WILMINGTON, Ohio — The Ohio Valley Publishing area will have three grapplers competing at the Jerome Schottenstein Center this coming weekend after placing in the top four of their respective divisions Friday and Saturday at the 2014 Division II District Championships held at Wilmington High School in Clinton County.
Gallia Academy will be sending at least one wrestler to state for a fifth consecutive postseason, while Meigs earned its first state berth since the 2008 campaign. The Blue Devils will also have two grapplers at the state level for just the third time in school history.
GAHS finished 14th out of 41 teams with 51 points, well off the winning mark of 306 points set by eventual champion St. Paris Graham. Carlisle was the runner-up with 92 points, while the Marauders finished 23rd overall with 19 points.
Junior Cole Tawney led Gallia Academy with a third-place finish in the 126-pound division, going 4-1 overall while earning his second consecutive berth to the D-2 state meet. Tawney joins Brandon Taylor and Ben Doolittle as the only GAHS grapplers to appear in multiple state tournaments.
Jared Stevens also made a bit of Blue Devil history after finishing fourth in the 106 weight class, going 4-2 overall while becoming the program’s first freshman to ever qualify for the state meet. Stevens also becomes the 10th different Blue Devil to advance to the OHSAA tournament.
Meigs senior Daylen Neece also advanced to the D-3 state tournament following a 4-1 mark and a third place finish in the 220-pound division. Neece joins Cassidy Willford (2008) and Aaron Sheets (1991) as the only Marauder grapplers to qualify for state over the last 23 years.
John Byus just missed out on a state berth, as the GAHS senior lost his final three matches and went 2-3 overall while placing sixth in the 220 division.
Ryan Terry (160), Griffon McKinniss (170) and Justin Reynolds (182) each went 1-2 in their respective matches for the Blue and White, while Isaiah Holley (113), Kaleb Crisenberry (132) and Anthony Sipple (195) finished their seasons with identical 0-2 marks.
River Valley had two competitors in the Division III meet held this past weekend at Heath High School, but neither grappler managed to score a point for the Raiders. Rondal Cornell went 0-2 overall in the 160 division, while Anthony Harmon was 0-2 in the 195-pound weight class.
Hartley won the D-3 crown with 107.5 team points, while Paint Valley (96) and West Jefferson (76) rounded out the top-three teams in the field.
The 2014 OHSAA wrestling championships will be held Thursday through Sunday at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus.
Complete results of the 2014 OHSAA district wrestling meets are available on the web at baumspage.com