On to district: Local wrestlers fare well in sectional tournament

At Saturday’s sectional wrestling championships, Belpre showcased a great 8, while Caldwell boasted a magnificent 7.

Warren featured a fab 5, and Monroe Central had a fantastic 4.

Marietta and Waterford each had a dynamic duo.

And, last but not least, Shenandoah proved that one was better than none.

Tally the numbers up, and a total of 29 grapplers from The Marietta Times circulation area were district qualifiers at the District II and III tournaments at Alexander High and the D3 events at Barnesville High and Sandy Valley High. What this means is that each one of these mat combatants is now in a position to advance to the next level – the state tournament, which is scheduled to run Feb. 27-28 and March 1 at Value City Arena, Jerome Schottenstein Center, on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.

To get to state, a wrestler needs to place in the top 4 in his or her weight division at district, which begins this Friday and concludes the following day. Warren and Marietta will be competing at Wilmington High, while Belpre, Waterford, Caldwell, Monroe Central, and Shenandoah are at Heath High.

At the D3 sectional championships at Alexander High, Scott Adams-coached Belpre was runner-up to Southeastern. Scott Zimmer-led Waterford placed ninth in a field of 15 schools.

The Golden Eagle winners were Manney Tullius (138 pounds), Jake Hall (170), and Jamie Barrett (182. Placing second up were Gavin Stalnaker (113), Ethan Wiggers (145), and Hayden Lowe (220).

Belpre’s third-placer was Matthew Colvin (160), and its fourth placer was Zachary Davis (120).

Waterford senior standout and 2013 state qualifier Austin Lang captured the 132-pound weight class, while teammate Blake Heiss (182) finished fourth. Wildcats’ Zeb Offenberger (138) and Weston Wagner (145) each came up short with the former placing sixth and the latter fifth. Only the top 4 in each weight class moves on to district.

In D2, Mike Pahl-coached Warren was eighth and Bill Heldman-led Marietta ninth in a field of 11 schools. New Lexington was first and Athens runner-up.

The Warriors had no individual champion, but Levi Congleton (113) and Brandon Pahl (285) each was runner-up. Austin Klintworth (152) placed third, and Casey Parsons (145) and Chris Massey (220) each was fourth.

Marietta had two champs in Jake Dickson (152) and Garrett Davis (170).

The Tigers nearly had two other district qualifiers, but Joshua Clark (106) and Zack Hearn (160) came up short, with both finishing fifth.

Over at Barnesville, Tom Brown-coached Caldwell was third and Robert Muntz-led Monroe Central seventh overall in a field of 13 schools.

Ridgewood earned the team title, and Shadyside was second.

Kameron Rayner, a 2013 state placer, was the Redskins’ lone sectional winner in the 132-pound weight division, while younger brother Kolby Rayner (126) was runner-up. Also placing and advancing to district were third-placers’ Tyler Wiley (120), Sheldon Archer (182), and Clay Poling (195), and fourth-placers’ Adam Schocking (106), and Tyson Cartell (220).

Monroe Central’s Rodney Richter, now a three-time sectional winner, continued his drive for a second straight state tournament appearance.

Seminole senior Hunter Conner (195) was runner-up, as was sophomore Tanner Potts (220). Justin Kolburn (285) was third.

At Sandy Valley, David Freeman was Shenandoah’s lone district qualifier, finishing fourth in the 170-pound weight class.