RIVERSIDE — While the Xenia and Fairborn high school wrestling teams learned a little bit more about themselves, they weren’t able to learn about each other, during the Stebbins four-team wrestling meet at Stebbins High School.
The two Greene County schools and Greater Western Ohio Conference rivals could see each other; they just couldn’t wrestle each other.
Fairborn took on host Stebbins, while Xenia went up against Trotwood-Madison in the opening round of the Jan. 19 meet. Then Xenia went up against Stebbins, while Fairborn wrassled Trotwood-Madison in Round Two.
Roughly two and a half hours later, Xenia earned a split — defeating Trotwood 51-9 in the opener, then losing to Stebbins 48-27. Youthful Fairborn fell in the opener to host Stebbins by a 48-27 score, then lost to Trotwood in the second round, 35-30.
“We’re young and we’ve got a lot of work to do,” Fairborn coach Bill Dawson said. “I thought we looked decent against Stebbins, but we only messed up four times against Trotwood. Trotwood’s got some really good kids in those four spots, so unfortunately we came up on the losing end of three of those. We didn’t pull out the wins when we needed to, we just still have a lot of work to do.”
In Fairborn’s matches with Stebbins, Gavin Murphy earned a 3-2 decision at 220 pounds, Trevor Landon then needed overtime to win a 12-10 thriller at 113 pounds, Phoenix Robinson earned a 120-pound win with a third-round pin, Michael Coker had a dominating match and eventual pin at 170 pounds, and Jesse Jones eked out a narrow 8-7 decision in the 182-pound match.
While the Skyhawks are still early into the learning curve and are trying to find themselves, Xenia coach Sean Schooley was feeling pretty good about how the Buccaneers wrestled.
“I’m very happy. Man, our kids are progressing so well. We saw some of these guys earlier this season and lost some close matches here and there. Today, a lot of our kids really seem to have turned the corner,” Schooley said. “We’re making the progress we need as we head into the Month of Champions, with GWOC, sectionals and districts. All of our kids are showing improvement in every match, every practice, and that’s what we want from them.”
In Xenia’s matches with Stebbins, Desmond Diggs won by pin in the 120-pound match, Thomas Dyamond wrestled to a second-round pin win at 152, Stephen Holton rallied from a narrow 7-5 decision loss to Trotwood-Madison with a pin barely 40 seconds into his 170-pound match with his Indians opponent, and James Jackson also claimed a pin victory in his 220-pound match.
With its wins over Fairborn and Xenia, Stebbins ended the day with a 2-0 record; Xenia and Trotwood-Madison both finished out at 1-1; and Fairborn went 0 and 2.
“I think our kids are almost at the place where their conditioning is going to pay off for them in the long run, so I’m very happy with where we are right now,” Xenia’s Schooley said.
“Jesse Jones wrestled well at 182, … Overall, I think we had some people who stepped up when they had to, but I think we’ve still got a long ways to go,” added Fairborn’s Dawson.
Regarding Schooley’s Month of Champions, the GWOC meet is scheduled for Feb. 3-4 at Vandalia Butler, post season sectional tournaments get under way Feb. 24-25, and then districts actually take place barely into the next month, on March 3-4.
You can contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.