Area grapplers prepping for postseason
High school wrestlers are preparing for the postseason as a grueling regular season winds down next week.
With that said, sectional tournaments in Ohio are scheduled on February 26 as Division II schools head to Claymont and Steubenville high schools while Division III venture to Barnesville and Sandy Valley. District tournaments are on the weekend of Friday, Mar. 4 and Saturday, Mar. 5 at Gallia Academy (D-II)and Heath (D-III). The state tournament, which returns to the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of Ohio State University this winter after being staged at three Columbus-area high schools last season, is set for Friday, Mar. 11 through Sunday, Mar. 13.
This are a little different across the Ohio River in West Virginia. Region I competition begins on Saturday, Feb. 19 with the Class AAA event at the Moundsville Fieldhouse and the Class A-AA in Fairmont. The state tournament will be held on Thursday, Mar. 3 through Saturday, Mar. 5 in Huntington at Mountain Health Arena.
Richard Kirkland Jr. High Invite
New Philadelphia and Claymont tied for the team championship with 235 points each at Harrison Central High School last Saturday. Barnesville (149) was sixth. Also competing were Harrison Central, Buckeye Local, St. Clairsville, Union Local and Martins Ferry.
Individually, Barnesville’s Colt Carpenter (98) and Koby Jones (150) won their weight classes, as did Buckeye Local’s Mason Wilt (245); Harrison Central’s Andrew Cox (128) and Union Local’s Brody Perzanowski (134).
Finishing second were Barnesville’s Easton Stephen (80); Union Local’s Gunnar Gossett (110); Harrison Central’s Beau Rinkes (122); St. Clairsville’s Silas Simpson (98); and Buckeye Local’s Chase Milton (104) and Cody Devore (205).
According to tournament director Bill Bryant, 224 individuals took to the mats.
Congratulations go out to head coach Danny Irwin and his Hilltoppers on defending their Mountain East Conference championship last weekend inside the ASRC.
WLU had four individual titlists and eight members of the squad earned All-MEC recognition.
Defending MEC, regional and national champion Cole Laya (125), Chase Morgan (165), Ty McGeary (174) and Francesco Borsellino (285) all won championships. Tyler Warner (141) was second, while Drake Kendrex (184) and Logan Kemp (197) both finished third. Luke Miller (133), Jacob Simpson (149) and Christian Rivera (157) were all fourth.
The Hilltoppers’ strong performance in the championship finals allowed the hosts to finish with 131.5 points in the one-day event. Glenville State was second with 117.5 with Notre Dame settling for third with 111 points. Davis & Elkins (97), Alderson Broaddus (85.5), Fairmont State (41) and Wheeling (15) rounded out the team scoring.
The Hilltoppers return to the mat on Saturday when they head to Berea to compete in the John Summa Memorial, hosted by Baldwin Wallace University.
Three members of the Cardinals place in the recent MEC Tournament.
Chase Montgomery (133) finished fifth, while Brennon Reid (157) and Clarouly Meca (285) both were sixth.
WU is back in action Saturday at the University of Indianapolis Duals with Ashland, Kentucky Wesleyan and Maryville University.
The Mountaineers had a tough road trip through the Dakotas last week, dropping a 23-16 decision to the No. 23 South Dakota State Jackrabbits inside Frost Arena in Brookings before losing 39-9 on Saturday at North Dakota State inside Fargo’s Scheels Center.
True sophomore Peyton Hall pinned No. 27 Tanner Cook in 4:24 against SDSU. Hall, an Oak Glen grad who is No. 9 in the first NCAA coaches’ ranking at 165 pounds, recorded his fourth pin of the season to remain undefeated in duals (9-0) and improve to 4-1 against ranked opponents.
Next up, the Mountaineers face off against No. 7 Iowa State on Friday and Northern Iowa on Saturday. Both duals are set for 8 p.m.
Steubenville product Jashon Hubbard (157) made quick work of Maryland’s Connor Decker in just 41 seconds of the first period as the No. 8 Buckeyes throttled the Terps, 39-4, last Sunday.
Hubbard improved to 11-4 this season and just 2-4 in duals. He also decisioned Maryland’s Lucas Cordio 8-3 in an exhibition match.
Hubbard is 14-4 in his career.
Ohio State (6-2, 2-2) will face its third Top 3 opponent in the last four matches when it travels to No. 1 Penn State (14-0, 6-0) for a 7 p.m. bout with the Nittany Lions Friday at the Bryce Jordan Center in University Park, Pa. The match will be televised by the Big Ten Network. Ohio State remains on the road to battle No. 17 Rutgers (12-4, 2-4) on Sunday at Jersey Mike’s Arena.