Three area wrestlers to state


Athletes competed in districts over weekend

By Rob Hamilton - [email protected]



Earning a district wrestling title for the Northmor Golden Knights was Cowin Becker, a freshman competing at 113 pounds.

Earning a district wrestling title for the Northmor Golden Knights was Cowin Becker, a freshman competing at 113 pounds.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Niko Christo claimed a district title for Northmor over the weekend.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Ashton Clark of Mount Gilead earned a pin in his first-round match at the Division III district wrestling meet.


Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Northmor sent both of its district-qualifying wrestlers to the state meet as district champions over the weekend.

Competing in the Division III meet hosted by Heath, the Golden Knights finished in 11th place with 52 points despite only having two competitors, as both senior Niko Christo and freshman Cowin Becker earned first place in their brackets.

Wrestling at 157 pounds, Christo (42-4) opened his tournament Friday with a 15-0 technical fall over Collin Greene of Malvern and followed that up with an 8-1 decision against Bryce Wickline of Westfall.

On Saturday, he edged Paul Martello of Ready by a 7-5 count and then outlasted Justin Stump of Bidwell River Valley to earn a 3-2 win and a district title.

In this weekend’s state meet, Christo, who placed eighth in Division III’s 152-pound class last year, will open competition against Ethan Cooper of Xenia Legacy Christian Academy, a junior currently with a 25-10 record on the year.

Competing in his first district tournament, Becker (44-7) cruised through his four matches to obtain a championship.

On Friday, he opened with a 26-second pin over Cooper Vincent of Shenandoah and followed that up with a 15-0 technical fall against Corbyn Browning of Crooksville. He opened Saturday by pinning Dylan Ward of Martins Ferry at the 3:26 mark and then won in the finals by a 15-6 major decision against Kyle Miller of Garaway.

Becker will open his state meet against Plymouth senior Nick Roberts, who has a 38-10 record.

Mount Gilead’s two district wrestlers both saw their season end at Heath, as the team finished in 43rd place with 11 points. A total of 59 teams had at least one competing athlete in the meet.

Competing at 175 pounds, freshman Ashton Clark (27-13) opened with a 25-second pin over Andrew Congdon of Tuscarawas Valley. He defaulted in his quarterfinal match against Glenn Keeton of Westfall, but bounced back to pin Luke Waldo of Elgin at the 3:30 mark. However, he would fall by pin to Bryce Kackley of West Jefferson to finish one match shy of placing.

Senior Isaiah Fisher also missed placement by one match at 285 pounds. After losing by a 5-2 decision to Ezekiel Bruney of Martins Ferry in the first round, he bounced back with a pair of consolation wins. He pinned Hunter Freeman of Paint Valley in 4:49 in his first match and topped Dylan Cooperider of Utica by a 7-2 decision in his second.

However, he would lose by pin to Conner Temple of Huntington to see his season end with a 34-13 mark.

Highland Scots

The Highland wrestling team tied for sixth place at the DIvision II district meet hosted by Wilmington High School.

The Scots finished with 74 points, advanced one athlete to the state meet and had three more finish as state alternates.

Cody Matthews (49-3) placed third at 157 pounds to qualify for the state meet. He opened the meet by pinning Jack Hansel of Ross in 1:45 and then topped Hank Williams of Bethel-Tate by a 13-4 count. In the semifinals, he was edged 11-10 by Gunner Gramblett of Graham Local, but recovered to top Griffin Ross of New Richmond by a 5-0 count and then beat Andrew Barford of Columbus DeSales by 9-1 major decision to claim third and move on to state.

In the first round of the Division II state meet, Matthews will go up against Jon Metzger of Ashland, a junior with a 46-8 record.

Freshman Konner Blaney (29-18) got fifth place at 106 pounds to be the state alternate at that class. After winning his first match by pin at the 5:30 mark over Mason Kelsch of Norwood, he lost by technical fall to Beric Jordan of Graham Local.

He bounced back with an 11-0 major decision over Makayla Young of Bellefontaine and a pin at the 2:23 mark against Gabe Thacker of River Valley, but lost in his go-to-state bout by decision to Peyton Costa of Granville. In the fifth-place match, he would defeat Nathan Moser of Monroe by a 7-6 count.

At 132 pounds, junior Caleb Wetzel (38-13) finished fifth with a 5-1 decision over Milton-Union’s Nicholas Devlin. His only blemishes during the weekend came from Carson Hibbs of Wilmington, who topped him in overtime in the opening round and by a 3-2 score in the go-to-state bout. He also earned consolation pins against Cody Swigart of Graham Local and Caleb Kennington of Kenton Ridge and a 6-3 decision over Adam Stephens of Franklin.

Also finishing as state alternate, was senior Eli Grandstaff (34-15). He got off to a great start, edging Nathan Kennedy of New Richmond by a 13-11 score in overtime and then pinning Vincent Hummel of Bellbrook in 1:40. However, he would lose by technical fall to Dylan Newsome of Hartley in the semifinals and then was defeated 12-4 by Luke James of Graham Local in the go-to-state back. Grandstaff finished his meet with a second pin over Hummel to place fifth.

At 113 pounds, Brendan Lester (30-19) lost by pin in his first match to Lucas Abner of Eaton, but bounced back with pins over Nathan Hite of Western Brown and Elijah Lewis of Aiken before being pinned by Gatlin Newkirk of Clinton-Massie to fall one match shy of placing.

Senior Kaden Miller (33-9), competing at 138 pounds, won his first match by pin over Joel Hancock of Wyoming. However, he would then get pinned in the third period by Grant Moorman of Clinton-Massie and would see his tournament ended by overtime decision to Nathan Kulbe of Batavia.

Freshman Remington Baker (27-19) also opened with a win at 150 pounds, earning a pin at the 5:25 mark against Brady Walter of Kenton Ridge. However, he would lose by a 7-3 decision to Landon Speers to fall to the consolation bracket and then was edged in overtime by Brayden Day of Western Brown.

Junior Chandler Stevens (24-19) was pinned in his first-round match by Ryan Iams of Ross. He recovered to win his first consolation bout by pin over Brandon Lee of New Richmond in 2:31, but then was pinned by Marshall Froelich of Columbus DeSales.

Earning a district wrestling title for the Northmor Golden Knights was Cowin Becker, a freshman competing at 113 pounds.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/03/web1_cowinbecker2.jpgEarning a district wrestling title for the Northmor Golden Knights was Cowin Becker, a freshman competing at 113 pounds. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Niko Christo claimed a district title for Northmor over the weekend.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/03/web1_nikochristo.jpgNiko Christo claimed a district title for Northmor over the weekend. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Ashton Clark of Mount Gilead earned a pin in his first-round match at the Division III district wrestling meet.
https://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2022/03/web1_ashtonclark.jpgAshton Clark of Mount Gilead earned a pin in his first-round match at the Division III district wrestling meet. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel
Athletes competed in districts over weekend

By Rob Hamilton

[email protected]

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS