Mar. 6—LOUISVILLE — Johnson Central topped Ryle, 32-28, Saturday in its fifth match of the day to lock up the Kentucky Wrestling Coaches Association Large School State Wrestling Duals title at Central High School.
The Raiders won the 2020 title over the second-place Golden Eagles. Johnson Central, the 2019 champion, took the crown back despite three wrestlers — Levid Rodriguez, Chase Price and Nick Stapleton — competing one weight class higher all weekend.
Rodriguez, the top-ranked 195-pounder in the state, beat the No. 2 wrestler at 220 pounds, Ryle's Gabe Savage. Senior Adam Williams also came up big.
"This is our second team state (duals) championship, and our goal every time we take the mat is to represent our school, our county and the mountains in a way that makes the state take notice of our wrestlers' hard work and dedication," Golden Eagles coach Jim Matney said.
"I am more thankful and blessed than anyone can imagine. This is the youngest team that I have probably ever put on a mat, starting four students in middle school and four freshmen. I am especially thankful for our upperclassmen who provided great leadership to help us win the state championship."
Johnson Central defeated Meade County, 68-6, Woodford County, 48-21, Campbell County, 35-27, and McCracken County, 52-19, before taking down Ryle.
The Golden Eagles next shoot for what would be their 13th straight region championship. The Region 8 event is next weekend at Martin County.
Johnson Central is ranked fourth, Ashland is 21st and Martin County is 34th in the most recent KentuckyWrestling.com ratings released in mid-February.