A trio of Barnesville wrestlers collect All-Ohio honors at OHSAA state meet

Kevin Sutton
Barnesville Enterprise
Barnesville freshman Reese Stephen, right, takes on Nathan Parks of Souteastern during a 106-pound match during Saturday's Division III state wrestling meet at Marion Harding High School. Stephen collected All-Ohio honors with a fifth place finish and closed his season with an impressive 42-5 record.

MARION — Barnesville High had a solid weekend performance at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II state wrestling meet which was hosted by Marion Harding High School on Saturday and Sunday.

Qualifying as a team following their district championship the 'Rocks had a total of seven grapplers in action, with three of those participants turning in All-Ohio performances for the weekend.

In the final team standings Barnesville finished in 13th place with 32.5 points.

But with their strong wrestling tradition, the 'Rocks and head coach Jayson Stephen are always striving for perfection and were not satisfied with their showing.

"We are disappointed we didn't place higher of course," Barnesville head coach Jayson Stephen explained. "But for next year it's something for our young guys like Reese and Dakota to look at and use the experience they gained this year."

"It's good to have young guys like that here, but it's never a guarantee to get back," Coach Stephen added. "You never know what the future holds, especially if you don;t take care of business and get your work done. But I'm confident our young guys will put int hat work necessary."

Leading the way for the 'Rocks was freshman Reese Stephen in the 106-pound division who turned in a fifth place showing, while fellow freshman Dakota King and senior Cameron Woods each collected sixth place finishes.

Stephen started off with a bang on Saturday with a pair of opening day victories, disposing of Delta's Evan Hanesfeld by an 8-2 margin in his first match, followed by pin of Olivia Shore of Miami East in 5:18.

Barnesville freshman Dakota King, left, attempts to pull free from Patrick Reineke of Hawken during a 113-pound match during Saturday's Division III state wrestling meet at Marion Harding High School. King collected All-Ohio honors with a sixth place finish and closed his season with an impressive 46-5 record.

But on Sunday, Stephen's luck turned bad with a shoulder injury suffered early in his semi-final match with Max Hermes of Edison. Despite the injury, Stephen battled his way through the match, but dropped a tough 4-2 decision to Hermes for his first loss.

Stephen then dropped a hard-fought 3-2 match to Nathan Park of Southeastern in a consolation semi-final tussle. But Stephen regrouped with a 3-0 shutout over Miami East's Olivia Shore to finish with All-Ohio honors with a fifth place finish.

"It's good to get fifth, but I didn't get where I wanted to be," the young Stephen who finished with a fine season mark of 42-5 offered. "Every year my goal is to get to the top of the podium, but this year it just didn't happen."

"I had a couple of down spots during the season, but I just came back and battled through those tough times," the younger Stephen continued. "I will just put in the hard work in the offseason and do everything I can to get back next season and improve on my performance."

Fellow freshman Dakota King opened with an impressive 15-0 romp over Northwestern's Trent Sigler, before suffering a 3-1 setback to Gavin Caprella of Lima Catholic Central to even his state mark at 1-1.King then pinned Maderia's Ramakrishna Gandhi in 3:48 to advance to Sunday's action.

King opened Sunday's action with a 3-1 overtime win over Hawken's Patrick Reineke, but ended with back-to-back losses to Monroeville's Ashton Homan, 6-2 and a 5-1 setback to Gavin Caprella of Lima Catholic Central to finish in sixth place and close out his year with a 46-5 record.

"I started on string both Saturday and today, but then kid of faded," King offered. "But I will be back at state next for sure. I had a pretty good year, but I know I can do better next year and that's my goal."

King for one wasn't a big fan of the OHSAA state wrestling meet not being held at it's usual venue...The Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

"I will be excited next year when it's back at the Schott," King said. "I've been there at state meet watching in junior high, and the atmosphere is just much better."

After serving as an alternate his first two seasons at the state meet, Woods took advantage of his first season getting on the mat by earning All-Ohio honors which Coach Stephen felt the hard working senior richly deserved.

"I'm super proud of Cameron, of course proud of all of the guys," Coach Stephen added. "But with Cameron being a senior, he wasn't projected to get on the podium. But he wrestled really well all the way through sectional and districts and deserved it today. Happy for him, just a great kid."

