Barnesville’s Stephen honed craft in summer

While most kids spent their summer at a refreshing swimming pool, vacationing with their parents at a sandy beach somewhere or enjoying an amusement park and all its amenities, Reese Stephen was honing his wrestling skills.

The seventh-grader at Barnesville Junior High School spent month of his ‘summer vacation’ touring the west coast as a member of the Ohio All-Star Wrestling team.

“It was a good experience. It was really fun,” he said last weekend while working at the Barnesville Doan Ford Invitational as a “tapper.”

Stephen went an astonishing 15-2 on the trip, which included winning the championship of a tournament in San Diego.

“Some matches were close, but I had quite a few pins,” he recalled. “There were about 15 kids in my weight class at 85 pounds.

“I learned a lot of new wrestling moves and it made me a better person.”

In addition to wrestling in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, Colorado and Utah, the team was also treated to a day at Knotts Berry Farm, which is known as California’s top theme park. They also visited Canada and Mexico.

“The bus rides were sometimes long, but on a scale of 10, I’d give it a 9 or 10. It was the trip of a lifetime.”

So far this season, Stephen is unbeaten and recently won the championship at the Bubba Coleman Junior High Tournament in Martins Ferry.

Stephen’s father, Jayson, is the head wrestling coach at Barnesville High School. His mother, Jaime, teaches in the Shenandoah Local School District.

Barnesville Doan Ford Leftovers

∫ Man was it a long day in western Belmont County. With nothing but time on my hands, I decided to take in the semifinal bouts. Usually, these are better matches than the finals matchups!

I wasn’t disappointed.

∫ I would be remiss is I didn’t thank Athletic Director Mark Cook for all of his hospitality.

∫ There was a lot of very good wrestling at this event, whch will celebrate its Golden Anniversary next year.

Ohio State Flexes Muscles

The Buckeyes traveled to Las Vegas recently to compete in the annual Cliff Keen Collegiate Invitational.

Ohio State won the team title 148-115.5 over Missouri and Buckeyes’ Joseph McKenna (141), Myles Martin (184) and Kollin Moore (197) were invidual titlists. Micah Jordan (149) finished runnerup.

Same Moore

If the name Kollin Moore sounds familiar to local wrestling enthusiasts, he is the same grappler from Creston Norwayne that got major-decisioned, 10-0, in the 2013 Ohio state finals by Shadyside’s Alex Quinn. Moore has since become one of the top wrestlers in the world.