Asked to describe the successful trio of Lampe brothers that have come through the high school, St. Xavier wrestling coach Jim Kraeszig went back to ancient Greece.
“All three are very Spartan-like because nothing shakes them,” Kraeszig said. “All three have tremendous toughness.”
And after Saturday night, the family has two more state championships.
Senior Justin Lampe won the 152-pound weight class and junior Dominic Lampe captured the 160 title to lead the Louisville contingent in the State Championships in front of 4,884 fans at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena.
It was the second state title for Justin, who took the 145 title last year, and the first for Dominic. Older brother John won titles at 160 in 2010 and 2011 and now wrestles at Tennessee-Chattanooga. Justin also has signed there, and Dominic said he interested in attending the school after one more season at St. X.
Kraeszig said the three have more similarities than differences, before adding: “Dom is similar to John. Justin is quiet, and he’s meaner and he’s explosive. His hands are so heavy, and he’s so fast.”
Trinity’s Tyler Frankrone gave Louisville three individual champions on the night, beating Campbell County’s Eli Matthews 12-1 in the 182 final.
Union County captured its seventh state team championship — and fourth in the past eight years — with 203 points. Campbell County (189.5 points) was the runner-up and Trinity (140) took third place. St. X and Woodford County tied for fourth with 134.5 points, and Fern Creek took eighth place with 91.5.
Union County, which trails only Woodford County (13) for the most titles in state history, was led by senior Brock Ervin. He beat Danville’s Daniel Lannum 25-10 in the 132-pound class to become the first wrestler to win five championships on the high school level in the state.
Ervin was in tears after receiving his first-place medal and later won the Orville Williams Outstanding Wrestler Award.
“I just kind of wish it wasn’t over,” said Ervin, who has signed with Illinois. “It’s hard, but … on to new things. It has to end sometime.”
For the Lampe brothers, the night was the culmination of a season in which both were ranked No. 1 in their respective classes from the start.
Justin Lampe pinned Lafayette’s Jon Green at 1:19 in the first period to finish his season with a 49-1 record. All three of his victories Saturday were by pin.
“I expect to pin everybody every time I step on the mat because that’s the most dominant thing you can do in a wrestling match,” he said.
Then Justin watched as younger brother Dominic beat Simon Kenton freshman Casey Cornett 10-4. Dominic said he drew motivation from watching his brother win the title.
“He’s always been one weight class underneath me, so he goes first and I watch him,” Dominic Lampe said. “He usually kills everybody, so I have to go out there and bring it.”
As for watching his younger brother win a state title, Justin Lampe said, “It was way more fun than doing it myself.”
Trinity also had wrestlers in back-to-back finals, with Lucas Miozza losing to Ryle’s Johnny Meiman 3-1 in overtime in the 170 final. Then Frankrone, a sophomore who wrestled at St. X last year, dominated Matthews for the 182 crown.
Frankrone said he’s battled torn ligaments in an ankle, bronchitis and strep throat over the past few weeks.
“This was a lot tougher than any other tournament I’ve been in,” he said. “I feel like I can overcome anything now because I overcame all of my injuries and still pulled it out.”
Trinity coach Eddie Rudolph said Frankrone has a bright future.
“You can just look at him and tell he’s very athletic,” Rudolph said.
Three wrestlers capped undefeated seasons with state titles — Woodford County’s Nathan Boston (49-0 at 120), North Hardin’s Darrius Parrott (39-0 at 195) and Campbell County’s Austin Myers (49-0 at 220).