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Conneaut's Edwards captures D-III sectional crown

Feb. 26—BURTON — Going into his Division III 285-pound sectional championship bout on Saturday at Berkshire High School, Scotty Edwards had hardly been on the mat for three minutes all day.

After three first-period pins, including two in under a minute, the Conneaut heavyweight needed to exercise a little patience in the final.

After a scoreless first period, Edwards went ahead with an escape, then after another minute of needling vertically Southeast's Preston Bello, the Spartan senior got the throw he was looking for. He took down Bello from his feet to his back and earned a pin at the 3:37 mark to snare a No. 1 in this weekend's district tournament at Independence.

When you don't tip the scales as a typical heavyweight, you better be good on your feet. Edwards has certainly learned that this season.

"I've been working a lot with [Conneaut] coach [Keith] Sherman on offense and being on my feet," Edwards said. "You have to wrestle to your best ability, make sure you're not going fast, make something happen when you can."

Edwards improved to 34-7 on the season.

Conneaut assistant coach Denny Distelrath, who has been working with Edwards since he was in junior high, said Edwards does his best when he's told what to do.

"Scotty is good at doing things the way he's coached," said Distelrath, who filled in for Sherman as acting head coach on Saturday. "That's one of the big things with high school sports, you have to be coachable and Scotty is one of the most coachable kids we've had probably in the last probably 10 years."

A year ago, Edwards, wrestling at 215, advanced to the district meet as a No. 2 seed and went 1-2 to finish his season 29-12.

This year, he is looking to become the second Conneaut heavyweight in as many years to reach the state tournament, following the footsteps of Daren Christine, who placed third a year ago in Columbus.

"It would mean a lot to me," Edwards said of the possibility. "That's been one of my personal goals ever since my freshman year. I want to be at state, I want to be on the podium, now seeing everything come into fruition, it's pretty exciting to see what's going to happen."

According to Dubstat.com, Edwards will be the second highest ranked wrestler at Independence this weekend, checking in at No. 11. Only United's Dallas McCracken, who is fifth is ranked higher, according to the site.

Edwards is one of three Spartans this weekend that will be on the mat in Independence. Brendan Haley (144) and Owen Taylor (157) each took fourth, while freshman Hunter Bribery (113) will be an alternate finishing fifth.

Grand Valley and Pymatuning Valley were other Ashtabula County schools to compete at Berkshire on Saturday.

For the Mustangs, Ryan Waldo (165) took third and Trevor Mullen (215) was fourth. Freshman Forrest Portman (157) claimed fifth.

The Lakers will send Bennett Claypoole (150) and Brennan Moore (175) to the district. Claypoole took third, while Moore checked in fourth. Freshman Caleb Marrison (106) will go as an alternate.