Changes on horizon for Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament

The Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will be entering unchartered waters this season when the OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament invades downtown Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena for its annual three-day stay in mid-January.

For the first time in the tournament’s 66 years the seeding will done by a committee instead of the head coaches. That change was approved by a vote of the tournament coaches during a meeting in November.

The 7-member committee includes Shenandoah’s Jesse Wells (Class 1A/2A), Barnesville’s Jayson Stephen (Class 3A), Oak Glen’s Patrick McGillian (Class 4A) and University’s Ken Maisel (Class 5A). An at-large bid was awarded to Steubenville’s Mike Blackburn, while former chairman of the seeding meetings, Jim Rocchi, and wrestling aficionado Sean Smith complete the list.

“I’m very pleased with the results,” Tournament Director Dr. Dan Doyle said. “We have a lot of high-caliber coaches on the committee.”

Those elected are locked in to a three-year commitment.

“We’ve got pretty much the entire conference represented,” Doyle added. “We have each class and each state represented. “I’m sure this group will do a super job.”

Doyle said the committee, along with the tournament committee of himself, tournament namesake Ron Mauck, Jeff Crosier, Sean Grinch and Rich McCardle, will get together a couple of weeks before the event to go over specifics.

“There are several ways we can do it,” Doyle said.

The seeding meeting will still take place on the Sunday prior to the tournament (Jan. 12). The annual press conference will be held Jan. 13, with the tournament running Jan. 16-18.

Beaver Local ended Parkersburg South’s stranglehold on the tournament last season when it amassed 303 points to the Patriots’ 243.

How will it play out this season? Time will only tell.

Prep Tournament Season Begins Saturday

The 2019-20 high school tournament season gets under way Saturday with the 21st annual Union Local Rick Link Invitational in Morristown. The event gets started at 9:30 a.m. and will be a pool-style tournament. The finals will begin at approximately 3 p.m.

Douglas Begins New Tradition

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum recently held a celebration to honor legendary wrestler and coach Bobby Douglas at the Dan Gable Museum.

Douglas began a new tradition when he became the first individual to sign his photograph on one of the walls in the museum.

The Bridgeport High School graduate was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in 1987 and was inducted into the Dan Gable Museum’s Glen Brand Wrestling Hall of Fame of Iowa in 2003.

Douglas was the first African-American to wrestle in the Olympics, competing in 1964 and 1968, and the first to captain the U.S. Olympic team in 1968. He also wrestled on six World Championship teams, winning a silver medal in 1966 and a bronze medal in 1970. He was an assistant coach for 10 World and Olympic teams, was World Cup coach in 1987 and Olympic coach in 1992.

He had a long and distinguished college coaching career at Arizona State and Iowa State. In 1988, he led Arizona State to the national championship, the only wrestling team title won by a western school, and he led Iowa State to three runner-up finishes.

Ohio Girls State Tournament

The Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association has voted unanimously to officially sponsor a Girls State Wrestling Tournament for the upcoming wrestling season. The event will take place on Feb. 22-23, 2020 at Hilliard Davidson High School.

The announcement comes after a year of planning for the OHSWCA. “We’ve tried to meet with as many stakeholders as possible including the OHSAA, USA Wrestling (OH), OWOA, and several parents and coaches of current female wrestlers in Ohio and around the country.” said Dominic DiSabato who will be the tournament director for the inaugural event.

Ohio Boys State Tournament Change

The Ohio High School Athletic Association made a decision recently to switch the state wrestling tournament from its annual Thursday through Saturday format to Friday through Sunday. It will still be held inside The Jerome Schottensten Center on the campus of Ohio State University on March 13-15.

OVAeC Preseason rankings

The top 4 wrestlers in each weight class are listed in the preseason rankings compiled by Sean Smith. They are as follows:

106–Alex Overly (Shenandoah), Jarrett Stillion (Meadowbrook), Cody Taggart (Wheeling Park) and Camden Barr (Oak Glen).

113–Jaymin Salsberry (East Liverpool), Carl Cochran (John Marshall), Griffen Stephen (Barnesville) and Danny Yost (Brooke).

120–Nate Shelek (Wheeling Park), Mark Emmerling Jr. (Beaver Local), Josh DeNoble (St. Clairsville) and Cole Coleman (Warren Local).

126–Logan Ours (Beaver Local), Koen Kish (St. Clairsville), Jace Stockett (University), Ethan Gray (John Marshall)

132–Cole McComas (Beaver Local), Howard Williams (East Liverpool), Jake Staud (University) and Wyatt Conley (Weir).

138–Johnathan Potts (Beaver Local), Brian Palmer Jr. (Buckeye Local), Andrew Shelek (Wheeling Park and Brayden Johnson (Parkersburg South).

145–Gavin Quiocho (Parkersburg South), Dylan Milhoan (Southern Local), Tyler Muldrew (Steubenville) and Jonathan Creese (Oak Glen).

152–Peyton Hall (Oak Glen), Brayden Roberts (Parkersburg South), Peyten Kellar (Warren Local) and Skyler Lasure (Beaver Local).

160–Ethan Pappas (Steub), Logan Krulik (Beaver Local), Cannon Welker (Wheeling Park) and Skyler Hatten (Bridgeport).

170–Ian Bush (Cameron), Max Camilletti (Brooke), Hunter Nixon (Wheeling Park) and Cody Albaugh (Bellaire).

182–David Tuttle (Steubenville), Hunter Morris (Southern Local), Charles Smith (Buckeye Local) and J.R. Brothers (Wheeling Park).

195–Keith Bodnar (Steubenville), Richard McFarland (Martins Ferry), Reese Skaggs (St. Clairsville) and James Stillwagoner (Magnolia).

220–Braxton Amos (Parkersburg South), Skylor Wooley (East Liverpool), Derek Witsberger (St. Clairsville) and Zac Cesario (Buckeye Local).

285–Daniel Wirth (Beaver Local), Mikey Hamrick (Magnolia), Easton Hitchens (Shenandoah) and Donte Lewis (Martins Ferry).

WLU Ranked in Top 10

For the first time since the 2012-13 season, West Liberty is ranked in the Top 10 teams among Division II schools. The Hilltoppers of first-year head coach Danny Irwin check in at 10th in the initial set of rankings. Defending national champion St. Cloud State is ranked No. 1.

Individually, two Hilltoppers find themselves in the top spots, according to TheOpenMat.com. They are seniors Darius Bunch (141) and Logan Kemp (197). Sophomore Cole Laya (125) is ranked third.

West Liberty is back in action on Saturday at the Little State Invitational in Indianapolis, Ind.


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