CHILLICOTHE – Five local wrestlers are listed in a statewide report that breaks down and predicts both team and individual performances in the state wrestling tournament, which begins Feb. 27.
Two Chillicothe wrestlers are mentioned by noted national wrestling expert Josh Lowe in Division II, while three Paint Valley wrestlers are mentioned in D-III.
In D-II, Chillicothe seniors Caleb Price (152 pounds) and Christian Collins (160) are mentioned in the top 10 in their weight classes.
Price is the eighth-ranked grappler in the 152-pound class and finished eighth at the state meet in 2014. He is listed as a contender to advance to state, but Lowe notes four of the top eight in Price’s class will be wrestling in the same district — with the top two favorites in the class coming from the Southeastern District. Price is 26-0 on the season and his top performances of the year came with first-place wins at Miami Trace and Springfield Greenon and a fourth-place finish at Olentangy Liberty.
Collins, meanwhile, was a state alternate this past season and, much like Price, has three of the top-nine overall wrestlers in his district — including undefeated and nationally top-ranked Alex Marinelli, of St. Paris Graham, who already has committed to Iowa. Collins (32-2) won his weight class at Miami Trace and at Springfield Greenon.
The Cavaliers wrestle in the South Central Ohio League Championships on Saturday.
A trio of Bearcat wrestlers are looking to make the trip to the Schottenstein Center as well, including a return trip for junior Teagan McFadden, who is seeking his third trip to Columbus in three years but also is looking to make the podium for the first time.
McFadden is the ninth-ranked wrestler at 170 in D-III, but is top-ranked in the district. Lowe mentions that the weight class has 11 state qualifiers, including six that placed at state last season. McFadden is the only wrestler from the district with a state win, that win coming last year at 160.
Also listed by Lowe is another Paint Valley junior, Caleb Johnson, who is ranked seventh at 182 and went to the state meet last season. Johnson is seeking his first state victory.
PV sophomore Blake Evans also is mentioned as a possible state meet candidate, but is not listed in the top 17 by Lowe.
The trio lead the Bearcats into the first-ever Scioto Valley Conference league meet on Saturday at Westfall.
Also listed in D-II
•Circleville freshman Nate Keaton, 14th ranked at 106 pounds in D-II.
•Logan Elm senior Dominic Vagnier, who placed fourth at 120 last year, 11th at 126 in D-II. LE senior D.J. White is also listed a possible qualifier at 138.
•For Washington CH, seniors Shawn Murphy (sixth, 132) and Tye Smith (10th, 170), as well as junior Mason McCane (15th, 182).
•For Miami Trace, seniors Bryson Laytart (eighth, 138), Russell Miller (second, 170), and Jeremiah Jones (seventh, 195). Senior Travis Grooms is also listed as a possible qualifier at 160.