Boyd County Lions Make History at Region 8 Wrestling Meet
Boyd County wrestling coach Clayton McClelland couldn’t be more proud of his team’s accomplishments at the Region 8 meet held at Pike County Central High School. The Lions surged to a second-place finish, their highest in school history, and secured a record-breaking 10 spots in the upcoming state meet.
With a total of 214 team points, Boyd County outperformed third-place Martin County by a significant margin of 32 points. The dominant Johnson Central claimed its 16th consecutive title with an impressive 292.5 points.
Coach McClelland applauded his team’s determination and credited their success to the collective efforts of the coaching staff, dedicated parents, and the unwavering belief of the wrestlers themselves. He remarked, We started small and we said we are going to celebrate every success… They keep coming our way. We will take it.
Among the standout performances for Boyd County were Bentley Brown, Tony Leader, and Cole Christian, who all claimed region titles in their respective weight divisions. Brown, a sophomore, secured victory in the 126-pound division, earning his 100th career win in the process. McClelland praised Brown’s resilience after a challenging regular season, saying, Bentley had a good season… When he stepped on the mat Saturday, he had a different mindset. It was a great day.
Leader, after recently reaching his 100th career win, continued his stellar season with a region title in the fiercely competitive 157-pound class. Additionally, Zander Nottingham, John Jackson, and Jack Hogsten displayed admirable performances by clinching region runner-up finishes in their weight divisions.
Boyd County’s impressive lineup for the state meet includes Jace Bowling, Kaiden Nottingham, Maverick Moore, Chase Gillum, and Jaydon DeHart. The team’s upperclassmen have been instrumental in guiding the younger wrestlers, and Coach McClelland is optimistic that his team will continue to progress and set higher goals for the future.
Johnson Central’s Golden Eagles had a commanding presence at the Region 8 meet, capturing six individual region titles and three runner-up finishes. Among their champions were Zac Scott, Ryan Smith, James Morris, Dalton Matney, Logan Castle, and Payton Lyons. The team showcased their dominance once again, setting a high bar for the competition.
Ashland will be sending three wrestlers to the state meet, led by Cole Christian, who had an impressive season record of 45-4. Carson Gillum and Nathaniel Williams also secured their spots after placing second and fourth, respectively, in their weight classes.
With the top four finishers in each weight class advancing, several other talented wrestlers earned their tickets to the state meet. West Carter, Johnson Central, Paintsville, and East Carter were among the schools that produced noteworthy performances.
Three female wrestlers, Alli Murphy from West Carter, Destiny Jackson from Boyd County, and Kathryn McDaniels as an alternate, will also be competing at the state meet, further showcasing the growing inclusivity within the sport.
The stage is now set for the highly anticipated state meet to be held at the Alltech Arena near the Kentucky Horse Park in Georgetown. The athletes will bring their unwavering determination and skill to vie for the ultimate prize. Wrestling enthusiasts eagerly await the fierce battles and remarkable displays of athleticism that await them.
As Boyd County’s Lions continue to navigate their busy schedule and reach new heights in wrestling, their success serves as a testament to their hard work, dedication, and belief in their collective vision. The team’s remarkable achievements at the Region 8 meet have solidified their place among the state’s elite wrestlers and inspired them to strive for even greater accomplishments in the future.