HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING: Southern's Whitehead finishes as state runner-up again

Feb. 17—LEXINGTON — Madison Southern's Stephen Whitehead lost only two matches during the final two seasons of his remarkable high school career.

Each of those setbacks were delivered by the same opponent.

And both came in the state championship match.

St. Xavier's Carter Guillaume defeated Whitehead on Friday at the AllTech Arena to claim his second-straight Kentucky High School Athletic Association title in the 285-pound weight class.

Guillaume battled through two injury timeouts, then pinned the Southern senior with just more than a minute left in the third — and final — period.

The St. Xavier senior beat Whitehead, 2-1, in last year's championship match.

A total of 16 wrestlers from Madison County qualified for the KHSAA State Meet, which was held Thursday and Friday.

Three of them reached the podium.

Madison Central's Logan Cantrell (138) and Carson Herbst (165) both placed sixth in their weight class, while Whitehead finished second for the second-straight season

Central finished with 56 points and placed 12th in the team standings. Southern had 29 points and was 31st.

Six other Madison County wrestlers advanced to the second day of the tournament, but did not earn a medal — Central's Christopher Hollingsworth (113), Emory Dix (120), Gavyn Kinley (126), Lucas Hutchison (157) and Diego Pelletier (215) along with Southern's Braeden Kelley (150).

In the past two seasons, Whitehead had a record of 100-2.

"He is without a doubt one of the best wrestlers to ever come through our program," Madison Southern coach Brian Bertrand said of Whitehead.

The senior fell down 2-0 early against Guillaume on Friday and trailed 3-1 after the second period. Whitehead threw the St. Xavier standout to the mat twice, which led to a pair of stoppages.

Now trailing, Guillaume gained the advantage off of a restart and claimed the title by fall.

"He wrestled better and deserved to win," Bertrand said of Whitehead. " A lot happened there at the end, but you have to wrestle all the way through all three rounds. It just breaks your heart."

Whitehead's back-to-back runner-up performances at the state meet are highest finishes in program. Justus Williams was third in 2016 and 2017.

Cantrell won all three of his matches on Thursday, then fell to Breyden Whorton of LaRue County in the semifinals. He later lost to James Morris of Johnson Central, 5-1, in the fifth-place match.

Herbst lost in the third round on Thursday, but won twice in the consolation round. He fell to Tristen Millet of Oldham County, 3-2, in the fifth-place match.