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Winning the OVAC Wresting title: A definite achievement

January 23, 2011 - Seth Staskey
There was a time when you had a pretty good idea of who was going to win the OVAC Wrestling Tournament going into the event. After sitting at WesBanco Arena for two days and seeing more than 800 matches reeled off, those days are long gone.

Obviously, the coaches do a good job during the seed meeting, but you've got to be awful good to battle your way through five rounds en route to the title. You see a few years ago, the conference didn't features the likes of Parkersburg South and University. Those teams flexed their muscle over and over again this weekend as they were the top two finishers and produced six champions of the 14 weight classes.

The 14 wrestlers who had their arm raised Saturday night at champions earned it. No one won by accident and no one will every take their accomplishment away from them.

I thought Caleb Gunn of Cambridge winning the title at 215 pounds as an unseeded wrestler was one of the more impressive runs to the title. However, I think his coaches deserve some credit. Gunn came to Wheeling as a returning placer and with 20 wins under his belt didn't get a seed. But, that allowed his coach to survey the landscape and place him on the bracket where he thought was the best path.

It was nice to see St. Clairsville's Dom Prezzia get the monkey off his back and join his father, Paul, as an OVAC champion. Shadyside senior Aaron Silverio was also impressive in accomplishing his long-time goal of winning the OVAC title. He didn't just win, he knocked off defending champion John Eckroth for the gold. Wheeling Park's Kyle Bauer demonstrated why he's a Division I recruit. He took talented Shadyside sophomore Chase Kinemond apart en route to a major decision.

All in all, it was another great weekend at the OVAC Wrestling Tournament. Now, it's time to look forward to the swimming championship.


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