Kentucky high school wrestling championships feature stellar senior crop

Kentucky high school wrestling championships feature stellar senior crop


Kentucky high school wrestling championships feature stellar senior crop


It’s not uncommon for Kentucky high schools to produce one or two NCAA Division I wrestlers in a year, but the current senior crop suggests the sport is on the rise.

With the State Championships set for Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena in Lexington, the field is highlighted by five defending champions who have signed with major colleges.

“There never has been a time we had that many,” Fern Creek coach Mark Hitchings said. “To have five Division I kids, that’s where Kentucky is now. The youth programs in Kentucky really took off about 10 years ago. … Those (colleges) aren’t coming to Kentucky just to hand out gifts.”

Union County, winner of six state championships, is ranked No. 1 and has two D-I signees in Brock Ervin (Illinois) and Trae Blackwell (Oklahoma).

Ervin (132 pounds) can become the first Kentucky wrestler to win five state championships in a career, having won at 126 the past two years, 112 in 2011 and 103 in 2010 as an eighth-grader. Blackwell (126) has won two state titles: at 120 last year and 113 in 2012.

“Union County is by far the favorite,” said Jim Kraeszig, coach of defending champion St. Xavier. “They have a senior-laden team, and Brock is one of the best in the country. They’re ready to go. We knew at this time last year that they’d be the team to beat this year.”

Kraeszig said St. X, Woodford County, Campbell County and Trinity also should be in contention for the crown.

St. X has two top-ranked wrestlers in brothers Justin and Dominic Lampe. Justin, a senior, won at 145 pounds last year and now is at 152. He has signed with Chattanooga. Dominic, a junior, is No. 1 at 160 pounds after finishing second at 152 last year.

Kraeszig said his team has a shot at a second straight championship if it stays aggressive.

“We can’t sit back and play conservative,” he said. “We have to go in thinking that we’re going to cut it loose and let it all hang out. If we attack, we have a shot.”

Campbell County returns two state champions in senior Sean Fausz (No. 1 at 138) and junior Austin Myers (No. 1 at 220). Fausz has signed with North Carolina State.

Woodford County has two top-ranked wrestlers in senior Nathan Boston (120) and sophomore Tucker Hurst (106). Boston, the state champion at 113 last year, has signed with Iowa State.

Trinity has a young squad but produced six individual champions at last week’s Region Four meet: senior Ian Kahl (145), junior Lucas Miozza (170) and sophomores Keegan Duncan (126), Hudson Heidorf (132), Ben Barton (138) and Tyler Frankrone (182).

Other high-ranked wrestlers from the Louisville area include Moore’s Bobby Poynter (No. 2 at 120), Jason Hall (No. 3, 113) and Mikey Smith (No. 1, 182); North Oldham’s Mitch Rusch (No. 2, 160); and Oldham County’s Brady Emerson (No. 3, 126).

Fern Creek junior Jorge Vega won the 106 title last year and is ranked No. 4 at 113. Hitchings said Vega has struggled with illness and injuries this season — reflected in a 29-7 record — but is healthy entering the weekend.

“When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best in the state,” Hitchings said.


* Friday-Saturday. * Alltech Arena, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington. * $15 per day; two-day pass for $25. * St. Xavier. * Wrestling begins at 10 a.m., with first two rounds of championship and consolation brackets to be completed by end of day. * Wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m.; consolation finals at approximately 4 p.m.; championship finals at approximately 6. * 1. Union County, 2. Campbell County, 3. Woodford County, 4. St. Xavier, 5. Trinity, 6. Moore, 7. Ryle, 8. Henry Clay, 9. Johnson Central, 10. North Hardin, 11. Oldham County, 12. Simon Kenton, 13. Lafayette, 14. Fern Creek, 15. Caldwell County, 16. Wayne County, 17. Christian County, 18. Scott, 19. North Oldham, 20. Meade County. * 106 pounds – Tucker Hurst (Woodford County); 113 – John Hernandez (Henry Clay); 120 – Nathan Boston (Woodford County); 126 – Trae Blackwell (Union County); 132 – Brock Ervin (Union County); 138 – Sean Fausz (Campbell County); 145 – Clay Brown (Walton-Verona); 152 – Justin Lampe (St. Xavier); 160 – Dominic Lampe (St. Xavier); 170 – Johnny Meiman (Ryle); 182 – Mikey Smith (Moore); 195 – Darrius Parrott (North Hardin); 220 – Austin Myers (Campbell County); 285 – Landon Young (Lafayette).When:Where: Tickets: Defending champion: Friday’s schedule:Saturday’s schedule:Top 20 teams (from individuals (from Kentucky


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