OVP area has 10 grapplers advance to districts

Bryan Walters

February 17, 2014

ALBANY, Ohio — The Ohio Valley Publishing area had 10 grapplers qualify for the district tournament Saturday after finishing in the top-four of the Division II and Division III sectional wrestling championships held at Alexander High School in Athens County.

Gallia Academy led the way with seven of the eight district qualifiers in D-2, with Meigs also coming away with one district qualifier. River Valley landed two district qualifers in the D-3 competition.

The Blue Devils placed fourth overall in D-2 with 148.5 points, finishing 62 points behind sectional champion New Lexington (210.5). Athens (195.5) and Sheridan (160.5) respectively finished second and third overall, while Chillicothe rounded out the top five spots with 129 points.

GAHS had three grapplers reach the sectional final in their respective weight classes, but junior Cole Tawney was the only local wrestler to come away with a sectional championship. Tawney — the 2014 Most Valuable Wrestler of the SEOAL — pinned Tyler Hicks of New Lexington to capture the 126-pound crown.

Jared Stevens dropped an 11-4 decision to Skyler St. Peter of Athens in the 106-pound final, while Griffon McKinniss suffered a 14-5 major decision setback to Garrett Davis of Marietta in the 170 championship. Both Stevens and McKinniss advanced to districts as the overall runners-up.

Anthony Sipple (195) and John Byus (220) each advanced with third place finishes, while Kaleb Crisenberry (132), Ryan Terry (160) and Justin Reynolds (182) are also headed to the district meet after placing fourth.

Daylen Neece was the lone Marauder to qualify for districts after finishing second in the 220-pound weight class. Meigs was 11th out of 11 teams at sectionals with 30 points.

Isaiah Holley just missed the cut for GAHS after finishing fifth in the 113 weight class, while Brandon Thompson of MHS finished fifth overall in the 145 division.

The Division II districts will be held Friday and Saturday at Wilmington High School.

River Valley finished 11th out of 15 teams in the D-3 tournament with 54.5 points. Southeastern won the D-3 title with 198 points, while Belpre (168), Paint Valley (153.5), Westfall (127) and Crooksville (101.5) rounded out the top five spots.

Senior Rondal Cornell led the Raiders with a runner-up effort in the 160-pound weight class. Cornell lost a 6-4 decision to Teagan McFadden of Paint Valley in the championship match. Anthony Harmon also advanced to districts after finishing fourth in the 195 division.

The Division III districts will be held Friday and Saturday at Heath High School.

Complete results of the Division II and Division III sectional wrestling tournaments are available on the web at