Northmor’s 2015-16 wrestling season now includes a district title and five state qualifiers amongst its achievements.
The Knights took first place at the Division III Heath district with 111 points, 20.5 more than second-place Shadyside. In amassing that total, Northmor was able to get two second-place finishers, as well as two more wrestlers in third, one in fourth and one in sixth.
Making it to the state meet were five lower-weight grapplers, as Jake Neer (106), Griffin Jenkins (120), Aaron Kitts (126), Conan Becker (132) and Jake Farley (138) all placed in the top four of their weight classes.
Neer claimed second place at 106 pounds. After pinning his first two opponents, he took a 6-0 decision over Collin Yinger of Nelsonville-York in the semis before falling 9-4 to Klay Reeves of Northridge in the finals. Reeves also defeated Neer in the sectional finals the previous week.
At 138 pounds, Farley had the same experience. He pinned his first two opponents before topping Santino Kusic of Bridgeport 12-2 in the semis. In sectionals, he defaulted out of the finals with Grandview Heights’ Brendan Fitzgerald, but this time, he fell by pin against the Bobcat wrestler.
Jenkins had a long route to his third-place finish. He lost his first-round match with Jacson Muldrew of Shadyside by a 12-3 count, but rallied in the consolation bracket to take five straight matches, three by pin. In the third-place match, he encountered Muldrew again and got revenge by a 4-2 margin.
After winning his first match, Becker lost 5-3 in overtime to Kolby Rayner of Caldwell. The Knight sophomore bounced back to win four straight matches, including an 8-4 decision over Dylan Little of Newcomerstown that earned him third place.
Also advancing to state was Kitts. He won his first two matches to advance to the semifinals, but lost there to be placed in the consolation semifinals. There, he topped Cardington’s Adam Hook 11-4 to make the state meet before being edged in the bout for third place.
Mathew Ross placed sixth at 145 pounds. He split his first two matches, but won his first consolation bout to reach the go-to-state match. However, he finished Saturday with a pair of losses to finish two spots shy of the state meet.
Two more Knight wrestlers also competed in the district meet. Mason Burger won a pair of matches at 195, but fell one match short of placing. At 220 pounds, Nathan Price also wrestled.
Cardington also competed at this district meet, with Hook being the state alternate at 126 pounds. He was 4-2 over the two days. After losing to Kitts in the go-to-state bout, he bounced back to top Mason Kuneff of Bridgeport 8-7 to claim fifth.
Jarrod Fair won once at 182 pounds to round out the Pirate performers. Cardington tied for 34th place in the team scoring.
Division II district at Claymont
Highland’s Zach Baker earned a district championship at Claymont High School on Saturday to advance to the state meet.
Baker won all four of his matches at 195 pounds to help his team finish 21st with 28 points in the meet. He won his first two matches by pin before edging Tim Albertson of Steubenville 6-5 in the semifinals. In the finals, he didn’t waste much time in pinning Alex Eckels of Granville in 1:22.
Both Sean Dudgeon (132) and Kaden Bunting (145) also wrestled for the Scots.
Division III district at Troy
Mount Gilead’s wrestling team scored six points to tie for 41st in the Troy Division III district.
Brandon Strickland claimed a win at 138 pounds for MG, as did Jasper Miller at 220.
Also wrestling for the Indians were Nate Weaver (120), Zack McCallen (132), Hunter Trimmer (170), Frank Poppel (182) and Tyler Cooper (195).