Seeds Are Set for OVAC Wrestling Tournament
Action begins Thursday inside WesBanco Arena
WHEELING — It is officially Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Week as seeds for the 66th edition of the OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament were released Sunday night during a press conference inside Generations Restaurant.
As has been pretty much the case since it joined the bi-state league, Parkersburg South leads the way with 13 seeds, which include a tournament-high four No. 1s. However, Beaver Local also had 13 grapplers seeded in the top 12 of their respective weight classes, including a trio of top seeds.
The Wood County Patriots have captured the team and Class 5A championships in each of the last five seasons and eight of the past nine. They piled up 324.5 to Beaver Local’s 240 last year. Steubenville won the overall and Class 4A titles in 2013, but South was the 5A champ.
“We talked about that today. There is a lot of quality coming into the tournament, especially at the top of the podium. There seems to be more quality this year than in years past,” Parkersburg South assistant coach David Jefferies said. “We’ve got a really good tournament team. We have four No. 1 seeds and expect them to live up to that.”
South’s top seeds include returning champions Brayden Roberts (145) and Braxton Amos (220), and Zane Hinzman (160) and Louden Haga (285). Another defending champ — senior Tucker Windland (126) — is seeded fourth in a very deep weight class.
The Beavers No. 1 seeds are junior two-time defending champion Cole McComas (126), freshman phenom Logan Ours (120) and senior Beau Smith (170).
“I think we have a good, young team who is doing the right things. They are preparing the right way and I think the way things shook out in the seeding meeting is just an indication of how hard these kids work and prepare to be successful,” Beaver Local coach Jordan Williams said. “It’s a testament to what they do on a day-in and day-out basis.”
McComas is also a two-time Ohio Division II state runnerup.
The Beavers also have five second seeds.
Wheeling Park checks in with 12 seeded wrestlers, which is one more than Steubenville.
“I’m pretty excited for my first OVAC Tournament seed meeting. I think everyone’s seeds panned out really well,” first-year Wheeling Park coach Brian Leggett explained. “They (the wrestlers) did all the hard work already, so the work in the seeding meeting was pretty easy for me.”
Despite not having a No. 1 seed, the Patriots did receive two thirds in Billy Gooch (152) and Dylan Wood (220).
Big Red’s 11 seeds include a No. 1 in Anthony Rice (152), who is also ranked No. 1 in the state by BoroFan. The senior is also a defending champion.
“You always want to get higher seeds. This tournament is tough. There are a bunch of good teams here,” Steubenville coach Mike Blackburn said. “The whole thing is to come in here and wrestle. Our kids have to perform on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Steubenville also has four No. 2 seeds.
Other top seeds include Shenandoah’s Alex Overly (106); East Liverpool’s Howard Williams (113); University’s Jacob Simpson (132); Oak Glen’s Peyton Hall (138); John Marshall’s Anthony Carman (182); and Madonna’s Garrett Cook (195).
Williams and Carman won titles at 106 and 160 last year, while Hall was a titlist as a freshman when he became the first freshman to win the coveted Bierkortte Award as the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
The three-day event begins at 6 p.m. Thursday with Olympic-style opening ceremonies. Wrestling starts at 6:30. On Friday, action resumes at noon and then again at 6 p.m. Saturday begins with championship semifinals at noon. The night session kicks off at 6 with the naming of Mr. Mat. The championship finals are slated for 6:30.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students for each session. Advance book of five (5) tickets is $25 for adults and $15 for students. A finals-only ticket is $8 for adults and $5 for students.