Wrestling: Allen East wins D-III sectional title

Feb. 25—LIMA — Allen East lost to Columbus Grove at last Saturday's Northwest Conference tournament.

Longtime Allen East wrestling coach Mike Abbey expected this weekend's Division III sectional tournament at Lima Central Catholic to be very competitive as well.

At Saturday's Division III sectional at LCC, Allen East slipped past Columbus Grove for the team title, 189.5 to 188. Coldwater (143.5) and Parkway (129) rounded out the top four teams in a field of 14.

The top four placers in each weight class on Saturday qualified for this coming weekend's Division III district tournament at Troy's Hobart Arena on Friday and Saturday.

The top four placers in each weight class at Troy will advance to the state tournament at Ohio State's Jerome Schottenstein Center on March 8-10.

"We won by a point and a half," Abbey said about Saturday's sectional tournament. "We couldn't do that last week at league (NWC), but this is a little bigger tournament. Last week at the league, we just couldn't keep up (with Columbus Grove). They had 13 guys and we had nine. We had six champions last week. The guys have been wrestling well. We have bullets but did not have enough bullets (at the NWC tournament).

"Columbus Grove is a solid team. I said that from the very first time I saw them at Van Buren this year. I knew they were going to be a tough out. Congrats to (Columbus Grove coach) Ernie (Siefker) and those guys. They're solid from top to bottom."

Overall, Abbey was pleased with how his wrestlers responded on Saturday.

"We got seven out (for the district tournament) today. We had four champs and three runners-up. We had two fifth places and a sixth (place). We brought 10 guys today. So, not too bad," Abbey said.

Freshman Jordan Neal was the first Allen East wrestler to win a title on Saturday. Neal (42-2) recorded a hard-fought 5-4 decision over Wayne Trace's Graiden Troth in the championship match in the 144-pound weight class.

"I wrestled him (Troth) earlier in the season," Neal said. "So, we both knew each other. I pinned him (in the first meeting). Then we wrestled again today. He's gotten a lot better. But I didn't wrestle that well, either. I need to build up my gas tank a little bit and work harder in the (practice) room. Next week is the big one. That's where I want to get the No. 1 seed."

Allen East senior Trenton (T.J.) Gatchell pinned Parkway's Logan Green early in the third period of Saturday's 157-pound title match. Earlier in the day, Gatchell recorded his 150th career win.

Gatchell (36-7) was a Division III state qualifier last season but fell short of placing at the state tournament.

"I'm hoping (to win the district title), but my biggest goal is to place at state," Gatchell said. "It's a dream. I'll take it match by match."

The final two Allen East grapplers that won titles on Saturday were the Paxson brothers, Braylon and Brogan.

Freshman Braylon Paxson (29-10) pinned Columbus Grove's Layton Blankemeyer midway through the second period in the title match at 175 pounds.

A little later, senior Brogan Paxson (44-4) pinned Paulding's Kobe Foor midway through the third period in the title match at 215.

The younger Paxson credits his brother for his success.

"I got a good drilling partner (his brother). He whips on me. He's only two weight classes ahead of me. So, it is tough," Braylon said with a smile.

Added Brogan Paxson, "I took one year off (from wrestling). I only came back because of him (Braylon). I made him play football. So, he made me wrestle. I missed it (wrestling) a lot."

Columbus Grove notches two titles

Freshman Owen Beam (113) and senior Kyle Lathrop (165) won sectional crowns for the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Beam (14-18) pinned Wayne Trace's Colton Kimmel late in the third period of their championship bout.

"I did not start off that good (to begin the season)," Beam said. "I'm very surprised to make this because I usually don't run my moves. I'm more defensive, and that usually comes around and bites me. My coach has told me all year to be more aggressive. ... I guess it works."

Last season, Lathrop placed fifth in his weight class at the district tournament and did not qualify for the state tournament. This coming weekend Lathrop (33-4) will be a No. 1 seed at the district tournament.

"It (No. 1 seed) does benefit me, but seeds don't matter down there," Lathrop said. "You just have to wrestle. Last year I took fifth (at districts). I came one match away from qualifying for state."

Ada's McClain poised for a run

At Saturday's D-III sectional at LCC, Ada senior Clayton McClain pinned Allen East's Jacob Pinks to win the title at 150.

McClain (42-7), a four-time district qualifier, wants to close out his high school wrestling career on an even higher note. Last season, McClain qualified for the D-III state tournament, where he went 0-2.

"It was my first time down there," McClain said about last season's state appearance. "My nerves got to me a little bit, but I think I'll be ready this year.

"I think I'm building off last year. It was a great season, but I want this season to be better. It's my last year. I just want to keep building and growing. I can't wait to have a medal around my neck at state."

Crestview's Grubb aiming for a long postseason run

Crestview senior Gavin Grubb made quick work of Paulding's Landon Dasher in Saturday's title match at 126. It took just 46 seconds for Grubb to pin Dasher.

Last season, Grubb went 0-2 at districts.

"I'm trying to make it to state," Grubb (45-4) said. "This is my fourth time going to districts. I'm hoping to qualify for state. That's the main goal."

Other sectional title winners

Other wrestlers that recorded sectional titles at LCC on Saturday included Coldwater's Troy Milligan (285-pound weight class, 29-12), Delphos St. John's Edward Kessen (138, 36-5), Paulding's Nico Moreno (106, 31-5) and Thor Etter (132, 40-4), Spencerville's Maddox Jurek (190, 36-4), and Wayne Trace's Corbin Kimmel (120, 38-4).

