Newcomerstown resident Cole McVey has achieved an impressive wrestling record and now will be testing his skill and strength at the Ohio Athletic Committee (OAC) Grade School State Wrestling Championship.
McVey, an eighth grader at Newcomerstown Middle School, owned a stellar 31-0 record this past season for the Trojan wrestling squad. The mark eclipsed the old record of 18 single season victories set previously by Adam Donahue.
Now he will be competing as an independent in what is widely recognized as the state's best grade school level independent wrestling tournament (Ohio schools do not have a sanctioned state junior high wrestling event).
McVey finished fourth at district qualifying in what many consider the toughest of the eight district events held throughout Ohio. McVey lost his first match in the final 15 seconds of the third period, but then won his next four matches to position himself for a spot in the third-fourth place match.
However, because of an elbow injury he suffered, McVey's coach, Jack Lenhoff, decided to forfeit the final match, take fourth place, and begin to heal and prepare for the state tournament. The top eight wrestlers from each district advanced, bringing the total wrestlers in McVey's 120 pound weight class that he will be up against to 48. Overall, there will be 18 weight classes competing that are divided up into four divisions based on age. Lenhoff has coached McVey since he entered the biddy program six years ago.
"Cole is very good at what he does and doesn't like to lose, which makes him one of the potential favorites to win or finish very high in the tournament," said Lenhoff. "The district event that he competed in doesn't break down the wrestlers by school size like they do in high school tournaments. Cole was going against kids from Claymont, Lake Edward and others. He wasn't just going against kids from similar size schools and that's pretty impressive."
The seventh annual OAC Grade School Wrestling State Championships of Ohio will be March 21 and 22 in Marion at the Marion Veterans Memorial Coliseum.