ST. CLAIRSVILLE – When you win matches its easy to place high in a wrestling tournament and when you place your entire team its easy to cruise to victory like Ohio Division I power Teays Valley did Saturday night. The Vikings mat program powered through the 14-team Best Value Inn Invitational with ease with four grapplers in championship bouts.
“Earlier in the day my kids came in saying we can win this tournament,” Teays Valley coach Todd Nace said in between championship matches. “We were able to wrestle well in earlier rounds tech falling and pinning a lot to give us those bonus points.”
Taking home the loan gold for the Vikings was 112-pounder Zac Conn. Hot off his 100th victory last week, the senior standout worked over David Mahan of Oak Glen (W.Va.) scoring three sets of near fall points before sticking him in 2:42.
“Zac is a special kid and one of those guys that a coach expects to wrestle at the highest level,” Nace said as Conn captured his third consecutive Best Value Inn title. “He is one of five seniors on the team and has proved great leadership on the mat.”
Battling the ups-and-downs of the tournament, Nace said his team's biggest setback came in the semifinal round as six of his grapplers fell short.
“I had to tell those guys not to get down on themselves and the team,” Nace said. “This is when we needed to wrestle our best to come back and pin in their placement match.”
Nace's words of wisdom didn't go unheard as five of those six grapplers – Kolton Stemen (125), Johnny James (130), Nate Ormiston (160) and Christian Battle (189) – went to win their consolation finals match for a bronze award.
“Some of those guys stepped up huge today and went more noticed than some of the kids I expect to see in the finals week in week out,” Nace admitted. “Christian Battle was one coming in not seeded and placing third.”
Battle topped two seeded – Mike Longacher of Dover and Jerry Kahl of Shadyside. Battle's match-up with Longacher went tooth and nail coming away with an 8-7 decision and pinned down the shoulders of Kahl in 3:35.
Another making an impact for the Vikings was heavyweight Robby Spencer. Last season Spencer topped out the season with 10 wins and is already at 15 this season with a third place finish Saturday evening.
Having the most individual success in the tournament came from Division II's Tallmadge. The Blue Devils posted three individual champions – Jeff Brown (135), Nick Ursetti (140) and Aaron Donze (189). The trio combined for 10 pins, a tech fall, two major decisions and 18 wins.
Other individual champions included East Liverpool's Mike Mercer (103) and Cagney Springfield (125), Marietta's Nate Hupp (119), St. Clairsville's Dominic Prezzia (130), Nitro's Seth Easter (145), Oak Glen's Cody Miller (152) and Doug Murray (285), Dover's Bobby Gilmore (170) and John Glenn's Justin Gidcumb (215).
Teays Valley 351, Oak Glen 300.5, Dover 224.5, East Liverpool 219.5, Tallmadge 189, St. Clairsville 172, Williamstown (W.Va) 153, John Glenn 134, Barnesville 125, Shadyside 122, Nitro (W.Va.) 99.5, Shenandoah 85, Marietta 83, Wellsville 68.5
103 — Mike Mercer (EL) pinned Kamron Stemen (TV), 1:59.
112 — Zac Conn (TV) pinned David Mahan (OG), 2:42.
119 — Nate Hupp (MAR) dec. Sean Jordan (TV), 5-3
125 — Cagney Springer (EL) tech. fall Seth Callarik (STC), 16-0.
130 — Dominic Prezzia (STC) dec. Ethan Gray (OG), 3-2.
135 — Jeff Brown (TALL) dec. Joel Paolo (OG), 4-1.
140 — Nick Ursetti (TALL) dec. Paden Potts (OG), 10-3.
145 — Seth Easter (NIT) major dec. Kurtis Jefferis (BARN), 4:55.
152 — Cody Miller (OG) dec. Johnny Merryman (SH), 5-2.
160 — Bobby Gilmore (DOV) pinned Zach Six (OG), 0:40.
171 — Keith Heldt (DOV) major dec. Sam Gilmore (TV), 13-4.
189 — Aaron Donze (TALL) tech. fall Mike Mann (BARN), 17-2.
215 — Justin Gidcumb (JG) major dec. Nick Thompson (TALL), 13-5.
285 — Doug Murray (OG) dec. Jimmy Boyd (OGx), 2-1.
103 — Domonick Burchett (OG) major dec. Corey Wheeler (TALL) , 14-0.
112 — Jon Barker (BARN) dec. Matt Dunbar (NIT), 7-4.
119 — Preston Foster (EL) pinned Jason Ripple (DOV), 1:12.
125 — Kolton Stemen (TV) dec. SteveSturn (MAR), 6-2.
130 — Johnny James (TV) dec. Tyler George (WMS), 5-2.
135 — Mackenzie Peters (WMS) pinned John Darnell (TV), 1:24.
140 — Josh Coil (EL) pinned Tony Jones (WMS), 5:00.
145 — Nick McAvoy (OG) dec. Zach Van Way (JG), 6-4.
152 — Travis Siegenthaler (DOV dec. Keith Johnson (DOVx), 8-1.
160 — Nate Ormiston (TV) dec. Jeff Hanselman (WELL), 5-0.
171 — Josh Radabaugh (WMS) pinned Nick Wells (SHEN), 1:59.
189 — Christian Battle (TV) pinned Jerry Kahl (SH), 3:45.
215 — Dennie Ours (EL) pinned Levi Holcomb (STC), 1:38.
285 — Robbie Spencer (TV) pinned Jeremy Rice (JG), 2:41.
103 — Cody Kelley (WMS) major dec. Scott Spano (STC), 13-0.
112 — Bryan Crozier (SH) major dec. Michael Yockey (STC), 12-2.
119 — Dillon Nolte (STC) pinned Ethan Bennington (JG), 3:00.
125 — Kody Crooks (BARN) dec. Seth Stickley (SHEN), 5-4 OT.
130 — Sam Dunbar (NIT) tech. fall Steven Davis (JG), 18-1.
135 — Matt Flanigan (WELL) pinned Vince Ours (EL), 5:01.
140 — Tovy Grove (DOV) dec. Nathan Jordan (TV), 14-13.
145 — Tyler Luft (TV) pinned Kenny Nickerson (STC), 1:26.
152 — Zach Graham (TV) pinned Brandon Bartnicki (STC), 1:26.
160 — Mark Board (WMS) pinned Dylan James (EL), 2:59.
171 — Anthony Cornell (OG) pinned Brian Kahl (SH), 4:30.
189 — Mike Longacher (DOV) dec. Ryan Crabtree (WELL), 5-2.
215 — Nate Miller (TV) pinned Brad Ritenour (DOV), 1:46.
285 — Thomas Moore (SHEN) pinned John Swigart (TALL), 1:20.