Wrestling is one of the hardest sports to participate in high school.
Some individuals have to drop weight, while others seemingly stay at the same weight forever. There are also the countless sacrifices, besides eating, that are required.
For their dedication to the sport and outstanding accomplishments during the 2013-14 season, 17 wrestlers and two coaches have been selected to the All-Times Leader team.
T-L Photo/KIM NORTH
THE 2013-14 All-Times Leader Wrestling Team is shown above. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Matt McFarland (Union Local), Myliek Green (Bellaire), Jonathan Bodkin (Martins Ferry), Greg Quinn (Shadyside), Josh Kahl (Shadyside) and Rodney Richter (Monroe Central). Second row, from left, are Tanner Potts (Monroe Central), Bryce Coleman (Martins Ferry), Brett Kahl (Shadyside), Michael Furbee (St. Clairsville), Bobby Stewart (Union Local) and coach Sean Grinch (Shadyside). Back row, from left, are Brett Rosen (River), Kole Smith (River), Bruce Sefert (Beallsville) and Hobie Howiler (Barnesville).
Not pictured are Harrison Central head coach Bill Bryant and wrestlers Hunter Pizzino and Brandon White.
Of the 17 individuals, nearly half of them - eight - concluded their seasons at the state meet in Columbus just over a week ago. All of those are underclassmen.
A pair of grapplers earned all-Ohio Division III honors for their performance inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. Those two - Shadyside freshman Greg Quinn (106) and Martins Ferry junior Jonathan Bodkin (285) - were sixth and fifth, respectively, in their weight divisions, and have been named co-captains of the prestigious mat squad.
Harrison Central's Bill Bryant and Shadyside's Sean Grinch were selected as co-Coaches of the Year.
A capsule of each honoree follows:
QUINN burst onto the high school scene with some pretty impressive credentials. The flyweight did little to tarnish those as he went 45-5 and his aforementioned all-state honor.
Along the way, he captured titles at the Doan Ford Barnesville, Shadyside Last Man Standing, Dublin Jerome All-North and Division III sectional tournaments, while finishing second at the Ron Mauck OVAC and third at the Division III districts.
"Greg had an excellent freshman season. Not too many freshmen have over 40 wins and place top six in the state," first-year Shadyside head coach Sean Grinch said. "He is a very talented individual, with a solid wrestling background. He is dedicated to the sport of wrestling. I can see great things in his future."
BODKIN had a magical season that saw him finish 43-4 and his aforementioned state meet placement.
He was champion at the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament, Buckeye Local's Pepsi-Ohio Coatings Panther Classic, the Doan Ford Barnesville Invitational and the Division III sectional tournament. He also placed second at the America's Best Value Inn Tournament in St. Clairsville the Division III district in Heath.
"I'm really happy with the way Jonathan finished this season," first-year Martins Ferry head coach Chas Yoder revealed. "The sky's the limit for him next year."
Of Bodkin's four losses, two came to 2013 Ohio champion Patrik Garren - one in the district finals and the other at the state meet - who finished third this year.
BRETT KAHL, Shadyside - The Tigers' sophomore had another fine season on the mat. A two-time district qualifier and state qualifier this season, he finished with a 35-14 mark as a 138-pounder.
He won titles at Shadyside's Last Man Standing and the Division III sectional at Barnesville. He finished third at the Doan Ford Barnesville Invitational, the Dublin Jerome All-North Tournament and the Division III district in Heath.
"Brett was one of our leaders in the room. Like his brother (Josh), he works hard each day at practice," Grinch noted. "He is a talented wrestler who needs to keep working hard and getting better to achieve the goals he wants to accomplish."
RODNEY RICHTER, Monroe Central - This Seminole junior is already highly decorated in his three seasons. He is a three-time Division III district qualifier and two-time state tournament participant, including this past season when he finished at 34-10, which included a victory at the state level at 120 pounds.
He is a three-time sectional champion at Barnesville, and also won the River Invitational this season. He was also second at the Beallsville Invitational and fourth at the OVAC and district. He was an All-PVC pick.
"Rodney had a very good season and we're looking for really big things from him next year," first-year Monroe Central head coach Robert Muntz said. "He's a tough kid, a hard worker and very dedicated."
TANNER POTTS, Monroe Central - Just a sophomore, Potts burst onto the scene after missing his freshman season due to an injury. However, he bounced back to post a 36-8 record with 29 pins and a trip to Columbus at 220 pounds.
He won the Beallsville and River Invitationals. He finished second at the Division III sectional in Barnesville. He was also seventh at the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament and was selected to the all-PVC team.
"Tanner really wrestled well," Muntz allowed. "I expected him to be under the radar this season, but he wasn't at all. He is a strong kid that has a lot of potential."
MATT McFARLAND, Union Local - Another promising sophomore, he came on strong at the end of the season to punch his ticket to Columbus with a fourth-place finish at the Division III district in Heath.
During the season, the 170-pounder finished second at the Doan Ford Barnesville Invitational and Rick Link UL Tournament. He finished 39-14.
"Making it to the state tournament was quite an accomplishment for Matt," Union Local head coach Jim Bob Lewis said. "He was very disappointed in his OVAC Tournament. He's turned it up ever since and it's paid off."
BRANDON WHITE, Harrison Central - A virtually unknown when the season began, this Huskies' sophomore continually got better with each match, especially after the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament in January.
He won the Division III Sandy Valley Sectional crown and finished third at the Heath District, defeating Sandy Valley's Brandon Carbenia both times. He was 1-2 at the state meet to finish with a 27-12 record. He was second at Shadyside and fifth at the America's Best Value Inn and Ron Mauck OVAC tournaments.
