Warren sophomore the top-ranked wrestler at 126 in state
VINCENT — Peyten Kellar led the pin parade at the Washington Court House Invitational last weekend.
Warren High’s sophomore standout recorded five of a whopping total of 31 Warrior falls en route to a royal blue and white team win. There were nine other schools at the wrestling event.
“Wrestling is action/reaction, and Peyten is always at least two moves ahead of what he is doing,” said WHS head coach Jim Rhodes. “He takes what is given him and uses it to his advantage.”
At WCH, Kellar’s older brother Liam also had five mat-slappers.
The Kellar brothers and Brady Oberdier all were back with the team after competing the Saturday before at Walsh Ironman in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (near Cleveland). That same day (Dec. 8), the rest of the royal blue and white grapplers hosted and finished fourth in the school’s annual Hickory Grove Market Invitational.
After a stellar varsity season on the mat, Peyten Kellar is basically picking up where he left off. Last season, at 106, he placed fifth in Ohio Division II at state with a 51-5 overall record. In the history of the program, no other freshman Warrior grappler had ever advanced to state, let alone placed.
Along the way, Kellar was both a sectional and district tournament champion.
“Peyten is a hard kid to wrestle,” Rhodes said. “He is so limber that he can maneuver himself to get out of most situations.
“He is calm on the mat and never panics. He just keeps working.”
Last season, Kellar also finished fifth in the FloNationals when he decisioned Kurtis Phipps of Irwin, Pennsylvania’s Young Guns Wrestling Club, 3-0.
This year, Kellar has bumped up to 126, and is currently ranked No. 1 in D2 with an 11-3 record.
“I also grew five inches,” he said. “I’m now 5-10.”
Added Rhodes, “Peyten is the first wrestler at Warren to be ranked number one. Heath Eddleblutte (189, 1989) was number two the year he won state and Matt McCoy (125, 1990) was also second when he won state.”
Kellar said that being No. 1 means he can’t have any “slip-ups.”
“I want to do good for my team,” he added, “and be the best for every match.”
Kellar suffered a season opening 4-2 overtime setback to second ranked Logan Ours of Beaver Local in the finals of the Dec. 1 Cambridge Invitational.
But the Warren grappler got some payback the following week at Ironman.
“Peyten beat Ours, 4-0, and knocked him out of the Ironman,” Rhodes said.
Said Kellar, “I’ll probably face him again at district, and maybe in a couple of other tournaments before then.”
Kellar finished Ironman with two losses.
“I’m not very happy about that,” he said. “But Ironman was tough.
“Still, I improved from last year when I wrestled there.”
Rhodes agreed and added, “Peyten lost to a kid from Wyoming, 6-5, who won the tournament after finding out his grandfather was taken to the hospital, with heart issues.”
Kellar is from a wrestling family. One of his brothers (Hueston) competed at Parkersburg South several years ago. Another (Liam) is currently a Warriors’ teammate, competing at 152.
The Kellars’ parents — JR and Michelle — are also on Rhodes’ coaching staff.
Warren wrestled a scheduled tri-meet with Waterford at Shenandoah High in Noble County Wednesday, Dec. 19.
“I won’t be wrestling in that match,” Peyten Kellar said. “But I’ll be back next week when we go to St. Clairsville.”
The Warriors are slated to end 2018 with a two-day match at St. Clairsville High Dec. 28-29.