VINCENT - Cory Parsons and Austin Antill will be joining a relatively new collegiate wrestling program.
On Wednesday, the Warren duo each signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their education and grappling career at Ohio Valley University.
Parsons and Antill will be the first Warren wrestlers to compete on the college mat since 1990, according to Warrior head coach Mike Pahl.
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Warren wrestler Cory Parsons, center, signs a National Letter of Intent to attend Ohio Valley University at the Warrior gym in Vincent Wednesday. From left to right are Warren wrestling coach Mike Pahl, Jeff Parsons (father), Parsons, Jennifer Parsons (mother) and Casey Parsons (brother).
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Warren wrestler Austin Antill, center (sitting) signs a National Letter of Intent to attend Ohio Valley University at the Warrior gym in Vincent Wednesday. Sitting, left to right, are Warren wrestling coach Mike Pahl, Tim Antill (father), Antill, and Carey Antill (mother). Standing are Glen Antill (grandfather) and Patricia Antill (grandmother).
OVU, located in nearby Vienna, W. Va., introduced wrestling as a new varsity sport in 2010-11. The Fighting Scots are coached by Parkersburg native Pat Sole.
Ohio Valley University is an NCAA Division II school, and competes on the mat in the region of West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
"I wanted to stay close to home," said Parsons, who is planning to major in business administration. "They have a nice wrestling program with a couple of local wrestlers on the roster."
Parsons said he also considered DIII schools' Heideiberg University in Tiffin and the University of Mount Union in Alliance.
Said Antill, who is planning to major in bio-chemistry, "Wrestling is my favorite sport, and this is a good opportunity for me to continue wrestling at the collegiate level."
Antill said he almost decided on attending Marietta College, which does not feature a wrestling program.
The Mid-Ohio Valley is considered a hot bed for prep wrestling, and Warren has a mat tradition that goes back several years.
This past winter, the Warriors won the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL) Championships at Chillicothe High. During the competition, Parsons, wrestling in the 113-pound weight class, claimed his fourth career conference title, while Antill (160 pounds) was runner-up.
The following week at Alexander High, Parsons became a four-time district qualifier when he was crowned a Division II sectional champion. In the process, he also became Warren's all-time career leader in wrestling wins (158-32 overall) and pins (100).
In his senior season, Parsons posted a 41-6 record.
"Cory has the potential to be a very good college wrestler," Pahl said. "He's very cunning, and knows a lot of moves. He also learns from his opponent."
Antill (170) placed fourth in the sectional tournament, and also qualified for district at Goshen. Career-wise, he was 96-29 with 74 pins.
This past winter, Antill was 38-7, according to Pahl.
"Austin's the hardest working kid around," Pahl said. "He's always upbeat and has a great attitude."
At Goshen, both Parsons, a two-time state qualifier, and Antill each was eliminated and denied a berth in the State Wrestling Championship at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Parsons was named a state alternate, though, by virtue of his fifth-place finish at district.
Parsons is the son of Jeff and Jennifer Parsons.
He has a younger brother Casey.
Currently, Antill is a distance runner and relay leg on Warren's track and field team.
He is the son of Tim and Carey Antill of Fleming. He has two sisters - Brittany and Kimberly.