OVAC seeds, brackets set

The debate over seeding is complete and the brackets are set.

It’s almost time to get down to wrestling at the 60th annual Ron Mauck OVAC Wrestling Tournament, which opens Thursday evening at WesBanco Arena.

The coaches and tournament officials were in downtown Wheeling Monday evening to meet with the media and finalize the tournament procedures Monday evening.

As has been the case the last handful of seasons, Steubenville and Parkersburg South are the pre-tournament favorites based on seeding. Both Big Red and the Patriots have 11 wrestlers seeded in the tournament.

However, Big Red and Shadyside lead the tournament field with number one seeds. Each team has three wrestlers on the top line of the bracket.

“You always have to be happy and feel good about things when you get as many guys seeded as we did,” said Big Red head coach Mike Blackburn. “I feel like our guys who earned top seeds were definitely deserving and everyone else has to produce. It’s going to be a battle. Hopefully, it comes down to us and South in the finals.

Wheeling Park is the only other school with multiple top seeds. Coach Jack Doyle’s team has two wrestlers with a No. 1 by their name.

Ironically, Shadyside, which figures to be one of the favorites in the Class 1A/2A field, has only its three top seeds as wrestlers who earned a seed.

The Tigers’ top seeds are defending champion Alex Quinn (152), defending runnerup Ian Baker (145) and Chase Kinemond, who was runnerup as a sophomore, but didn’t compete last winter due to injury, at 160.

“I think those kids are deserving of the seed they received, but it’s just a number,” said Shadyside head coach Scott Kinemond. “They still have to come out, wrestle and prove they were worthy of earning that spot.”

Quinn is one of four wrestlers in the tournament who’ve yet to taste defeat.

Steubenville’s top seeds for the weekend are freshman Tariq Wilson at 106; Anthony Craig at 126 and Greg Moray at 220.

The remaining top seeds are: South’s Lance Hill (113); Meadowbrook’s Jerad Patterson (120); University’s Scott Lopez (132); Wheeling Park’s Dylan Taylor (138) and Cody Amos (182); Caldwell’s Kayle Rayner (170); Brooke’s Nathan Daweson (195) and Morgantown’s Taylor Ortiz (285).

“I think the fact that South only has one number one seed might be a little deceiving,” Blackburn said. All told, 34 schools in the tournament had a wrestler garner a seed.

After the aforementioned Steubenville and Parkersburg South, University had eight wrestlers seeded, while Wheeling Park and Brooke each had seven wrestlers seeded.

St. Clairsville and Beaver both had six earn seeds