Another prep wrestling season has come and gone.
And it was once again a very successful season in the Ohio Valley for both teams and individuals.
Today, The Times Leader Sports Staff - with the help of area coaches - announces its All Times Leader Wrestling Team.
PICTURED IS the 2012 All Times Leader Wrestling Team. Front row, from left, are Nate Kirk (Buckeye Local), Zach Sowers (Union Local), Hobie Howiler (Barnesville), Bruce Sefert (Beallsville), Hunter Pizzino and Anthony Heavilin (Harrison Central). Middle row, from left, are Chase Kinemond, Ian Baker, Alex Quinn (Shadyside), Zach Coole, Damon Outward and Theo Zoumpoulidis (Martins Ferry). Top row, from left, are J.D. Dotson (River), Rodney Richter (Monroe Central), Corey Ernest , Justin Callarik, Dalton Nolte (St. Clairsville)?and Nick Maffe (Bellaire).
Shadyside High's School's undefeated state champion Alex Quinn has been named the captain of the squad after a 45-0 season.
Tigers' head coach Scott Kinemond and River head coach Eric Rosen shared the coach-of-the-year honor after guiding their teams to ultra successful campaigns this winter.
Here's a capsule look at the honorees:
ALEX QUINN, Shadyside - This senior climbed to the top of the prep wrestling mountain last weekend, putting the finishing touches on a brilliant senior campaign.
Quinn was 45-0 on the season and claimed the 152-pound, Division III state championship with a 10-0 major decision. He was the sectional, district and OVAC champion during the course of the season. He was named MVP at the Beallsville Tournament and surpassed the 100-career win mark.
"Alex just had a phenomenal season," said Shadyside head coach Scott Kinemond. "The way Alex wrestled all season, you could just tell he was a man on a mission. I am so proud of how he wrestled at the state tournament and throughout the season for that matter. He has a motor that runs 110 percent all the time."
IAN BAKER, Shadyside - This senior had a brilliant final campaign in the Orange & Black this winter.
Finishing with a 44-6 record, Baker notched his second consecutive all-Ohio finish. He was sixth in the Division III state tournament at 145 pounds. He was the OVAC and sectional champion and finished second in the district.
"Ian actually hurt his ribs at the state tournament in the quarterfinals, but he gutted it out and still wrestled strong," Kinemond said. "He wrestled well all year despite probably cutting the most weight out of the three seniors. He's a good kid and a fun kid to have around. He really helped our younger kids."
CHASE KINEMOND, Shadyside - It was a long road back, but one that this senior navigated with ease.
After suffering a torn ACL during football as a junior, Kinemond missed the entire mat season, but came back strong this winter. He finished the campaign with a 41-4 record. He was OVAC champion, sectional and district champion before finishing seventh in the 160-pound state tournament.
"Being off for an entire year doesn't help anyone, but Chase handled it well," his father and coach said. "He wasn't on top of his game early in the season, but you could see him get more and more comfortable as the season went along. He really had nice OVAC and district tournaments. He looked flat in the first round of the state tournament, but he woke up and redeemed himself."
DAMON OUTWARD, Martins Ferry - This senior had been on a quest for a state medal and it finally paid off for him.
Wrestling at 126 pounds, Outward finished fifth in the state tournament, completing an impressive 49-7 season. He was sectional and district champion and finished second in the OVAC Tournament. His 49 victories is a single-season school record at Ferry.
"Damon had the kind of season you'd expect from a senior captain who has been around the sport for a very long time," said Ferry head coach Scott Roth. "He had high goals for himself, and his hardwork and dedication to the sport over the years paid off for him."
J.D. DOTSON, River - This senior put the finishing touches on one of the most impressive seasons garnered in the area last weekend at the state tournament.
Dotson, who finished the season at 38-9, placed fifth at 220 pounds in the Division III state tourney after finishing fourth in the district and second in the sectional. Prior to the postseason, he was fifth at the OVAC, champion at River and Beallsville, second at Barnesville and fourth at Shadyside. For his career, Dotson finished with 102 victories.
"J.D. wrestled extremely well at the district and state tournaments," said first-year Pilots' head coach Eric Rosen. "He lost in the district to the eventual state runnerup, 9-7, and that really gave him some confidence. J.D. has unbelievable strength and he took wrestling very serious and became dedicated to becoming a better wrestler."
ZACH COOLE, Martins Ferry - After coming up short of the state tournament three straight years, Coole finally got the monkey off his back.
The Purple Riders' 220-pounder capped his career with a strong 43-10 record and was an OVAC placer, sectional champion and district runnerup.
"Down the stretch (of the season), he really gutted out some close victories and showed the heart of a Martins Ferry wrestler," Roth said. "He won two very important matches down the stretch, including one at district and one at state that he was losing by a point with less than 10 seconds to go. He was able to get a takedown and advance. He finished the season in the top 12 of the state and beat the guys who got third and fifth."
THEO ZOUMPOULIDIS, Martins Ferry - This sophomore made a big splash late in the season as he burst onto the scene at 106 pounds.
Zoumpoulidis, who was 26-14 for the season, qualified for the Division III state tournament after placing second at the district. He was the sectional champion and placed eighth in the OVAC Tournament.
"The one thing I can say about Theo is that he's a competitor," Roth said. "If you asked any coach in the OVAC who they thought would be state qualifiers this year, I guarantee you Theo would not have been on anyone's list, yet there he was wrestling in Columbus. When the lights come on, he rises to the occassion."
RODNEY RICHTER, Monroe Central - This Seminoles' sophomore bounced back from a knee injury in early January to qualify for his first state tournament.
The Seminoles' 113-pounder finished the season with a 20-5 record. He was the sectional champion and second at the district tournament to punch his ticket to Columbus. He was the champion at Shadyside, which is where he suffered his injury. He was also runnerup at Barnesville.
"Rodney had a remarkable season considering the injury he suffered required surgery," said Monroe Central head coach Tyler Schumacher. "He won seven matches in a row after he returned to qualify for state. He's an exceptional kid who keeps getting better every day. Though he's only a sophomore, he's like having a senior in the wrestling room."
COREY ERNEST, St. Clairsville - This Red Devils' 285 pounder had a season to remember in his final prep campaign.
Ernest finished with a 40-7 record and 116 career victories. Along the way, he was OVAC and sectional champion. He finished fourth in the district to reach his first state tournament. He was champion at St. C. and Nelsonville-York. He was second at Buckeye Local.
"Corey is the most athletic heavyweight I've ever coached," said St. C. head coach Joel Sansone. "Corey also expects nothing but success from himself and is very motiviated."
JUSTIN CALLARIK, St. Clairsville - This senior earned his way to the state tournament on the strength of a 36-11 record.
Callarik, who was undefeated in the Buckeye 8, finished his career with 122 victories. He was runnerup in the St. C. Tournament, third in the sectional and fourth at the district to earn his trip to Columbus.
"Justin is a very talented wrestler," Sansone said. "When Justin comes to wrestle he is capable of beating any opponent."
DALTON NOLTE, St. Clairsville - This Red Devils' senior had a brilliant final campaign at 160 pounds.
Nolte was champion at Barnesville, runnerup at St. C., champion at Nelsonville York and finished second in the OVAC. He was second at the sectional and qualified for the district.
"Dalton was a very good team leader," Sansone said. "He worked very hard in the practice room."
HOBIE HOWILER, Barnesville - This freshman made an instant impact for the Shamrocks this season and head coach Jayson Stephen.
Howiler finished with a 41-7 record, including 25 of those victories by pin. He was the champion at the sectional, St. Clairsville and River tournaments. He was third at Union Local, Barnesville and second at Beallsville. At the OVAC, Howiler was third and qualified for the district.
"Hobie is a young, talented wrestler," Stephen said. "He works hard and he's willing to listen and learn what it takes to go the distance. I think he learned a lot from this past season. He's a great young man."
NATHAN KIRK, Buckeye Local - This senior put forth an impressive final campaign under first-year head coach Guy Nestor.
Kirk finished the season with a 44-11 record and racked up 137 career victories. He was the champion at the Buckeye Local Invitational and also the sectional. He was sixth at the district. He was also the fourth-place finisher in the OVAC Tournament. He was third at Union Local, fifth at the North Coast Tourney and third at Wadsworth.
