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Stick around for the heavyweights

December 19, 2011 - Michael Palmer
The Barnesville tournament was this weekend, and I volunteered to shoot the Saturday championships. I enjoy high school wrestling and with Claymont in the mix it is a chance to see some premiere high school match ups. To that point; the Mustangs finished with five champions in the two-day tournament and the 317.5 points was not only a school record at Claymont, but a tournament record in the 42 year-old event at Barnesville.

Barnesville's team had two champions, Clay Crosier defeating a Mustang wrestler Drew Dillon 6-4. Dillon was so upset at his second place finish and subsequently tossed his trophy into the trash can after descending the podium. Mason Plumly defeated another tough opponent in Tusky Valley's josh Wallace by a convincing 12-4 tally.

St. Clairsville's Dalton Nolte also decisioned a Claymont wrestler, Taylor Peters in a 1-0 bought that was very reminiscent of a collegiate match in which two opponents of equal abilities struggle to take advantage of any opening their opponent will give up.

When it comes to high school wrestling tournaments it is tough to wrestle the heavyweight championships. They are almost an after thought, many times the local wrestlers are taking down the other mats while the two competitors are trying to get in their six minutes.

The majority of the crowd has disappeared by this time and there is a buzz of activity as teams head for the buses and fans pack up their bleacher seats and snack packs to head home. While the tournament do not intend to do so, there is a definite disrespect in the policy of not waiting before platforming the final five weight classes.

The usual plan is to take the weights by threes and since there are 14, that leaves just the top 2 weight classes at the end of the tournament.

True, this is not a dual meet problem, because the starting weight classification is strategically determined and/or decided by one of the teams.

If you left Barnesville early on Saturday and missed the championship match for third place.

It was the longest and one of the best of the night as the two 285 pound wrestlers, Corey Earnest (St. C.) and Jonathn Bodkin (MF), battled through the six minutes of regulation and through tie breaker one and two, until in ultimate overtime Earnest won. The win by overtime criteria as the rule states: if no scoring occurs during this time, the top wrestler will be declared the winner.

Bodkin is just a freshman and made a statement at Barnesville and while Earnest is a junior, he is still working towards his potential. Both are on my watch list for 2012.


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