CENTENARY, Ohio — Gallia Academy’s Kaleb Crisenbery is officially better by the dozen.
Now, he aims to join an elite list to make it a “Super Six”.
That’s because the senior Crisenbery, by qualifying for this weekend’s Division II state wrestling tournament, becomes the 12th all-time Blue Devil to advance to the coveted competition.
In fact, this is the eighth consecutive season that the Blue and White will be represented at the state.
However, the goal of Gallia Academy wrestling is not only qualifying for the state meet, but also becoming a prestigious state placer.
That’s what Crisenbery — with a season record of 51-6 — is now focusing on, as only five Gallia Academy individuals have ever reached that elusive state awards stand.
Crisenbery competes in the Division II state meet starting Thursday, which will be held inside Value City Arena in Columbus.
The Division II first round is set to begin at 4:10 p.m. — which is the championship preliminaries followed by the consolation round.
Should Crisenbery — who is wrestling in the 145-pound weight class — win his opening match, he won’t wrestle again until Friday morning at 10 a.m. in the championship quarterfinals.
However, if he loses in the opener, he returns to the arena floor for the first-consolation bouts —scheduled to start on Thursday night at approximately 7:50 p.m.
The tournament runs from Thursday through Saturday night —with the consolation semifinals and placement matches set for Saturday.
Crisenbery is attempting to join Jeptha Robinson (1988), Jared Gravely (2010), Brandon Taylor (2012), Zack Tackett (2012) and Cole Tawney (2013 and 2014) as the only podium finishers in Blue Devil history.
Crisenbery qualified for his first state meet by placing third in the district at Heath High School, as he went 5-1 at 145 — and punched his ticket to the Schottenstein Center.
The top four placers in each weight class at the district meet qualify for the state meet.
Crisenbery reached the district meet in all four years at Gallia Academy, including his final three at 145 pounds — after making it as a 132-pounder as a freshman.
On Thursday, in the championship prelims, he will wrestle the district runner-up from the Mansfield meet — senior Rickey Maffett of Ashland.
Maffett is 21-10, as Crisenbery narrowly notched that third seed from Heath — capturing a 3-2 decision over Lane Householder of Sheridan in the third-place match.
Besides Crisenbery and Householder, the only other Southeast District competitor at 145 in Division II is Greg Brewer of Circleville.
If he wins a match on Thursday, he will become the seventh Blue Devil in this decade to claim at least one victory at the state meet.
The only exception was two years ago, as Justin Reynolds rallied for a win last season in the 182-pound class.
Two other Blue Devils are actually alternates to the state meet — senior Jared Stevens in the 120-pound weight class and junior Kyle Greenlee in the 113-pound group.
One or both will get the call to compete this coming weekend — should any of the four state qualifiers from those two lightweight divisions at Heath be unable to wrestle.
Stevens, who qualified for the district meet all four years at Gallia Academy, was actually a state competitor in the 106-pound class as a freshman.
With Crisenbery capturing a win in his first match on Saturday (at district meet on March 4), he joined Stevens as the first pair of Gallia Academy teammates with at least 150 career victories.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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