Warren, Marietta pin hopes at sectional meet

MARIETTA – Warren’s Southeastern Ohio Athletic League championship wrestling team was in attendance at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University last Sunday when the No. 5 Buckeye grapplers dropped a 29-18 decision to top-ranked Penn State.

More than 6,000 mat fans were on hand for the Big Ten bout.

The previous day, Saturday, Feb. 9, Warren captured its first league crown since 2007 at Chillicothe High. All 10 Warrior wrestlers placed, and five were crowned champions.

“I’m really elated for the kids,” said first-year Warren head wrestling coach Mike Pahl. “They wrestled well all day long.”

Now, Pahl is hoping that his “terrific 10” can continue that trend at the Ohio Division II sectional tournament, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. today at Alexander High. The two-day event will conclude at the same venue at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Division III sectional tournament will also be held at Alexander High.

At stake at the sectional is a berth at district in Goshen the following week. Only the top four in each weight class advance to district.

“I’m hoping I can take all 10 of my wrestlers to district,” Pahl said.

Warren will be in an 11-school field, which is expected to also include Bill Heldman-coached Marietta, Athens, Chillicothe, Gallia Academy, Fairfield Union, New Lexington, Sheridan, Fairland, Jackson and Vinton County.

Warren’s mat lineup is expected to feature Levi Congleton (106), Cory Parsons (113), Austin Klintworth (145), Zach Pike (182), Brandon Pahl (285), Cody Dobbs (152), Austin Antill (160), Barden Hewitt (138), Chris Massey (220), and Austin Miles (170).

Congleton, Parsons, Klintworth, Pike and Pahl each claimed an SEOAL title.

At the sectional, Congleton (39-1) needs one more pin to set the school’s single-season record in that category. The sophomore standout currently owns 31 falls.

Parson (34-4) can also set a school career standard with his next mat victory at sectional. The senior mat star and four-time league champion currently has 151 career grappling wins.

Marietta’s lineup is expected to include Malachi Vaughn (126), Scott Bricker (138), Anthony Winters (145), Garrett Davis (152), Jake Dickson (160), Troy Smithberger (170), Will Cogswell (182), and Nick Spurr (195).

Cogswell was the Tigers’ lone East Central Ohio League champion. Davis and Spurr were runner-up at the ECOL event.

Both Belpre and Waterford are expected to compete in the D-III field.

Austin Lang was Waterford’s lone placer at TVC, finishing runner-up in the 126-pound weight class.

Also in the Scott Zimmer-coached Wildcats’ line-up will be Zeb Offenberger (120), Tim Leach (132), Westen Wagner (138), Hunter Munjas (160), and Blake Heiss (182).

After sectional and district competition, the state tournament is scheduled for Feb. 28-March 2 at the Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus.