County wrestlers advanced in the opening round of Saturday’s Jay County Regional 13 times, sending nearly a full team of county grapplers to the Coliseum this coming weekend.
Four local wrestlers, all from Bellmont, won individual titles and set themselves up with favorable quarter brackets in their bids to reach Indianapolis.
Jay County won the team title, securing their first regional trophy since 1988, by beating out Delta, who entered the day as the sectional champion from the other sectional that feeds into Jay. The Eagles led early, but titles by Patriots at three consecutive weights secured the team title for coach Eric Myers.
This year’s edition of the tournament was about as even as it has ever been in regards to the two sectionals. With a win by Tyler Luther of Norwell at 195, the Jay County contingent took a slim advantage, advancing three of four Jay 195s to give the JC Sectional a 29-27 advantage in semi-state qualifiers over the neighbors to the south.
Adams County teams took an early hit before the tournament even began. South Adams’ talented freshman, Isaiah Meyer, was injured in practice late in the week and was a scratch. The alternate was unable to compete.
The lightweights struggled for Bellmont and South Adams as the Braves’ first six wrestlers were eliminated from the state tournament before Blake Luginbill closed out a one-point victory and avoided a fatal stalling call. Not at 100% to begin the day, Luginbill forfeited his semifinal match and was pinned in the first period to finish fourth.
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