Wilmington one step from Columbus for district wrestlers


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Wilmington’s Thad Stuckey (left) and Blanchester’s Zane Panetta (right) are among the wrestlers competing in the Division II Southwest District Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday at the Wilmington Middle School gym.

Wilmington’s Thad Stuckey (left) and Blanchester’s Zane Panetta (right) are among the wrestlers competing in the Division II Southwest District Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday at the Wilmington Middle School gym.


Elizabeth Clark | News Journal File

Wrestlers from all parts of Southwest Ohio will descend on Wilmington Friday and Saturday for the Division II Southwest District Wrestling Championship.

Competition begins 3:30 p.m. Friday and again 10 a.m. Saturday. Fans will be allowed to enter Wilmington Middle School gym at 3 p.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

Admission is $8 presale up to three hours before the event begins through Hometown Ticketing. After presale time is up, cost to enter is $10.

There will be a charge for parking.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class qualify for next week’s state tournament.

According to the website, borofanohio.net, there are five wrestlers here this weekend going for a fourth straight berth in the state tournament. The quintet is led by Nolan Gessler of St. Paris Graham, who is going for his fourth district championship. Other four-time state qualifiers are Matt Ellis of Waynesville, Brandon Sauter of Batavia, Antwaun Burns of London and Nolan Neves of Graham.

Locally, Wilmington’s Carson Hibbs and Brett Brooks, and Clinton-Massie’s Braden Rolf were state qualifiers last season and are back this week one step from Columbus.

The state tournament will return to Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center March 11-12-13.

Here is a look at each weight class with locals and notable wrestlers competing at Wilmington:

106: WHS-Alonzo Woody (3-4 record this season). He gets projected state champ Beric Jordan of Graham in the opening match of the tournament. Jordan is 36-0 this season and won the state title last season as a freshman.

113: WHS-Darius Stewart (14-16), CM-Gatlin Newkirk (23-12), BHS-Hunter Smith (22-12). First class with a wrestler from each of the county schools. Newkirk and Smith meet in the opening round. Three wrestlers in this class with losing records. Brogan Tucker, a freshman from Graham, is the projected state champ.

120: CM-Cole Moorman (28-9). Aiden King of Hartley is the projected state champ.

126: No locals. Brandon Sauter of Batavia is 44-0 this season and projected to win the state title. Nolan Gessler of Graham won the 126 title last season but has moved to 144 this year.

132: WHS-Carson Hibbs (39-8). Rematch with Batavia’s Tate Bein awaits Hibbs in second round. The two had a classic thriller in the SBAAC championship, a bout Hibbs won in overtime. David McClelland of Columbus DeSales is projected state champ.

138: BHS-Nick Musselman (31-13), CM-Grant Moorman (31-5), WHS-Thane McCoy (32-6). Conner Roback of Licking Valley is 40-2 and the projected state champ. McCoy would meet Roback in the quarterfinal round. Moorman potential match with Kaden Miller of Marengo Highland in second round will be key for state bid.

144: CM-Matt Martin (26-17). Mitchell Younger (16-0) of Watterson is projected state champ as freshman, over returning 126 champ Gessler of Graham. Martin and Gessler could meet in semis.

150: CM-Braden Rolf (26-5), BHS-Dylan Short (19-15). Short and Rolf meet in the first round. Projected champ is Eli Jacks of Graham.

157: WHS-Gage Davis (24-12). Antwaun Burns (32-1) of London is projected state champ. He was third at 160 last season.

165: BHS-Tristen Malone (8-17), WHS-Thad Stuckey (39-6). Dylan Newsome (34-0) of Bishop Hartley is projected state champ. He was runnerup at 170 last season. Stuckey is projected fourth-place finisher and state qualifier.

175: WHS-Brayden Smith (27-11), Zane Panetta (34-5). Zack Burroughs of Graham is projected state champ. Smith with a win would get Burroughs in quarters while Panetta and Burroughs would meet in semis. Panetta is projected third and a state qualifier.

190: BHS-Jacob Lanham (5-3), WHS-Josh Snell (29-7). Projected champ is Carson Miller of Granville. All three are on same side of bracket. Lanham could meet Miller in quarters with Snell getting the champ in semis.

215: BHS-Cody Kidd (30-6), CM-Lane Schulz (23-5). Projected champ Max Shulaw of Columbus DeSales. Kidd and Schulz on a second round collision course with the winner battling Shula in semis.

285: WHS-Brett Brooks (35-7). Projected champ Nolan Neves (29-3) of Graham. Brooks is projected fourth.

Wilmington’s Thad Stuckey (left) and Blanchester’s Zane Panetta (right) are among the wrestlers competing in the Division II Southwest District Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday at the Wilmington Middle School gym.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/03/web1_WR_StuckeyPanetta0119me-001.jpgWilmington’s Thad Stuckey (left) and Blanchester’s Zane Panetta (right) are among the wrestlers competing in the Division II Southwest District Wrestling Championship Friday and Saturday at the Wilmington Middle School gym. Elizabeth Clark | News Journal File
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