Division III team standings at Lima Central Catholic: 1. Allen East 189.5, 2. Columbus Grove 188, 3. Coldwater 143.5, 4. Parkway 129, 5. Paulding 127, 6. Wayne Trace 90, 7. Crestview 88, 8. Spencerville 71, 9. Delphos St. John's 69, 10. Antwerp 51, 11. Ada 40.5, 12. Lincolnview 35, 13. Lima Central Catholic 11, 14. Delphos Jefferson 9

Top four placers in each weight class (district qualifiers to Troy)


1. Nico Moreno (Pauld)

2. Aizik Myers (AE)

3. N/A

4. N/A


1. Owen Beam (CG)

2. Colton Kimmel (WT)

3. Silas Riblet (ADA)

4. Trent Westgerdes (COLD)


1. Corbin Kimmel (WT

2. Tyler Overman (COLD)

3. Ethan Beam (CG)

4. Parker Will (DSJ)


1. Gavin Grubb (CV)

2. Landon Dasher (PAULD)

3. Evan Pitts (CG)

4. Rhen Carpenter (PKY)


1. Thor Etter (PAULD)

2. Boat Thompson (CG)

3. Kamren Johnson (ANT)

4. Austin Hamilton (CW)


1. Edward Kessen (DSJ)

2. Tanner Stammen (CW)

3. Braedn Conn (PKY)

4. Jackson Marks (CV)


1. Jordan Neal (AE)

2. Graiden Troth (WT)

3. Brady Hamilton (CW)

4. Cody Ricker (LV)


1. Clayton McClain (ADA)

2. Jacob Pinks (AE)

3. Levi Grace (CV)

4. Riley Mueller (DSJ)


1. Trenton Gatchell (AE)

2. Logan Green (PKY)

3. Miles Doster (ANT)

4. Logan Mershman (CG)


1. Kyle Lathrop (CG)

2. Landon Younker (PKY)

3. Camden Gable (DSJ)

4. Ayden Martin (CV)


1. Braylon Paxson (AE)

2. Layton Blankemeyer (CG)

3. Jaden Green (PKY)

4. Javier Franco (SP)


1. Maddox Jurek (SP)

2. Nathan Osborn (WT)

3. Miguel Martinex (PAUL)

4. Loudon Auchmuty (CG)


1. Brogan Paxson (AE)

2. Kobe Foor (PAUL)

3. Evan Walls (CV)

4. Derrick Wagner (PKY)


1. Troy Milligan (CW)

2. Kyden Culbertson (AE)

3. Brady Fuerst (CG)

4. Blake Schultz (WT)


Bluffton's Wyatt Knauss (113) was the lone Lima area sectional champion from Saturday's Division III sectional at Van Buren.

Area district qualifiers from Saturday's Division III sectional at Van Buren included: Bluffton's Branden Cross (second, 120), Jeff Blackburn (second, 144), Evan Grothause (third, 165), and Kyle Basil (third, 190), and Ottawa-Glandorf's Austin Haley (fourth, 215).

Mohawk won the team title at Van Buren with 225.5 points. Bluffton had the best area finish (fifth, 128.5). Ottawa-Glandorf was 12th (35) in a field of 16 teams.

Bluffton and Ottawa-Glandorf's district qualifiers will compete at the D-III district meet in Rossford.

Wapakoneta leads area teams at D-II sectional at Defiance

Wauseon (265 points) won the team title at Saturday's Division II sectional at Defiance High School. Napoleon placed second (232). Wapakoneta had the best area finish (third, 166), while St. Marys (136.5) rounded out the top four teams in a field of 11.

St. Marys' Tate Hisey won the title at 126 pounds, while teammate Bo Hertenstein won the crown at 150. Elida's Skyler Kirk won the title at 138. Wapakoneta's Jace Knous took first at 215. Defiance's Mason Ducat won the crown at 132.

The Division II district qualifiers will compete at the Norwalk district.

Other Lima area district qualifiers (top four placers) at Saturday's D-II sectional at Defiance included Bath's Nolan Deppe (third, 157) and Kyle Slaght (fourth, 285), Celina's Aaren King (fourth, 126), Zach Greber (second, 144), Luke Lazarich (fourth, 175) and Carter Ly (fourth, 215), Defiance's Quinton Simmons (third, 113) and Michael Waltz (second, 150), Shawnee's Kael Dodson (fourth, 120), St. Marys' Jerimiah Cisco (fourth, 106), Caleb Turner (second, 165), Cole Donovan (third, 190) and Tanner Mele (second, 215), Van Wert's Owen Bates (third, 106), Xavier Leal (third, 126), Briggs Wallace (fourth, 144) and Breese Bollenbocher (second, 285), Wapakoneta's Zane Russell (second, 106), Carson

Pummell (fourth, 113), Caden Mellott (second, 120), Gavin Ridenour (third, 132), Dawson Ware (fourth, 157), Reece Schnarre (third, 165), Wyatt Buell (third, 175), Brody Presar (fourth, 190)

Division I sectional at Oregon Clay High School

Lima Senior placed 13th as a team at Saturday's D-I sectional at Oregon Clay. There were no district qualifiers for Lima Senior.

Kenton qualifies four to D-II district tournament

Kenton's Isaac Blevins (second, 165), Anthony Hunt (third, 157), Jared Manns (third, 190) and Matthew Handell (third, 215) all qualified for this coming weekend's D-II district wrestling tournament at Norwalk by placing in the top four in their respective weight classes at Saturday's D-II sectional at Clyde.