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St. Clairsville qualifies 4 in D-II

Red Devils finish fourth in team standings

GALLIPOLIS — St. Clairsville will send a 4-member contingent to the Division II state wrestling tournament after district action Saturday at Gallia Academy.

Half of those state qualifiers will be going as district champions. They are seniors Koen Kish (132) and Reese Skaggs (220). Junior Caden Stout (145) was runnerup while classmate Gannon Kazmirski (106) was fourth.

The Red Devils finished fourth in the team standings with 120 points, which was 30 in back of champion Beaver Local. Minerva was second with 125.5, followed by Steubenville with 123.5.

“It was a super-brutal tournament. There were a lot of tough brackets,” St. Clairsville head coach Joel Sansone said. “I’m very pleased with our effort. I said going in I’d like to finish in the top 5, so we’ll take a fourth-place showing.”

Kish won his title with a 7-0 blanking of Dylan Strouse of West Holmes. Kish recorded a takedown and got back points in the first and never looked back in raising his record to an impressive 37-2.

“Koen wrestled like he is capable of all weekend,” Sansone said of the Clarion signee.

Skaggs earned his title the hard way. Trailing Indian Creek’s Elijah Llewellyn 1-0 with time winding down, Skaggs, now 32-3, pulled off a reversal with 23 seconds left. He then rode out the Redskins sophomore to secure his first district title.

“Reese wrestled a smart match,” Sansone said.

Kazmirski advanced to the championship semifinals before losing. He bounced back to take third by doubling up Brady Smith of West Holmes, 8-4.

The Division II state tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday at Merango Highland High School.

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