STATE CHAMPS STORE
CLASS OF 2018
Moeller Wrestlers Take the Coaches Classic Again
December 23, 2013Cincinnati Moeller High School
by Marc Hardin, Cincinnati Enquirer
Crusaders Win the Coaches Classic for 4 Years in a Row
Depth rarely has been an issue for the well-populated Moeller wrestling team, which restocks its ample roster on an annual basis with some of the best competitors in the area.
The Crusaders have so many quality wrestlers that they were able to successfully defend their Glenn Sample Coaches Classic championship on Sunday at Harrison with half their regular varsity members in action.
The defending district champion Crusaders, missing two state champions and a state runner-up, totaled 197 points while outscoring tournament runner-up Loveland (186.5) and third-place Mason (165.5).
Moeller won the Southwest Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association’s marquee event for the fourth year in a row. Elder, in 2009, was the last team other than the Crusaders to win.
Ross, 22nd overall with 66 points was crowned the meet’s small-school champion over Deer Park (47.5).
“We’ve been very fortunate to have a great group of kids,” Moeller coach Jeff Gaier said. “In wrestling, it’s all about competition. And the guys behind our best guys are seeing the best in the state every day in practice, and they get better.”
The Crusaders crowned a pair of weight class champions after having just one last year.
Junior Connor Borton, the third seed, defeated St. Xavier’s Ryan Gordon, 10-4 in the 126-pound championship match. Top-seeded sophomore Jacoby Ward beat Princeton’s Brandon Selmon, 8-6 in the 132-pound final.
For Ward, who has two brothers that won state championships, it is his first SWOWCA title. It’s his goal to follow brother Joey Ward of Moeller and stepbrother Chaz Gresham of Goshen as a state champion. Both brothers won titles in 2011.
“I’m working hard, and I have great drill partners,” the younger Ward said. “We push each other, and our goal is to win.”
In a testimony to Moeller’s depth, unseeded sophomore backup heavyweight Joe Hensley made it to Sunday’s final but lost 6-3 to Loveland’s second-seeded Andrew Alten.
Also winning for Loveland was 182-pound champion Michael Weber. Loveland senior Gunner Gambill, attempting to become the 12th three-time Classic champion, lost to Colerain senior Tegray Scales in the 195-pound final, which ended when Gambill suffered an injury. Scales was the Classic’s lone repeat champion.
Other Cincinnati area weight class winners included Middletown’s Anthony Jagel at 106 pounds, LaSalle’s Corey Shie at 120, Princeton’s A.J. Kowal at 160 and St. Xavier’s 170-pound winner Joe Heyob, named the most outstanding wrestler.
The lone Northern Kentucky champion was Walton-Verona’s sixth-seeded Clay Brown, who took the 152-pound title in the upset of the day with a 7-3 decision against top-seeded Kevin Leonhardt of Lakota West.
Local wrestlers won 10 of 14 weight class championships. Fourth-place Marysville (158.5 points) crowned three winners, and 11th-place Mount Vernon had one.
Honored at the pre-championship awards ceremony were three 2013 coach of the year selections, including Moeller’s Gaier in Division I, Ross’ Rich Dunn in Division II and Deer Park’s Jason Lambers in Division III. Oak Hills won the award for wrestlerette squad of the year. Steve Dailey was named SWOWCA Friend of Wrestling.
The pre-meet Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame ring ceremony honored the 12 Cincinnati area coaches who have been inducted since 1970, including Coaches Classic namesake, former University of Cincinnati head wrestling coach Glenn Sample. He was inducted in 1993. Son, Gregg Sample, accepted the ring.