Isaacs, Trumble ranked first in Kentucky going into Region 5 meet

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Hunter Isaacs could almost write a medical journal article about torn knee ligaments.

Walton-Verona’s senior wrestler can certainly speak from personal experience. ranks him first at 138 pounds going into the Region 5 meet that begins Friday on the Bearcats’ mats.

Isaacs has had three meniscus tears – all to his right knee – since his sophomore season. The first happened during practice before the 2021 regional meet, which required a rebuild and eight months’ rehabilitation.

“It was completely torn; the meniscus flipped,” Isaacs said. “They had to repair it … At first I thought it was dislocated. Half of my meniscus is gone.”

According to, both knees have two meniscuses, C-shaped pieces of cartilage that act as a cushion between the shin and thigh bones. A torn meniscus causes pain, swelling and stiffness, and there might also might feel a block to knee motion and have trouble extending your knee fully.

The second tear happened the September before his junior season in 2021. An arthroscopic procedure fixed it, and he finished third in the region. 

Isaacs wasn’t too worried about the injury, but he said it affected his performance. He said physical therapists weren’t as educated about wrestling-related injuries as he’d hoped.

“I just didn’t feel 100%,” he said. “I would swell up sometimes … I wasn’t fully flexible with it, and it would hurt.”

Meniscus tear No. 3 happened last Dec. 13. Like the first, the knee was opened and a piece of the ligament was removed.

“I thought my season was over,” Isaacs said. “I was a little upset that I thought I couldn’t have a shot of winning the state title my last year.”

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Isaacs’ season is not over – he was cleared Jan. 13, and he competed at the Warhawk Classic at Great Crossing. He said exercises have strengthened the quadricep muscles around the meniscus.

Isaacs plans to wrestle next season at Thomas More University.

And yes, he is grateful he’s wearing his team’s blue and white singlet.

“I think it’s pretty crazy that I’m still wrestling,” Isaacs said.

Ryle sophomore Rider Trumble is No. 1 at 132. He beat current No. 2 Leland Reeves of Taylor County at a meet at South Oldham three weeks ago.

Ryle sophomore Rider Trumble is No. 1 in his weight class. Photo provided

“When (Trumble) gets on top of a wrestler, he pretty much dominates or controls most of the match,” Raiders coach Tim Ruschell said. 

Five others are in the top three in their classes: Simon Kenton freshman Brayden Blevins, third at 103; Ryle sophomore Landon Evans, third at 113; Walton-Verona sophomore TJ Meyer, second at 120; Walton-Verona senior Mason Schweitzer, second at 144; and Scott senior Aiden Zinser, second at 165.

Ruschell said two teams should battle for the team title. 

“I think (Walton-Verona) is the favorite, and I think we’d be second,” Ruschell said. “We graduated 10 kids on the team.”

Ryle, which finished third at state behind Union County and Johnson Central last year, won the 2022 region over Campbell County, 297.5-204. The Raiders are ranked 10th in the state so far this season, and Walton-Verona is seventh. 

Walton-Verona coach John Roth said Ryle, Simon Kenton, Walton-Verona, Campbell County, Holmes, Highlands and Conner should contend for team honors this weekend.

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“Our region is probably one of the toughest regions in the state and probably has been the last 10, 15 years consistently,” Roth said. “… It’s going to be close.”

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