Woodward-Granger wrestlers climb chart at final tournament

Sean Cordy
Correspondent
A Woodward-Granger wrestling coach reacts during a match in Jan. 16 in Perry.

Woodward-Granger wrestling had a field day Saturday at ACGC's Charger Invitational as the Hawks took second-place among the field of 16 teams. Overall, 11 of 13 Hawks placed individually in the top eight of their class, with a majority of the roster exceeding expectations.

As a team, the Hawks had a 15 seed-place difference, the third-highest margin of the day. That all started with Brayden Simons (152 pounds) who climbed from the 14-seed to third-place for the largest seeding difference of the afternoon after going 4-1 overall.

Alex Evans (285) also surpassed a handful of favored opponents in his quest from the sixth slot all the way to second-place after winning two of three rounds. He was joined by Peyton Nixon (113), Riece Graham (126) and Dustin Harney (160) as the team's highest finishers with silver medals, each claiming three wins.

Harney notched a win against a top-10 Class 1A opponent in the semifinals but ran into Panorama's still undefeated Wyatt Appleseth in the title round, falling short of the top prize.

Jon McKeever (170) and Kade Polich (182) also had strong showings, finishing 3-1 overall for third-place marks. Each received opening bye rounds but fell in the quarterfinal rounds and worked their way back with three consecutive consolation wins.

Below is a full list of individual finishes: Alex Saxton (106, 7th); Peyton Nixon (113, 2nd); Joel Harney (120, 7th); Riece Graham (126, 2nd); Jayden Flugge-Smith (132, 7th); Tjaden Smeltzer (138, N/A); Oliver Potter (145, N/A); Brayden Simons (152, 3rd); Dustin Harney (160, 2nd); Jon McKeever (170, 3rd); Kade Polich (182, 3rd); Kolby Fogarty (195, 8th); Alex Evans (285, 2nd).

Next Up

Woodward-Granger has hosting duties Saturday for sectional competition. Of the four Hawks that advanced to the district round in 2020, Peyton Nixon is the only returning name for Woodward.