This is the time of year when every point counts most.
Get a pin or a tech fall now, and it's a trip to the Ohio state wrestling tournament.
"We've been working on things all year, and it comes down to whether we can peak," said Marietta wrestling coach Jeff Walker.
With the sectional tournament in the books this past weekend, local wrestlers will now be advancing on to the district tournament this weekend where they'll be looking to punch that ticket to state.
Of all the local teams, the one to fare the best during sectional grappling this past weekend was the Caldwell Redskins.
Caldwell was the only local wrestling team to advance as a unit as the Redskins had nine athletes qualify for district.
DIVISION II SECTIONAL AT CIRCLEVILLE
Miami Trace won the championship with 183.5 points. 17 teams. Warren was 8th with 118.5 and Marietta 11th with 62.5
WARREN (4): Cory Parsons (1st, 103, 33-2), Justyn Rohr (2nd, 215, 24-6), Brian Hendrix (3rd, 285, 24-9), Dustin Harlow (3rd, 171, 34-10).
MARIETTA (3): Justin Hasley (1st, 160, 38-8), Austin Gaskins (4th, 189, 28-16), Dustin Baker (4th 171, 18-17).
Championship matches involving area matmen:
103: Cory Parsons (Warren) pinned Trey Davission (New Lexington) 1:43.
160: Justin Hasley (Marietta) dec Cody Snyder (Miami Trace) 4-2.
215: Travis McIntosh (Miami Trace) dec Justyn Rohr (Warren) 9-5.
NELSONVILLE-YORK DIVISION III
District qualifiers compete at Coshocton Division III District Feb. 25-26. Top 4 to state.
Caldwell won championship with 223.5 points, 18 teams. Belpre was 7th with 95.5, Waterford ninth with 75.5, and Shenandoah 13th with 50.
CALDWELL (9): Tyler Wiley (2nd, 112, 24-15) Jeremy Border (1st, 125, 36-2), Zac Cline (2nd, 130, 37-9), Kameron Rayner (2nd, 135, 24-15), Jared Leasure (1st, 145, 36-8), Cole Haas (3rd, 160, 25-12), Kale Rayner (2nd, 171, 37-9), Chance Stoffel (3rd, 189, 16-4), Tim Schenkel (2nd, 215, 29-11).
BELPRE (4): Jacob Sprigg (4th, 135, 12-7), Ethan Lockhart (1st, 171, 44-5), Phillip Wiggers (1st, 189, 39-2), Jaime Barrett (4th, 215, 32-10).
WATERFORD (3): Billy Crock (2nd, 119, 34-7), Dean Miler (2nd, 152, 35-6), Falcon Owens (4th, 145, 24-17).
SHENANDOAH (2): Landon Tomcho (2nd, 103, 26-15), Seth Stickley (2nd, 140, 36-9).
Championship matches involving area matmen:
103: Derek Thomas (Westfall) pinned Landon Tomcho (Shenandoah) 3:14.
112: Aaron Huffman (Westfall) pinned Tyler Wiley (Caldwell), 1:47.
119: Tim McLaughlin ((Nelsonville-York) pinned Billy Crock (Waterford) 1:50.
125: Jeremy Border (Caldwell) dec Corey Lump (Paint Valley) 6-0.
130: Bobby Leitwein (Nelsonville-York) dec Zac Cline (Caldwell) 14-7.
135: Carl Moody (Nelsonville-York) pinned Kameron Rayner (Caldwell) 4:59.
140: Dakota Hook (Nelsonville-York) pinned Seth Stickley (Shenandoah) 0:55.
145: Jared Leasure (Caldwell) dec Damen Estes (Alexander) 15-8.
152: Wes Hurley (Paint Valley) dec Dean Miller (Waterford) 8-3.
171: Ethan Lockhart (Belpre) pinned Kale Rayner (Caldwell) 5:09.
189: Phillip Wiggers (Belpre) pinned Nathaniel Brewer (Fairland) 5:08.
215: Jacob Coon (Nelsonville-York) dec Tim Schenkel (Caldwell) 8-5.
DIVISION II AT CLAYMONT
District qualifiers compete at Columbus East Feb. 25-26. Top 4 to state.
Claymont won championship with 248.5 points. 12 teams. Morgan 11th.
MORGAN (2): Hayden Metheny (4th, 112, 18-16), Dirk Ponchak (1st, 152, 26-4).
152: Dirk Ponchak dec Mitch Riker (New Philadelphia) 3-2.
DIVISION III AT BARNESVILLE
District qualifiers compete in Coshocton Division III Feb. 25-26. Top 4 to state.
Sandy Valley won championship with 225 points. 18 teams. Monroe Central eighth with 85.5.
MONROE CENTRAL (3): Ryan Richter (1st, 119, 33-7), Jonathan Muntz (2nd, 140, 28-9), Cole Matthews (4th, 215, 20-15).
119: Ryan Richter (Monroe Central) pinned Clayton Crosier (Barnesville) 2:49.
140: Joe Kosky (Bellaire St. John) dec Jonathan Muntz (Monroe Central) 3-1.
"We had a great weekend down in Nelsonville. It was one of our goals. We knew that we could be competitive down there," said Caldwell wrestling coach Tom Brown.
The Redskins claimed the sectional title at Nelsonville-York in Division III with a team score of 223.5 in the 18 team field.
"I placed 11 out of 12 guys. It was just a total team effort top to bottom," Brown said.
The Redskins had a pair of sectional champions in the form of 125-pounder Jeremy Border and 145-pounder Jared Leasure.
