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OVAC WRESTLING: South Three-Peats

Patriots set OVAC meet points record

January 22, 2012
By RICK THORP - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Parkersburg South saved its best for last.

Leading Steubenville by seven points heading into the final day of the 59th annual Ron Mauck Wrestling Tournament, the Patriots put on a clinic Saturday and cruised to their third straight championship.

South compiled a tournament-record 305 points, including 81 bonus points, en route to winning the tournament, and the Class 5A crown, for the third time in as many tries.

Article Photos

Wheeling Park’s Cody Amos, top, grapples with Steubenville’s Jake Howarth in their 170-pound title match. Amos won, 6-3, for his second straight title.

''Steubenville was very tough the first couple of days,'' South coach Paul Jackson said. ''But in the semis our kids came and stepped it up.

''We got 81 bonus points and that's how you win tournaments like this. You have to get those points and we preach that to the kids every time we go to a tournament."

It's been another stellar season for the Patriots, the two-time defending West Virginia Class AAA champs.

South has won 105 consecutive dual matches, including a triumph against Big Red in the finals of last month's Wheeling Park Duals.

And while he wasn't happy his team came up short again, Steubenville coach Mike Blackburn heaped praise on his unit.

''South wrestled a great tournament,'' he said. ''We just have some things we need to work on for next year.

''We have the postseason to be concerned about now, and we have a big dual (against Claymont) next Saturday night.

''We had a good tournament ... we won (Class) 4A.''

Big Red finished with 270.7 points, well ahead of Oak Glen (134.5).

Martins Ferry claimed the Class 3A title with 77 points, while Caldwell, the Class 2A champ, was third overall with 192 points.

South claimed four championships, including three of the first four weight classes.

Top-seeded Lance Hill repeated as OVAC champ with a thrilling 1-0 triumph against Steubenville freshman Devin Brown at 106 pounds.

At 120, senior Tyler Karcher won his 31st match of the season by defeating another Big Red grappler - Anthony Parada - 7-4.

David Jeffrey won his third straight OVAC crown by pinning Wheeling Park freshman Dylan Taylor in 3:43.

Jeffrey posted five pins in the tournament and was named the Dave Bierkorette winner - the most outstanding wrestler of the event as voted by coaches.

Jeffrey hasn't lost to a grappler from West Virginia and is aiming for his fourth straight West Virginia crown.

South's final victory came at 182 where Steven Brogle won his second straight OVAC crown by pinning University's Nate Constante in 4:14.

Brogle repeated as the Hercules Award winner, with a tourney-best five pins in 10:57.

Steubenville had two champs - Shawn McGhee at 145 and Greg Moray at 220.

McGhee won his second straight OVAC title by thumping Shadyside's Mason Gulash by technical fall, 16-0.

Moray won his first tournament title by edging Oak Glen's Dylan Davis, 3-2.

Caldwell posted back-to-back championship victories.

At 132, Jeremy Border snapped his string of three straight runner-up finishes with a 4-0 decision of South's Tyler Richards.

''It feels great ... this year I finally got a win,'' Border said.

One match later, at 138, Border's teammate - Zac Cline - became the only second seed to win a final, upending Shadyside's Ian Baker, 2-0.

''Jeremy and Zac are drill partners so they feed off each other,'' Redskins coach Tom Brown said. ''This moments is good for our program.''

Six schools won one title each, led by Wheeling Park's Cody Amos, who claimed his second straight crown.

Amos captured the 170-pound division with a 6-3 decision of Big Red's Jake Howarth.

''This one is a little bit bigger than last year,'' Amos, who said he's been fighting a bout with bronchitis, said.

''(Howarth)'s a tough kid. I beat him 8-4 the last time I wrestled him.''

Oak Glen's Zach Brown also repeated by edging South's Bryce Gainer, 7-6, in the 113-pound final. Brown took the lead with a point with 8 seconds left in the match.

Brooke's Nathan Dawson won his first conference title by topping Thomas Schwing, the No. 8 seed from John Marshall, 3-2, in the 195-pound championship bout.

Weir's Darren Starr was also a first-time winner at heavyweight, defeating Morgantown's Taylor Ortiz, 10-3.

In 1 of 8 1 vs. 2 battles, Shadyside's Alex Quinn won the 152-pound title, his first, by topping Steubenville freshman Trent Mays, 6-0.

Harrison Central's Doug Eddy, after finishing third and seventh the past two years, won the 160-pound crown, with a 4-0 victory against South's Jake Alexander.

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