Four Pirates Place at Van Buren


by June Orr

by June Orr

(VAN BUREN) - Deandre Nassar finished second, Tayton Kleman and James Badial-Luna fifth and Jeremy Sturgeon sixth to lead Bluffton to a 13th place team finish at the Van Buren Invitational.  The premier area event featured 29 schools.  

Nassar was seeded second at 195 and won his first two matches by pin downing Lakota’s Jayden Barton in 53 seconds and Riverdale’s Ethan Hayes in 1:16.  In the semifinals, Nassar earned a 9-3 decision.  Deandre faced top seed Dylan Hinton of Elmwood in the finals.  The two faced in Nassar’s freshman  season at the VBI with Hinton winning that match.  Hinton was able to win Saturday evening by an 11-1 count.  The loss was the first of the season for Nassar.  

Badial-Luna put in a long weekend, competing in seven matches over two days in the 152 class.  James won his first two matches before dropping a close 4-3 decision to Van Buren’s Tyler Ludwig, the 3 seed for the 152 class who finished third in the class.  Now in the consolation bracket, James got a 9-7 win over Liberty Benton’s Rawson Loftis and followed that up with an 8-3 triumph over Wayne Trace’s Wyatt Stabler. Mohawk’s Rico Lopez won a 3-0 decision over Badial-Luna in the Consolation semis putting James in the fifth place match.  James wrapped up the fifth place finish with a pin of Gibsonburg’s Jesse Ariana in 3:10.  For the weekend, Badial-Luna went 5-2. 

Tayton Kleman, competing at 106,  dropped his opening match and moved into the Consolation bracket. The freshman pinned Allen East’s Jordan Kennedy and Swanton’s Derrick Cook in just 35 seconds to advance to the consolation semis.  Eventual third place finisher Kole Freeman bested Kleman by a tight 3-2 score.  Kleman won a rematch with Kennedy by a 4-0 count to wrap up the fifth place finish.  

Jeremy Sturgeon (113) won his opening match by pin and then fell to #1 seed Chase Caprella (Allen East) by a 25-10 count.  In the consolation bracket, Sturgeon earned an 8-3 victory and pinned Cory Rawson’s Owen Karcher.  Sturgeon was pinned in the consolation semis and also in the fifth place match.  

Andrew Burroughs (170) finished the meet with two wins against two losses. Trent Pearson (132) won his opening match and dropped the next two.  Josh Mehaffie, Brady Romick, Elijah Conley, Jesse Montel and Landen Luginbuhl all went 0-2 for the Pirates in the tournament.  

Day 1 Photos by June Orr :

Day 2 Photos by June Orr :

Luke Denecker Special Mention All Ohio

Junior Luke Denecker was honored by being named Special Mention All Ohio after a terrific 2018-19 season!  Denecker also earned First Team All Northwest District...

View Article »

Alivia Koenig Second Team All Ohio

Senior guard Alivia Koenig has been named Second Team All Ohio in Division IV basketball!  Koenig averaged 12.8 points per game her senior season and...

View Article »


(COLUMBUS) – Deandre Nassar completed what he set out to do.  The senior standout grappler capped his career with a State Championship and did not...

View Article »