HC’s Thomas, host Rocks win Barnesville Invite | News, Sports, Work

ON THE MAT — Harrison Central’s Lucas Thomas controls Nordonia’s Grant Lefeld during their 215-pound championship bout Saturday night during the 54th annual Doan Ford-Barnesville Invitational wrestling tournament. Thomas won the match 7-1. — Kim North

BARNESVILLE — The Barnesville wrestling team is ranked No. 1 among Ohio Division III schools to start the season. The Shamrocks showed why over the weekend when they showed muscle to win the 54th annual Doan Ford-Barnesville Invitational.

Head coach Jason Steven’s talented squad amassed 203.5 points and captured four individual titles, running away from the 29-team field. Nordinia, a Division I Buckeye State school, was second with 151. St. Vincent-St. Mary took third by a half point over Wheeling Park, 136.5-136.

“I’m not sure when was the last time we won this tournament. I don’t follow that sort of thing,” Steven noted. “All I know is the kids fought well enough for us to come out on top.”

The Shamrocks were co-champions in 2000 with Louisville.

Barnesville’s Big 4 made state appearances with Dakota King (138), Reese Stephen (150), Skylar King (157) and Aidan King (165) capturing their respective weight classes. Dakota King and defending state champion Steven are ranked No. 1 in their weight classes, with the King brothers second. All four are defending OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament champions, with Dakota King a two-time champion.

A trio of other local rogers claimed the championship. They include the Wheeling Park duo of Jameson Maynard (175) and Malachi Washington (190) and Harrison Central’s Lucas Thomas (215).

Dakota King, a three-time all-Ohio and Ohio State University signee, dominated SVSM’s Taggart Wade before pinning him in 3 minutes, 42 seconds. He was 12-4 at the time with six takedowns. He allowed four runs.

Steven, a two-time Ohioan and Cleveland State University commit, held off Nordonia’s Israel Peaty 3-2. Petite was ranked fourth in the state last year and nearly completed a takedown when the final buzzer sounded.

Skylar King also turned in a dominant performance with an 11-0 major decision over Union Local’s Brody Perzhanowski. The Shamrocks senior scored seven points in the first period and was never threatened once.

Aidan King, just a junior, took a 7-0 lead after two periods and cruised to a big 9-1 nod over Nordonia’s Matthew Hammad.

“Our (wrestling) room is pretty competitive, especially right there in the middle with all those guys,” Coach Steven said. “If you’re going to have a bad day in the room, you’re going to have a really bad day.”

Maynard, also the defending OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament champion, was tied at 1 with No. 1 Gino Perrine of Nordonia before tallying four points in the third period for a 5-1 win.

Washington followed that with a masterful 11-5 decision of John Marshall’s Maverick LeMasters in a West Virginia Region I matchup.

“It was Malachi’s first time wrestling at 190,” Wheeling Park head coach Brian Leggett said. “He looks more comfortable there. He doesn’t need to lose weight. It’s natural for him.

“Jameson continues to do good things for us,” Leggett added. “He’s one of our leaders and he wrestled really well this weekend.”

Thomas, the Ohio State Division II runner-up last winter at 215, recorded a 7-1 decision over Grant Lefeld of Nordonia.

“Lucas works really hard, not only on the mat to be the best he can be, but also in the wrestling room as a leader.” Harrison Central head coach Bill Bryant said. “He’s achieved both, but his real goals are in January and March when it really matters.”

Barnesville had three other wrestlers reach the podium, and two others – competing as singles – also qualified.

John Marshall, Wheeling Park and Union Local each had three fourth through sixth place finishers. Harrison Central had a pair and John Marshall one.

Wheeling Park will return to western Belmont County for a dual meet on Wednesday.

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