Large contingent of D-III grapplers headed to district

Twenty-nine area Division III wrestlers punched their tickets to Philo High School and district tournament action Saturday by placing in the top 4 of their respective weight classes during sectional action at Barnesville High School.

Ten of those grapplers stood atop the podium as the two-day event came to a close, with Martins Ferry and Shadyside each claiming a trio of titlists. Monroe Central had a pair, while Barnesville and St. Clairsville each had one.

Of those 29 heading to Philo next weekend, six are from Shadyside and another half-a-dozen from St. Clairsville. Martins Ferry qualified five, while Barnesville, Monroe Central and River all had three qualifiers. Beallsville, Bellaire and Union Local are each sending one.

Martins Ferry’s champions included Theodore Zoumpolidis (106), Damon Outward (126) and Zac Coole (220). Bryce Coleman (138) finished runnerup, while Jonathan Bodkin (285) was third.

Zoumpolidis, the No. 2 seed who is now 23-11, got a bit of revenge on Barnesville’s Collin Wilson, the top seed, with a 5-3 decision. The Shamrock grappler had won their OVAC match.

Outward, the Purple Riders’ outstanding senior, improved to 41-5 with a 5-2 victory over Sandy Valley’s Joe Newman. It was Outward’s second sectional crown.

Coole, another top-seeded senior, is now 39-7 after defeating River’s J.D. Doton, 4-1.

Coleman was pinned by Caldwell’s top-seeded Kameron Rayner with 17 seconds left in their match, while Bodkin earned a 7-2 nod over Shadyside’s Zach Meadows.

“I was hoping for six, but we’ll take five,” Martins Ferry head coach Scott Roth said. “Theo and Damon wrestled really well, as did Bryce, Zac and Jonathan.”

Shadyside’s big three of Ian Baker (145), Alex Quinn (152) and Chase Kinemond (160) continued to breeze towards another trip to Columbus as they all brought home titles. Also moving on, in addition to the aforementioned Meadows, are Wyatt Skapik (106) and Brett Kahl (138), who both ended up fourth.

“That’s the most we’ve had in the district for a while,” Shadyside head coach Scott Kinemond said of his qualifiers. “I thought we could’ve got seven, but that’s the way it goes.”

Baker, who is now 38-2, decisioned Tusky Valley’s Josh Wallace for his fourth sectional crown, while Quinn remained spotless in 37 matches with a 11-2 major decision over Monroe Central’s Zac Potts, who finished eighth in the state a year ago. Kinemond completed the trifecta with a 5-0 blanking of St. Clairsville’s Dalton Nolte. Kinemond improved to 34-2.

The Tigers wound up fourth in the team standings with 142 points.

The Red Devils will take champion Corey Ernest (285), Alex Timko (113-4th), Justin Callarik (138-3rd), Seth Benge (170-2nd), Michael Furbee (195-3rd), along with the aforementioned Ernest and Nolte.

St. Clairsville had to wait the entire night to get a champion, as Ernest won by injury default over previously undefeated Joe Newsome of Tusky Valley. The St. Clairsville senior led 4-3 before Newsome gave up due to a shoulder injury.

“I thought we were going to be the bridesmaid all night,” St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone said with a smile. “Corey has been wanting this match for a couple of weeks after the kid ducked him in a dual meet last week.”

Benge dropped a 10-0 major decision to Caldwell’s Kale Rayner.

Of Monroe Central’s three qualifiers, two were sectional champs, those being Rodney Richter (113) and Chase Carothers (132). The other is Potts.

Richter decisioned St. Clairsville’s Alex Timko, 9-4, while Carothers rallied from behind to pin Union Local’s Zac Sowers in 5:07. He trailed in the third period 6-5 before getting an escape, takedown and the fall.

“That was pretty exciting,” Monroe Central head coach Tyler Schumacher noted. “Both kids wrestled well.”

Barnesville’s Hobie Howiler dominated the 120 pound division as he improved to 38-5 in his freshman season with a 7-1 triumph over Sandy Valley’s Evan Offenberger.

Other Shamrocks advancing include Wilson and Taylor Griffin, who was fourth at 132.

In addition to Doton, other Pilots advancing to Philo were Kole Smith (160) and Brett Rosen (195). Rosen was third and Smith fourth.

Beallsville and Bellaire each will send one grappler to Philo. The Blue Devils’ rep will be Bruce Sefert (145-3rd), while the Big Reds’ Nick Maffe (152-3rd) is also headed there.

Other champions included Sandy Valley’s Sam Groff, who remained a perfect 49-0 at 182 pounds, and Tusky Valley’s Thomas Watt (195).

Sandy Valley won the team title with 180 points. Tusky Valley (179) was second, Caldwell (146) third, Shadyside (142) fourth and St. Clairsville (135) fifth. Martins Ferry (125) finished sixth.

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