COLUMBUS, Ohio — If nothing else, all three will have a chance for redemption.
A trio of underclassmen had their respective 2014 seasons come to a close this weekend at the Division II OHSAA Wrestling Championships held at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of the Ohio State University in Franklin County.
Both Gallia Academy and Meigs were represented at the 77th annual event, but only the Blue Devils had a grappler make it through to Saturday’s podium round. Each program also had one wrestler eliminated after two matches on the first day.
The one grappler that made it past Thursday’s opening round was GAHS junior Cole Tawney, who ultimately finished eighth with a 2-3 overall mark in the 126-pound weight class.
Tawney — who finished fifth a year ago in the 120 division — became the first Blue Devil to earn two podium finishes in a career, and his five points also allowed Gallia Academy to extend its scoring streak at the state tournament to five straight postseasons.
Tawney won his opening round match Thursday over Chandler Minnard of Bloom Carroll by a 7-4 decision, but followed with a 10-6 setback to eventual state champion Anthony Tutolo of Mentor Lake Catholic. Tawney followed with a 16-4 major decision over Vince Zitello of Bay Village to secure a spot on the podium.
Tawney dropped a 5-2 decision to Eli Seipel of St. Paris Graham, who ultimately finished third in the 126 bracket. Tawney lost a rematch with Minnard in the seventh-place contest, as Minnard scored a 7-4 decision.
Tawney — a three-time SEOAL champion — finishes the year with 55-5 overall record and is now 6-5 alltime at the state tournament.
Jared Stevens went 0-2 overall in the 106-pound category while becoming the first GAHS freshman to compete at the state level. Stevens was pinned by both eventual runner-up Tony DeCesare of Parma Padua Franciscan and eighth-place finisher Charlie Nash of Norwalk.
Stevens — who won an SEOAL title this winter — finished the year with a 41-8 overall mark.
The Blue Devils finished the weekend in a three-way tie for 60th place, joining Buckeye Valley and Ravenna with five points apiece. A total of 87 schools scored at least one point at the D-2 meet.
The Marauders did not score at the state tournament, as junior Daylen Neece went 0-2 in the 220-pound weight class on Thursday night. Neece suffered a pair of pinfall losses to Harrison Hoppel of Minerva and Kordell Chaney of Sandusky Perkins.
Neece — a TVC runner-up this winter — finished the season with a 31-13 overall mark.
St. Paris Graham came away with the D-2 team title with 185.5 points, followed by runner-up Uhrichsville Claymont with 137.5 points. Toledo Central Catholic (95), Perry (74) and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (62) rounded out the top five spots.
Complete results of the 2014 OHSAA Wrestling Championships are available on the web at ohsaa.org