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Monday, January 21, 2013Prep wrestling: Black Knights put four in finals at VBI
VAN BUREN -- It was one of the best Van Buren Invitationals in quite a while for the host Black Knights.
First-year coach Josh Palmer entered eight wrestlers and four got the opportunity to wrestle for championships.
Unfortunately, all four Black Knight finalists finished second.
Sophomore Chance Sonnenberg gave up a late reversal in falling 8-7 to fifth-seeded Max McAdoo at 160 pounds.
Tyler Atchison was pinned by Fremont St. Joseph's Jake Widman at 195 pounds and Ora Oler was pinned by Corey Durbin in the 220-pound final.
In the 285-pound final, Van Buren's Isaac Sexton, who was giving up about 25 pounds to Delphos Jefferson's Geoff Ketcham, fell by fall in 4:32.
Van Buren was fourth or fifth most of the weekend and ended up seventh in the 23-team field.
Still, Palmer thinks that the Black Knights' success gives the program something to build on for the rest of the year.
"I thought we wrestled really well this weekend, our entire team," Palmer said. "Now, we just have to take that next step and get those wins in the finals."
FIRST TIME: To say Cory-Rawson's Zach Smith dominated the 126-pound weight class would be an understatement.
Smith pinned Delphos Jefferson's Gaige Rassman in the semifinals and didn't give up a point in a 15-0 championship match victory over Hopewell-Loudon freshman Alex Brock.
Smith, a senior who is now 21-1, is Cory-Rawson's first Van Buren Invitational champion.
LONG TIME: It's been awhile but a Liberty-Benton wrestler finally stood atop the award stand.
Tyler Sarreshteh used a pair of barrel roll takedowns to stop top-seeded Jarrod Bowman of Arcadia 7-3 for the 113-pound championship. He's the first Eagle to win the VBI since John Chapin captured the unlimited weight class in 1984.
"I've been coming here since I was six, so winning the tournament today was something very special for me," said Sarreshteh, who wrestled for Van Buren in middle school.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match. Jarrod and I are pretty good friends, but when we stepped out there I knew both of us wanted to win that match pretty bad."
WRESTLIN' REDMEN: Two Fostoria seniors made the championship finals and both came away with titles.
Salvador Cantero survived a tough battle with Carey's Zach Brodman to take a 3-1 decision for the win at 145 pounds. Tony Reynolds showed plenty of emotion when he won the 170-pound crown by pinning Lincolnview's Doug Hicks in 2:48.
RISING RIVERDALE: Riverdale keeps getting better and better.
This year, the Falcons finished a solid third. Trouble is, they didn't win any individual titles Saturday and haven't had a VBI titlist since Shane Kleman in 2002.
Riverdale has certainly turned the corner, though. Seth Knoll (152) and Tre Headington (182) led the way with second-place finishes while Koltin Martin (113) and Mitchell Matheny (120) were third.
HONORING THE PAST: Pre-finals ceremonies recognized several coaches, officials, wrestlers and media who are past VBI champs and still involved with the tournament.
There was also special recognition for veteran area official Ron Nieset who started the VBI back in 1979 and still runs the event each year.
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