"He really come on strong after the OVAC Tournament," Harrison Central head coach Bill Bryant said. "He won the sectional and was third at Heath."
HUNTER PIZZINO, Harrison Central - A promising Huskie, this junior had a breakout season for Bryant, which concluded with a trip to the state meet where he was 1-2 to give him a 33-7 overall mark.
He was second at Shadyside's Last Man Standing event, while finishing third at the OVAC and Cambridge tournaments. He was also a Sandy Valley Sectional champion and Heath District runnerup.
"Hunter wrestled really well this year," Bryant noted. "He lost some tough matches along the way, but hopefully that will make him better next season."
HOBIE HOWILER, Barnesville - Another promising sophomore, this Shamrock came within a win of advancing to the state meet. However, he finished sixth in the Division III district in Heath to end up 29-10.
During the season, he finished first at Beallsville, second at Barnesville, fourth at St. Clairsville and fifth in the OVACs. He was also a sectional runnerup.
"Hobie is a strong kid with a lot of upside," Barnesville head coach Jayson Stephens said. "He had a good year this year, but we're looking for bigger things next season."
MYLIEK GREEN, Bellaire - This Big Reds' senior started the season like gangbusters, but ran out of steam toward the end, despite finishing 34-7.
However, he captured titles at Barnesville, Union Local and the sectional, while finishing second at the OVACs, St. Clairsville, the Panther Classic at Buckeye Local and the Buck Bailey Tournament in Wellsville.
"I definitely thought Myliek had a legitimate shot at making the state tournament," first-year Bellaire head coach Mick Nicola said. "He wrestled really well all year long and I think he's got a bright future as a college wrestler."
BRYCE COLEMAN, Martins Ferry - This Purple Riders' junior started the season at 160 where he finished runnerup to Green in the Doan Ford Barnesville finals, but dropped to a more comfortable 152 after that tournament.
He went on to finish third at St. Clairsville and fifth at OVACs before claiming the Division III sectional title at Barnesville.
"Bryce had a really good season," Yoder allowed. "I'm sure he will come back next season hungrier than ever."
BRUCE SEFERT, Beallsville - Another repeat honoree, this Blue Devils' senior narrowly missed reaching the coveted 100-win plateau, finishing his 3-year career with 95 victories, including 36 this season in 43 matches.
During the season, he was champion at Beallsville, River and Shadyside, while finishing second at Barnesville and Union Local. He was also a sectional runnerup.
"Bruce had a fine career," Beallsville head coach Ted Bier said. "He wrestled really well this season, but came up just a win short of his goal."
JOSH KAHL, Shadyside - Another promising freshman for the Tigers, he posted a fine 35-11 record that included a fifth-place finish at the Division III district in Heath.
He was named the Most Valuable Wrestler at the Doan Ford Barnesville Invitational. He also was second at Shadyside and the sectional, while placing third in Dublin Jerome and sixth at the OVAC.
"Josh also had a great season. He is one of our hardest workers in the room, Grinch offered. "He is a hard-nosed kid who wrestles tough each match. He made great strides this year. Like Greg, he has the ability to be great."
BRETT ROSEN, River - Another individual who made a late-season push towards the state meet before falling just short.
After starting at 220, Rosen dropped a weight class and went a combined 31-9, finishing sixth in the district. Along the way, he won the Beallsville and Shadyside titles, along with the Barnesville sectional. He also finished second at Barnesville and River, and sixth at OVAC.
"Brett had an excellent season and an excellent career," River head coach Eric Rosen said. "He's a hard-nosed kid and the drop to 195 really benefited him."
KOLE SMITH, River - Another Pilot senior, he came on strong to finish fifth in the Heath District, finishing 34-7 for the season.
Smith was a champion at Barnesville, Beallsville and River, while finishing third in the Barnesville sectional, fourth at Shadyside and sixth at OVAC.
"Kole also had an excellent senior season," Coach Rosen said. "He was injured a bit, but battled through them and nearly made it to state."
MICHAEL FURBEE, St. Clairsville - Another of the many promising sophomores, the Red Devils' standout is 81-17 in two seasons, including a sparkling 42-6 log this season in which he made a repeat trip to the Division III district.
He won the Barnesville sectional and America's Best Value Inn tournaments, while finishing second at Beallsville and third at OVACs.
"Michael had a strong season, and being only a sophomore, here are a lot of good things ahead for him," St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone said.
BOBBY STEWART, Union Local - If there was a hard-luck wrestler, it was the Jets' sophomore who finished the season at 39-12.
He finished second at OVAC, Barnesville, Union Local and the Barnesville sectional this season.
"Bobby had some really bad luck in a couple of big matches," Lewis noted. "He's a tough kid that we're looking forward to having back two more years."
SEAN GRINCH, Shadyside - The former Shadyside matmen and current Indian Creek teacher led the Tigers to the Bill Hinegardner OVAC Class 1A/2A Dual Meet championship in his first season, as well as a runnerup spot to Caldwell in the Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament.
"For as young as a team as we were, I was very happy with the success we had. Credit goes to our kids, assistant coaches, and the wrestlers' families," Grinch said. "It was an absolute pleasure coaching these kids. They are great young men. I inherited a successful wrestling program, with some talented wrestlers who were brought up in a successful youth and junior high program.
"Plus, I have a great staff. They are hard working and are dedicated to making our kids not only good wrestlers, but successful young men," he continued.
BILL BRYANT, Harrison Central - In just a few years, Bryant has kept the Huskies in the OVAC's upper echelon. The highlight of their season was capturing the Division III Sandy Valley Sectional championship. They had eight district qualifiers.
"Winning the sectional title was a very rewarding experience for the kids," Bryant said. "They wrestled really well. Even though we took two kids to the state, we thought we could have got a couple more there."