ALBANY, Ohio — Point Pleasant wasn’t the only place where historic wrestling feats happened this weekend in the Ohio Valley Publishing area.
Gallia and Meigs counties collectively produced 17 district qualifiers and 26 sectional placers this past weekend, plus River Valley captured the program’s first-ever sectional championship during the Division II and Division III wrestling tournaments held at Alexander High School in Athens County.
The Raiders won three divisional titles and had six grapplers earn district berths with top four efforts, all while landing eight total wrestlers on the podium en route to a winning tally of 175.5 points in Division III.
Westfall was the overall runner-up out of 21 scoring teams with 131.5 points, while the host Spartans were third with 130 points. Meigs (61), South Gallia (56) and Eastern (55) respectively placed 11th, 12th and 13th overall.
All four local D-3 programs had at least two grapplers advance to next weekend’s district tournament at Heath High School. Both the Marauders and the Eagles also came away with a single weight class champion.
Freshman Andrew Huck (106), sophomore Nathan Cadle (138) and sophomore Will Hash (152) all went 4-0 en route to divisional crowns for the Raiders. Cadle and Hash both recorded four pinfall wins apiece, while Huck landed two pinfall wins and an 18-3 technical fall.
Junior Seth Bowman (145) and sophomore Chris Goheen (220) both placed second in their respective divisions with identical 3-1 marks. Bowman defeated three ranked opponents, including two by pinfall, while Goheen secured a single pinfall win.
Sophomore Aiden Greene secured the final district berth for the Silver and Black after placing fourth at 170 pounds with a 3-2 record that included two pinfall wins.
Sophomore Nathan Brown (160) and junior Brice Petitt (195) both missed the district cut after placing fifth in their weight classes. Brown went 4-2 overall with two pinfalls and an 11-1 major decision, while Petitt was 3-2 with a pair of pinfalls.
The Marauders followed RVHS with three district advancees, led by senior Tucker Smith’s 145-pound weight class championship. Smith — who picked up his 100th career win at the TVC Championships last week — went 4-0 overall, scoring two pinfall wins and an 11-2 major decision.
Smith is the first sectional champion at Meigs since then-senior Cassady Willford accomplished the feat in the heavyweight division back in 2008.
Freshman Joey Young (120) and senior Drake Hall (195) both placed third in their respective divisions. Young went 4-1 overall and notched a pinfall victory, while Hall went 5-1 and had three pinfall wins.
The Rebels earned four podium finishes and received a pair of third place finishes from senior Justin Butler (152) and freshman Reece Butler (113). The elder Butler came away with the only two pinfall wins between the pair of district qualifiers. Reece went 3-1 overall and Justin was 4-1 overall.
Seniors Jacob Neal (220) and Caleb Neal (285) both missed the district cutoff. Caleb went 4-2 overall with three pinfalls while placing fifth. Jacob went 3-3 overall and had a pinfall in placing sixth.
It is the second straight year in which the Red and Gold are advancing multiple grapplers to the district level.
Junior Steven Fitzgerald captured the first-ever sectional title in Eastern history by winning the heavyweight division. Fitzgerald went 4-0 with three pinfalls.
Senior Ethan Kline also advanced to districts with a third place effort at 220 pounds. Kline was 3-2 overall with two pinfall victories.
Sophomore Jayden Evans (170) missed the district cut, but still landed on the podium with a sixth place finish. Evans was 3-3 overall with a pinfall win.
Gallia Academy competed in the Division II sectional tournament and had four grapplers advance to next weekend’s district meet at Claymont High School.
The Blue Devils earned a total of eight podium finishes and placed sixth out of eight teams with 76 points. New Lexington won the D-2 sectional with 250 points, while Athens was second with 190.5 points.
Senior Bronson Carter (160), sophomore Todd Elliott (113) and sophomore Garytt Schwall (120) all placed third in their respective divisions with identical 3-1 records. Carter and Elliott each scored two pinfalls, with Carter also earning a 12-3 major decision. Schwall also recorded one pinfall victory.
Senior Corbin Walker also advanced to district competition with a 2-2 mark and a fourth place finish at 220 pounds.
Sophomore Dakota McCoy (152), freshman Logan Nicholas (138) and freshman Gabriel Raynor (195) each placed fifth overall with matching 2-2 records. Junior Conrad Berkley (126) was also sixth with a 1-3 mark.
Visit baumspage.com for complete results of the 2020 Division II and Division III Southeast Sectional wrestling tournaments held at Alexander High School.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.