Snair tops list of state wrestling placers

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CCM/Carol McIntire Kail Snair victorious

By Carol McIntire


Carrollton senior Kail Snair’s second-place finish at the Ohio High School Athletic Association Boys and Girls Wrestling State Tournament topped a contingent of nine area wrestlers who earned podium spots.

Joining Snair on the podium in Division II were senior teammates Josh Carman fourth; Landon Jenkins fifth; and Levi Pidgeon, sixth. Minerva junior Hunter Dietrich placed seventh. In Division III, Malvern junior Tyson Clear finished fourth and senior teammate Zach Babiczuk seventh. Sandy Valley senior Evan Natale placed seventh.

Carrollton freshman Riley Alborn made school history when she qualified for the tournament as the first Carrollton wrestler to participate in the state tournament and her fourth-place finish also made history as the first girl to place in the state tournament.  It was the second year for the girls tournament to be combined with the boys championship.

Snair (113 lbs.) was one win away from a podium spot at last year’s tournament, in his first year as a qualifier. 

This year, with sectional and district championship titles on his resume, he went as the No. 1 seed from the Gallia Academy District and quickly proved he was worthy of the honor. 

The veteran pinned each opponent he faced on the way to the title bout.

Brandon Day, a senior from Springfield Shawnee went down on a pin in 1:59. Next up was Carter Trukovich of Gallion, who Snair pinned in 5:37.  In the championship semifinal, the Carrollon ace faced a familiar foe -freshman Daniel McGarr of Claymont. The two met in the East District sectional championship at Claymont in February with Snair earning a pin in 3:15.

“It was nice to have somebody I was kind of familiar with in the semifinals, but it also gave him a kind of edge because he knew how I liked to wrestle, what I normally do. He’s going to use that against me because he’s trying to knock me off,” Snair said after the win. “It’s hard to defend that, but I was able to tonight.”

Kail appreciated the fact that he was even at the state tournament and to wrestle for a championship, that made it even sweeter. 

As a freshman, he was knocked out of the tournament at the district level. As a sophomore, he was an alternate. Last year, as a junior, he was one win shy of the podium.

“It’s been stepping big milestones every year and just keeps getting better and better,” he said. “You always talk about it and think you can do it, but it’s way different.”

He gave credit for his success to his approach to wrestling. 

“I’m having fun all the time now. I don’t have nerves of anything going on. I just go out and have fun and I really enjoy it.”

In the championship Sunday evening, following the pre-session hype and parade of champions, Snair faced Blake Bartos, a sophomore from Buckeye. In a quick match, Bartos earned the pin in 1:19 and the championship title. 

Carman (138) made his way through the preliminary and quarterfinal round with impressive win. The four-time state qualifier Benjamin Local senior Evan Carpenter in 2:38 and posted a 15-2 major decision over Jonathan Bissell of Jefferson Area. He dropped a tough 6-3 decision to Watterson sophomore James Lindsay in the semifinal round and dropped to the consolation bracket where he earned a 12-2 major decision over Jordan Cook of Wauseon and then fell 6-3 to Ontario junior Mason Turnbaugh to place fourth. 

Jenkins (106) opened the tournament with a 51-second pin of Brencyn Evans of Monroeville and 4-1 decision of D.J. Otero of Lutheran West. In the championship semifinals, Jenkins  gave up a takedown and a penalty point in the first period. He earned an escape in the first and third period, but came up one point short, losing 3-2. In the consolation round, Jenkins who placed sixth last year, fell to 4-2 in sudden victory to Don Prosperi of Canton South.  He earned the fifth spot on the podium with an 8-0 major decision of Otero. 

 Pidgeon (126 lbs.) had a rougher road to travel through the bracket. As a fourth seed, he faced a No. 1 seed in the preliminaries -freshman Josh Puller of Wilmington. The senior advanced with a 4-1 decision to face a No. 2 seed, Wyatt Nemitz of Perkins, and advanced to the semifinals with a 4-3 win. A name familiar to Pidgeon, Leroy Stegall of Indian Valley, the No. 1 seed from the Gallia district and the wrestler who knocked Pidgeon out of the championship match at the district tournament, again kept Pidgeon from wresting for a title with a 6-1 win. 

The four-time state qualifier moved to the consolation bracket where he dropped a 5-4 decision to Blaine DeMarco of Graham Local and then fell to Joe Curry of Waterson 5-0 and placed sixth. 

Minerva junior Hunter Dietrich posted a 6-4 decision over Gabe Miller of Canfield in the preliminaries before falling 9-6 to Ayden Wilson of Rossford in the quarterfinals. There he won his first consolation match 2-1 over Aden Strahler of Warren before losing to Gage Morgan of Beaver Local 4-3. He earned the seventh place slot on the podium with a 9-8 win over Cole Hines of Gallia Academy.

Carrollton placed seventh in the team standings with 58 points. Graham Local won the title with 135.5. Alliance placed 12th with 37 and Indian Valley 13th with 36.

Division III

Clear (165 lbs.), a returning state placer, opened the tournament with a 7-2 decision of Brencyn Evans of Monroeville and then pinned Greyson Siders of Dalton in 3:11 in the quarterfinals. The junior dropped a 3-1 decision to Braxton Quaintance of Lakota in the semifinals and moved to the consolation bracket where he picked up a 5-3 decision over Gage Bolt of Westfall.

In the battle for third place, Clear fell 7-5 to Ayden King of Barnesville and placed fourth.

Babiczuk (215) opened the tournament with a 10-3 decision of Collin Sullivan of Fairless and then was pinned by Abe DeLano of Ayersville and moved into the consolation bracket. A 7-3 wn over James Maxwell of Maderia pitted the senior against Judson Cooper, a sophomore from Waterford, who sneaked out a 1-0. Babiczuk then earned seventh place with an identical 1-0 win over Cass Chiesa of Delta. 

Sandy Valley senior Evan Natale (120) won his first match 10-8 over Isaak Skelly of Waynedale before dropping a 12-2 major decision to Trevor Willcox of Ostego and moving into the consolation bracket. There, he earned 10-5 decision over Bodee Miller of Oak Harbor and then suffered a 5-4 loss to Xavier Pearson of Trinity.  Natale earned the seventh spot on the podium with a pin of Ethan Amens of Northmor in 2:28.

Minerva wrestlers Mark Mueller (120) and Joey Brocklehurst (132) and Sandy Valley’s Asher Crissey suffered first round losses and were eliminated with a first round loss in the consolation bracket. 

Girls action

In the girls tournament, all divisions were combined into one 16-wrestler bracket for each weight class. 

Alborn (190) kicked off her first state appearance with a 4-minute pin of Olivia Beaulieu, a sophomore from New Lexington. Albron then was pinned in 5:40 by by Brockly Newton of Carroll and moved into the consolation bracket where she picked up a pin (1:46) over Emily Jirousek of Keystone. She added a 2:24 pin of Zanya Muntaser of Lakewood to earn a spot in the third-place match. Olentangy Orange senior Kascidy Garren pinned the Carrollton freshman in 2:28, placing Alborn fourth. 

Minerva wrestlers Bridget Hilliard (105) and Sarah Sphon (120) both won first round matches by pin and suffered losses in the second round to drop to the consolation round. Both were eliminated with second-round losses. 

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