Wrestlers create rumble at Claymont

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Zach Babiczuk of Malvern (rear) works to break down Jayson Clark of Canton South on the way to winning the 215 lb. weight class

Carrollton, Malvern grapplers stand atop podium

By Leigh Ann Rutledge

CCM Reporter

Five county wrestlers won championships at the first Rumble in the Pit at Claymont High School Jan. 14 and 15. 

Kail Snair (113 lbs.), Josh Carman (126 lbs.) and Ben Zinda (190 lbs.) each won their brackets and helped the Warriors win the team championship. 

Malvern wrestlers Tyson Clear (138 lbs.) and Zach Babiczuk (215 lbs.) won their brackets. The Hornet wrestling team placed seventh. 

The two-day event was planned after the cancellation of the annual Top Gun Tournament in Alliance. Originally 12 teams were registered, however, COVID resulted in teams having to drop out. 


The Warriors wrestled Friday with 11 making it to the quarterfinals and others wrestling back for third – six place. 

Snair faced Russell Cash of Canton South and led 5-2 at the end of the first period. Starting second period on top, he pinned Cash in 2:14. He pinned Trevor McGarr of Claymont in 29 seconds in the semi-finals. In the championship round, he pinned Peyton Costa of Granville in 1:30.

Carman pinned David Baughman of Malvern in 1:26 in the first match. Next, he landed a takedown and three back points before pinning John Blair of Claymont in 1:20. He defeated Jesse Badiu of Buckeye 4-2 to advance to the semi-final round. Carman took down Badiu who escaped in the first period. In the second period, Badiu was in down position and escaped to tie the match at 2-2. Starting in down position, Carman scored a reversal to win 4-2 and advance to the championship match. Facing Colton Smitley of Maysville, the first period ended with no score. Carman began the second period in down position and escaped then earned a takedown. Leading 3-1, Smitley started in down position and escaped, but Carman held on, winning 3-1.

Zinda went up against Grant Treacher of Canton South in his first match. Zinda scored a takedown to lead 2-0 going into the second period. Treacher started in down position and was pinned by Zinda. In the semifinal Zinda faced Matt Kirsop of Olentangy Berlin. In the first period, Zinda scored two takedowns and three back points. Kirsop escaped twice. Zinda led 7-1 going into the second period. Starting in down position he escaped to lead 8-2. In the final period, Kirsop started in down position and escaped. Zinda recorded another takedown and won 10-3. In the championship round, he defeated Hunter Zizdek of Sheridan 7-1. After landing a takedown, Zinda led 2-0 going into the second period. Starting in neutral, he scored another takedown. Starting in down position in the final period, he escaped and landed a takedown. Zizdek earned an escape.

Levi Pidgeon (120 lbs.) placed second. Pidgeon pinned his first opponent, Caleb Monlux of Maysville in 2:50 and Tate McCourt of Buckeye in 36 seconds. He faced Alexander Crane of Sheridan and fell 4-0.

Placing third was Landon Jenkins, Adam Bennett and  Domanick Speelman. 

Jenkins (106 lbs.) placed third after defeating Liam Pethtel of Olentangy Berlin by 9-0 major decision. Jenkins pinned his first opponent, Jacob Gardner of Newcomerstown in 1:30 and  won 6-2 over Tanner Tecco of Buckeye. In the semifinals, he fell to Dane Fawcett of Claymont 4-2. In the consolation round, he defeated Blake Clouse of Sheridan by fall (3:48).

Bennett (132 lbs.) won 8-5 over Cage Miller of Newcomerstown before falling to Elijah Parrish of Claymont 9-3. He wrestled back pinning Zanden Lewis in 4:12 and won by major decision over Danny Beckett of Buckeye. 

Speelman (144 lbs.) pinned Gabe Campbell of Malvern in 1:23 before falling to Niko Gonzalez of Olentangy Berlin by fall (1:49). In the consolation rounds, he pinned Matt Pucci of Malvern in 20 seconds and Nolan Martin of Buckeye in 4:15. 

Fourth place finishers were Spencer Grindstaff, Ty Pridemore and Aidan Shaw. 

Grindstaff (157 lbs.) defeated Maven Reid of Buckeye by fall (2:22) before falling to Michael Eckelberry of Sheridan 9-3. He pinned Avery Lower of Newcomerstown in 2:32 before falling to Kody Goffin of Olentangy Berlin 16-0.

Pridemore (215 lbs.) faced Isaac McKinney in the semifinal round and fell by fall (1:05). He faced Jayson Clark of Canton South and fell 5-3. 

Shaw (285 lbs.) fell in his first round to Austin Lambert of Olentangy Berlin by fall (2:46). He defeated Carter Cottrell of Claymont by fall (2:07) and won 3-2 over Cole McCabe of Claymont. In a battle for third place, he fell to Austin Lambert of Olentangy Berlin by fall (1:43).

Trey Hilliard and Brandon Carman placed fifth.

Hilliard (150 lbs.) pinned Van Foley of Malvern in 1:30 before falling to Keegan Finely of Granville by fall (2:32) and Carson Carr of Granville by fall. Hilliard defeated Foley in the battle for fifth place by 20 second pin, which puts him in the 20 and under pin club. 

Brandon Carman (165 lbs.) defeated Collin Greene of Malvern 2-0 before falling to Tyler Pugh of Canton South and A.J. Jones of Granville  5-4. Carman faced Greene in a battle for fifth place, pinning Greene in 2:25.

 Jaden Powell (175 lbs.) placed sixth after falling in his first match. In the consolation rounds, he defeated Jeff Casey of Canton South by fall (2:26), then fell to Jacob Ramey of Sheridan to face Xavier Watson of Malvern in a battle for fifth place. Watson won 3-1.

Head Coach Joe McGee noted the coaching staff was proud of all the wrestlers. 

“Our boys looked tough. Everyone of them wrestled tough and represented our community well,” McGee said. “We had some matchups we will see at districts and state and those are the ones we wanted. Those (matches) are where we get to see where we are at and find out what to work on.


Clear (138 lbs.) opened his first match with a 1:09 pin over Steven Byler of Carrollton. He defeated Hunter Wallis of Sheridan by 12-1 major decision. He faced Carter Mottley of Sheridan winning 6-2.

In the championship match, Clear won a 10-2 major decision over Nicks Brunst of Buckeye. Clear landed a takedown and three back points in the first period. He also received a penalty point to lead 6-0 going tinto the second period. Clear had a takedown to advance to 8-0 going into the final period. Starting in down position, he escaped and Brunst recorded a takedown. 

Babiczuk (215 lbs.) pinned Jayson Clark of Canton South in 5:11 to advance to the final match. He pinned Isaac McKinney in 1:33 to win.

Ethan Boni, Xavier Watson and Frank McClelland placed fifth.

Boni (132 lbs.) defeated Zanden Lewis of Canton South 3-1 before falling to Coltyn Reedy of Sheridan by tech fall and Danny Beckett of Buckeye 7-3. Boni faced Lewis a second time and won 7-2.

Watson (175 lbs.) fell to Hugh Peterson of Olentangy Berlin 10-3, then defeated AJ Bartinelli of Buckeye by fall (2:15). He fell to Bladen Garland of Newcomerstown 9-5 and defeated Jaden Powell of Carrollton 3-1.

McClelland (285 lbs.) fell to Cole McCabe 3-1 before defeating Noah Miller of Sheridan 10-4 and  Mason Armstrong of Claymont by fall (1:14). He fell to Austin Lambert of Olentangy Berlin by fall then defeated McCabe 3-1.

Manny Walker, Matt Pucci, Van Foley and Collin Greene placed sixth. 

Walker (126 lbs.) fell to Jacob Householder of Sheridan 9-0, then defeated Luke Martin of Olentangy Berlin 5-1. Walker fell to Badiu of Buckeye and Bryce Geer of Canton South 4-3.

Pucci (144 lbs.) fell to Lucian Davis of Granville by tech fall 18-3. He pinned Tyler Harrison of Newcomerstown by fall (1:44) and Kylar Perine of Canton South 7-0. He fell to Domanick Speelman of Carrollton by fall (20 seconds) and Davis by fall (50 seconds). 

Foley (150 lbs.) faced  Trey Hilliard of Carrollton in the first round and fell by 1:30 pin. After two bye rounds, he fell to Arthur Vogt-Pimm of Buckeye by fall (55 seconds). He faced Hilliard again and fell by fall (20 second).

Greene (165 lbs.) fell to Brandon Carman of Carrollton 2-0, then defeated Carter McConnell of Newcomerstown by fall (3:24). He fell to Brandon Hayner of Buckeye and faced Carman again falling by pin.

“I thought we wrestled well this weekend. We had a bit of a slow start Friday night, but responded well on Saturday,” said Head Coach Robbie Wilson. “I am incredibly proud and excited for both Zach Babiczuk and Tyson Clear. These two put in a ton of work behind the scenes and it has been paying off for both of them.”

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