HEATH - Nine area wrestlers each won two matches here Friday night as the Division III district wrestling tournament kicked off at Heath High School.
With those two victories, those individuals advanced to semifinal action which gets under way today at 9 a.m. The championship finals, along with bouts for third and fifth places will begin at 5 p.m.
Shadyside leads the way with a trio of semifinalists, while Harrison Central and Monroe Central have two each. Martins Ferry and River have one each.
West Jefferson holds a slim lead over Columbus Bishop Hartley, 45-40.5, while Utica is third with 35. The Tigers check in seventh with 28 points. The Seminoles are 16th with 20 points, while the Huskies and Purple Riders are tied for 17th with 19.
A pair of wins away from district titles are Shadyside's freshmen Greg Quinn (106) and Josh Kahl (120), and sophomore Brett Kahl (138).
Quinn, who improved to a very impressive 40-1, with a technical fall (15-0) and pin (1:41). The Barnesville sectional titlist is paired with Johnstown-Northridge junior Jake Adkins, who is 44-4 and was eighth in the state last year at the same weight.
Quinn's lone loss came to East Liverpool's Alex Potts in the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament finals in January. He was has 14 straight matches, while Potts is in the Division II semis at Claymont.
Josh Kahl, who is now 34-9, posted a pair of major decisions (13-3, 12-0), and will meet Fredericktown junior Carson Mills, who is 38-3.
Barnesville sectional kingpin Brett Kahl, 32-11, won by technical (15-0) and decision (3-1) and is matched with Newark Catholic senior Evan Hansel, 28-4.
The Huskies' sophomore Brandon White (113) and junior Hunter Pizzino (132) were the lone survivors of eight.
White continued his solid postseason with a major decision (8-0) and a 7-3 decision over St. Clairsville senior Alex Timko in the quarterfinals. The Sandy Valley sectional champion is now 24-9 and will face Columbus Bishop Hartley junior Kristopher Hill, who is now 42-4 and was sixth in the state at 113 last winter.
Pizzino, also a Sandy Valley sectional champion, is now 31-4 after a pair of decisions (7-0, 5-3), the last coming over Union Local sophomore Bobby Stewart who he had lost to, 2-1, in overtime in the OVAC Tournament semifinals. Pizzino is paired with Waterford senior Austin Lang, who is 41-2.
The Seminoles' junior Rodney Richter (120) and sophomore Tanner Potts (220) are both a win away from the district finals.
Richter, who is now 32-6, pinned his first opponent (1:15) and then decisioned Sandy Valley's Joe Newman, 6-5. The returning state qualifier will meet Grandview Heights sophomore Brendan Fitzgerald, who is 35-1.
Potts, now 34-5, pinned his way to the semifinals with times of 2:29 and 1:34. However, he will find undefeated junior Dan Jones (29-0) of Columbus Academy in his next match. Jones edged Sandy Valley's Jake Geiger, 8-7, in overtime.
The Purple Riders' Jon Bodkin (285) continued his storybook season with a pair of first-period pins. The Barnesville sectional and OVAC Tournament champion needed just 31 seconds to dispatch his first opponent, then took a mere 1:07 in the quarterfinals to improve to 39-1. He will meet Grandview Heights senior AJ Pinyerd, 33-3, today.
The Pilots' Kole Smith, who finished third in the Barnesville sectional, is now 33-5 in his senior season. He won by pin (1:30) and decision (14-12) and will meet Centerburg junior Jared Pack, who is 39-6.
In Division II in Uhrichsville, Buckeye Local's Tristan Jones won his first match, but dropped his second.