The march to Lexington and the state championship continues for the LaRue County Mat Hawks as the wrestlers traveled to Ryle over the weekend and crushed the best teams in the state to win the Ryle Rumble.
This tournament was billed as the best and toughest tournament in the state of Kentucky this season. The top five teams in the state as well as number eight and nine were in attendance. The number two ranked team in Virginia was at Ryle as well as one of the best teams in Indiana and Ohio. The Mat Hawks ran away with the victory by more than 70 points.
“This tournament was a meat-grinder,” said head coach Gary Canter. “You had seven of the top teams from Kentucky and then you had top teams from three other states. Many of our guys had tough matches all day long. “
Several of the Hawks started out by drawing top-10 wrestlers in their first round matches. Nick Paden, who finished second, faced the ninth-ranked wrestler in his opening match.
Raymundo Perez, who finished in fourth place, drew one of the top wrestlers in Indiana in his first round match.
Caleb Canter, who finished in second place, drew the sixth-ranked wrestler in the state in his first round match.
Drew Newberry, who finished in second place, was unseeded at this tournament.
Paden, Perez, and Canter won their first round matches by one point. All three then went on to face top wrestlers in the semi-final matches and their final matches.
“This was in many ways harder than what we will see at our state tournament,” said Canter. “I found it sort of interesting how we had all of the hardest first round matches and all the bad draws for this tournament. No matter, the kids stepped up the challenge and sent another message to the state of Kentucky.”
The team took the bad draws and hard matches in stride.
“It doesn’t matter what we were seeded or who we faced or when we faced them,” said Newberry. “We went to wrestle and help us get better prepared for Feb. 17. This tournament did that very thing.”
The Mat Hawks placed eight wrestlers into the semi-finals, more than any other team in the tournament.
Kyle Edlin finished in second place; B.J. Carman, Shawn Hull and Bernard Ray were tournament champions.
The Mat Hawks also placed three wrestlers into the fifth through eighth place consolation matches. Dylan Sheldon was sixth; Jared Whitlock was eighth; and heavyweight Eli Meredith was sixth.
The Mat Hawks will be at Central Hardin duals this Saturday. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m.