Warren junior Peyten Kellar headed to state with a perfect record
VINCENT — Peyten Kellar has his eyes on the prize.
The Warren High mat standout is the last wrestler standing in Washington County, and the junior captain is hoping that will also be the case at the completion of this weekend’s 83rd annual Ohio state tournament at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.
Kellar will be seeking a Division II individual crown in the 145-pound weight division.
All the D2 grappling action is scheduled to get underway at 4:10 p.m. Friday, and continues Saturday and Sunday.
Kellar will be joined at state by senior teammate Brady Oberdier, an alternate at 170.
Kellar, third-ranked in the state at 145 in D2 with a 48-0 record, was an all-state seventh placer at 126 last year after finishing fifth at 106 in 2018. He was the school’s first freshman to qualify and place at state.
Currently, Kellar owns a 147-10 career mark on the mat.
“Peyten goes into the state tournament as one of only four guys who remain unbeaten for the year in Division II and is focused on keeping it that way,” said first-year Warren varsity wrestling coach Jeff Parsons.
If Kellar does, he will join Heath Eddleblute and Matt McCoy as the only Warren boys to be crowned an individual state champ. Last month, Warrior freshman Hayley Snyder became the first girl to win a state title at 101 at the inaugural Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association Girls State Wrestling Tournament at Hilliard Davidson High.
Currently, Kellar has literally been on roll, pinning his way through sectionals and districts.
Kellar, one of nine Warrior district qualifiers, flattened Lisbon Beaver’s Devon Salsberry at the 2:55 mark to claim the Claymont district championship. At district, Oberdier was fifth; Snyder (106), 0-2; Cole Coleman (113), 2-2; Hayden Wiggers (120), 0-2; Brodie Tait (132), 1-2; Darian Congleton (138), 0-2; Zach Ochampaugh (182), 0-2; and Austin Carpenter (195), 0-2.
At state, Keller is slated to lead off against junior Nathan Bryan (46-7) of Cincinnati Wyoming.
A win there, and he’ll battle either junior Anthony Trivisonno (30-9) of Mentor Lake Catholic or junior Jayden Jones (45-7) of Ashland.
With a victory in that bout, Kellar will advance and probably face Alek Martin of St. Paris Graham, according to Parsons.
“He (Martin) is a two-time state finalist,” Parsons said. “He was second as a freshman and the 138-pound state champ last year.
“That will be a great matchup in the semis and if he wins that one he will most likely go against senior David Cumberledge of Aurora who is also a two-time state finalist, finishing second the last two years.”
Needless to say, at this level of wrestling, there are no gimmes.
“Peyten will have to wrestle at his best but he is peaking at the right time and is having fun,” Parsons said.
Shenandoah High of Noble County will be featuring two D3 wrestlers at state: senior district champion Easton Hitchens (41-2) and freshman district runner-up Drake Kanyuch (39-8).
At last weekend’s Heath district, Waterford junior Haden Offenberger (40-7) placed sixth at 160 while freshman Lane Cline (132) finished 2-2 in the tournament.
Fort Frye junior Thomas Lenhart (220) was 0-2 at Heath.
Ron Johnston can be reached at email@example.com