Big Red Sends Seven to State
UHRICHSVILLE — The Steubenville wrestling team wanted to get back on top of the podium at Saturday’s Division II district tournament at Claymont High School after coming in second to Beaver Local at the sectional hosted by Big Red a week ago.
It did just that by taking the top spot, while qualifying seven wrestlers for next week’s state championships in Columbus.
“I think we’ve wrestled good all year,” Steubenville coach Michael Blackburn said.
“We’ve just been banged up and trying to piece our lineup together and get everybody back. It’s all built up to sectionals, districts and state.
“Last week we got knocked off by Beaver. We knew we had the firepower to do it, and our kids wrestled great (Saturday). This is a tough district. There were a lot of tough matches.”
Big Red posted an overall team score of 159, topping the host Mustangs by 16.
One of the seven Big Red wrestlers that advanced got some personal redemption. Tyler Ely won the the 285-pound district crown by defeating River View’s Sam Mitchell, who got the best of him a week prior on his home mat.
“I lost to him at sectionals, and to come back and beat him in the finals feels amazing,” Ely said. “All the work I put into wrestling paid off and it feels incredible.
“I went (to state) last year but got hurt in the first match. It’s my final time going; it has to be it. I want to go out with a bang.”
Other district champs for Steubenville were Jacson Muldrew at 132 pounds, Anthony Rice at 138 pounds and Jashon Hubbard at 152 pounds.
Also qualifying for the trip to Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center were Peyton Blasko (second at 113), Tyler Muldrew (third at 120) and David Tuttle (fourth at 170). Keith Bodnar placed fifth at 195 pounds and is an alternate.
Indian Creek coach Brandon Pendleton had a couple of goals Saturday — get his underclassman district quailers some experience and for one of his Redskins to earn a trip to the State Capital.
They did just that, as senior Parker Mazi came in fourth place at 132 pounds to advance to next week, redeeming himself after what he felt was not his best performance at the sectional tournament.
One week after taking the sectional crown, Beaver Local had another solid day, placing fourth with 127.5 points and sending four to Columbus.
Those four are Cole McComas (113 champion), Skylar Lasure (second at 132), Beau Smith (fourth at 145) and Jared Wright (fourth at 152).
The East Liverpool Potters will send one to the state tournament in Howard Williams who placed third at 106 pounds.
He defeated Bishop Hartley’s Michael Petrella to take third place after pinning River View’s Rann Zimmer to earn his spot in Columbus.
The Red Devils brought a young group to Urichsville and coach was happy with how they performed while gaining experience.
In the end, Koen Kish finished in fifth by defeating Marion-Franklin’s Jalin Goodman to be an alternate at 113 pounds for the state tournament.
The Huskies wrestling season ended on Saturday with Blayne Erwin (182) and Cody Gamble (195) failing to advance in their respective weight classes.