MIDDLETOWN – Dusty purple wrestling mats lay on a tired and worn gym floor. The concrete block walls of the Glen “Tiger” Ellison Gym are cold and aged. A scene not exactly appealing to many coaches.
For Middletown High School’s first-year head wrestling coach Nick Maffey, it’s exactly the opportunity he desired to lay a foundation for the future of his program.
“Our focus right now is the process,” said Maffey. “Our team comes into practice each day ready to grind. Their thirst for success and hard work is invigorating. Basic wrestling fundamentals are key at this juncture in our development, and we’re taking advantage of every opportunity we get to improve.”
Middletown has finished last in the Greater Miami Conference each of the last three seasons, but the Middies are showing drastic improvement early in 2017. Their youth-laden roster currently has 28 wrestlers.
The growth and maturation process is playing a pivotal role in the program’s improvement, which features only one senior, four juniors, and a stable of sophomores and freshmen.
Jacob Kirby-Sheffey is the Middies’ lone senior, and is a key leader wrestling in the 220 pound class. Sheffey captured second place in the Fenwick Invitational and third in the North College Hill Invitational.
Overall, Middletown finished third as a team in the field of 29 at Fenwick on Dec. 3.
Jason Truxall claimed first in the 138 pound class, Kirby-Sheffey second (220), while Aundre Zornes (145), Jacob Truxall (160), and John Caldwell (170) placed third.
At the North College Hill Invitational on Dec. 10 the Middies were led with two first place winners.
Jason Truxall claimed gold in the 138 pound class and his brother Jacob did the same in the 170 class.
Aundre Zornes earned a silver in the 132 pound class, while Samuel Cresong (152), John Caldwell (182), and Jacob Kirby-Sheffey (220) all produced bronze finishes.
“Some early success is certainly breeding confidence for us,” Maffey continued. “We have big plans for this program and we’re committed to doing the little things to make it happen.”
Middletown returns to action on Wednesday, January 18 when they host Covington Catholic (KY) and Trotwood-Madison for Senior Night.
Next Wednesday’s tri-match is slated to start at 6 p.m. in the Glen “Tiger” Ellison Gymnasium. This will be the final contest for the Middies in the Ellison facility as they move into the new first-class Wade E. Miller Arena next season.
“We look forward to hosting a home event and welcome our fans to come out and support us. I can promise you’ll see a hungry, excited, and talented effort,” Maffey concluded.