COLUMBUS - The six local participants have received their pairings for the first round of the Ohio Division II State Wrestling Championships, which begin Thursday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at Ohio State University.
The only district champion, Steubenville's Greg Moray at 220 pounds, will meet Conneaut senior Billy Post, who finished fourth in the Alliance district.
Moray, who placed fourth a year ago in the same weight class in Columbus, is 34-0.
RETURNING TO COLUMBUS — Steubenville Big Red’s Greg Moray, shown earlier in the year in a win over Claymont’s Garrett Harding, returns to Columbus for the Ohio Division II State Wrestling Tournament, where he finished fourth a year ago at 220 pounds.
-- Fred Younce
The winner gets the winner of Brandon Davis (senior, 44-6, Greenfield McClain) and Beau Swank (junior, 20-4, Bellefontaine Benjamin Logan).
The two other state placers in the field of 16 are Wauseon senior Zane Krall (second, 220) and Norton sophomore Sean Rutherford (seventh, 182). Rutherford is on the same side of the draw as Moray.
Big Red had two finish second in the district meet at Heath High School - seniors Anthony Craig (126) and Anthony Parada (132).
Parada (38-7) will meet Lancaster Fairfield Union senior Stewart Oehlers (40-3) in the first round.
The winner will take on either Perry junior Aaran Gessic (26-7) or Lima Shawnee senior Kane Plaugher (26-4). Gessic placed sixth at 120 a year ago.
Craig (33-3), who finished sixth at 103 in 2011, opens with Wauseon sophomore Wade Hodges, who is 31-6 and placed seventh a year ago at 113.
The winner will face either Springfield Shawnee freshman Wade Smiddy (35-6) or Mentor Lake Catholic junior Anthony Tutolo (39-3).
Also in the field at 126 is Indian Creek senior Kyle Moffit (45-5), who will go against Defiance senior Santana Villarreal (46-7) in the opener.
The winner gets either Eaton senior Payton Ott (39-5) or Canton South senior D.J. Schoeppner (39-5). He finished fourth at 103 in 2011 and eighth at 113 in 2012.
That weight class has nine of the 16 participants as former state placers. It is led by Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary's senior Mike Rix (fourth, 103, 2010; first, 103, 2011; foruth, 120, 2012) and Claymont junior Cody Burcher (second, 103, 2011; second, 106, 2012).
Big Red freshman Tariq Wilson (45-5) will meet Louisville senior Dakota Oliver (27-7) in the first round at 106 pounds.
The winner will face the winner between St. Paris Graham local sophomore Eli Sitckley (46-2), who finished fifth in the weight class last year, and Mansfield Madison Comprehensive sophomore Alize Merrell (35-6).
Seven of the competitors at 106 are freshmen.
Steubenville senior Mark Cole (43-10) will go against Ravenna Southeast senior Brandon James (36-4) in the first round at 170.
The winner will take on Bryan junior Brock Nagel (35-10) or Trotwood-Madison senior Adrien Henderson (41-7).
The championship preliminary rounds will begin Thursday at 4:15 p.m., followed by the first consolation round at 8 p.m.
The championship quarterfinals are slated for 10:40 a.m. Friday with the second consolation round at 1 p.m.
The championship semifinals and consolation quarterfinals are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday.