SHADYSIDE - The Shadyside Tigers are on the brink of heading to the inaugural Division III OHSAA State Team Wrestling Tournament.
"How about that?," asked Shadyside head coach Scott Kinemond. "That's nice and special."
The Tigers cleared two more hurdles inside their own gymnsium Wednesday evening, capturing the Region 21A championship and advancing to the overall Region 21 championship match, which will be held next Wednesday at a site to be determined by the OHSAA.
In the semifinal, Shadyside dispatched Belpre, 46-27 and then easily cruised past Martins Ferry, which ousted Caldwell in its semifinal, by a 51-20 score.
"Our lighter-weight kids are wrestling well," Kinemond said. "Last week, it was good that those kids didn't get pinned. Now, this week, they're winning matches and a few of those were by pin, which is huge. This is a team tournament and right now we're wrestling as a team."
Next up for the Tigers is a date with Amanda-Clearcreek, which ousted host Bloom-Carroll in the bottom half of the Region 21 bracket. Since Shadyside is the highest seed remaining in the bracket, it could be in line to host the event.
"I can't ask for anymore than how these kids are wrestling right now," Kinemond said. "As long as keep the fire lit, I like our chances. We live for another round."
The Tigers' big trio of Ian Baker, Alex Quinn and Chase Kinemond is well documented seeing that all three have been all-Ohio and all three claimed OVAC titles two weeks ago.
However, the Tigers came out of the gates swinging and recorded decisive victories in the first three weight classes. Wyatt Skapk and Bailey Chaplin posted pins at 106 and 120, respectively, while Zach Vaughn scored a decision at 113, making it 15-0.
"It might not have been over mathematically, but the dual was basically over after 120 because we knew what they had coming up," said Ferry coach Scott Roth. "In duals, we need big points out of certain guys and guys to stay off their backs and we didn't get those."
After Ferry senior Damon Outward recorded a decision, Shadyside's Jake Haswell, who was trailing on the scoreboard, recorded a pin at the 4:21 mark, pushing the Tigers to a 21-3 lead.
Ferry got another decision from sophomore standout Bryce Coleman, but that set the table for the Baker, Quinn and Kinemond classes. All three recorded six-point victories and the match had officially been clinched for the Tigers.
"We're not looking for just those three seniors to carry us right now," Kinemond said. "We knew coming in (to the season) that Ian, Alex and Chase would be there, but we had some younger, inexperienced kids and they've really stepped up of late."
"We're finding ways and in a team tournament the W is all that matters."
The Tigers' lead swelled to 51-6 after the Riders forfeited at 170 and 182 pounds, but Mike Wear, Zac Coole and Johnathan Bodkin closed with victories for the Riders.