Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Tourney begins tonight


OVAC Wrestling
Several Ohio teams will look to knock off two of West Virginia's high
octane mat programs this weekend at the Ron Mauck Ohio Valley Athletic
Conference Wrestling Tournament. Opening ceremonies will get underway tonight beginning at 6 p.m. with wrestling following at 6:30 p.m.

WHEELING, W.Va. – Several Ohio teams will look to knock off two of West Virginia's high octane mat programs this weekend at the Ron Mauck Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Tournament.

“To make a run at this tournament you have to have a lot of kids place,” Lisbon-Beaver Local coach Mark Emmerling said as his squad hosts three top seeds – Arizona Miller (112), Jon Bittinger (160) and Derek Wolf (285) – which is the most in this year's tourney.

West Virginia's Wheeling Park and Oak Glen both have seeded wrestlers in the double digit range as the Patriots have 12-of-14 seeded while the Golden Bears have 10-of-12.

Boasting in seeded wrestlers from the Ohio side of the river include Bellaire, Caldwell, Cambridge and Cadiz-Harrison Central.

The Big Reds enter the tournament with six seeds – two of them being No. 2 seeds with Robbie Chilson (140) and Aaron Porter (145).

“You can figure out what you want in that seeding meeting, but it all determines on how the kids come out and wrestle. I am expecting a good show by our kid,” Bellaire mat mentor Shane Shaffer said.

Chilson, a returning OVAC champion and Ohio Division III runner-up, has taken a back seat in the seeding process to another outstanding wrestler – Beallsville's Jimmy Reisz.

The two have toed line twice this season season with Reisz coming out on top in both meetings.

“Robbie stepped it up a notch at the Buckeye 8 Tournament against Rayland-Buckeye Local's Mike Slaga and looked tough, reminded me of Robbie last year,” Shaffer said about Chilson's chance of making the third time the charm. “But don't think it will be a walk in the park for him to get there. He is going to have some tough competition along the way to the finals.”

Porter will be another one that could face the eyes of greatness with Zach Basich of Wheeling Central (W.Va.) claiming the No. 1 spot in his bracket. Basich is a returning OVAC and West Virginia Class A/AA state champion.

“I have six seeded and I think I have a couple that I think can surprise a couple people and place here,” Shaffer said as he wasn't as concerned about the team titles. “We're always trying to place as high as we can as a team, but with some of those bigger schools having so much depth can make it difficult. Not having every weight class filled hurts and we're concerned about the ones we have filled. Our coaching staff wants to those guys wrestle to their highest potential.”

Cadiz-Harrison Central will have six seeds as well with Ian Howell as the Huskies' highest seed at No. 2 at 171-pounds. His top competition, if he makes it to the finals, will come from Rayland-Buckeye Local's Nathan Schaal.

“His determining factor is he needs to get his mind right and have it focused for a complete six minutes,” Buckeye Local coach Nate Skrzypek noted about Schall's probability to set foot on the finals' mat against Howell. “If he focuses he is tough to beat.”

Other Ohio top seeds include Cambridge's Paul Rose (125), St. Clairsville's Dominic Prezzia (130), Richmond-Edison's Andy Stine (135), Steubenville's Mark Markakis (189) and Caldwell's Derrick Hesson (215).

Opening ceremonies will get underway on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. with wrestling following at 6:30 p.m.


103 — 1. Dirk Bauer, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 2. Ed Lehotay, Meadowbrook; 3. Kyle Bauer, Wheeling Centra (W.Va.)l; 4. Darin Heavilin, Cadiz-Harrison Central; 5. Andrew Burtubin, Cambridge; 6. Johnny McComas, Lisobon-Beaver Local; 7. Eric Beck, John Marshall (W.Va.); 8. Chris Tingler, Steubenville.

112 — 1. Arizona Miller, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 2. Taylor Yoder, Martins Ferry; 3. Zack Porter, Bellaire; 4. David Mahan, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 5. Cody Wiltshire, Rayland-Buckeye Local; 6. Aaron Majetich, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 7. Ryan Richter, Woodsfield-Monroe Central; 8. John Barker, Barnesville.

119 — 1. Troy Eckleberry, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 2. Mike Kendjorski, Rayland-Buckeye Local; 3. Nick Taylor, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 4. Preston Foster, East Liverpool; 5. Jacob Border, Caldwell; 6. Mitch Thompson, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 7. Dillon Nolte, St. Clairsville; 8. Dillon VanDyne, Cambridge.

125 — 1. Paul Rose, Cambridge; 2. Cagney Springer, East Liverpool; 3. Jason Waugh, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 4. Nick Risdon, Cadiz-Harrison Central; 5. Jeremy Howard, John Marshall (W.Va.); 6. Ryan Asbury, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 7. Jake Foster, Bellaire-St. John; 8. Seth Callarik, St. Clairsville.

130 — 1. Dominic Prezzia, St. Clairsville; 2. Chase Clark, Belmont-Union Local; 3. Bryce Rush, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 4. Ethan Dray, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 5. Erik Canter, Bellaire; 6. Derrick Holt, Martins Ferry; 7. Tyler Berger, Cambridge; 8. Clint Boyd, Caldwell.

135 — 1. Andy Stine, Richmond-Edison; 2. James McFarland, Brooke (W.Va.); 3. Joel Paolo, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 4. Ben Pockl, John Marshall (W.Va.); 5. Shane Foster, Bellaire-St. John; 6. Brandon Conrad, Byesville-Meadowbrook; 7. Joe McKee, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 8. Matt Flanigan, Wellsville.

140 — Jimmy Reisz, Beallsville; 2. Robbie Chilson, Bellaire; 3. Mike Slaga, Rayland-Buckeye Local; 4. Kurtis Jefferis, Barnesville; 5. Rob Eddy, Cadiz-Harrison Central; 6. Chris Brancker, Richmond-Edison; 7. Dylan Ice, Lisobon-Beaver Local; 8. Paden Potts, Oak Glen (W.Va.).

145 — 1. Zach Basich, Wheeling Central (W.Va.); 2. Aaron Porter, Bellaire; 3. Nick Stine, Richmond-Edison; 4. Jon Ray,
Cambridge; 5. Jared Border, Caldwell; 6. Max Nogay, Weirton Madonna (W.Va.); 7. Nick McAvoy, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 8. Marcus George, Wheeling Park (W.Va.).

152 — 1. Cody Miller, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 2. Johnny Merryman, Shadyside; 3. Zack Kosky, Bellaire-St. John; 4. Mike Emery, Wintersville-Indian Creek; 5. Kyle Faykus, Bellaire; 6. Heath Beecher, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 7. Jeff Hanselman, Wellsville; 8. Taylor Banks, Cadiz-Harrison Central.

160 — 1. Jon Bittinger, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 2. Bryan Skoff, Bridgeport; 3. Zack Six, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 4. Kason Melchiori, John Marshall (W.Va.); 5. James Beatty, Cambridge; 6. Seth Bumgardner, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 7. Nathan Abbott, Caldwell; 8. Derek Porter, Bellaire.

171 — 1. Nathan Schaal, Rayland-Buckeye Local; 2. Ian Howell, Cadiz-Harrison Central; 3. Chad Teague, Cambridge; 4. Chase Tucker, Martins Ferry; 5. Dan Doyle, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 6. Trevor Dunn, John Marshall (W.Va.); 7. Josh Sizemore, Brooke (W.Va.); 8. Paden Stewart, Hannibal-River.

189 — 1. Mark Markakis, Steubenville; 2. Kirk Wetherell, Cambridge; 3. Troy Starr, Hanibal-River; 4. Devon Ludwig, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 5. Jerry Kahl, Shadyside; 6. Mike Mann, Barnesville; 7. Jake Mallernee, Cadiz-Harrison Central; 8. Tyler Druschel, John Marshall (W.Va.).

215 — 1. Derrick Hesson, Caldwell; 2. Branko Busick, Steubenville; 3. Allen Earnest, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 4. Taylor Potts, John Marshall (W.Va.); 5. Schuyler Bondy, Woodsfield-Monroe Central; 6. Zac Costlow, Steubenville Catholic; 7. Jake Henderson, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 8. Levi Holcomb, St. Clairsville.

285 — 1. Derek Wolfe, Lisbon-Beaver Local; 2. Drake Kowcheck, Brooke (W.Va.); 3. Tom Schenkel, Caldwell; 4. Doug Murray, Oak Glen (W.Va.); 5. Steven Woodford, Martins Ferry; 6. Dutch Fisher, Wheeling Park (W.Va.); 7. Ryan Dugan, Steubenville; 8. Sean West, Bridgeport.


Former Rayland-Buckeye Local wrestling coach and Superintendent of Noble County Schools Dan Doyle was announced the new tournament director of the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament during a press conference at the WesBanco Arena recently.

“The wrestling community is in great hands,” outgoing Tournament Director Ron Mauck said as he addressed all 36 competing coaches. “It has been a great ride. My wife and three kids have loved being in this sport and working at this tournament.”

Muack, a vetern mat legend, decided technology has continued to evolve and he is still standing back in the dust and that isn't the direction he wants this tournament to go.

“I'm a pen and paper guy and that is how I am,” Mauck shared. “I would still be happy writing it all out, but to get this tournament out we need to go in this direction. Dan has a lot of experience as a coach and school official and will continue the tradition the OVAC has had fin the past tournaments.”

Doyle, a long time mat mentor, was thrilled to offered to take over the reigns from such a highly regarded individual in the sport of wrestling.

“It has been years since I got out of coaching and I have been very fortunate not only to work with this crew here, but at the NCAA tournament we hosted also,” Doyle explained about the group of men and women that will serve as the nuts and bolts of the OVAC tournament.

“Most importantly, this dedicated group of people are not leaving any time soon,” Doyle affirmed. “They are going to be around to help in this transition period. The people within the wrestling fraternity are willing to step up. “

Doyle, a former Mr. Mat award winner himself, led the Rayland-Buckeye Local wrestling program for over a decade winning overall team titles in 1996 and 1997.

“One thing people need to understand about this tournament is its the event of wrestling community of the Ohio Valley. It is not just a tournament,” Doyle shared. “We all went to tournaments, we all go to tournaments. You are in, you're out, it's one day and you say hi to people.”

The prestige the tournament holds has been intact for 55 years and Doyle says he plans to keep the same atmosphere with a few tweaks to the technology of the tournament.

“You see everyone that has been involved with valley wrestling since its founding. That is one thing which is one my goals to keep it that – the gathering of the wrestling fraternity. “

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