Mat champs: Warren wrestlers capture SEOAL title

CHILLICOTHE – If a Warren wrestling fan had gone to get popcorn right before one of Brandon Pahl’s 285-pound bouts, he (or she) would’ve missed the match.

Pahl recorded the fastest pin of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League Championships at Chillicothe High Saturday, flattening an opponent in 16 seconds. The Warrior sophomore finished with a 4-0 mark, all falls.

Overall, Pahl was one of five Warren wrestlers who claimed individual crowns, and the Warriors as a team won the school’s first league grappling title since 2007 with 231 points.

All 10 royal blue and white matmen placed at the meet.

“It was a good day for Warrior nation Saturday,” said first-year Warren wrestling head coach Mike Pahl. “I’m really elated for the kids. They wrestled well all day long.”

Rounding out the rest of the SEOAL field, Logan was runner-up with 217 points; Gallia Academy, third, with 213; host Chillicothe, fourth, with 189; and Jackson, fifth, with 21.

Warren sophomore Levi Congleton (39-1) repeated as the 106-pound SEOAL champion; senior Cory Parsons (33-4) became a four-time league champ when he won at 113; Austin Klintworth, in his first season of competing on the mat, won at 145; Zach Pike went 4-0 to notch the 182-pound title; and Brandon Pahl of course earned his first SEOAL crown after placing third as a freshman at 220 last year.

Warriors’ Cody Dobbs and Austin Antill each was second at 152 and 160, respectively; Braden Hewitt and Chris Massey each was third at 138 and 220, respectively; and Austin Miles was fourth at 170.

Parsons only wrestled once at the meet and now owns a 151-30 career record, which is one victory away from breaking former Warren great Heath Eddleblute’s mark (151-9).

Congleton wrestled twice, and tied the school’s single-season fall mark at 31.

Pahl was back in action after sitting out with a shoulder injury the Feb. 2 John Deno Wrestling Tournament at Athens.

To celebrate Warren’s SEOAL championship, Mike Pahl and his Warrior squad traveled to Columbus Sunday to watch The Ohio State University Buckeyes wrestle Penn State.

Warren is now scheduled to compete in the sectional tournament at Alexander High Friday and Saturday. The top four in each weight division advance to district competition the following week in Goshen.

“Winning the league is a good way, good momentum to go into the sectional tournament,” Pahl said. “I hope I can take all 10 of my wrestlers to district.”

Elsewhere on the Washington County wrestling scene Saturday, Belpre finished runner-up to Athens in the Tri-Valley Conference Championships at Vinton County. The Golden Eagle grapplers notched 331 points to the Bulldogs’ winning 481.5.

Waterford finished eighth with 85 points in the 10-school TVC field.

Belpre’s Jamie Barrett was the 195-pound champion. Gavin Stalnaker (106 pounds), Jordan McCutcheon (113), Manney Tullius (132), Tyler Martin (182), Ethan Wiggers (145), Matthew Colvin (152), and Hayden Lowe (285) all were TVC runners-up. Daniel Law (138) and Derek Davis (160) each placed third for the Golden Eagles. Alex Gainer (220) was fifth.

Austin Lang (126) was Waterford’s lone placer, finishing second in his weight class.