By Craig Enos
The Phoenix Wrestlers braved the cold and started the new year in a positive way by placing three at the Columbia Invitational on Saturday, January 6. Reggie Bouchonville (120), Robert Bouchonville (126) and Brandon McClung(195) reached the podium in their respective weight class.
Reggie Bouchonville, wrestling in his first competition at 120, won three matches and lost one on his way to a third place finish. Seeded third, he opened the tournament with a first period pin in 1:50. He dropped the semifinal match to the number two seed by a pin. In his first consolation match, he jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead, but his opponent caught him on his back and tied the score. Bouchonville fought off his back and got a reversal and ended the match with a pin in 4:32. In the finals, he wrestled aggressively earning several near fall points for a 9-2 decision.
Robert Bouchonville added a runner up plaque to his tournament hardware. He wrestled in a four person round robin and ended the day with a 2-1 record. He earned a first period pin in 1:43 in his first match. He had to fight back from a 6-2 deficit to gain a late second period pin in 3:49 in his second match. He dropped a 4-2 decision in the final match.
With only four wrestlers entered at 195, McClung also participated in a round robin. Unfortunately he wrestled more experienced opponents and did not win a match. He lost his first match by a 6-3 decision and the remaining two by pin. This was his first tournament placement of the season.
Rounding out the team were Nate Everhart wrestling at the lower 152 for the first time and Riley Horning at 182. Both wrestlers failed to make it to the medal round dropping their first two matches.
On Thursday, January 11 the Phoenix Grapplers start the PAC dual meet portion of the season. The matmen will head to Brooklyn to wrestle Keystone and Firelands in a double dual starting at 6:30 pm.
Reggie Bouchonville (120) Robert Bouchonville (126) and Three Wrestlers Place at Columbia Invitational