Local wrestlers look to earn a state tournament berth this weekend
Imagine Warren standout Peyten Kellar and Waterford star Haden Offenberger on the same mat.
Well, this week, the Warriors and Wildcats were united at wrestling practice in Vincent, preparing for this weekend’s upcoming district competition.
“From Monday through Thursday, we have been at Warren from 3 to 5 p.m. practicing with Warren and some other teams as well,” said Waterford head coach Greg Offenberger. “It’s been an exciting week.”
On Tuesday, the Fort Frye grapplers worked out with the Warriors and Wildcats. And, on Wednesday, the Cadets practiced with the Caldwell Redskins in Noble County.
At 4 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. this Saturday, the Wildcats and Cadets are scheduled to wrestle at the D3 Heath district tournament while the Warriors will be at the D2 Claymont district event.
At stake at district is a berth in the OHSAA 2020 Individual State Wrestling Championships March 13-15 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.
Three Wildcat grapplers qualified for district at last weekend’s Alexander D3 sectional — Lane Cline, Haden Offenberger, and Ethan Root. Tyson Moore, a fifth-place finisher, will be an alternate at district.
At the sectional, Cline, a freshman, pinned Adena junior Garrett Simmons (31-6) to claim the 132-pound weight division.
Following up on his first individual Tri-Valley Conference crown the week before, Offenberger (38-4) decisioned Adena senior Dalton Metzger (31-5) to win the 160-pound sectional weight class.
Offenberger is currently ranked 20th at 160 in Ohio Division III.
Root (21-19), a junior, qualified for district with a fourth-place finish at the sectional meet.
Waterford as a team finished fifth overall with 100.5 points in the sectional in a field of 21 schools.
“Our guys really turned it on last weekend,” Greg Offenberger said. “We are peaking at the right time.”
Warren also had a good outing at the Alexander D2 sectional, advancing nine Warriors to district. As a team, the Jeff Parsons-coached Warriors finished fifth with 145.5 points in a field of eight schools.
Kellar (44-0), a two-time state qualifier and place, was the lone Warren grappler to be crowned a sectional champ when he flattened Sheridan senior Deven Factor in the 145-pound championship bout. The junior Warrior is currently third ranked in the state at 145 in Ohio Division II.
Junior Cole Coleman (27-17) was a sectional runner-up at 113 while senior Brady Oberdier (34-5) placed third at 170.
Freshman Hayley Snyder (24-17, 106 pounds), sophomore Brodie Tait (16-16, 132), freshman Darian Congleton (12-20, 138), junior Zach Ochampaugh (10-5, 182), junior Austin Carpenter (19-16, 195), and junior Jake Welch (29-16, 285) all placed fourth.
Finishing fifth, Hayden Wigger (120) and Nate Ankrom (126) each is a district alternate.
Oberdier is currently ranked 17th and Welch 47th in their weight divisions in the state.
Snyder recently became the first female in the state of Ohio to win an individual title in the 101 weight division at the inaugural Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association Girls State Wrestling Tournament (OHSWCA) at Hilliard Davidson High.
Marietta High’s Jack Roe (106), Maclane Roe (113), Peggy Belin (120), Aaron Vessels (145), Hudson Misel (170), and Ethan Prather (285) all wrestled but did not advance.
Over at the Sandy Valley D3 sectional on Saturday, Fort Frye junior Thomas Lenhart (33-3) placed third when he earned a fall against Rich. Edison sophomore Kolten Hanlin (18-18).
Sophomore Joe Duskey (3-23, 160), junior Frank Baker (17-16, 170), and freshman Joe Stevens (6-28, 285) all finished sixth.
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com