Western Brown wrestlers living up to high expectations –
By Wade Linville –
The Western Brown Broncos entered this year’s Southwest District Division II Sectional Tournament with high expectations after qualifying for the OHSAA Division II State Team Dual Tournament and following up with a Southern Buckeye Athletic Academic Conference title, and in sectional tourney competition at Batavia Feb. 24-25, the Broncos would take care of business as expected.
The Broncos came out on top among 15 teams to win the Batavia Sectional, coming to no surprise for dedicated Western Brown wrestling fans and the Bronco coaching staff.
“Honestly, I believe we performed at the level we expected to perform,” Western Brown head wrestling coach, Wendel Donathan, said of his team’s performance in the sectional tourney. “But I know we need to do little things better. Our regular season schedule is designed to prepare us for the State Dual series and the individual state series. Two weeks ago we won the league title for the fourth year in a row and there was no ‘hoopla’ about it. That is what is expected. We won our sectional and that was expected. We had a few wrestlers, for example Aaron Fischer and Seth Jermer, who entered the tournament unseeded and they both placed to qualify for this weekend.”
Continuing his reign on the mats after claiming his fourth straight Southern Buckeye Athletic/Academic Conference title at the high school level, Western Brown senior Jake Henderson captured the 152-pound sectional crown by defeating Wyoming’s Tima Nyamor by a 15-1 major decision in the sectional finals.
Junior Bronco Jedidiah Marlow captured the sectional title in the 106-pound weight class, defeating Goshen’s Chase Huff by a 8-1 decision.
Western Brown junior Brandon Lucas won the sectional title in the 113-pound weight class, topping Ross’ Jake Gentry by a 10-2 major decision in the final round of the sectionals.
Western Brown’s Seth Taylor pinned Reading’s Dustin Robins by pin to win the 120-pound sectional title.
Western Brown junior Jordan Hamblin claimed a 18-6 major decision win over Ross’ Logan Iams in the final round to capture the 132-pound individual sectional championship.
Western Brown junior Eric Altman defeated Indian Hill’s John Mark Williams by a 12-0 major decision to take first place in the 170-pound weight class.
Second place finishers for the Broncos included sophomore Tanner Donathan, who won a 6-2 decision over Ross’ Brayden Ploehs in the semifinal round but fell to Norwood’s Casey Ragle by 11-4 decision in the finals of the 126-pound weight class.
Western Brown sophomore Derek Spears finished runner-up in the 138-pound weight class, defeating Hughes’ Ronald Harris by a 9-5 decision in the semifinals and falling to New Richmond’s Ryan Wolf by a 4-3 decision in the battle for first place.
Western Brown junior Justin Noble finished runner-up in the 220-pound weight class, winning a 10-3 decision over Reading’s Corey Frank in the semifinals and suffering a loss by pin to Norwood’s Mikey Addis in the sectional finals.
Western Brown junior Seth Jermer finished runner-up in the 285-pound weight class, defeating Mt. Healthy’s Darius Miller in the semifinal round but suffering a loss by pin to Ross’ Karson Chasteen in the finals.
Other top six placers for the Broncos included sophomore Dylan Mosher (5th, 160-pound) and junior Aaron Fischer (3rd, 195-pound).
The Western Brown varsity wrestling team moved on to Southwest District Division II Tournament competition at Wilmington High School March 3-4.
“This weekend (districts) is a different level,” said Donathan. “Individually, we have wrestlers who need to clean up the technical issues of their wrestling. A single mistake will keep them from advancing. Our mentality is to be on the podium at state and anything else is unacceptable. Records are irrelevant and are thrown out the window. The top four will earn the right to advance, period! A wrestler cannot stand on the podium if they don’t get there first. We believe all our kids are capable of advancing, but they have to have mental toughness.”
SW District Div. II Sectional
1. Western Brown 256.5
2. Ross 177.5
3. Reading 118.5
4. New Richmond 115
5. Norwood 106
6. Goshen 91
7. Wyoming 74.5
8. Indian Hill 62
9. Badin 53.5
10. Batavia 53
11. Mt. Healthy 50
12. McNicholas 40
13. Hughes 30.5
14. Mariemont 29
15. Taylor 27