London hosts wrestling sectional

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For the first time in recent memory, London High School is hosting a Central District Div. II sectional wrestling tournament. The action will start at 10 a.m. Feb. 16 and wrap up sometime that evening.

“For people who like wrestling, there should be some high calibre wrestlers coming in. It should be exciting to watch,” said Terry Nance, who as athletic director for London will serve as the tournament’s site manager.

Twelve of the Central District’s 23 teams will compete at London, including the second- and third-seeded programs in the district, Big Walnut and Hamilton Township. Luke Moore, who served as an assistant wrestling coach at London the past two years, is the head coach at Big Walnut this year.

The other teams coming to London, followed by their seeds, are: Amanda Clearcreek (6), Whitehall Yearling (8), New Albany (9), Jonathan Alder (10), Bishop Watterson (14), Granville (15), London (16), Bexley (17), Columbus South (21) and Eastmoor Academy (22). The Central District’s other 11 teams, including top-seeded DeSales, will wrestle at Licking Heights on the same day.

“For wrestling, our eight-team tournament is the biggest thing we do. So, this is a little bit bigger and has more riding on it,” Nance said.

From the London and Licking Heights sectionals, the top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Div. II district tournament to be held Feb. 22-23 in Steubenville.

At the London sectional, the day’s competition will be divided into two sessions. The first will start at 10 a.m. The second will start at 5 p.m. The gym will be cleared between sessions.

Admission is $6 per person per session. Nance said tournament workers will encourage people who want to see both sessions to buy two tickets at the morning session in order to avoid ticket lines in the evening.

London will use proceeds from the ticket sales to cover the expenses of running the tournament, including staffing, gym rental and utilities. Any remaining proceeds will go to the Central District. London will keep all money generated by the London Athletic Boosters’ concession sales.

Nance has already recruited several people to help as scorers, ticket sellers, and pass handlers, but said he may need more.

“There are a lot of coaches and wrestling people in the community who want to help out. The sectional gives an opportunity for them to do that, and they’ll have the best seats in the house,” he said.

Those helpers include former London wrestlers, volunteers who have helped with London’s home tournament in the regular season, and coaches from the high school, junior high and area youth teams.

As site manager, Nance is coordinating the staffing, security, ticketing, parking and paperwork. He recruited Dan Roberts, superintendent at Miami Trace and a longtime wrestling official, to run the tournament itself. This frees up London’s head wrestling coach, David Kennedy, and his staff to concentrate on their performance in the competition.

For more information about the London-hosted Div. II wrestling sectional or to inquire about working the tournament, call Terry Nance at the high school, 740-852-5705, ext. 1104.

West Jefferson, Madison Plains go to Johnstown

While London and Jonathan Alder are competing in the Div. II sectional tournament at London Feb. 16, Madison County’s other two high school wrestling programs, Madison-Plains and West Jefferson, will be competing in the Div. III sectionals Feb. 15-16 at Northridge High School in Johnstown.

West Jefferson is the No. 2 seed out of the 32 Div. III teams in the Central District. (Marion Pleasant is the top-seeded team.) Madison-Plains is the No. 11 seed. Both Madison County programs have state-calibre wrestlers.

Admission to the Johnstown sectional is $6 per session for everyone age 6 and up. Start time on Feb. 15 is 6:30 p.m. Start times on Feb. 16 are 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

For directions or other information, call Northridge High School at 740-967-6651.

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