two first-place finishes by 220-pound wrestler Austen Bolden and Parr. Bolden pinned Cody Wilson of Western Brown and Parr took the heavyweight match, and the team finished sixth overall with 74 points. Parr was not on hand to accept his award after the tournament.
Kelly came back to wrestle in the 126-pound bracket and showed little signs of rust, aside from some possible fatigue. He pinned his first opponent and got two technical falls in his remaining bouts. He was just happy to be back.
“It was a really nice tournament, it was my first tournament of the year coming back from an injury. It felt great,” Kelly said.
Wiederholt also stood strong through his bracket, getting a technical fall to move into the finals. He was matched up against Austin Jackson, who placed fourth in Kentucky’s state wrestling championship last season, and Wiederholt came out on top in a convincing 9-3 victory.
The highlight match of the night was the rematch of Schram against Kordell Ford of Hillsboro, who beat Schram last year.
It was a slugfest and a chess match all in one. The 160-pounders tried to find an opening, but the score remained scoreless after the first period. It was 1-1 in the final period when Ford made a move with time clicking down that would have ended the match. Schram made a nice counter to avoid the takedown, and the match went to overtime. In the extra period, with both wrestlers exhausted, Schram dove in low and grabbed Ford’s legs to get the takedown and the win.
The Fantastic Four were all smiles after it was over.
“It was a great rematch. I lost to him last year, so it was awesome. Overall the tournament was a great tournament,” said Schram.
And when his teammates pointed out that he was awarded outstanding wrestler of the tournament, he grinned – “Oh yeah, outstanding wrestler. Good stuff.”