VINCENT - When the Warren wrestling team placed third in a field of 14 schools at last Saturday's Rick Link Union Local Invitational in Belmont, it relied on quality rather than quantity.
At 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, the Warriors are expected to have more than six grapplers competing at their home-opening Hickory Grove Market Invitational.
The Hickory Grove Market meet was formerly known as the Burt Builders Invitational.
Warren’s Brandon Pahl, top, is on the verge of pinning his man in the 285-pound weight division at the Rick Link Union Local Invitational last Saturday. This Saturday, Pahl and the Warriors will be hosting the Hickory Grove Market Invitational.
"This will be a dual team tournament," said Warren head wrestling coach Mike Pahl, "with six teams in it."
Those schools, including host Warren, will be defending tournament champion John Glenn, Gallia Academy, River Valley, Williamstown, and Parkersburg South.
The Donna Dixon-coached Patriots are expected to feature their "B" squad as they are also expected to compete in the two-day Ironman Invitational at Walsh Jesuit in Stow.
"Our tournament should be competitive," Pahl said. "John Glenn has every weight class filled, and Williamstown is pretty good."
Warren, the defending Southeastern Ohio Athletic League champion, has already faced conference opponent Gallia Academy on the mat, dropping a 40-30 season-opening decision to the Blue Devils in a tri-meet in Gallipolis on Dec. 4. The Warriors were short-handed in that meet as well but got wins from Levi Congleton (120 pounds), Casey Parsons (145), Austin Klintworth (152), Chris Massey (220), and Brandon Pahl (285).
At Union Local, Warren featured just six grapplers but crowned four champions with Congleton, Parsons, Massey, and Pahl each earning a trophy. Kenny White was runner-up at 182, and Klintworth, despite being under the weather, posted two wins in five matches on the mat. Overall, the Warriors won 26 of 30 matches in the tourney.
"Austin lost three very close matches," Mike Pahl said.
Warren was without the services of two wrestlers, who were sidelined with injuries. Wade Lynch (195) was out with a slight concussion, while Peyton Young (170) was nursing an elbow ailment.
Pahl is also hoping Gage Kaptis, a 152-pounder, and Braden Datson (160) will also be able to contribute in the home meet this weekend.
The Warren boss said Cole Wigal has come out for the team but won't be available in the Hickory Grove Market meet.
Wigal, an all-around athlete, also competes on the Warriors' football and track&field teams.
MHS at JM Invite
Marietta High will also be on the mat this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Greg's Market/John Marshall Invitational at the JM Fieldhouse in Moundsville, W.Va.
Last Saturday, the Bill Heldman-coached Tigers competed at the Rick Link Union Local Invitational, and were also a little short-handed with only nine grapplers on hand.
Zack Hearn (160), Garrett Davis (170), and Josh Montgomery (220) all placed in the top four in the tournament. Also wrestling were Joshua Clark (106), Scott Bricker (145), Jake Dickson (152), Malachi Vaughn (152), Josh Burke (160), and Anthony Winters (182).
MHS and Warren squared off for the first time this season when Montgomery suffered a fall to Warrior 220-pounder Chris Massey, who ended up winning the weight class.
Wildcats at Logan
Waterford is slated to be in an individual pool tournament at Logan Saturday at 10 a.m.
The Scott Zimmer-coached Wildcats' line-up will feature Trey Perry (120 pounds), Dalton Ball and Ty McGraw (126), Austin Lang (132), Zeb Offenberger ( 138), Weston Wagner (145), Cylus Reynolds (160), Blake Heiss (182), and Cody Malic (195).