BARNESVILLE - Thirty-four area matmen are still alive for an Ohio high school Division III state wrestling championship after finishing in the top four of their respective weight classes Saturday night during sectional tournament action at Barnesville High School.
Of those, 11 are calling themselves sectional champions after winning their weight divisions in western Belmont County. Nine others finished second, while eight were third and a half-a-dozen fourth.
All 34 will travel to Heath High School on Friday and Saturday for district tournament action. The top four finishers at Heath advance to the state tournament the next weekend in Columbus on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Ridgewood collected the team title while moving 10 individuals onward, but only Cole Zeigler (126) was a champion. Shadyside, with two titlists in Greg Quinn (106) and Brett Kahl (138), finished second.
The top-seeded freshman pinned Ridgewoods' Colton Bethel in 42 seconds to improve to 38-1. He was on the mat 2:46 in three matches. Kahl, a second-seeded sophomore, decisioned No. 1 seeded Hobie Howiler, of Barnesville, by a 6-4 count. Kahl is 30-11.
The Tigers also have four other district qualifiers in Collin Hunter (113, 4th), Josh Kahl (120, 2nd), Billy Johnson (132, 3rd) and Jake Duvall (160, 2nd).
"I'm happy," Shadyside coach Sean Grinch said. "I think this is the first tournament all year that every kid on the team won a match. So, it was a total team effort. We've qualified six for next week, and we have one alternate."
The alternate is Jake Haswell, who finished fifth at 145.
Martins Ferry had a trio of sectional champions among its five district-bound wrestlers. They are James Wise (145), Bryce Coleman (152) and Jon Bodkin (285), and none had an easy time of things. In fact, Wise and Coleman had to go into overtime to earn their victories.
Wise, the top seed, improved to 36-11 after scoring a takedown in the extra session to outlast Union Local's second-seeded Zac Sowers, 6-4. Coleman, also a No. 1 seed, needed an escape in sudden-death OT to get past Beallsville's third-seeded Bruce Sefert, 6-5. Bodkin, an OVAC champion, went to a superb 37-1 after a 2-1 decision over Ridgewood's Kelly Barthalow.
Wise is 36-11 and Coleman 38-8.
"We're happy with how we wrestled," Martins Ferry coach Chaz Yoder said. "We need to work a couple of little things here and there in getting ready for next weekend."
Other Purple Riders headed to Heath are Thomas Campbell (106, 3rd) and Jerald Jarman (220, 3rd). Nick Cummings (195, 5th) is an alternate.
River had a pair of individuals stand atop the podium in Brandon Reusser (182) and Brett Rosen (195). Reusser, a top seed, had his way with West Muskingum's No. 2 seeded Corey Taylor, 9-1, to improve to 26-4. Rosen, also a No. 1 seed, defeated Monroe Central's Hunter Conner, 8-3, for his third victory in four tries against the second-seeded Seminole. Rosen is 28-6.
"Brandon worked his way back in the lineup and it paid off," River coach Eric Rosen said. "Brett and Hunter have meet four times this year, so they kind of know each other pretty well."
The other Pilot advancing was Kole Smith (170, 3rd). Jordan Sapp (160, 5th) is an alternate.
Bellaire, Monroe Central, St. Clairsville and Union Local each crowned one sectional champ.
The Big Reds' Myliek Green continued his superb season at 160 as he decisioned Shadyside's Jake Duvall, 11-4, in the finals. Green, the No. 1 seed, is 32-5.
Bellaire's Austin McConville (152, 4th) is also headed to the districts. Teammate Dylan Marling (113, 5th) is an alternate.
The Seminoles' Rodney Richter continued his drive for a second consecutive state tournament appearance. He manhandled Shadyside's Josh Kahl, 9-1, at 120 pounds. Richter, who has won a sectional title in all three years of action, improved to 30-6.
"I just want to get back to the state (meet) and do better than last year," Richter said.
The Red Devils' Michael Furbee (220) earned a bit of revenge when he fought off top-seeded Tanner Potts, of Monroe Central. Furbee, the second seed who is 40-4, was pinned by Potts two weeks ago.
Furbee will be joined by five teammates. They are Alex Timko (113, 2nd), Dylan Alwine (138, 4th), Logan Thompson (145, 3rd), Cole Skaggs (160, 3rd) and Carson Ernest (285, 4th).
Two of St. C. grapplers - Colton Stevens (132, 5th) and Matt Carnes (5th, 170) - are alternates.
The Jets' Matt McFarland (170) was their lone champion as he improved to 35-10 as the No. 2 seed. He decisioned Toronto's Drew Lowery, 9-1.
Other UL wrestlers having another week of practice include John Howell (126, 3rd), Bobby Stewart (132, 2nd) and Mike Paynter (160, 4th). Two other Jets are alternates - Nik Wright (138, 5th) and Devin Crum (152, 5th).
In addition to Richter, Conner and Potts, Monroe Central is also sending Justin Kilburn (285) to the districts.
Barnesville's Collin Wilson (120, 4th) is also headed to Heath. Austin Singleton (126, 5th) and Cade Leasure (182, 5th) are alternates for the Shamrocks.
Other champions included West Muskingum's Quinton Bishop (113) and Caldwell's Kolby Rayner (132).