JOHNSTOWN — The field is more competitive than ever. But in the end, a single team dominated the Mid-Buckeye Conference wrestling tournament.
The Loudonville Redbirds won the overall title on Saturday at Northridge High School.
Loudonville battled it out with Centerburg, Northridge and Utica for the top spot throughout the day. In the end, the Redbirds pulled away, scoring 333 points. Utica finished second with 284, Northridge was third with 259, and Centerburg had 243.
Fredericktown finished fifth with 236 points, followed by East Knox (111), Danville (96) and Johnstown (91).
For the first time, all eight schools were represented, as Danville participated for the first time. The final result didn’t accurately reflect how far the Blue Devils had come.
“A lack of experience, compared to other kids, really showed today,” said Danville head coach Keith Kauffman. “We hung in there with some kids a little longer than we did at the start of the season. You know, three months versus three or four years. But these kids are coming along.”
Cade Mickley pulled through as the lone first-place finisher for Danville. He defeated Northridge’s Drew Mullins, 7-2, in the final of the 132-pound weight class. Dan Alden (195) and Jamarcus Hershberger (285) finished third.
“(Mickley) was in command in his matches,” said Kauffman. “It gets him ready for next week (at sectionals.)”
Utica, the defending champ, held a lead briefly during the early rounds. Despite winning three weight classes, the Redskins simply couldn’t keep pace.