OVAC matmen to shine Tuesday

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will look to continue its dominance as the 26th annual “Clash of the Champions” unfolds Tuesday night inside St. Clairsville High School. The OVAC has won four of the last five events, including 43-21 last season at West Allegheny High School.

Tuesday night’s match features OVAC All Stars against Midwestern Pennsylvania All Stars. It will be held on John Jenkins Court, starting at 7 p.m.. The event has been held annually since it originated in 1988. It alternates sites between the conferences.

A banquet honoring the wrestlers, parents, coaches and guests will be held Monday night at Undo’s in Weirton, starting at 6.

The OVAC All Stars are selected by placement in last January’s 61st annual Ron Mauck Tournament held inside WesBanco Arena in downtown Wheeling. The top senior placer in each weight class gets first shot at the team. If he declines, then the opportunity goes to the next highest senior placer, and so on until someone accepts.

This years OVAC team is comprised of six tournament titlists, a trio of sixth-placers, and one each that finished third, fourth, seventh and eighth. It also includes eight state qualifiers in either Ohio or West Virginia, and seven state placewinners, with half-a-dozen of them from the Mountain State. There will not be a match contested at 106.

OVAC champions on the roster are Isiaih Hood (132, University); Kameron Rayner (138, Caldwell); Johnny Davis (152, Wheeling Park); Eric Banks (160, Wheeling Park); Leo Hermann (170, Steubenville Catholic); and Geremy Paige (220, Wheeling Park).

Rounding out the team are Tyler Wiley (113, Caldwell); Josh Cornell (120, Oak Glen); Austin Singleton (126, Barnesville); Zac Sowers (145, Union Local); Lucas Borden (182, Steubenville Catholic); and Preston Wise (285, Brooke).

The Keystone Staters are led by Montour’s Cole Macek who was 35-2 and wrestling for fifth place late Saturday night during the PIAA state meet in Hershey, Pa. He was undefeated going into the state meet. He was the WPIAL champion this year and is a 3-time state qualifier.

Also representing the MAC are Tristan Buxton (113, Trinity); Brendan Price (120, Canon-MacMillan); Travis Sonson (126, Hopewell); Jake Braddock (132, Blackhawk); Dustin Winkle (138, Hopewell); Donnie Kerr (145, Ellwood City); Grant Fetchet (152, South Fayette); Tyler Harris (160, McGuffey); Dalton Rosta (170, Laurel Highlands); Brad Grinnen (185, Ellwood City); Calvin Sitting (220 0r 285, Ambridge); and Will Bortmas (220 or 295, Butler)

Buxton was a WPIAL Section 4 regional qualifier, while Fetchet finished 40-4 and third in the WPIAL Southwest regional.