During Day One action, Woods suffered a first round 3-0 loss to Connor Havill of Troy Christian before picking up two consecutive wins to advance to Sunday's action with a 7-1 win over Gage Summit of Carey, followed by a 9-0 shutout over Jefferson Area's Colt Edgar.

On Sunday, Woods moved on by default over C.J. Smith of Pleasant. But then dropped a 5-0 setback to Donovan Palmer of Lutheran West, and finally a 8-0 loss to Versailles' Carson Bey to finish in sixth place and a 44-11 in his final Barnesville season on the mat.

Barnesville wrestlers who failed to advance following Saturday's Day One of wrestling action included junior Griffen Stephen (120) who suffered a pair of losses to be eliminated. Stephen opened with a 10-4 loss to Gabe Sutton of Wayne Trace, followed by a 5-0 setback to Marcus Medina of Edison to finish his season with a 33-11 record.

Barnesville head coach Jayson Stephen keeps a close eye on the action during during Sunday's Division III state wrestling meet at Marion Harding High School.

Sophomore Logan Tague (132) also had a tough day Saturday with a 10-1 major decision loss to Arlie Benson of Greenon, followed by a tough 3-1 defeat to Norwayne's Jarrison Moore. Tague finished his sophomore season with a mark of 34-11.

Freshman Skyler King (126) picked up a 9-2 win over Zach Lyons of Tuslaw in his first match, before suffering back-to-back defeats. Wayne Trace's Jarrett Hornish recorded a 15-3 major decision win over King, followed by an 8-2 setback to Covington's Kellan Anderson to end his first trip to the state meet. King posted a fine 33-10 record in his first varsity season.

Also suffering rough first day Division III performances were a trio of Shenandoah grapplers including freshman Tristen Rossiter (106) turned in an 0-2 effort in his first state meet appearance. Rossiter took a first round pin by Otsego's Trevor Wilcox in 1:53, followed up by a 6-0 loss to Versailles's Lane Bergman. Rossiter closed out his first varsity wrestling season with a 31-8 record.

Senior Alex Overly (113) dropped a 20-4 decision to Patrick Reineke of Hawken, and a 4-0 setback to Oak Harbor's Michael Judge. Overly finished out his Zeps' wrestling career with a 33-9 final senior season.

Zep sophomore Drake Kanyuch (132) also endured a tough 0-2 record, with dropping a 15-1 major decision to Wayne Trace's Hunter Long, Mgodore's Hunter Long.

Caldwell senior celebrated his first season of wrestling by earning a trip to the state meet, not bad for T.J. Wehr in the 185-pound division. Weher took a 4-1 loss to Ashtabula's Ryan Elrod in his first match, but rebounded to take out Jake Thiel of Mechanicsburg by an identical 4-1 margin. Wehr was then eliminated with a tough 1-0 loss of Fairbank's Billy Reed-Bodey to finish with a 35-6 record for the year.

Cambridge's Caden Kenworthy wrestles at 152 pounds during the Division II state wrestling tournament on Satuday at Sparta Highland.

DIVISION II

In Division II action at Sparta Highland on Saturday, area wrestlers suffered a rough opening day of action.

John Glenn freshman Cohen Bunting suffered a first round pin to Garrett Lautzenheiser of Louisville in :46 seconds, followed by a 16-1 setback to Landon Engle of Celia to end his season with a 24-15 record.

Cambridge senior Justin Bartlett also had a rough day by going 0-2 on the day. Bartlett was pinned by Ely Emmons of Badin in 1:03 in his first match, followed by another pin by Keystone's Nick Hartman in 2:26. Barlett closes his senior season with a mark of 20-5.

Cambridge's Justin Bartlett, left, wrestles at 195 pounds during the Division II state wrestling tournament on Satuday at Sparta Highland.

Picking up the lone Division II victory by the local grapplers was Cambridge junior Caden Kenworthy, who dropped his first match by pin to Carter Kroll of Ontario in 2:30. Kenworthy then rebounded to beat Dallas Mcamis of Field by a 6-2 score.  Kenworthy was then elimated by dropping a 6-2 decision to Belleve's Justin Mayes to finish his season at 24-5.