SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP — The wrestling Aviators of Sycamore High School will have several known commodities back on the roster as they prepare to battle in the Greater Miami Conference recently dominated by Mason.
The Comets have won the last six titles, with Lakota West winning the five previous championships. Sycamore last won in the 2003-04 season.
Coach Jeremy Pletz and the Aves could make some noise this season after competing last year with nary a senior. Gary Traub returns after finishing fourth in the state tournament at 195 pounds, winning the district championship and achieving first team status in the GMC. At 182, Cole Sutton made GMC second team, with Salman Isakov making third team at 138 pounds. Honorable mention went to Kyle Green at 120.
Prior to the state tournament, Traub was an amazing 35-0 with 24 pins for the Aves. Also, Sutton was 24-7; junior Jimmy Traub was 26-10 at 145 pounds; Isakov was 18-4 and Green 26-10.
Gary Traub competes in the Ironman Tournament individually at Walsh Jesuit High School Dec. 11.
“You have to be invited and Gary was able to get in this year,” Pletz said. “The idea was to beef up the schedule. The guy’s he’s wrestling will be state finalist-caliber wrestlers. The challenges should help him later.”
Sycamore as a team competes in the Coaches Classic Dec. 20 at Harrison and will also go north to Brecksville for another challenging tournament Dec. 29.
“It’s all with the intent of getting all of the guys ready for March,” Pletz said.
The wrestling Crusaders of Moeller High School are anxious to get back on the mats as they chase their third consecutive Greater Catholic League-South championship. In his first year as head coach last season, James Yonushonis directed Moeller to a 14.5 point advantage over Elder in the league meet and was named GCL South coach of the year.
Ten Crusaders took all-league honors, with five making first team. Among those were current team members Jacoby Ward at 138 pounds, Brett Bryant at 170, Sam Wyche at 182 and Joe Hensley at 285.
Making second team were Mitchell Moore at 106, Jake Thompson at 132 and Jack Meyer at 220.
Senior Jacoby Ward is a three-time state placer and junior Brett Bryant also placed in Columbus last March. Joining Ward and Bryant in the middle weights is junior Drew Hobbs who was out injured last season.
Among the lighter weights, Jake Thompson was a state qualifier as a freshman and Moore had some success at the district meet. Boosting the bunch will be Jordan Ward who had a very successful junior high career.
Jack Meyer was a state placer and will lead the large men of Moeller along with state qualifier Joe Hensely. Junior The-Moor Kelley was a district qualifier as was Wyche.
Moeller will next compete in the Iron Man meet at Walsh Jesuit Dec. 11. They’ll wrap up 2015 with the Southwest Ohio Coaches Classic Dec. 20 at Harrison and the Powerade meet at Canon McMillan High School in Canonsburg, Pennsyvlania Dec. 28-30.
“These events will help prepare us to take on local rivals Elder and Mason, as well as national powerhouse St. Paris Grahm,” Yonushonis recently told The Enquirer. “However, the main goal for us is to be peaking in February and March for the sectionals, districts and state (meet).”
For wrestlers in the Indian Hill area, the team in front tends to be the same. Cincinnati Country has seen North College Hill win the last eight Miami Valley Conference crowns, while Indian Hill has been with the pack behind Reading for the last 10 seasons.
Coach Nate Eigher at Indian Hill returns four starters, including second team CHL selection Andrew Clark at 220 pounds and honorable mention selection Jack Steuerwald at 138. Sophomores Gabe Johnson and Will Steuerwald also return from starting roles at 195 and 145, respectively.
Clark was 14-6 last season with 11 pins for the Braves.
“I also have a good crop of freshmen that have been in the program for the past three years,” Eigher said. “We’re a very young team, but have a lot of potential to be very good in the future. We need a lot of leadership from our two seniors, Andrew Clark and Trent Geyer, to guide us through the season.”
Armed with a new wrestling room, Eigher will have nine freshmen to go along with his three sophomores, junior and two seniors.
Indian Hill will participate in the Everette Howard Memorial Invitational at North College Hill Dec. 12 and the Eagle Rumble Duals at Walnut Hills Dec. 19.
Wrestlers to watch
Gary Traub, Sycamore – Division I district champion and finished fourth at the state meet at 195 pounds.
Jacoby Ward, Moeller – Senior is a three-time state placer. He was district champion at 138 pounds as a junior and at 132 pounds as a sophomore.
Jack Meyer, Moeller – Senior was fifth in the state meet at 220 pounds and third in the district meet.