South, Big Red Neck and Neck
WHEELING – Parkersburg South and Steubenville are neck and neck heading into today’s final rounds at the 60th annual Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament.
With championship semifinal matches beginning at noon at WesBanco Arena, the three-time defending champion Patriots hold a 163.5-155.5 lead against Big Red. After the second day last year, South led Big Red by seven points.
The Patriots have nine competitors in the semifinals and Steubenville has seven.
”We’re really proud of what the boys have done so far,” South coach Donna Dixon said. ”It’s looking positive for us.”
South and Big Red will not face each other in a semifinal match, leaving the possibility of three championship showdowns.
The finals begin at 6:30 p.m.
Wheeling Park is third in the team standings with 127 points, while Beaver Local (99.5) and University (86.5) round out the top five. John Marshall (86), Brooke (82), Cambridge (81), Shadyside (74.5) and Morgantown (74) complete the top 10.
The Patriots held a five-point lead after Day 1. South won 13 of its 14 matches by pin and the bonus points that were accrued continued to aid in its lead as both teams had solid days Friday.
South sent two No. 6 seeds into the championship semifinals, while Steubenville sent two No. 5s, a No. 6 and one unseeded entrant – Brandon Jones at 182 pounds – into the semis.
Magnolia’s Alex Newman (285) is the other unseeded semifinalist.
All of the top seeds haven’t lost. Also, just four of the 14 weight classes (120, 126, 195 and 220) have the top four seeds alive for championships.
Five No. 6 seeds made it to the semifinals, including Park’s Danny Colby at 152. He is joined by six teammates in the semis.
”I think all of them have a chance,” Park coach Jack Doyle said. ”I think if we get guys that wrestle hard and give themselves a chance to win late in matches, I’ll be happy.”
As for Colby advancing, Doyle wasn’t surprised.
”Maybe from an outside standpoint it’s a mild upset, but we came in expecting him to win. He wrestled very smart (against Cambridge’s Dillon Sunnafrank). He won 1-0, but a win is a win.”
”We couldn’t have asked more from our guys.”
- As part of the “SUBWAY Sports Clinic Series” the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference will be playing host to its annual free youth wrestling clinic in conjunction with the Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament this morning from 7:45-9 a.m.
Registration begins at 7:15 a.m.
The clinic will be led by Branden Lee Hinkle, National Champion NCAA Wrestler, US National Freestyle All-American and MMA participant. The clinicians will teach the basic fundamentals of wrestling and help build the kids’ self-esteem. The clinic is free and open to boys and girls ages 5-13.
Parents are required to have insurance and be present the day of the clinics to sign a waiver form.
- The West Liberty wrestling team will welcome Ohio Valley for a match at 10 a.m. The Hilltoppers are ranked ninth in the nation in NCAA Division II.
- Todd Fullerton was presented with the first Cindy Clegg Medical Service Award prior to the start of Friday night’s session. Fullerton, currently a registered nurse at Ohio Valley Medical Center, is a fixture at the OVAC Tournament.
- This year’s OVAC Wrestling Venerable Patron is Richard ‘Dick’ Wolf. A presence at the OVACs for more than 30 years, Wolf has served as the creative force behind the event’s program for the past 17.
- The following people received Sid Stoltz OVAC Worker of the Year Awards – Robert ‘Bob’ Butts, Mickey Duffy and Sam Sedosky.