Buckeye’s Kirk reaches district wrestling semis

HEATH — Buckeye Local senior Nate Kirk was the lone immediate area grappler unblemished following two rounds of Division II District Wrestling action Friday at Heath. Semifinal and championship round bouts will be contested today.

Kirk scored a decisive 8-3 decision of Licking Valley’s Logan Johnson in a quarterfinal match. The Panthers’ 138-pound ace earlier was an 8-5 decision victor of West Holmes’ Jack Scherer to advance to quarterfinal wrestling.

Now 44-8 on the season, Kirk was scheduled to oppose Claymont’s 32-5 Drew Avery in a semifinal match today, The other 138 semifinal encounter finds Dover’s Isaac Hammonds (34-6) going up against Beaver’s 37-7 Daniel Hassan.

Buckeye’s 152-pounder Josh Sokolowski dropped a quarterfinal match against Hamilton Township’s Clayton Ray. The Panthers’ grappler was pinned in a clocking of 2:36. Earlier, Sokolowski was victorious in his opening round match, putting away Big Walnut’s Austin Carr, a result of a 5:06 fall.

Harrison Central’s 126-pound talent Hunter Pizzino, meanwhile, went up against Claymont’s Cody Burcher in a quarterfinal bout. The Mustangs’ veteran scored a pin in 1:42.

Pizzino had advaced to quarterfinal action after easily decisioning Utica’s Austin Palmer, 16-5, in opening round action.

A half-dozen other local D-II district qualifiers will see consolation round bouts this morning in a bid to remain alive for a state berth. The top four district qualifiers move on to state competition.

Harrison’s 106-pound Anthony Heavlin is looking to work his way back after sustaining a 16-0 technical fall at the hands of Claymont’s Tyler Warner.

Ditto Buckeye ace Sam Ronevich, pinned by River Valley’s Raymond Raimo in a 113-pound match. The Huskies’ 120-pounder David Forrester was decisioned by Buckeye Valley’s Chance Haynes, 7-3.

At 160, Buckeye’s Tristan Jones sustained a narrow 9-6 loss to Granville’s Will Navin. Panthers’ 182-pounder J.P. Solomon dropped a 13-6 opening round verdict to Lakewood’s Junior King.

Buckeye heavyweight Simeon Smith is also in consolation round action this morning following a loss via pin to Whitehall-Yearling’s Alex Farrow.

Claymont, with 75.5 points, owns the overall team lead following Friday’s competition. Steubenville Big Red with 69 markers is a close second. Whitehall-Yearling (50.5); Beaver Local (37) and New Philadelphia (37) round out the top five.