this weekend, a 46-team extravaganza billed as the Holiday Tournament.
Three-time defending champion Graham High School will command the
spotlight. The real drama could be who’s No. 2?
VANDALIA — The Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association holds its showcase event this weekend, a 46-team extravaganza billed as the Holiday Tournament. Three-time defending champion Graham High School will command the spotlight. The real drama could be who’s No. 2?
“Miamisburg and Northmont seem to me to be the leaders in the hunt for second place,” said Fairmont coach Frank Baxter. “A 46-team tournament isn’t really about how solid of a team you have. It’s more about how many top-line individuals you have. Obviously, Graham has a top-line individual in all 14 weight classes. Second place will be determined by how many placers the other teams can grab.”
Northmont edged Miamisburg by two points for the top spot in the GMVWA’s Division I poll. But don’t count out a Delta or Butler in the race for runner-up , which will almost feel like a tournament win itself.
The tournament starts 9:30 a.m. today and resumes 10 a.m. Saturday at Vandalia-Butler High School’s Student Activity Center. Finals are 5 p.m. Saturday at the SAC.
Graham, ranked No. 1 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News and winners of the past seven Division II state titles, enters today’s opening rounds holding the top seed in eight of the 14 weight classes. The Falcons are the No. 2 seed in two other classes. Delta holds two top seeds with Miami East, Tiffin Calvert, Valley View and Kentucky’s Ryle the other four.
“I’m looking forward to this tournament,” said Northmont 189-pounder Casey Newburg, seeded second behind Graham’s Max Thomusseit. “I think, in my humble opinion, were a team to beat. I’m looking forward to seeing where we end up. This is probably our biggest tournament besides the postseason. We’re not going to back down. Any tough matches you get to wrestle before the postseason, that’s the goal.”
There’s plenty of that at the Holiday. Six defending state champions, 21 state placers and as many as 45 state qualifiers could compete. Two of those state champs are in the 135-pound class with Miami East’s Ryan Gambill (state champ at 130) and Miami Valley School’s Daniel Kolodzik (125). Graham 112-pounder David Taylor (103) and Graham 152-pounder Coby Boyd (145) also won state titles in Ohio. Ryle’s 140-pounder Bryan Peace and 171-pounder Mason Reid won titles in Kentucky.
Graham is also a landslide favorite to win the small-school division, which would give that division its sixth-straight overall Holiday title. Miamisburg was the last big school to win the tournament back in 2001.
“There are not too many teams that can (earn a No. 1 ranking),” said Northmont coach Scott Newburg. “The good thing is the competition they bring. The only downside is you don’t have a chance to win it. But the pros outweigh the cons of Graham being there. I’ve always preached to the kids if you don’t feel like you can win then you shouldn’t be on the mat.”
Also on Saturday, the GMVWA will honor three newcomers to its Hall of Fame. Long-time Sidney assistant John Hosack, former Meadowdale and Milton-Union head coach Randy Sells and current Covington head coach Tom Barbee are those honored this year.
For more information on the tournament, visit http://www.baumspage.com/gmvwa/