It wasn’t just the upperclassmen who helped Oldham County win its third straight Region 5 wrestling championship Saturday at Jeffersontown High School. A couple of freshmen chipped in, too.
Among the Colonels’ seven winners in 14 weight classes were freshmen Brady Emerson at 113 pounds and Alex McIntosh at 170. Coach Aaron Riordan’s team compiled 222.5 points to 174 for runner-up Fern Creek and 146.5 for third-place Eastern.
Emerson led Jeff Moreman of J’town 5-3 after one period and quickly picked up five more points early in the second to win 10-3.
“I thought I knew I was a better wrestler than he was, and I didn’t think the match should be that close,” said Emerson, who is 38-3 this season. “So I had to step up.”
McIntosh (40-11) surprised himself when he outpointed Brennan Boykin of Eastern 12-10 for the 170 crown.
“I didn’t expect to win an older class like that,” he said. “I’m a young 170. Most of the wrestlers there are juniors or seniors.”
McIntosh’s brother, Nick, a senior, easily beat J’town’s Haziel Lopez 12-1 in the 152 final. Emerson’s freshman brother, Max, lost to North Oldham’s Mitch Rusch 2-0 in the 160 title bout.
The first four finishers in each weight class advance to the state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. Asked if his team qualified as many wrestlers as he expected, Riordan said: “No. We qualified 12. Our goal was 14. The two who didn’t make it wrestled their butts off. We got 10 in the (regional) finals, and that was a big deal.”
Riordan won a state title at 215 as an Oldham County wrestler in 2000.
Oldham County won four straight divisions with Brady Emerson, Sean Dunn (120), John Shirkey (126) and Connor Wilkerson (130). Mike Caudill, the state’s No. 2-ranked heavyweight, won at 285 by holding off Gabriel Lord of Fern Creek 5-3.
“It was a tough match toward the end,” said Caudill, who placed fifth at State in 2012. “I pinned him last year. That was a lot easier.”
At 138 pounds, Eastern senior Clint Singleton won a seesaw battle over South Oldham’s Nathanial Long 6-4 on a two-point takedown with 12.8 seconds left in overtime.
Team finish–Oldham County 222.5, Fern Creek 174, Eastern 146.5, Male 130.5, Jeffersontown 124, North Oldham 123, South Oldham 92, Spencer County 59.
Individual weight classes
First four in each class advance to State; first match listed is final; second match for third place.
106 – Jorge Vega, Fern Creek, pinned Nick Wise, Oldham County, 2:40; Dallas Ochsenbein, North Oldham, d. Jordan Denslow, Male, 10-1, major decision.
113–Brady Emerson, Oldham County, d. Jeff Moreman, J’town, 10-3; Jordan Tenharmsel, South Oldham, d. Josh Keefe, Spencer County, 9-2.
120–Sean Dunn, Oldham County, pinned Chris Elliott, J’town, 1:05; Daniel Pennington, North Oldham, d. Travis Roberts, Fern Creek, 8-0, major decision.
126–John Shirkey, Oldham County, pinned Jeremy Henehan, Fern Creek, 1:56; Mark Reynolds, South Oldham, d. Ethan Arekion, J’town, 7-2.
132–Connor Wilkerson, Oldham County, pinned Sean Hombroek, J’town, 1:42; Riley Hawes, Eastern, d. Easton Schneider, South Oldham, 16-0.
138–Clint Singleton, Eastern, d. Nathanial Long, South Oldham, 6-4, OT; John Reifnauer, North Oldham, d. Blake Cundiff, Male, 7-3.
145–Leland Phelps, Male, d. Jo Rupp, Eastern, 6-5, OT; Sam Gnadinger, Oldham County, pinned Bryce Hoffman, Fern Creek, 3:30.
152–Nick McIntosh, Oldham County, d. Haziel Lopez, J’town, 12-1, major decision; GeoVonnie Bacon, Fern Creek, pinned Cameron Bryant, Eastern, 4:10.
160–Mitch Rusch, North Oldham, d. Max Emerson, Oldham County, 2-0; Josh Case, Eastern, d. Michael Kollar, Fern Creek, 17-5 , major decision.
170–Alex McIntosh, Oldham County, d, Brennan Boykin, Eastern, 12-10; Collin Portman, North Oldham, d. Ty Bennett, J’town, 13-11.
182–Kohl Dodd, Fern Creek, pinned Kenneth Clark, Eastern, 1:44; Dalton Geoghegan, North Oldham, d. Addison Deckard, Oldham County, 10-5.
195–Will Conard, North Oldham, pinned Ian Fullerton, Oldham County, 2:12; Justin Nichols, Fern Creek, pinned Dhananjay Arora, Eastern, 1:15.
220–Garrett Chandler, Male, d. Nick Skaggs, 3-0; Brent Renninger, Eastern, d. Derek Clemens, Spencer County, 8-6, OT.
285–Mike Caudill, Oldham County, d. Gabriel Lord, Fern Creek, 5-3; Matthew Davis, South Oldham, pinned Amdrew Martin, Male, 4:05.