Jacob Dold

Jacob Dold of New Lex looks to get in position against Jordan Barnett of Sheridan

NEW LEXINGTON — New Lex wrestling swept both Sheridan and Maysville on the mats to capture the program’s 25{sup}th{/sup} MVL title on Feb 4.

On what was also senior night, the Panthers celebrated five. Kody Beal, Jacob Dold, Sol Franco, Trey Helwig, and Shaun Pletcher were all recognized.

The meet started off with a matchup between the two visitors, Sheridan and Maysville. Sheridan got the upper hand early from Logan Morris in the 285 lb. weight class. Morris defeated Gauge Sampson by decision in overtime, 3-1. Maysville wouldn’t go away without a fight, however, as pins by Colton Smitley and Tony Monlux kept the visiting Panthers in it.

The Generals rattled off three straight victories in the 120, 126, and 132 classes before Jordan Barnett put it away with a technical fall win to put Sheridan in the winner’s circle with a score of 54-18.

Maysville would then stay on the mat to face the hosts in a battle of the Panthers. Sampson had plenty of energy leftover from the previous war with Morris, but it still took overtime for him to decision Zane Pletcher of New Lex. Maysville had the momentum early on, but New Lex won six out of the seven remaining matches to cruise to get their first win of the night, 60-13.

New Lex’s victory set up an exciting clash between two MVL rivals to cap off the night as Sheridan stepped back on the mat.

The Generals, behind Logan Morris, picked up the early victory with Morris technical falling Zane Pletcher. The Panthers struck right back, however, with Ethan Burkhardt pinning Blake Clouse in just 17 seconds to put the hosts on the board.

“Ethan Burkhardt is a tough wrestler in his own right,” New Lex Head Coach David Ratliff said. “He’s what I would consider an old school wrestler that’s going to come out, be physical, and do what it takes to win for his team.”

The visitors saw victories from Alexander Crane at 120, Barnett at 170 and Hunter Zizek at 182, but all the classes between 120 and 170 were dominated by New Lex.

Five out of those six classes were pin victories, with Shaun Pletcher winning by majority decision over Luke Snider, 13-4. The highlight of the night, however, came in the form of Helwig at 160.

The orange and black senior looked to be down and out against a tough opponent in Jacob Ramey, but he executed a beautiful reversal into a takedown to score the pin. As might be expected, the home crowd and team bench went bananas.

Following that pin, the Panthers had clawed deep and the Generals couldn’t muster up any more strength, and New Lex took the victory, and the meet, with a score of 58-19.

The Panthers claimed their 25th MVL title with this victory, to which Ratliff credits the extensive history of the program.

“It’s a testament to hard work not just from this year, but the from the early ‘90s, ‘80s when Coach [Mike] Halaiko got the ball rolling,” Ratliff said. “And Coach [Steve] Fondale continued in the ‘90s and early 2000s so, it’s a testimony to all those staff and kids’ hard work.”

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