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Edgewood's Vencill shows resiliency to earn fifth at D-II 157

Mar. 10—COLUMBUS — If there was a lesson to be learned from Kyle Vencill this weekend, it would have to be resiliency.

For the second day in a row at the state tournament in Columbus, Vencill lost his first match, dropping a 4-2 decision to Reading High School's PJ Murphy during a Division II 157-pound consolation round match.

But for the second consecutive day, Vencill came back to win his next match.

Vencill pinned Akron Saint Vincent Saint Mary's Rylan Hurleyto wrap up a fifth-place finish at the Schottenstein Center.

"I knew that first match was going to be tight," he said of Murphy, who wound up placing third, and finished the season with a record of 54-2. "It didn't go my way obviously, but it was close and I knew I had to refocus.

"The second match, I just went out there and did my thing, staying focussed. I didn't get too confident, I know he was ranked higher than me, so I just wanted to go out there, wrestle my style and it worked out."

Vencill took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, defending a single-leg attack from Hurley and spinning around for two points.

He then deferred his choice of positions for the second period.

Hurley took bottom, but was unable to escape the entire two minutes, even though it meant Vencill practically holding onto a shoestring to keep him from getting away late in the period.

"I've watched a lot of wrestling over my years, watched a lot of film, " Vencill said. "I know the situation based on the score, based on how much time is left, what I needed to do and in that moment I had to do everything I could to stay on top."

Still up 2-0 going to the third, Vencill had little trouble reversing his opponent from the bottom and had him on his back with over a minute remaining on the clock.

The Division II 157 bracket was loaded with multiple returning state placers.

Warriors coach Scott Blank said Vencill did everything that was expected of him this weekend.

"That first match, I think we were a little bit off, we were nervous, we didn't have the confidence," Blank said. "But, the rest of the tournament, he wrestled how we train and I'm really proud of him."

Vencill gave credit to not only Blank, but assistant coach James Gridiron, for his growth and success this season.

"Scott and coach Gridiron, they completely changed my career," he said. "There's been so many people along this journey.

"They've helped me and I've learned something and gained something from every person I've talked to or wrestled with. It's pretty cool having all these people supporting me and helping me out, and I'm grateful for each one of them."

Blank said Vencill was a workhorse.

"That phrase, eat, sleep, drink wrestling, he took that to heart," Blank said.