The Northmor wrestling team not only claimed a trio of state qualifiers at the Division III district meet hosted by Buckeye Local High School on Friday and Saturday, but also earned a team title at the meet.
The Golden Knights finished with 114 points to edge second-place Barnesville by four. A total of 52 schools had at least one competitor taking part in the district meet.
Two district champions highlighted the Northmor performance. Conor Becker picked up three wins in four matches to claim the crown at 170 pounds. After pinning his first two opponents in the first period, Becker defeated Santino Kusic of Bridgeport by a 6-1 decision to move to the finals, where he faced Mount Gilead’s Brandon Strickland. A pin recorded with one second remaining in the opening period ended that match and moved the 45-2 Becker to the state meet as a district champion.
Also winning was Tony Martinez at 145 pounds. In advancing to his first state tournament, the senior opened with two wins via pin. His remaining two matches were much closer. In the semifinals, he edged Blake Barrick of Coschocton by a 14-11 margin. Then, in the championship match, he claimed a 4-2 victory over Andrew Halko of Ready.
The team’s other qualifier was freshman Niko Christo, who finished second at 138 pounds. He opened with a pair of pins before getting past Garrett Dozier of Toronto by a 12-7 score. In the finals, he lost via pin to Newcomerstown Logan Hursey, but still advanced to the state meet.
Gavin Ramos, competing at 126 pounds, will be the state alternate at that class. After winning his first match, he was defeated in the quarterfinals by eventual champion Gavin Weaver of Newcomerstown. In the consolation bracket, he won two straight matches by one-point decision, but then fell by one in his go-to-state bout before recovering to earn fifth place by pin over Anthony Roby of Madison Plains.
Two other Northmor wrestlers finished in sixth place. At 120 pounds, Trenton Ramos won his first match by pin, but lost in the quarterfinals, also by pin. In the consolation bracket, he picked up a pair of pins, but fell to Cardington’s Draven Hubley in his go-to-state match and then was pinned again to place sixth.
Austin Amens won his first two matches to advance to the semifinals at 132 pounds, but lost by decision in the semifinals. In the consolation bracket, he would then drop two matches to finish in sixth.
Griffin Workman won one match at 113 pounds for the Golden Knights. Also, Dale Brocwell (106), Eli Davis (152), Brandon Planey (220) and Hunter Brookover (285) all made the trip to the district meet.
Mount Gilead and Cardington also had wrestlers compete in the district meet and advance to state. The Indians finished 20th overall with 36.5 points, while Cardington was 29th with 19.
Strickland advanced to the state meet for MG, as he finished second at 170 pounds. Before running into Northmor’s Becker in the finals, he started out with three decision victories, including a 7-6 win over Pleasant’s Gavin Baisden to avenge his loss to the Spartan wrestlers in the sectional meet.
Andy Williamson is the state alternate at 160 pounds. After a decision and major decision moved him into the semifinals, he lost by a 5-3 decision to fall into the consolation bracket. In his go-to-state bout, Williamson lost by another close decision, this time by a 4-2 count to Coltin Meek of Newcomerstown. He would rebound to top Reece Franks of Sandy Valley by a 23-7 technical fall to finish fifth.
Nate Weaver won a pair of matches at 138 pounds, both by first-period pin, but fell short of placing. Also competing were Cory Fricke (106) and Jesus Rubio (152).
Cardington’s Hubley placed third at 120 pounds to advance to the state meet. He earned a pin in the first round and won by 15-12 decision in the second, but was defeated in the semifinals. He pinned Trenton Ramos of Northmor to earn his spot in the state meet and then won by 4-1 decision over Aiden Aiello of Ready to finish his district competition.
Joe Denney competed at 138 pounds and picked up one win over the weekend. Also wrestling for the Pirates was Ryan Drury (132).
Highland had three wrestlers compete at the Division II district meet at Heath over Friday and Saturday.
At 132 pounds, Cody Matthews went 1-2, winning his first match by pin before losing a pair of decisions — both against athletes who would qualify for the state meet.
Kaden Miller wrestled at 113 pounds for the Scots, while Gavin DeAngelo competed at 120 pounds.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS