Three Big Red seniors win sectional wrestling titles

LOCKING HORNS — Steubenville's Ethan Pappas faces off against Howard Williams of East Liverpool in the 170-pound sectional championship on Saturday. Pappas won the title with a 6-4 decision. -Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — A wise man once said, “True leaders don’t tell you what to do. They show you how it’s done.”

Steubenville senior wrestlers Tyler Muldrew, Aaron Ferguson and Ethan Pappas have been living up to those words all season. Saturday was no different, as all three wrestled to OHSAA Division II sectional championships at the Crimson Center.

“Our three seniors have led this team all year,” Big Red coach Mike Blackburn said. “They’re all on a mission in the postseason.”

It was the fourth sectional title for Muldrew, while Ferguson remained undefeated on the year and Pappas inched closer to the career milestone of 150 wins.

Muldrew (152 pounds) pinned his way through the tournament. He pinned Kalan Bowling of West Holmes in 2:15 and Beaver’s Dorian Jackson in 2:20 before recording a 2:26 fall over Charlie Gibbs of New Philadelphia in the finals.

Ferguson (160) also won by pins, including one of the Beavers’ Logan Krulik with just six seconds left in the championship match. He registered a fall over Drake Gamertsfelder of New Philadelphia in 1:45 in the semifinals.

Pappas started the day with two quick pins before defeating Howard Williams of East Liverpool. It was the second time this season Pappas defeated Williams, a two-time OVAC champion. Pappas, an OVAC champ himself, gave up the first two points of the mat but answered Williams’ first-period take down with one of his own in the second and third periods, cutting Williams both times.

The three state-ranked seniors were not the only Big Red grapplers to punch a district ticket. Cal Beadling (106) and Nate King (220) were sectional runners-up. Anthony Shevlin (113), Savier Faulks (138), Brandon Kinney (182) and Spencer Ostovich (220) all battled back from losses to win the consolation bracket and place third. Logan Hale wrestled to a fourth-place finish at 120. Hale came up with a 6-4 win in overtime in the blood round to qualify. Cole Antil (145) also qualified with a fourth-place finish. Javin Harper (285) and Kaiden Minella (132) battled back for fifth and are district alternates.

“Qualifying 11 and two alternates is a good weekend. All the time and work these guys have put in all year is paying off,” Blackburn added. “It’s been a great team effort all year, earning 21 dual wins, placing fourth at Ohio Duals and being sectional runner-up. But, the work isn’t over yet.”

Beaver Local edged Big Red out a sectional team title, scoring 218 to Steubenville’s 210. St. Clairsville was third with 206 and West Holmes fourth with 182.

“Our sectional always has great competition when teams like Beaver, West Holmes and St. Clairsville usually comes with us,” Blackburn said.


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