By Rob Kiser
VERSAILLES — After a 45-13 win over Covington, only Williamsburg was standing in the way of Versailles wrestling team advancing to the state team duals — and the Wildcats weren’t standing there for long, literally.
Versailles won four matches with pins in the first minute — including the first two of the night in cruising to a 54-9 win over Williamsburg — who had beaten Bethel Tate 40-30 in the first match of the night Wednesday at Versailles High School.
The Tiger advance to the State Dual Team tournament on Feb. 14 at St. John Arena.
“I told the guys I was really proud of the way we wrestled tonight,” Bey said after seeing his team win 2 out of 28 matches against some strong competition. “I thought we came out and really wrestled well. We went three or four years ago and made it to the Final Four. We will just see what can of draw we get.”
And he couldn’t have asked for a better start against the Wildcats.
Jacob Poling (106) recorded a pin in :40 and Marcus Marshal followed with a pin in :55 to give the Tigers a quick 12-0 lead and they never looked back.
“We knew Williamsburg had a long bus ride that couldn’t have been very enjoyable,” Bey said. “We told our 6 (Jacob Poling) and 13 (Marcus Marshal) pounders to go out there and get us off to a good start and they did that.”
Also recording quick pins were Lane Feltz (138, 32 seconds) and Jerome Bey (182, 33 seconds. Kyle Wuebker (132) added a pin in 4:00, while Kyle Gigandet (220) recorded a pin in 1:57.
Winning major decisions were Preston Platfoot (120, 12-0), Correy Dieringer (160, 16-7) and Jacob Rismiller (195, 19-6).
Tanney Bey (145) won a 7-1 decision, while Jeffrey Ware (285) capped the night with a 2-1 decision — and Williamsburg’s three wins came by a total of four points.
The night had begun with what Bey thought was going to be a battle to the end with Covington — who Versailles already owned two victories over.
But, Buccs coach Tom Barbee found his task to be even more difficult than expected when state placers Ryan Ford (138) and Lance Miller (160), along with Brandon Magee (182) were unable to wrestle due to injury.
“We felt like that match was going to be a barn burner,” Bey said. “We had put together a couple different scenarios, depending on how the match went. When they came in here without three pretty good wrestlers that all changed.”
Poling (106), Feltz (138) and Rismiller (195) picked up wins by forfeit for the Tigers, while Jerome Bey (182) recorded a pin in 2:22.
Winning major decisions were Dieringer (160, 17-8), Jonathan Moorman (170, 15-5) and Kyle Gigandet (220, 14-4); while winning regular deicisions were Platfoot (120, 6-4 in OT), Tanner Bey (145, 15-8) and Ware (285, 11-8).
Covington got a 16-5 major decision from Connor Ryan (113), while Jared Ford (126, 9-2), Kerington Martin (132, 7-2) and Gage DeHart (152, 6-2) all won by decision.
“We had already lost to them (Versailles) twice,” Barbee said. “It was going to be tough, even without the injuries. Our focus was just on winning as many matches as we could. They all count towards sectionals. We are hoping to have all those guys back for the Covington Duals.”
For Versailles and Bey, it was about earning the opportunity for some Valentine’s Day wrestling at St. John Arena — and no one was going to stand in the way of that.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.