Trio of Teams Off To Great Start at Park Duals

Park, Steubenville, JM?all unbeaten after first day

Photos by Cody Tomer John Marshall’s Ethan Gray makes a move against Brooke’s Braydon DeMaria in a 113 battle during Thursday’s Wheeling Park Duals at WesBanco Arena.

WHEELING–Opening day of the 2017 Wheeling Park Duals couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for a trio of local teams.

Wheeling Park, John Marshall and Steubenville combined to go 13-0 throughout the first day of the two-day tournament at WesBanco Arena on Thursday, with the Patriots finishing 5-0 and the Monarchs and Big Red each going 4-0.

Park was led by seven grapplers who each recorded five victories on the day, which includes Maison Richardson (120), Billy Gooch (132), Steven Mitchell (138), John Nash (160), Kaleb Simpkins (170), Austin Loew (195) and Dylan Wood (220).

Canon Welker (126), Isaak Murphy (106), and Jeremiah Timberlake (145) each recorded multiple wins on a perfect day for Wheeling Park.

“We had a pretty good day,” Park coach Clay Tucker said. “We started off a little slow but we got that out of our system and as the day went on, we got better and better.

“We had good matches from our freshmen up to our senior leaders and captains, who we rely on. They go out there and set the tone for that dual, the next dual and the entire day.

“Everybody on the team is wrestling really well right now and that is why I love this tournament. It is a team tournament, so you get a little more passionate about every match and that is why I like coming here and hosting it.”

En route to a 5-0 day, the Patriots defeated some very strong competition in East Liverpool 42-30, South Harrison 75-0, Waynedale 41-24, George Washington 40-30 and Jackson 35-27.

“We brought this tournament to WesBanco Arena from the high school so we could get 32 teams in here,” Tucker said. “It is a good tournament because we invite a lot of outside teams, Ohio teams and West Virginia teams.

“It is a good tournament to face good competition that we don’t get to see throughout the year.

“I think we put ourselves in a pretty good position to win our next two matches (today) and get into the semifinals and hopefully get in the finals of our home tournament for the first time in a long time.”

The Monarchs also brought their A-game with victories over Hurricane 48-20, St. Xavier 51-24, Brooke 52-21 and Avon Lake 36-24.

“We had four good wins with a bunch of different kids contributing,” John Marshall coach Ted Zervos said. “The kids got bounced around in weight classes and a couple of jayvee kids stepped up and filled in for varsity kids out of the lineup. I am really proud of the effort from every single person. The technique can definitely be improved but the effort was there all day and I am really pleased with the results.”

Ethan Gray (113), Austin Love (132), Jordan Wood (145), Anthony Carman (160), Jake Berisford (170) and Chaz McCool (195) all delivered four wins for the Monarchs.

“Those are our more experienced kids and they really showed their leadership (Thursday),” Zervos said.

Also capturing multiple wins for John Marshall were Matthew Tschappat (106), Gabriel McCardle (220), Jarrod Yocum (132), Brandon Durrah (195), Peyton Shook (126) and Brady Williams (285).

The Big Red dominated the opposition, as well, upending Morgantown 73-0, Cabell-Midland 51-21, Washington Court House 51-15 and Preston County 56-21.

“4-0 Is always a good thing,” Steubenville coach Michael Blackburn said. “We are just trying to get back into shape. We had a lot of guys still coming out of football, so it is always a good experience here.”

Paving the way with an undefeated day for the Big Red were Peyton Blasko (113), Zane Minella (120), Anthony Rice (138), Jashon Hubbard (132) and Michael Grey (132).

“Blasko wrestled pretty well and really up and down the lineup, our guys did well,” Blackburn said. “We made some mistakes but I though we wrestled pretty well.”

Carrollton, University and Point Pleasant also finished the afternoon with spotless 4-0 records heading into Day 2.

Oak Glen sits at an even 2-2 mark, while Buckeye Local is 2-3, Brooke resides at 1-3 and Weir is 0-4.