Border is a two-time state placer, having placed seventh a year ago, and is looking to better his performance this year.
Tim Schenkel was second at 215 pounds, Chance Stoffel was third at 189, Kale Rayner was second at 171, Cole Haas was third at 160, Kameron Rayner was second at 135, Zac Cline was second at 130 and Tyler Wiley was second at 112 to also advance to districts for the Redskins.
Caldwell advanced wrestlers in nine of the possible 14 weight classes. The nine wrestlers qualifying for district is a school record for the Redskins, according to modern records.
"We've taken eight a couple times. That was another goal of ours, to get nine," Brown said.
Border claimed the sectional title by virtue of a 6-0 decision over Corey Lump from Paint Valley. Leasure also won his title by nature of decision by a score of 15-8 over Damen Estes of Alexander.
The performance at sectionals by the Redskins follows up a league championship in the Pioneer Valley Conference as well as 20 duel meet wins.
"I couldn't have scripted a better first year as a head coach. It really has just kind of been a magical season," Brown said.
The Redskins as well as Belpre, Waterford and Shenandoah will compete in the district at Coshocton this weekend, with wrestling to get started at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
Also in the Division III sectional at Nelsonville-York, the Belpre Golden Eagles were able to advance four wrestlers to this week's district tournament while the Waterford Wildcats had three grapplers move on and the Shenandoah Zeps had two.
Belpre had a pair of sectional champions as Ethan Lockhart claimed the title at 171 pounds while Phillip Wiggers claimed first place at 189 pounds for Belpre.
The Golden Eagles also had Jacob Sprigg advance at 135 pounds with a fourth place finish while Jaime Barrett was fourth at 215 pounds.
Lockhart won his sectional title by pin over Rayner from Caldwell with a fall time of 5:09. Like his teammate, Wiggers also claimed the title by pin as he defeated Nathaniel Brewer of Fairland with a fall time of 5:08.
The Wildcats had three wrestlers move on to districts, but could have fared better without some injuries.
"I was overall pleased, but on the other side of it a little disappointed cause I thought we could have four if not five going on," said Waterford wrestling coach Scott Zimmer.
Waterford had two wrestlers claim second place at the sectional as Billy Crock was pinned by Tim McLaughlin of Nelsonville-York with a fall time of 1:50 in the 119 pound championship match and Dean Miller dropped an 8-3 decision to West Hurley of Paint Valley at 152 pounds.
Crock's loss to McLaughlin was no disappointment as the Buckeye grappler is a three-time state qualifier.
"Thomas McLaughlin from Nelsonville-York is one tough character," Zimmer said. "Billy definitely wrestled well and he kind of showed me he's ready to get to the state tournament the way he wrestled Thomas."
Miller also fared well in his match, and Zimmer feels the match was his for the taking.
"Dean controlled the whole match except for the critical last 30 seconds, when he ended up getting caught, giving up a reversal," Zimmer said.
Falcon Owens rounded out Waterford's district qualifiers with a fourth place finish at 145 pounds.
Landon Tomcho and Seth Stickley both claimed second place finishes for the Zeps at 103 and 140 pounds respectively.
In the Division II sectional at Circleville, Miami Trace claimed the team title with 183.5 points while the Warren Warriors were eighth with 118.5 points and the Marietta Tigers were 11th with 62.5 points in the 17 team field.
Warren had four grapplers advance to the district meet while Marietta had three.
Cory Parsons gave the Warriors their lone sectional title as he pinned Trey Davission of New Lexington in the 103-pound championship match with a fall time of 1:43.
Justyn Rohr claimed second place for the Warriors at 215 pounds as he lost a 9-5 decision to Travis McIntosh of Miami Trace.
Dustin Harlow and Brian Hendrix each placed third at the sectional for the Warriors at 285 and 171 pounds respectively.
Marietta got a sectional champion performance from Justin Hasley at 160 pounds as he knocked off Cody Snyder of Miami Trace by a narrow 4-2 decision.
Hasley is now closing in on 100 career wins as he was the top Tiger on the mats this past weekend.
Austin Gaskins and Dustin "Dedder" Baker both placed forth for the Tigers at 189 and 171 pounds respectively.
"All three kids have a good positive attitude about the district. They're not going into it saying 'I'm a participant.' They're going into it 'I'm planning on placing,'" Walker said.
Going through a tough schedule this winter, the Tigers had the goal at the start of the year of qualifying five to the districts and they very nearly met that goal, as Keifer Johnson and Will Cogswell finished one match short.
At this point, one match is all it takes as the Tigers and Warriors will compete out of the Goshen district.
"There are no easy matches at this point," Walker said.
In Division II wrestling at Claymont the Morgan Raiders had a pair of wrestlers advance as Morgan placed 11th out of 12 teams with Claymont claiming the title.
Dirk Ponchak claimed the sectional title at 152 pounds as he won a 3-2 decision over Mitch Riker of New Philadelphia while Hayden Metheny placed fourth at 112 pounds for the Raiders.
Monroe Central advanced three grapplers to the district out of the Division III sectional at Barnesville.
Sandy Valley won the championship at Barnesville with 225 points while Monroe Central was eighth with 85.5 points in the 18 team field.
Ryan Richter gave the Seminoles a sectional champion as he pinned Barnesville's Clayton Crosier in a time of 2:49 of the 119 pound championship match.
Jonathan Muntz suffered a tough 3-1 decision to Joe Klosky of Bellaire St. John in the 140-pound class as he finished second for the Seminoles.
Cole Matthews rounded out the district qualifiers for Monroe Central as he placed fourth at 215 pounds.