NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Decisions, decisions.
And, just how close encounters they were for the Gallia Academy High School wrestling squad.
As a result, the Blue Devils finished third on Saturday in the annual meat-grinding Nelsonville-York Invitational, as some talented teams from the Southeast, Central and East districts all invaded Ben Wagner Gymnasium in Nelsonville.
Gallia Academy, of the 18 total teams and 17 which scored points, placed third with 226 total points.
In placing in all but three of the 14 weight classes, the Blue Devils secured six top-three placements — three runner-up finishes combined with three thirds.
Unfortunately for Gallia Academy, it lost all three of its championship matches by narrow hard-fought decisions — and thus took third behind champion West Jefferson (260 points) and runner-up Caledonia River Valley (237.5 points).
Speaking of River Valley, the Raiders of Bidwell River Valley — on the strength of three top-three places including 113-pound weight-class champion Jacob Edwards — finished sixth with 171 points.
The Raiders placed in nine weight classes, and also earned a runner-up and third-place performance.
Just ahead of the Raiders, and behind the Blue Devils, was host Nelsonville-York with 224.5 points — a half-marker ahead of fifth-place Morgan (224).
Washington Court House (158), Licking Valley (137.5), Northwestern (131) and Jackson (118) rounded out the top 10 clubs, while Meigs — with 68 points and five placers — was 15th.
The runner-ups for the Blue Devils were junior Caleb Greenlee at 106 pounds, senior Jared Stevens at 126 pounds, and senior Kaleb Crisenbery at 145 pounds.
And, in all three title tilts, the trio lost by three hard-luck decisions.
Greenlee lost a gut-wrenching 2-1 triple-overtime outcome to Collin Yinger of Nelsonville-York, Stevens suffered a 10-3 defeat against Licking Valley’s Gunner Carpenter, and Crisenbery fell 7-2 to Zane Nelson of Washington Court House.
For Stevens, however, he was on the right end of a 5-3 decision against Tre Thomas of Washington Court House in the semifinals — clinching his championship match berth and his 150th career win at GAHS.
Crisenbery claimed his 125th career victory in his semifinal, pinning Colt Hanson of Morgan in only 42 seconds.
Gallia Academy’s third-place finishers featured sophomore Jason Stroud at 106, junior Kyle Greenlee at 113 and senior Hunter Jacks at 170.
Stroud pinned teammate Kenton Ramsey in the 106 third-place match, as Ramsey had forfeited to Caleb Greenlee in the semifinals.
Kyle Greenlee and Jacks lost their semifinal matches by tough decisions — an 11-6 defeat by Greenlee against West Jefferson’s David Staten and a 9-7 overtime loss by Jacks against Maysville’s Hayden McGee.
Rounding out the Blue Devil placers were Ramsey (4th at 106), Morgan Stanley (6th at 138), Logan Griffith (7th at 220), Lane Pullins (7th at 152), Corbin Walker (8th at 120), Andrew Mullins (8th at 160) and Logan Rose (8th at 195).
For the Raiders, the sophomore Edwards amassed the championship at 113 — decisioning Staten 10-6 in the finals for a perfect 5-0 day.
The Raiders’ runner-up was junior Jeremiah Dobbins at 138 pounds, as he was pinned in his finals match by senior Jake Martinez of Licking Valley.
Eric Weber, another sophomore, was third for River Valley at 160 pounds.
Rounding out the Raider placers were Joseph Burns (5th at 120), Robert Drummond (7th at heavyweight), Zach Stein (7th at 195), Grant Gilmore (8th at 170), Derek Johnson (8th at 182) and Dakota Doss (8th at 220).
The Marauders’ five placers included Trae Hood (4th at 220), Clayton Hanna (7th at 106), Nathaniel Gearheart (7th at 145), Keynath Rowe (7th at 182) and Tucker Smith (8th at 132).
Eastern competes at Alexander
ALBANY, Ohio — The Eastern Eagles also competed in Athens County on Saturday, and had three placers and 29 points as part of the Alexander Invitational.
The Eagles placed 12th out of 14 schools which fielded teams, and 12th out of 13 which scored points.
Eastern’s only placers were junior Gavin Mullen (4th at 195), freshman Daniel Harris (5th at 145) and sophomore Dillon Aeiker (6th at 126).
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106