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Martins Ferry earns mat sweep to conclude strange week

MARTINS FERRY’S George Hulsey, right, has a leg up on Union Local’s Aidan Myers during their 160-pound bout Saturday at Union Local High School. Hulsey earned a decision.

MORRISTOWN — What a crazy week it was for the Martins Ferry wrestling team.

The Purple Riders were part of the Division III Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association State Dual Championships when the week began as the No. 4 seed in the Heath District. On Wednesday, they let an early lead slip away in a lop-sided loss at Barnesville. A day later, they found out they were not part of the state duals due to a miscalculation of points, allowing Sandy Valley to slip past them.

However, instead of dwelling on things out of their control, the Purple Riders concluded the week by sweeping past Philo (63-7) and homestanding Union Local (58-18) in a triangular meet inside the ‘Hangar.’

“Not bad. We had some good matches here and there against Philo,” Martins Ferry head coach Chad Ware allowed. “Most of our guys got matches against Union Local. We started out strong and finished strong.”

Three Purple Riders collected wins in both matches they competed in while another trio were each awarded a pair of forfeits. Four individuals won a match and also took a forfeit, while two others won one match and lost one.

Kameron Hughes (195) picked up a pair of pins in 3:10 and 1:56. He is a two-time state qualifier and is ranked No. 6 in the state this season by the website Borofan. Zak Dobson (220) recorded a 58-second pin against the Jets and a 13-4 major decision versus Philo. He is ranked 15th. Chase Goff (160) earned a 11-4 decision in the Philo match and pinned his Union Local opponent in 1:28. Goff is listed in the 24th spot.

Dylan Ward (113), Dominick Tedeschi (120) and Zeke Bruney (285) received forfeits in both matches. Kyler Oliver (106), Johnathan Rossano (126), Kaiden Archer (132) and George Hulsey (160) all won both of their matches. Oliver also had a pin. Rossano, Archer and Hulsey all posted decisions.

Ware was also pleased with the performance of Johnny McFarland in the Union Local dual. The junior trailed 8-4 with time winding down in the third period. However, McFarland put his opponent on his back to get the fall with 24 seconds left.

“Johnny has the skills. He’s still young and a little green, but we’re pushing him,” the coach noted. “I tell him every day that I know he can do it. He never stopped wrestling.”

The Purple Riders are back in action Friday at Shenandoah with Shadyside.

“To be honest with you, I never really talked to the kids about them,” Ware said of the mixup with the state duals. “After our experience last year when we went to Alexander High School and didn’t do very well, so no, we didn’t talk about it.

“We did, however, talk about the teams that are left on our schedule and what we need to do to get better every day.”

For Union Local head coach Zack Powell, the results weren’t what he was looking for, but the important thing was to get his kids some mat time.

“It’s never what you want when you get beat but the kids wrestled hard,” he said. “There were some close matches even though the team score didn’t show it there against Martins Ferry. There were some matches that I thought we should’ve won and we didn’t, but that’s wrestling and that’s why we do it.”

Union Local defeated the Electrics, 43-18.

Two Jets won both matches they competed in. They were Nathaniel Gibson (138) and Brody Myers (145). Gibson had a pair of pins, including a 27-second fall against Martins Ferry. Myers had a 41-second pin against the Purple Riders and a 9-2 decision with Philo.

Landon Crum (152) had the fastest fall of the day with a 23-second mat-slapper in the Ferry dual.

The Jets are back on the mat Thursday at Shadyside, along with Bellaire.

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