Another round of historic proportions.
River Valley produced a program-best three state qualifiers, while Gallia Academy, Meigs, Eastern and South Gallia all had their 2020 campaigns come to an end this past weekend at the Division II and Division III district wrestling tournaments respectively held at Claymont High School and Heath High School.
The Raiders — who ended a 15-year drought between state appearances last year — didn’t have to wait long to make another trip to the Schottenstein Center as the Silver and Black will be represented in three different weight classes starting Thursday.
Sophomore Nathan Cadle joins the 2003 and 2004 efforts of Zach Davis as the only multi-time state qualifiers in school history. Cadle placed fourth at 138 pounds in D-3 with a 3-2 overall mark that included two pinfall wins.
Sophomore Will Hash and freshman Andrew Huck also joined Cadle, Davis and Eric Weber as the only state qualifiers in program history after fourth and third place finishes at the 2-day event.
Huck went 5-1 overall — including three pinfalls, a major decision and a technical fall — in the 106-pound bracket. Hash scored three pinfall wins and went 3-2 overall at 152 pounds.
RVHS received a 2-2 effort, including two pinfalls, from sophomore Chris Goheen at 220 pounds, while sophomore Aiden Greene won a 9-1 major decision and went 1-2 at 170 pounds. Junior Seth Bowman also went 1-2 at 145 pounds for the Raiders.
River Valley led all of the Ohio Valley Publishing area teams with a 10th place finish of 70.5 points at the Division III district meet at Heath. Pleasant won the D-3 title with 132.5 points, while West Muskingum was runner-up out of 53 scoring teams with 106 points.
Eastern placed 37th overall with 11 points and secured a bit of history of its own as junior Steven Fitzgerald became the first Eagles to place at the district tournament. Fitzgerald — who went 3-3 overall with two pinfalls — ended up sixth in the heavyweight division.
Fitzgerald joins Dillon Aeiker as the only 2-time district qualifiers in program history.
Junior Ethan Kline suffered a pair of setbacks in his two matches at 220 pounds.
Meigs joined Huntington, Hannibal River and Elgin in a 4-way tie for 40th place, with each program scoring seven team points.
Seniors Tucker Smith (145) and Drake Hall (195) each scored a pinfall win and went 1-2 overall in their respective weight classes. Smith and Hall also became the first Marauders to score a point at the district tournament since Trae Hood back in 2017.
South Gallia tied Southeastern for 52nd place with a single point. The Rebels, however, scored a district point for the second consecutive year as senior Justin Butler went 1-2 at 152 pounds.
Freshman Reece Butler lost both of his bouts at 113 pounds. The elder Butler ends his career with the only wins for SGHS at the district level.
Pleasant led the D-3 Heath tournament with four weight class champions, followed by Newcomerstown with two. Barnesville, Coshocton, Alexander, West Jefferson, Northmor, Martins Ferry, Trimble and Shenandoah also had one division champion each.
Gallia Academy was the only OVP area team in the Division II district meet at Claymont High School and the Blue Devils ended up placing 27th out of 33 scoring teams with 15 points.
Lisbon Beaver won the D-2 title with 181.5 points, while West Holmes was the runner-up with 149 points.
The lone GAHS placer was sophomore Todd Elliott, who ended up sixth at 113 pounds with a 2-3 mark.
Sophomore Garytt Schwall went 2-2 overall — including a 10-2 major decision — at 120 pounds, while senior Bronson Carter had a pinfall win and went 2-2 overall at 160 pounds. Senior Corbin Walker also dropped both of his bouts at 220 pounds.
Lisbon Beaver led the D-2 Claymont tournament with four weight class champions, followed by West Holmes with a pair of division champs. Sheridan, St. Clairsville, Warren, New Lexington, Indian Valley, Steubenville, River View and Minerva also came away with a single weight class champion apiece.
The OHSAA state championships will be held Friday through Sunday at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the Division II and Division III district tournaments held at Claymont High School and Heath High School.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.