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Borsellino wins district title, Stoffer joins him in Columbus

By TODD REED Press-News Sports Editor Published: March 10, 2017 10:00 AM
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Sandy Valley's Francesco Borsellino's quest for a state title remained on track as he dominated all four of his opponents to win the Division II district title at Coshocton.

Having missed most of the season due to an injury suffered while playing football, the 285-pounder improved to 14-0 heading into the state tournament.

Making the trip to Columbus with Borsellino is teammate Hunter Stoffer. The senior finished fourth at 152.

Borsellino made quick work of his first-round opponent, pinning Chilicothe Southeastern's Iasiah Lafontain in just 51 seconds. He then major decisioned Mitchell Hurlbut of Fredericktown 12-3.

In the semifinals, Borsellino downed Tanner Kunz of Zane Trace 7-2.

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In the championship bout, Borsellino went up against Harrison Central's Brenton Stull. The two met in the sectional final a week earlier, with Borsellino prevailing by pin at 1:57.

Nothing changed in those seven days, as Borsellino won district title with a pin at 4:18.

In the championship first round, Stoffer dominated Alexander's Shadd Bailey, winning by tech fall 22-5. He then lost a tough 7-5 decision to Santino Kusic of Bridgeport.

Sent to the consolation bracket, Stoffer needed three straight wins to qualify to state.

The senior beat Logan Harper of West Jefferson 15-0 and Bobby Nye of Zane Trace 6-2.

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In the consolation semifinals and with a trip to Columbus on the line, Stoffer gutted out a 5-2 victory over Barnesville's Brylan Clouse.

Wrestling for third, Stoffer (28-5) lost to Kusic 11-3.

Also competing at districts were Cooper Hemming at 113, Jacob Newell at 126, and Caleb Blair at 145.

Newell went 2-2 over the two-day tournament, ending his sophomore season with a 33-13 record.

Hemming went 1-2 at districts, closing out his junior campaign at 25-14.

Blair, a junior, lost both his matches to finish up 23-22.

"We have been wrestling real well and I'm happy to see most of our team qualify to districts," commented Head Coach Greg Donahue. "Having one-fourth of our team qualify for the state tournament is great. On the flip side, we need to fill more weight classes to be able to compete for big accolades like a district title and become competitive in dual meet and tournament competitions.

"We have proven that we are able to develop wrestlers within our system. Our biggest battle is getting kids to come out and buy into our system, because we work hard and the season is long and grueling. We have a bright future ahead of us and I'm extremely proud to be a part of Sandy Valley wrestling."

The 2017 State Wrestling Championships will be held at the Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University March 9-11.

This is the second straight year Borsellino and Stoffer have qualified to the state finals. In 2016, Borsellino finished fifth at 285, while Stoffer lost both his matches at 138.


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