Warren hosts Hickory Grove Market Invitational Saturday
Both the varsity and junior high grapplers will be competing on the mats.
A year ago, New Lexington ended Warren’s three-year run as team champion. Maysville was second, while Jackson and the Warriors were third and fourth, respectively, in the 12-school field.
Locally, after Warren, Morgan was fifth; Waterford seventh; Fort Frye ninth; Marietta 10th; and Belpre 11th.
All of these schools have returned, except Belpre. This year’s varsity field will feature 13 schools with Athens, Federal Hocking, Meigs, Waverly, and Shenandoah also in the field.
“I expect it to be a battle for the top spot between Athens, New Lex and Shenandoah,” said first-year Warren varsity coach Jeff Parsons. “We are hoping for a top four finish.
“We will be forfeiting four weight classes (113, 145, 152, and 195) due to injuries and wrestlers not allowed being down to there weight classes yet from the Alpha test. Most of them will be able to be down for our next tournament at Gallia High School on the 28th (of December).”
Warren’s roster will feature seniors’ Brady Oberdier, Kaleb Tait, Stevie Osborne, John Shoup, and Zach Ochumpaugh; juniors’ Peyten Kellar, Cole Coleman, Jake Welch, Shane Gardner, Brock Bowen, Owen Richardson, Ryan Brown, and Austin Carpenter; sophomores’ Ethan Johnson, Hayden Wiggars, Brody Tait, David Schaffer, Tyler Strahler, and Hayley Snyder; and freshmen Nate Ankron, Corey Friesnor, Nikolas Cameron, Darian Congelton, and Taylor Bowers.
Kellar, a two-time state placer and the No. 2 ranked wrestler in the Ohio Division II 145-pound weight division, is currently on the mend after knee surgery and will be sidelined.
“He should be back by the end of the month,” Parsons said.
Gardner (126) is also injured.
Warren is expected to lead off with Snyder at 106; Coleman, 120; Ankron, 126; Wiggars, 132; Johnson, 138; Bowen, 160; Oberdier, 170; Shoup, 182; Carpenter, 220; and Welch, 285.
Congleton (160), Brown (170), Richardson (220), and Welch (285) will be extras.
Parsons will be assisted by Cory Parsons, Jr Kellar, Michelle Kellar, and Levi Congleton.
“It will be tough to win it (Hickory), but this will be a good test to see where our kids are at for their first tournament of the year,” Coach Parsons said.
Waterford already has one meet under its belt, winning last Saturday’s Waterford Invitational. The Wildcats crowned four champions in Haden Offenberger (160 pounds), Ethan Beardmore (126), Tyson Moore (132), and Lane Cline (138).
Offenberger was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler at the invite.
At Hickory last December, Offenberger went 5-0 at 145.
Also at its home invite, Waterford’s Dustin Doak (132) was third; Andrew Taylor (145), second; Coen Wagner (152), second; Ethan Root (182), second; and Quentin Doak (220), second.
The Wildcats are coached by Greg Offenberger.
Fort Frye was also in the field at the Waterford invite and crowned two champions in junior Thomas Lenhart (220), a two-time district qualifier.
Junior Logan Wagner (126) was second;freshman Alexx Schilling (132), third; sophomore Joe Duskey (160), third; junior Frank Baker (182), third; and freshman Joe Stevens (285), third.
Also on the Cadet varsity roster is freshman Eli Johnson (152).
Fort is coached by first-year boss Josh Seagraves.
Marietta’s roster includes Maclane Roe, Zach Stachera, Hudson Misel, Aaron Vessels, Aaron Hiener, Josiah Prather, Ethan Prather, Jack Roe, Peggy Belin, Scott Offenberger, and CJ Rollins.
The Tigers are coached by Jeff Davis and Garrett Davis.
Dunham Square will be sponsoring the junior high portion of the Hickory meet, and the schools planning to attend are Athens, Fort Frye, Jackson, Marietta, Shenandoah, Trimble, Waterford, Waverly and Warren.
Fort Frye’s junior high grapplers are eighth-graders’ Graham Baker, Oscar Baker, Wyatt Fulton, Matthias Kesselring, Sebastian Huck, Ross Schultheis, Eli Slaughter, Faith Slaughter, and Morgan Smith. Murray Stewart is the lone seventh-grader.
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com