"Nate is a great kid," Nestor said. "I had him as an eighth grader and followed him through to his senior year. He's a great leader. He'll do well at the next level and I really believe that he's only going to continue to get better in the years to come."
HUNTER PIZZINO, Harrison Central - This Huskies' sophomore was impressive throughout the campaign for head coach Bill Bryant's squad.
Pizzino finished with a 38-11 record. He was the champion at Shadyside. He was seventh at the OVAC and qualified for the Division II district at Heath after placing third in the sectional.
Pizzino led the Huskies in takedowns, reversals, near falls, decisions, major decisions and team points.
"Hunter will go anywhere and everywhere to get mat time," Bryant said. "His dedication in the offseason is greatly appreciated. He has already planned on doing some things this summer."
ANTHONY HEAVILIN, Harrison Central - This freshman enjoyed a solid rookie campaign in varsity wrestling, compiling a 30-11 campaign.
Heavilin was an OVAC placer, champion at the Shadyside Invitational, second at Cambridge and West Holmes. He was the Huskies' team leader in pins.
"Anthony is a tough kid who will outwork anyone in the (practice) room," said Bryant. "He has already hit the weight room and plans on doing a few camps this summer to better himself."
BRUCE SEFERT, Beallsville - This Blue Devils' sophomore had a break-out season for Coach Dave Wiles' squad.
Sefert finished the campaign with a 36-7 record. He was the champion at Barnesville, River, Beallsville and Malvern Tournaments. He was third at the sectional and narrowly missed a state berth with a fifth-place district finish.
"Bruce worked very hard this season and his accomplishments on the mat show that," Wiles said. "We are expecting him to do great things next season. He has a great attitude and he's just a great young man to have around."
NICK MAFFE, Bellaire - This Big Reds' senior enjoyed a strong final campaign for Shane Shaffer's team.
Maffe was 32-12 on the season and narrowly missed a trip to the state tournament, placing sixth. He was third at the sectional. He was the champion at River and runner-up at Buckeye Local. He finished his career with 108 victories.
"Nick was a very hard-nosed wrestle who got better as the season went along," Shaffer said. "He'll certainly be missed next season."
ZACH SOWERS, Union Local - This junior made some big strides this past season, but Jets' head coach Jim Bob Lewis still thinks he's just scratching the surface.
Sowers finished the season 28-13. He was second at Union Local, fourth at Barnesville, third at St. Clairsville, fifth at Watkins Memorial and sectional runnerup, earning himself a trip to the district.
"Zach had a very successful season and now we're expecting huge things from him next season," Lewis said. "He has a passion for the sport and is ready to put in all of the extra efforts it takes in the off-season to be successful."
SCOTT KINEMOND, Shadyside - This veteran head coach guided his alma mater to arguably its most decorated season ever.
Shadyside claimed the OVAC Class 1A/2A Tournament and dual-tournament titles. They finished third at the sectional, third at the district and garnered a 10th-place finish at the state tournament despite having only three qualifiers. Plus, the Tigers were regional runnerup in the new OHSAA Team Tournament.
"It was definitely a nice season with a lot of accomplishments," Kinemond said. "It's the kind of season you definitely hate to see end. We had kids step up and win big matches. I thought all of our kids represented their school, community and program well. I'd also like to recognize my assistant coach Kurt Glasser for all of the work and time he put in."
ERIC ROSEN, River - This first-year head coach guided the Pilots to one of their best seasons in recent memory this winter.
River claimed the OVAC Class 3A tournament and dual tournament titles. It also had a strong sectional meet and produced an all-Ohioan in Dotson.
"The kids and coaches made the season very enjoyable," Rosen said. "The kids worked very hard to become better wrestlers My assistant coaches, who were Chuck Baker, John Talbott, Paden Stewart and Dr. Vince Monseau, worked hard and made my job easier because of their experience. We never really thought we had the ability to win the 3A OVAC tournament or dual title, but the kids had set it as a goal and worked hard to achieve it. This team had great leadership and we look forward to being competitive again next season."
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org