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Warrior wrestling places 3rd at Hickory Grove

Photo by Josh Hughes Warren’s Ethan Johnson, right, competes in a high school wrestling match during the Hickory Grove Invitational Saturday in Vincent.

VINCENT –The 2020 Hickory Grove Market Invitational is in the books, and in a year where this wrestling event saw the number of participants was whittled down by dozens, there were still plenty of local grapplers looking to leave an impact on Saturday. Waterford was among the teams unable to compete, but others like Fort Frye, Morgan, Federal Hocking and host Warren saw this event as an opportunity to put a good foot forward to start the 2020-21 season.

Sheridan took home first place with a team score of 306, and the Generals won a number of weight classes on the day, as well. Shenandoah’s 292 was good for second, while Warren achieved a podium finish with 267. Head coach Jeff Parsons was happy with his team’s effort in its first event of the year, and he hopes to get more experience for his roster. Luckily for the Warriors, they have a tri coming up with Fort Frye and Crooksville on Wednesday.

“Right now, Peyten (Kellar) is just on another level,” Parsons said of his senior 160-pounder after winning his weight class. “He can pretty much do what he wants, whenever he wants with pretty much anybody he’s got. We’ve got to get across the river to Parkersburg South or somewhere to get him competition. There are some good kids in southeast Ohio, but Peyten is up on that next level. We lost one of our kids to an injury, early in the tournament. Austin Carpenter might have been able to make a difference, but he went out. Other than that and a few first-tournament mistakes, we’re happy, and we see what we need to work on and improve.”

Kellar’s top finish at 160 wasn’t the only taste of victory for the Warriors, as Brodie Taitt earned top honors at 152 over the likes of New Lexington’s Luke Fox, Sheridan’s Hunter Jamison and teammate, Kylee Taitt.

Jake Welch nearly won at 285 but was bested by Sheridan’s Logan Morris, while Morgan’s Brandon McClain was third. Hayley Snyder at 106 had a second-place showing, and Jacob Berg did the same at 126. The rest of 126 had Fort Frye’s Wyatt Fulton finish third ahead of Meigs’s Wyatt Smith. Cole Coleman achieved his runner-up status at 120. Mitchel Rehl and Ethan Johnson rounded out the day in fourth for the Warriors at 132 and 145, respectively.

Photo by Josh Hughes Fort Frye’s Frank Baker, right, wrestles Warren’s Brayden Gerber during Saturday’s Hickory Grove Market Invitational in Vincent.

After the top three team scores, Morgan edged out Fort Frye 162-156 for fourth. The six placing Raider wrestlers were led by Logan Niceswanger’s second place finish at 182 alongside Caleb Jacomet’s second place finish at 195. Those two paired with Elijah Burkhart’s third in 113 pushed them over the Cadets. Adam Cooper (106), Daniel Tokie (170) and Seth Miller (220) all racked up fourth place finishes to help the cause.

This was Fort Frye’s second meet of the season as head coach Josh Seagraves said the difference between his team’s first event in Waterford and this one on Saturday was “night and day.”

“My lightweights did really well in the morning. I have a lot of young kids, some freshmen and sophomores that are first-year wrestlers,” he said. “My junior at 220 (Hunter Kesselring, who finished second) is a first-year wrestler, as well. This is their second tournament, and they really showed that they’re coming along well with their knowledge of the sport, and they’re being aggressive looking to win matches. Five of my wrestlers got quarantined, because they around a positive case at the school, so I was down five wrestlers. We just take it day by day. My 132-pounder Austin Powell was in his second wrestling tournament ever and got third place, today. He got two good wins. My 138-pound senior Logan Wagner got third place, as well. He wrestled one of the top-seeded kids and got stuck in a move he couldn’t get out of. He stepped up and wrestled really well. My 145, Stone Dixon got second, and I think he stepped up big, today. He lost in the championship match, but he had a great day. That was my first session, and in the second session, my senior at 182 (Frank Baker) lost his first match, because he was really rusty. Then, he kicked it into gear and just dominated everybody else in the tournament at that point. He got third place, but he was fantastic.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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