Ohio wrestlers seek berth in state tournament this weekend

Courtesy photo Waterford’s Haden Offenberger, far left, stands on the podium after placing at the Divison III sectional tournament in Barnesville. Offenberger pinned Crooksville’s Evan Miller in 2:40 to place fifth in the 132-pound weight class.

Haden Offenberger was originally an alternate to wrestle in the Ohio Division III district tournament at Heath High this weekend.

Reason why, the 132-pound Waterford High freshman finished fifth in Feb. 17’s D3 Barnesville sectional, and only the top 4 in each weight class advance to the next round.

But then, put in wrestling terminology, “a reversal” of sorts occurred this past Sunday.

“We received a phone call in the afternoon that due to one of the Central Ohio sectionals having only three qualifiers, there was an opening,” said Wildcats coach Greg Offenberger. “Haden then moved into that slot and will compete this weekend.”

So, now, the younger Offenberger (25-4 record) is scheduled to grapple West Jefferson senior sectional champion Jesse Kean (29-16) in an opening-round district match at 5 p.m. Friday. The tourney will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Like the sectional and state events, district is a double-elimination event.

Waterford’s Colin Jackson will be a district alternate at 220.

“The Barnesville sectional was a really tough tournament,” Greg Offenberger said. “And anyone coming out from there has a good shot this week.”

Elsewhere, Warren High head wrestling coach Jim Rhodes and his staff figure to be pretty busy this weekend.

The Warriors will have eight wrestlers competing in the Ohio Division II district tournament at Claymont High, while Morgan High has two qualifiers and Marietta High one.

All the mat action is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Friday and resume at 9 a.m. Saturday.

In the Division III district tourney at Heath High, Caldwell High will have six on the mat, Shenandoah four, Fort Frye three, Belpre two, and Waterford one.

At stake at both Claymont and Heath will be a berth in the Individual State Wrestling Championships March 8-10 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.

Only the top 4 in each weight division at district advance to state.

Warren’s representatives at district will be Peyten Kellar (106 pounds, 44-3 record), Elijah Ross (120, 42-10), Tristan Duffey (138, 35-18), Liam Kellar (152, 43-8), Brady Oberdier (160, 42-8), Dylan Anderson (170, 27-18), Ronnie Hill (182, 43-11), and Nate Gessel (195, 25-20).

At last weekend’s sectional meet at Alexander, Peyten Kellar was the Warriors’ lone champion; Oberdier and Hill each was runner-up, while Ross, Duffey, Liam Kellar, and Gessel finished third. Anderson was fourth.

Morgan’s Griffin Burkhart (138, 23-12) and Wesley Pauley (160, 47-4) each finished fourth in the sectional meet as did Marietta’s Ethan Prather (285, 21-15).

In D3, Caldwell’s district roster will include Branden Parsons (106, 19-7), Marshall Niswonger (113, 36-6), Levi Pemberton (125, 38-6), Collin Wiley (138, 35-9), Mason Wiley (182, 34-7), and Trevor Hayes (195, 21-16).

At the sectional event at Sandy Valley High, Mason Wiley and Branden Parson each was crowned a champ. Collin Wiley and Niswonger each was a runner-up, while Pemberton and Hayes were third place.

Shenandoah’s reps will be Alex Overly (106, 30-9), Laramie Giesey (113, 25-18), Dalton Rice (220, 42-9), and Easton Hitchens (285, 37-10). At sectionals, Rice finished second; Overly, third; and Giesey and Hitchens, both fourth.

Leo Baker (160, 20-17), Thomas Lenhart (195, 12-17), and Cameron Camp (220, 18-11) will be the featured Cadets. At sectionals, Camp was runner-up; Baker, fourth; and Lenhart, fourth.

Belpre’s Hunter Gilbert (145, 42-7) placed second in the Barnesville sectional, while Golden Eagle teammate Andrew Maranda (106, 29-17) was fourth.

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