ST. PARIS, COVINGTON, SIDNEY— Three county schools will send a total of 12 wrestlers to this week’s district tournament.
Eaton qualified eight from the St. Paris Graham sectional, while National Trail and Preble Shawnee each had two qualifiers from the Lehman and Covington sectionals, respectively.
For Eaton, they finished second as a team at the Graham Division II sectional with 150 points. Graham won the tournament with 309.5
“We had a great tournament,” Eaton coach Nathan Islamovsky said. “We brought nine wrestlers and all nine placed. To say I am happy with how we wrestled would be an understatement. The guys wrestled tough, with physicality, and with the never give up attitude that we preach. It seems like we are peaking at the right time. I’m very thankful to be able to be able to bring our whole team to the district next week, and it’s a testament to the work they all have put in.”
Individually, Brayden Deem was runner-up at 132 pounds.
“He had a great tournament. He went in as the six seed and was able to knock off the three seed then the two seed,” Islamovsky said. “He has set himself up as well as he can for next week and surprised a lot of people,” Islamovsky said.
At 145, Owen Hewitt finished as runner-up.
“This is now Owen’s fourth year as a district qualifier,” Islamovsky said. “He has wrestled the best of his career and steadily improved this season. I am really hoping he can make something happen in the coming weeks.”
Lucas Abner (106), Sage Bowman (182), Matt Michael (195) and Zac Shaffer (220) all finished third in their respective classes to qualify for districts.
Islamovsky said Abner has come on strong late in the season, and Bowman has worked hard to improve.
He added that he is excited for Michael’s opportunity moving forward, and that Shaffer has continued to impress despite facing many upperclassmen.
Logan Littrell (120) and Danny Caldwell (152) each finished fourth in their class to punch a ticket to districts.
Islamovsky said Littrell had a great tournament, and that Caldwell has gotten into the swing of things after a strong career in junior high.
Dominic Isaacs fell just short of districts, finishing fifth at 138.
The Eaton coach said he is looking forward to the district tournament this week.
“This upcoming weekend is the district. It’s the tournament that we set our sites on all season. We seem to be peaking at the right time and wrestling as well as we have all year. I am excited for this group and I hope we can get some of these guys to the state tournament,” he said. “Last again, I am very thankful to be wrestling at this point at all we are a year removed from the State tournament getting cancelled, and I am hoping everything continues to go smoothly to finish this season.”
For National Trail, Caleb Reynolds finished third at 126 pounds at the Lehman Division III sectional to advance. Ethan Wilson was fourth at 182 and will join Reynolds at districts.
Tyler Alexander finished sixth at 170 pounds, and as team, Trail placed eighth with 35 points. Mechanicsburgwon the tournament with 202 points.
For Preble Shawnee, Brayden Doran moved on to the district with a third place finish at 138 pounds. At 195, Triston Engle finished second and will move on.
Garrett Campbell was fifth at 145 pounds, and Riley Stevenson was fifth at 160. Konner Kuhn came in sixth at 170 as Christopher Parker placed sixth at 220.
For Twin Valley South, Keaton Watts placed sixth at 106 pounds. Brayden Childers was sixth at 113 pounds, and at 126 pounds, Clayton Woodgeard was fifth. Gage Crase was sixth at 145, and Peyton Whaley was fifth at 170.
The Division II district tournament will be held Thursday-Saturday, March 4-6 at Wilmington High School. On Thursday, wrestlers in the 106-145 weight classes will compete. On Friday, 152-285 will compete. On Saturday, there will be a split session with the lighter weight classes competing in the morning and the upper weight classes competing in the afternoon.
The Division III district will be held Friday and Saturday, March 5-6 at Hobart Arena in Troy. There will be split sessions both days.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr