BARNESVILLE – The Bellaire mat program entered unchartered waters Saturday night as they led the Division III East Sectional Wrestling Tournament by 2.5 point going into the final round of competition.
“We knew what we had to do coming into the last round by wrestling our matches. It was just a matter of actually going out and doing it,” Bellaire coach Shane Shaffer offered.
Bellaire (198) and Martins Ferry (196) exchanged the lead five times in the final round as the Big Reds heavy weight Bobby Bennett sealed the team title taking an injury default to earn an alternate spot for the district tournament.
“It feels good to get this team victory,” Shaffer said about his first sectional title in his sixth year as head coach of the Big Reds. “I am very happy for the kids. They wrestled very well.”
Bellaire picked up big bonus points early on as 103-pounder Eric Knowlton poured it on in his finals match handing Conotton Valley sophomore Jesse Crilley a 16-1 technical fall to ignite the Big Reds during the last round of competition.
Teammare Erik Canter, an OVAC champion, was another key factor in the Big Reds’ team victory as he met head-to-head with Martins Ferry’s Derrick Holt.
Canter (130) scored the opening takedown in the first period and west scoreless in the second panel, 2-0. Battling in the final period, Canter out the match out of reach to earn the 5-0 win over Holt.
Facing the biggest personal obstacle for the Big Reds was returning state runner-up Robbie Chilson (140) as he toed the line with Beallsville's Jimmy Reisz.
In three previous matches, Reisz had the upper hand picking up three decisions – one of those being in a dual and the other two being in tournament finals.
Scoreless after one panel, Chilson went down and recorded an escape to take a one-point lead.
Going down into the third, Reisz exploded off the bottom, but Chilson managed to keep the Blue Devil senior to the mat. As time was ready to expire, Reisz went to square off with Chilson, but Chilson maintained a front headlock to keep control for the 1-0 victory.
The win gave Chilson his 100th career high school victory.
“Robbie (Chilson) stepped it up a notch and was finally able to beat (Jimmy) Resiz. He deserved it and has been pushing for it,” Shaffer said.
Bellaire’s other unexpected win came in the form of Aaron Porter as the Big Reds senior handed returning state place winner Zach Kosky of St. John Central a 3-1 setback.
The Purple Riders may have came up short in the team crown against Bellaire, but coach Jeff Oberdick’s squad punched eight tickets to the district tournament as well crowning four sectional champions – Taylor Yoder (112), Chase Tucker (171), Mike Shreve (189) and Steve Woodford (215).
“We got as many guys as we could to the district tournament and that is all you could do. We did everything we could do to win this tournament also,” Oberdick explained. “We can only control what we do. We won seven out of eight matches this evening (in the finals round). So we did everything we could do.”
Martins Ferry’s Yoder and Shreve both accumulated large numbers in the team scoring recording pins in their respected championship bouts.
Yoder cradled up Monroe Central’s Ryan Richter in the first period while Shreve slammed Shadyside’s Jerry Kahl in 3:37.
Other local wrestlers earning sectional crowns included St. Clairsville’s Dillon Nolte (119) and Seth Callarik (125).
Nolte, a No. 2 seed, embarrassed top seed John Marcoaldi of Sandy Valley in 5:37 with a 16-1 technical fall. Callarik earned his spot in the finals by knocking off top seeded Zane McSwords of Martins Ferry in the semis and returned to exchange fires with Barnesville’s Kody Crooks in an 8-6 overtime decision.
St. John Central’s Shane Foster (135) also earned his first sectional crown by recording six takedowns on Bellaire’s Jesse Dobson for a 13-6 decision.
Returning state qualifier Johnny Merryman of Shadyside also made his way back into the district tournament as he handed Bellaire’s Kyle Faykus a 5-1 decision for gold.
For the Bridgeport mat program, senior Bryan Skoff (160) and junior Sean West (285) earned sectional titles. Skoff recorded an 8-2 decision of Sandy Valley’s Ethan Leyda while West was a 7-3 winner over Beallsville’s George Ruckman in championship action.
All of the top four place winners in their respected weight classes will now move onto a two-day district tournament in Heath next weekend.
“It will take the same thing it takes every year,” Shaffer said about advancing kids onto the state tournament. “The kids need to show up and want it. A lot of it is heart and how bad do they want it.”
