By Bret Curren
Just because wrestling season is officially over at the high school level, that doesn’t mean the West Holmes Knights wrestlers go into hibernation.
West Holmes High School wrestlers Cole Woods, Cody Woods, Thane Kaufman and Jake Mullet earned national honors Sunday, April 10 at the 2016 National United Wrestling Association for Youth (NUWAY) National Championship Tournament at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Senior Cole Woods (143-pounds) scored his third straight NUWAY national title posting a 4–0 mark in round-robin action. The Knights four-time state qualifier and two-time state placer, where he finished second in 2014 and eighth in 2015, posted decision wins in all of his victories outscoring his opponents 17–4.
Knights junior Cody Woods (138-pounds) sandwiched two decision wins around a fall win in the first three rounds of his round-robin match-ups, but dropped a hard fought 6–4 sudden victory decision to Hayden Estes of Attica, Indiana in his final match. The loss gave Woods a runner-up finish with a 3–1 mark, and his third NUWAY nationals podium finish. He placed seventh in 2015 and fifth in 2014.
A sophomore, Kaufman (112-poundds) was the only one of the four Knights wrestlers competing in a bracket scoring two tech fall wins to reach the championship semifinals, where he was upended in a 9–1 major decision by Amanti Young of Gladwin, Michigan. Kaufman rebounded with a 9–4 decision win in the consolation semifinals, but then lost 7–3 to Brycen Denny from Monrovia, Indiana in the bronze medal match. Kaufman finished the tournament with a 3–2 mark for the fourth-place standing, his second podium finish at the NUWAY nationals. He placed second in 2015.
Mullet (192-pounds), a junior, went 2–2 on the day earning a fourth place finish in round-robin competition. Mullet scored a fall win to open his day then dropped two straight decision wins before coming back with a 4–3 decision win over Chase Linsenbigler of Greensburg, Pennsylvania in his final match to earn the fourth-place medal.