Warren wrestlers out to defend SEOAL championship

VINCENT – Last year, when Warren claimed its first Southeastern Ohio Athletic League wrestling championship since 2007, it did it with 10 grapplers.

If the Mike Pahl-coached Warriors repeat as league champs at Gallia Academy Saturday at 9:30 a.m., they’ll have to do it with nine.

“Kenny White (20-14, 12 pins), our 182-pounder, has a separated shoulder and is out for the season,” Pahl said. “That hurts us, because the other three schools in the league have almost full lineups. In fact, I think Logan does have a full lineup. We’re just going to have to have a lot of pins.”

The other schools in the SEOAL mat competition will be Jackson, host Gallia Academy, and of course Logan, a Division I school.

During the season, the Warriors wrestled the Chieftains in a tri-match at Logan’s Jim Myers Gymnasium on Jan. 16, and dropped a 39-27 decision. Against the Blue Devils of Gallipolis, the royal blue and white grapplers split with each winning on their home mats.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge to repeat,” Pahl said.

“Right now, I’d say Logan and Gallia would have to be the favorites.”

But don’t count out the underdog and talented Warriors, who are well-rested and rearing to go after not competing last week.

“We wrestled seven times in January,” Pahl said, “and that’s a lot. So, our break last week…well, we were ready for a week off.”

It was a time for healing and preparing for the league tournament.

Warren’s lineup is expected to feature 2013 state qualifier Levi Congleton (31-1, 22 pins) at 113 pounds. Peyton Angelo (4-8, 2 pins) will be at 126; Gage Kaptis (6-23, 2 pins), 138; Casey Parsons (37-6, 27 pins), 145; Austin Klintworth (33-10, 30 pins), 152; Peyton Young (5-27, 2 pins), 160; Wade Lynch (1-19, 1 pin), 195; Chris Massey (22-12, 15 pins), 220; and Brandon Pahl (39-3, 29 pins), 285.

Some of the Logan’s wrestlers to keep an eye on will be Austin Scarberry (160), Bryce McBride (170), Nick Schneider (195), Caleb Branson (220), Tommy Hayden (182), Shawn Byram (113), Joey Bolin (145), Brandon Skinner (285), Adam Baker (152), Alex Wright (145), and Wyatt Garren (132).

In January’s tri-match, Parsons, at 145, flattened Wright, and Klintworth did the same to Baker. Pahl decisioned Skinner, 12-5, and Angelo won on a disqualification.

Kaptis, Young, Lynch and Massey all were pinned by Logan’s wrestlers, while White dropped a 4-0 decision to Hayden.

Warren forfeited at 113 and 138.

Some of host Gallia Academy’s wrestlers will be Jared Stevens (106), Cole Tawney (126), Isaiah Holley (113), Ryan Terry (160), Griffon McKinniss (170), Justin Reynolds (182), Anthony Sipple (195) and John Byus (285).

Jackson’s lineup is expected to include people like Kyle Kirby (113), Johnny Farley (126), Billy Cooper (170), Seth Skaggs (145), Cody Castle (285) and Alex Hill (195).

If Warren needs an incentive to repeat as champs, a triumph Saturday could earn the Warrior wrestlers a meal at Buffalo Wild Wings, Mike Pahl said.