Big Red tops Park, 42-21

STEUBENVILLE – With the seeding meeting for next week’s Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Championships set for Sunday morning, Steubenville and Wheeling Park had one last chance to impress Wednesday night.

And while Big Red posted a 42-21 victory on Senior Night at the Crimson Center, both head coaches said they’re pleased with where their squads stand with the 60th- annual meet starting a week from tonight.

”We were just making some little mistakes (Wednesday),” Steubenville coach Mike Blackburn said. ”We have a week to make sure those get taken care of.”

Big Red score 24 unanswered points to take control of the match, the final one for both teams before OVACs.

”We wanted to make sure the guys understand we don’t want to stay stuck in neutral and stay where we’re at,” Blackburn said after a post-match meeting with his squad. ”We have to start picking things up and hitting our stride again.”

Big Red earned its conference-best 19th dual-match victory of the season and looks to be one of the top threats to halt Parkersburg South’s three-year reign as conference champs.

”We were second last year and they have most of their team back and we have 10 seniors back so it’ll be a fun meeting Sunday,” Blackburn said. ”I look forward to seeing where everyone falls.”

With the match knotted at 12-12, Steubenville took control.

Kai McClurg edged Isaiah Myers, 3-2, at 182 pounds before teammate Charlie Kennan edged Geremy Paige, 3-1, at 195.

Following a forfeit at 220, Big Red heavyweight Ryan Wood pinned Tyler Gray in 54 seconds. Next, Tariq Wilson pinned Tyson Lira at 106 to up Steubenville’s lead to 36-12.

The Patriots posted two pins – Dylan Taylor at 138 and Austin Digiandomenico at 120.

”We’re getting ready for OVACs and we want to make sure we’re peaking at the right time,” first-year Park coach Jack Doyle said.

”I think we wrestled very well without Cody Amos in the lineup and without our starting heavyweight (Casey Hewitt). I thought we wrestled very, very well.”

Amos was Park’s only OVAC champ last season, but Doyle said he and many of his teammates are poised to make a run.

”I’m super excited,” Doyle said about OVACs. ”I feel like we have five or six guys who can go pretty deep. Geremy Paige showed (Wednesday) he can go with Charlie Kennan, who is one of the best kids around. That gave him a ton of hope.

”Danny Colby is wrestling hard … we will have a bunch of kids that will have a chance to get on that podium.”