Bellaire 198, Martins Ferry 196, Sandy Valley 178.5, St. Clairsville 120.5, Shadyside 109, Barnesville 89, St. John Central 81, Beallsville 77, Tusky Valley 72.5, Monroe Central 65, Bridgeport 55.5, Union Local 45.5, Malvern 43.5, Catholic Central 39, Wellsville 35, Conotton Valley 31, Tusky Central Catholic 15.
103 – Zac Knowlton (BEL) tech. fall Jesse Crilley (CV), 16-1, 5:04.
112 – Taylor Yoder (MF) pinned Ryan Richter (MC), 1:53.
119 – Dillon Nolte (STC) tech. fall John Marcoaldi (SV), 16-1, 5:37.
125 – Seth Callarik (STC) dec. Kody Crooks (BARN), 8-6 OT.
130 – Erik Canter (BEL) dec. Derrick Holt (MF), 5-0.
135 – Shane Foster (SJC) dec. Jesse Dobson (BEL), 13-6.
140 – Robbie Chilson (BEL) dec. Jimmy Reisz (BEAL), 1-0.
145 – Aaron Porter (BEL) dec. Zach Kosky (SJC), 3-1.
152 – Johnny Merryman (SH) dec. Kyle Faykus (BEL), 5-1.
160 – Bryan Skoff (BPT) dec. Ethan Leyda (SV), 8-2.
171 – Chase Tucker (MF) dec. Nick Herron (TV), 5-0.
189 – Matt Shreve (MF) pinned Jerry Kahl (SH), 3:37.
215 – Steve Woodford (MF) dec. Zac Costlow (CC), 9-3.
285 – Sean West (BPT) dec. George Ruckman (BEAL), 7-3.
103 – Luke Lehmiller (SV) dec. Scott Spano (STC), 9-8.
112 – Zach Porter (BEL) dec. John Barker (BARN), 9-6.
119 – Brad Mackey (MF) pinned Davy Wilson (UL), 4:11.
125 – Zane McSwords (MF) dec. Jake Foster (SJC), 5-2.
130 – Dominic Prezzia (STC) won by default over Anthony Vissoc (SV).
135 – Ryan Hotlosz (MF) dec. Kefton O’Bradovich (SV), 4-2.
140 – Kurtis Jefferis (BARN) dec. Maurice Johnson (MAL), 6-4.
145 – Justin Clendenin (SH) dec. Kenny Nickerson (STC), 2-1.
152 – Andy Sigler (UL) dec. Tyler Herron (TV), 5-2.
160 – Drew Amos (TV) dec. Timmy Jones (BEAL), 5-1.
171 – Andrew Crook (BEL) dec. Jon White (TCC), 5-4.
189 – Ryan Crabtree (WEL) dec. Mike Mann (BAR), 4-3.
215 – Schuyler Bondy (MC) dec. Levi Holcomb (STC), 8-4.
285 – Dominic Chiurco (MAL) pinned Aaron Silverio (SH), 2:41.
103 – Josh Kuhn (MAL) won by BYE.
112 – Bryan Crozier (SH) dec. Luke Wojcicki (TV), 10-4.
119 – Steven Johnson (SJC) dec. Cody Moore (BEAL), 12-11.
125 – Dutch Kirkman (SV) pinned John Schumacher (MC), 5:17 OT.
130 – Quetin Castello (BARN) pinned Quintin Crotrell (CV), 2:43.
135 – Matt Flanigan (WEL) dec. Mitchell Friede (UL), 8-5.
140 – Billy Natale (SV) dec. Carl Piper (SJC), 6-5.
145 – Brendan Grossi (SV) dec. Jon Huntsman (BARN), 6-4.
152 – Parker Cole (SV) pinned Brandon Bartnicki (STC), 1:21.
160 – Derek Porter (BEL) dec. Nathan McConaughy (MC), 6-4.
171 – Jeff Miller (SV) pinned Brian Kahl (SH), 2:23.
189 – Josh Costlow (CC) dec. Mike Hamsher (SV), 3-0.
215 – Cody Litman (SV) won by forfeit.
285 – Bobby Bennett (BEL) won by default over Gino DeBellis (SV).