*This column originally ran in the Wayne County Press
Finding sports records for small town high schools is not always the easiest task. Finding them for what have traditionally been the lesser attending task came be downright daunting at times.
So, with that in mind, with the Fairfield Mules having one of their best wrestling seasons in many, many years, it was time to start doing some digging. Some new names have entered the pantheon.
Notice the use of “many, many years.” A little reporter’s trick: when you don’t know an exact detail or date, but are fairly sure, you just put “in recent memory” or “as anyone can recall” and hope it slips through the editing process. If you are also the sports editor, it isn’t hard to slip it through.
Back to wrestling.
Payton Allen and Konnor Dagg both had fantastic seasons this year. Both had runner-up finishes at Sectionals and advanced to state. Which lead to the questions and rabbit hole searching.
Who has the most wins in a season? When was the last time the Mules got second in a Regional? When was the last time they had two wrestlers at State in the same year?
Well, consider this a little catch-up for anyone doing said research in the future.
The most famous season in FCHS history was Vince Fisher’s 1982-83 season that saw the Mule heavyweight go 36-0 and win the state title. That followed a 29-1 junior year.
Allen set the single season wins record this year, going 39-4 overall, while Dagg tied Fisher for wins in a season with a 36-8 record.
There have been 12 30-win seasons in FCHS history. Three came this year, with Jerek Keoughan also joining the group at 31-5, despite missing part of the year with Covid.
There are obviously more matches now than there were in the Fisher days, but it is still an exclusive club. Toby Leith and Chris Jordan are the only Mules to do it twice. Allen should join them next year. He was just a junior this year.
Allen should also catch Jordan for most career wins. The Class of 2002 graduate hold the mark currently at 112, against just 19 losses. Allen is 94-12 through three seasons, which included a Covid-shortened campaign that saw him go 26-0 last year.
Dagg became the first Mule to win a match at State since Jordan got third his senior year. Only three Mules have ever placed at State.
Fairfield has had three Sectional champions ever, and 17 different Mules have advanced to State.
And for my money, the most impressive thing in FCHS history might be the three-year run of heavyweights from 1982 to 1984. Fisher was a combined 65-1 in the first two years, then Bruce Dickey went 35-1 and finished in second the following year. 100-2 over three years.
As for best team ever? Hard to argue with 1979. Regional champs and four State qualifiers.
Vince Fisher—1982, 1983
Toby Leith—1990, 1991
Vince Fisher—1982, 1983
Toby Leith—1990, 1991, 1992
Chris Jordan—2000, 2001, 2002
Jordan Griffith—2010, 2011
Payton Allen—39-4, 2021-22
Vince Fisher—36-0, 1982-83
Konnor Dagg—36-8, 2021-22
Bruce Dickey—35-1, 1983-84
Chris Jordan—35-3, 2001-2002
Rob Blackford, 33-2, 1978-79
Chad Reid—32-2, 1990-91
Toby Leith—31-1, 1990-91
Toby Leith—31-2, 1991-92
Jerek Keoughan—31-5, 2021-22
Chris Jordan—30-3, 2000-2001
Randy Greenwood—30-3, 1978-79
*30-win club is a work in progress. If you think someone might be missing, email email@example.com and it will be researched.