By Ben Robinson
Editor’s Note: Go to dailycall.com for updates on Friday night’s consolations
COLUMBUS — Versailles wrestling coach AJ Bey was optimistic the three Tiger wrestlers he brought to the state meet would have good chances of finishing on the podium.
But first round losses by all three wrestlers on Thursday made the path to the podium that much more difficult, but they each were able to win their first consolation matches to give themselves a chance on Friday.
“I think all three could place if they wrestle well,” said Bey. “Our first round matches didn’t go our way, but all three of the kids settled in and wrestle well.”
And two of the three Tiger wrestlers secured spots on the podium with big wins Saturday morning.
“Jeffrey (Ware) and Preston (Platfoot) coming back to make sure they finish on the podium is awesome,” Bey said. “There’s a lot of tough kids over here and it takes a lot mental toughness to come back from a loss in your first match and get on the podium.”
After winning Thursday night 3-1 over Tad Jensen of Oak Hardor, Platfoot jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Logan Mudel of Paulding and was able to hold on for the 5-4 win at 132 pounds.
“We got two takedowns and an escape,” Bey explained. “Preston did a nice job of working his stuff.”
At 285 pounds, Jeffrey Ware faced a tall task – literally – in Trey Leroux of Monroeville.
“We watched his match earlier and knew he was big, but we didn’t realize just how big he was until they stepped on the mat,” said Bey. “Jeffrey likes taller kids, but he (Leroux) is huge – and he’s only a sophomore.”
They early going was tough for both wrestlers with each defending very well.
But with the score tied 1-1 late in the second period, Ware was able to record a reversal and stick his opponent for the pin fall with 20 seconds left in the frame.
“That was a tough match, but Jeffrey was able to get the reversal to the back,” Bey explained.
Unfortunately for junior 120-pounder Jacob Poling, he saw his season end with a 44-13 record after falling to Trey Sanders of Bethel-Tate in the second round of consolations.
“Nothing to be ashamed of,” said Bey in regards to Poling. “He came one match away from getting on the podium.”
For Platfoot and Ware lost heartbreakers Friday night and will wrestle for seventh place Saturday.
Platfoot lost 2-0 to Clint Brown of Legacy Christian and will wrestle Cael Rowland of West Salem Northwestern for seventh place.
Ware lost 3-1 in overtime to Noah Koch of Genoa Area and will wrestle Joe Warren of Smithville for seventh place.