OLIVESBURG — Thirteen wrestling teams invaded Crestview High School Friday evening into Saturday afternoon for the Jesse Campbell Memorial Duals.
Each wrestler was presented the challenge of grappling in 10 different matches over 36 hours, and a few local athletes more than held their own.
“The event was very competitive with 14 teams here and every team getting 10 duals over the course of two day,” said Crestview coach Steve Haverdill. “There were some really good individual matches and some really good duals, and that was what we were looking for in the midway point of the year.”
Three Cougars stood out, with Hayden Kuhn (132/138 pounds) finishing a perfect 10-0, Caleb Cunningham (215) 9-1 and heavyweight Mitch Cline 8-2.
Haverdill impressed with his team’s efforts
“We went 5-5 on the weekend, which is good for us as young as we are, especially against the competition that we saw all weekend,” Haverdill said about his team’s seventh-place finish. “We bumped Kuhn around a little bit between 132 and 138. He had a really good weekend. He beat a state-ranked kid from Mentor and faced a few other state-ranked kids, and did really well against them.
“Cunningham was 9-1 and wrestled really well for us. Connor Morse battled for us all weekend. I think out of his 10 duals he ended up with like six state-ranked kids. He actually helped us win a dual against Northmor.
“It was a weekend with a lot of learning experience for us and a chance to continue to get better.”
Weekend pays tribute to former coach
Haverdill talked about the importance of the tournament for the local community.
“Jesse Campbell was an assistant coach for us and a state champion for Black River High School back in the day,” Haverdill said. “He coached at Black River and came over here and was an assistant in football and wrestling with us. He had the biggest heart of anybody you would ever know. He would do anything possible for success for the kids.
“He was very unselfish and passed away a couple of years ago in a car accident right before New Year's [Day]. It was a big blow to us and the wrestling community.”
The weekend is a tribute to Campbell, according to Haverdill.
“We’ve held this for a few years now in honor of him,” he said. “This is exactly how he would have wanted it. Great competition and good matches and for a chance for the kids to get better. This is what it is all about.
“This is how it is ran and is what Jesse was all about and how Jesse would want it.”
This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Crestview uses home duals tourney as a chance to get better