Sandy Valley wins sectional title

By Todd Reed Press-News Sports Editor Published:

The Sandy Valley wrestlers continue to shower their coach with presents during his farewell tour.

A week earlier, the boys gave Head Coach John Groff his 11th Inter-Valley Conference title in 12 years.

This past weekend, the Cardinals awarded their retiring coach with a sectional title.

Proving that every point counts, Sandy Valley edged Tusky Valley by 1.5 points to capture the team championship at the 2013 Division III Sectional Wrestling Tournament at Barnesville High School.

The Cardinals finished with 180.5 points, while the Trojans were second with 179.

In winning the title, Sandy Valley will send six to districts-- Sam Groff (1st, 182), Evan Offenberger (2nd, 120), Joe Newman (2nd, 126), Nick Smith (2nd, 195), Hudson Cole (3rd, 170), and Brandon Carbenia (4th, 113).

Sam Groff continued his quest for a state title.

The undefeated senior pinned his way to the finals, recording falls against Scott Hammond of Shadyside at 1:59, Harold Rogers of Steubenville Catholic at :49 and Jerrod Ousley of Tusky Valley at 1:28.

In the finals, Groff improved to 49-0 with a tough 7-5 decision against Caldwell's Jared Leasure.

Offenberger (37-10) pinned Jerry Savage of Toronto at 1:17 and Dakota Patterson of Bellaire at :53, before recording a tough 4-2 decision against Nate Gaston of Malvern.

Wrestling for first, Offenberger lost to Hobie Howiler of Barnesville 7-1.

Newman (44-4) won three straight matches to reach the finals. He pinned James Lucas of West Muskingum at :42, tech felled Cedro Parise of Steubenville Catholic 20-5, and decisioned Landon Tomcho of Shenandoah 12-8.

In the finals, Newman lost to Damon Outward of Martins Ferry 5-2.

Smith (26-12) reached the finals by beating Corey Taylor of West Muskingum 5-2, Dante' Defellice of Shadyside 8-3, and Jacob Haynes of Toronto by pin at 4:48.

Wrestling for first, Smith lost a 5-2 decision to Tusky Valley's Thomas Watt.

Cole (32-16) won his first two matches, beating Issac Sanford of Stuebenville Catholic 11-9 in overtime and Matt McFarland of Union Local by pin at 2:17.

In the semifinals, Cole was beaten by Kale Rayner of Caldwell 6-0.

Cole rebounded to pin Brandon Reusser of River at 1:51, and finished the tournament in third place with a 5-0 win against Jacob Rice-Spellman of Tusky Valley.

Carbenia (26-10) pinned his first two opponents - Donnie Starkey of Toronto at 5:48 and Leland Hostetler of Tusky Valley at 5:33.

In the semifinals, Carbenia lost to Rodney Richter of Monroe Central 13-5.

In the consols, Carbenia edged Austin Singleton of Barnesville 7-6, before losing to Hostetler 6-5 for third place.

Placing fifth and serving as district alternates are Hunter Vanderpool (24-22) at 106, Eric Cassidy (38-14) at 132, and Jake Geiger (31-17).

Finishing sixth is Brett Stoffer (27-25) at 160.

Caldwell, last year's sectional champion, finished third with 146. It was followed by Shadyside with 142, St. Clairsville with 135, Martins Ferry with 125, Steubenville Catholic 90, River with 88, Barnesville with 84.5, Monroe Central with 84, Union Local with 66.5, Toronto with 62, Beallsville with 45.5, Malvern with 33, West Muskingum with 31, Bellaire with 26, Shenandoah with 21, Bridgeport with 9.5 and Tusky Central with 8.

The Division III district tournament will be held at Philo High School on Feb. 22-23.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the 2013 State Wrestling Championships on Feb. 28 and March 1-2 at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.

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