Ron Mauck showcase begins this evening

The 66th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck Wrestling Tournament will take over WesBanco Arena tonight for three days of what should be exciting mat action.

Team-wise Parkersburg South, which has captured the past five tournaments and eight of nine since joining the conference, and beaver Local are the pre-tournament favorites with 13 seeded wrestlers each. Steubenville, Wheeling Park, University and possibly John Marshall should make some noise.

Individually, half of the 14 weight classes will be filled with defending champions, but the big question is, how many will repeat? Only time will tell. Beaver Local’s Cole McComas (126), a junior, will be seeking his third crown after winning at 106 and 113.

In addition to McComas, also looking to go back-to-back are East Liverpool’s Howard Williams; Parkersburg South’s trio of Tucker Windland, Brayden Roberts and Braxton Amos; Steubenville’s Anthony Rice; and John Marshall’s Anthony Carman.

There are, however, three other grapplers in the field who have stood atop the podium on Saturday night. Oak Glen’s Peyton Hall, a junior, was a champion as a freshman and the Bierkortte Award winner as the Most Outstanding Wrestler. He is joined by Madonna’s Alec Cook and Parkersburg South’s Zane Hinzman, who were also champions in 2017. Hall and Hinzman were runnersup last year, while Cook finished third.

Hall is also ranked No. 15 in the national by Trackwrestling at 138 pounds. The aforementioned Amos is No. 1 at 220.

I’m predicting Beaver Local to win a close team-title race over Parkersburg South. That also means the Beavers would win Class 5A. I also have Steubenville (4A), Barnesville (3) and Bridgeport (1A/2A) winning their respective divisions.

I hope to see everyone at WesBanco Arena one of the three days despite whatever Mother Nature has in store for the weekend.

Barnesville Junior High Tournament

BARNESVILLE — Sandy Valley slipped past St. Clairsville, 151.5-148, for the team title at the recent Barnesville Junior High Tournament. Bellaire (141) was third, followed by Barnesville (140.5) and Martins Ferry (112) to round out the top 5.

Congratulations to the following individuals who won their respective weight classes: 80–Tristen Rossiter (Shenandoah) ; 86–Reese Stephen (Barnesville); 98–Harison Kazmirski (St. Clairsville); 104–Dominic Hoffarth (Sandy Valley); 110– Nathan Witsberger (St. Clairsville); 116–Mason Aberts (Bridgeport); 122–Andrew Osman (Shadyside); 128–Brayden Roth (Bellaire); 134–John McFarland (Martins Ferry); 142–George Hulsey (Martins Ferry); 150–Talon Hughes (Bellaire); 160–Brody Fogle (Cambridge); 205–Alec Trent (Sandy Valley); and 245–Marshal Bier (River).

BMC Championships

78–Logan Davis (Oak Glen); 90–Ryan Chaffins (Oak Glen); 95–Kayden Bobby (Beaver Local); 102–Braxton Dlugopolski (Oak Glen); 110–Hunter Bittinger (Harrison Central); 116–Eric Williams (East Liverpool); 123–Trent Ewing (Beaver Local); 128–Michael Heath (Oak Glen); 135–Joey Barganski (Oak Glen); 145–Dom Paterra (Indian Creek); 155–Erick Brothers (Linsly); 171–Elijah Llewellyn (Indian Creek); 190–Hayden Beebout (Beaver Local); 285–Josh Blake (Oak Glen)