Smithville put four wrestlers atop the podium, and the Smithies did something they have never done before in capturing their own Wayne Invitational Tournament that took place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10 at Smithville High School’s Wilbur Berkley Field House. Twenty teams took to the mats, and the Smithies out-dueled them all to finally capture a title that has eluded them for the better part of half-a-century.
Smithville finished the tournament with 211 points, which was 48 points more than runner-up Ravenna Southeast.
For Smithville, Billy Blair (160-pounds), John Kelbly (195), Jason Newlan (220) and Riley Smucker (152) all won their respective weight classes to pace the Smithies to victory.
Kelbly earned the WIT’s Most Valuable Wrestler. Joining the victors on the podium were fellow Smithies Garret Caraway (170) who placed third, Joe Warren (285) who finished fourth, while Maison Martell (126), Derek Unkefer (132), and Aiden Hostetler (182) all placed fifth.
Canton McKinley took third place as a team with 156 points, Norton finished fourth at 148.5, Tallmadge placed fifth with 146, and the West Holmes Knights were sixth with 136. Knights’ junior Thane Kaufman won at 113-pounds, while his teammates Cael Woods (106) earned runner-up, Cody Woods (152) and Josh Baldridge (182) each came in third. Alex Walker (195) and Ryan O’Donnell (160) both placed fifth.
Norwayne came in seventh place overall, led by Zach Steiner, who won the 182-pound weight class, and Gavin Stika (138) who also took home the gold.
Orrville pulled in at the eight spot with 122.5 points. The Red Riders were paced by Wyatt Zimmerman (138) and Sam Auble (220), who were both were runners-up. Kyle Corfman (126) came in third and Kollen Butler (120) fifth.
Triway had an abbreviated line-up with just six wrestlers, but they made the most of it. Michael Yacapraro won at 132-pound weight class, as did Brian Persinger (145), and Gavin Schlabach (285) ended up in fifth-place.
For the Wooster Generals, Avory Winans (120) placed fourth and Jake Burns (285) was sixth.