COLUMBUS - The Division III consolation finals for third through eighth place contestants was held Saturday morning with two local grapplers claiming fifth place titles inside the Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Damon Outward would finish his high school wrestling career with a pin to garner his number five spot on the podium. Martins Ferry's 126-pound wrestler scored a second period fall over West Liberty Salem opponent Trevor Anderson.
"He was wrestling very aggressive from the start but once I got into my mode, I was good after that," Damon said. "He took a shot and I got my underhook in real deep, as soon as I grabbed that wrist I knew that I would come up on top."
MARTINS FERRY’S Damon Outward yells after winning his fifth-place match during Saturday’s Division III?State Tournament in Columbus.
"Damon's freshman year was my first year as head coach," related Purple Rider coach Scott Roth. "I am proud of how he represented the team and the school. To finish with a pin and surpass his career wins for a season so he has accomplished some milestones this weekend."
Martins Ferry's senior placer will wrestle for West Liberty next year.
Another wrestler with a banner year was River's J.D. Dotson who won his 100th career match to qualify for a medal on Friday. Dotson stayed in the top bracket of the consolation finals with a pin in the final session Friday night to set up a tough consolation semi Saturday morning with Mapleton's Tyler Shank.
"He was the strongest wrestler I have ever faced, he had strong hips and when I caught him with a throw he rolled me and got back points," said Dotson. That moved broke a deadlock and the decision loss sent Dotson into the fifth place match.
The Pilot's lone entrant would come into the finals determined and won by fall over Manchester's Travis Boyd in the first period. "I had three goals for this season, to get to state, place high here and earn my 100th win, I accomplished all those so I have to say it was a great season."
"It was great way to finish his senior year," said head coach Eric Rosen. "He has a great work ethic and is a team leader, we will miss him next year when he goes to Muskingum to wrestle."
Dotson credited the coaching staff at River for pushing him to get to state this season, "I have to give credit to my coaching staff, I started as a freshman and was 6-27 now I am here and placed at state," Dotson said. "I am just really thankful for the blessings that God has given me, for a good coaching crew, the support of my family and the school."
Shadyside would send two wrestlers to the podium in the morning session. Ian Baker finished up an inspiring weekend of wrestling dropping his final bout by a single point after giving up three neutral points to avoid further injury to his ribs.
"(It) happened in the the quarters, he had a half in and I went to wing it down and he stepped into it and I felt something in my ribs pop," the Tigers senior related. "Once he got me to my back I could not bridge.
"The next match was very painful, I did not know if I could make it, but it is my senior year and I am at state so I figured that I was not going to give anyone a free pass with a forfeit and make them wrestle for it."
Despite the injury he managed a pin in the consolation quarterfinals to make it through to Saturday in the top bracket. The senior showed great heart and determination as he lost two close matches to stand on the number 6 spot at 145 pounds in DIII.
Tiger teammate Chase Kinemond also finished his prep wrestling career with a win as he exacted a 9-7 revenge over the wrestler that sent him into the consolation brackets 3-2 in the opening round Friday.
"It's not the finish I had hoped for but I went out with a win," said the young Kinemond as his father Scott is considering hanging up his head coaching job as his son moves on to play college football.
"I would like to stay involved but I think it is some time for some young blood," Shadyside's coach stated though nothing was firm as of yet.
The pair knew that the 160 pound weight class was stacked with returning placers this year, "My first loss was to D.J. Blair and it felt good to get revenge," Chase admitted as he hangs up his wrestling shoes. "I would have liked to place higher but it is still a great accomplishment to be here, we did well in the first ever state duals and we placed three seniors."
Chase and Ian will return for the evening finals to cheer on teammate Alex Quinn in the DIII 152 pound finals.