Golden Eagles, Barons compete at Big Walnut Invitational


By Ben Stroup - [email protected]



The Buckeye Valley wrestling team had two individual champs while Big Walnut came away with another to highlight Saturday’s Big Walnut Invitational in Sunbury.

Matthew Viri (120) and Landon Froehlich (175) took top honors for the Barons, who finished seventh among the 10 teams in action with 142.5 points.

Viri won both of his matches in pool play before winning three straight to take the crown. The senior, seeded third at the start of the invite, pinned Westerville Central’s Mason Hart in 3:50 in the quarterfinals, knocked off Central’s Zachary Davis 5-2 in the semifinals and edged Granville’s Andy Sanchez 11-8 in the final.

Froehlich punched his ticket to the first-place match with a perfect 4-0 mark in pool play. The sophomore then outscored Shawnee’s Thomus Morgan 7-3 to take top honors in his weight class.

Big Walnut, meanwhile, led by Andrew Parker (132), finished with 191 points to close third behind first-place Granville (248.5), Hilliard Darby (224.5) and Northmor (212.5).

Parker won all four of his matches in pool play with pins — all in under a minute — before beating Darby’s Ahmad Deifallah 5-3 to pick up first-place points.

Other standouts included Buckeye Valley’s Ripley Szanati, who won each of his first three matches before falling to Centerburg’s Caylan LeMaster in the first-place match at 150 pounds; Big Walnut’s Micah Tillar, who went 4-0 in pool play before falling to Northmor’s Niko Christo in the 165-pound final; the Golden Eagles’ Wyatt Lenz, who won four straight on his was to a second-place showing at 190; BW’s Vince Giordano, who beat Hilliard Darby’s Trent VandenEyden in the third-place match at 138; the Eagles’ Carson Leasure, who beat Granville’s Corbin Bell in his final match of the day to close third at 150; and Christian Takatch, who finished third at 215.

Other area placers included Big Walnut’s Lawrence O’Malley (fourth at 157), Avery Looney (fourth at 285), Cameron Bates (fifth at 113), Michael Hurst (fifth at 285), Micah Evans (eighth at 150), Jayden Stone (eighth at 157) and Garrett Osborne (eighth at 190) and Buckeye Valley’s Sam Jones (fourth at 190), Clay Whitaker (fifth at 165), Brayden Fox (sixth at 132), Lukas Smotherman (sixth at 138) Nathan Blackner (seventh at 285) and Nathan Brooks (eighth at 144).

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By Ben Stroup

[email protected]