The site of the 59th Ron Mauck Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Wrestling Tournament at the Wheeling WesBanco Arena was where the Silver Knight wrestling team of Tyler Consolidated found themselves Jan. 19-21. While none of the Knights found themsleves on the podium at the end of the tournament, head coach Chad Snider said it was a great experience for his wrestlers.
The Silver Knight team members got a few wins during the huge tourney, enough to earn them 19 points in the team race, winding up 5th overall in the AAA class competition. Parkersburg South took the overall team win with 305 points, followed by Steubenville with 270.5; Caldwell, 192, Wheeling Park Park, 168.5; Oak Glen, 134.5; Shadyside, 111.5; Brooke, 104.5; University, 99; East Liverpool, 98; John Marshall, 96; Morgantown, 91.5; Beaver Local, 85.5; Weir, 84; Martins Ferry, 77; Harrison Central, 76; Buckeye Local, 74.5; St. Clairsville, 73.5; Cambridge, 73; Cameron, 69; Edison, 67.5; Barnesville, 53; River, 53; Meadowbrook, 41; Bellaire, 40; Monroe Central, 40; Indian Creek, 33; Wellsville, 30; Beallsville, 28.5; Madonna, 21; Clay-Battelle, 20; Tyler Consolidated, 19; Union Local, 15; Magnolia, 13; Shenandoah, 10; Steubenville Central, 10; Toronto, 10; Conotton Valley, eight; Bishop Donahue, four; and Bridgeport, four.
"For the most part, our boys had a good weekend,"Snider said. "I wasn't expecting to be in 5th place in 3-A at the end of the tournament."
"It was also nice that four of our boys got a win. John Brosky really wrestled great. If he would have won his last match, he would have placed. Hunter LeMasters had the 8th seeded wrestler stuck on his back in most of the first period of his first match, but unfortunately he was unable to hang on to his early lead."
Snider also explained that very seldom will one of his wrestlers be seeded in the large tournament for the simple fact that Tyler Consolidated only wrestles five of the 40 teams that are in the tournament. The seeding of the wrestlers is done by votes from other coaches.
"So when Hunter put St. Clairsville's Fabio Cracolici on his back in the first period, the others knew that we couldn't be ignored as just an easy win. Hunter went on to beat John Mercer from Cambridge and Dakota Allen won with a pin against Tyler Cartell from Caldwell."
Senior John Brosky, wrestling at 126, had a good tournament gaining a first round win over Eric Williams of Buckeye Local with a 5-4 decision. In his next match, the Knight wrestler fell to Caldwell's Kameron Rayner, 9-1. He won the next match by disqualification and fell in the consolation round to overall fourth place finisher, Kyle Mack of Oak Glen.
Wrestling at 113 for the Silver, Jerrod Longwell was pinned by Damon Outward of Martins Ferry in :52; 138 - Rafe Bailes battled with Tyler Hartsell of Morgantown, but took the loss in 1:50 and with Brye Coleman of Martin's Ferry in 1:36; 145 - Josh Ruble was pinned in :41 by Parkersburg South's Jordan Quiocho, and by CB's Shayne Hinkle in the second round in :26; 152 - Hunter LeMasters took the match to 3:50, but was eventually pinned by St. Clairsville's Fabio Cracolici. He pinned John Mercer of Cambridge in 1:35 but fell to Willis Long of Edison Local in :23.
160 - Mario Mantecone took the loss to John Marshall's Lewis Mason in 1:34, and to Wheeling Park's Greg Myers in 2:33; 182 - Dustin Tawney was defeated by Caldwells's Cole Haas in 1:03 and to Kyle Worth by a close score of 5-4; 195 - Jay Earley fell to Thomas Schwing of John Marshall in a quick :16 and to Wellsburg's Vance Thomas in :31.
220 - Dakota Allen took the loss to Oak Glen's Dylan Davis in :24. Davis would go on to wrestle for the championship, winding up second overall in the tournament. Allen defeated Caldwell's Tyson Cartell in 3:42 to get to the next round, but fell to University's Jeff Howdershelt in 2:13.
285 - Dylan George fell to Taylor Ortiz in :41, but bounced back with a win over Beallsville's Val Wallace in :50. Against Martin's Ferry's Johathon Bodkin, George was injured and could not finish the competition.
"I am so greatful to have a chance to coach Dylan George," the coach said. "He is the type of person who learns from mistakes and keeps a positive attitude no matter what. He secured a win against the Beallsville heavy weight before he suffered a severe injury to his leg in the next match against Jonathon Bodkin from Martins Ferry."
"Dylan is a great role model for the freshmen coming up, and we hope he makes a speedy recovery."
"The rest of the team may not have secured a win at the OVAC tournament, but if they can learn from some of their mistakes, then they're moving in the right direction. I think win or lose, most had a positive experience."
The Knight wrestlers will compete with River at home on Jan. 25 and travel to the River tournament on Jan. 28. The team will host a tri-match with Ritchie County and Bishop Donahue on Feb. 1.