Jeff Yoder Photo / iagameday.smugmug.com
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.
2017 Top 5 – 1. West Liberty 230; 2. Wilton 192; 3. Camanche 153; 3. Regina 153; 5. Tipton 123.
2A No. 3 West Liberty
Three-time defending RVC champion West Liberty is a heavy favorite to add a fourth consecutive title.
The Comets have depth and top-end talent highlighted by a pair of top-ranked wrestlers in sophomore 132-pounder Will Esmoil and senior 195-pound defending state champ Bryce Esmoil.
The battle is for second where Wilton will try to hold off the rest of the field for another runner-up spot.
Regina climbed from fourth in 2016 to third last year and has a pair of defending champions in Ryan Schott and Nick Milder.
Milder got a late start to the season due to injury but is rounding into form in time to make a run at a third RVC crown in three years.
The junior is ranked seventh at 170 pounds and is the lone ranked wrestler in his weight class.
Milder (22-2) is unbeaten against River Valley Conference foes the past two seasons and has never lost a regular season or conference tournament match to an RVC opponent.
Teammate Ryan Schott is seeking to win the RVC 160-pound title for the second straight season after an impressive performance at the conference tournament a year ago.
Schott (38-1) is ranked third at 160 pounds and brings a 14-match winning streak into Saturday’s tournament.
The 152-pound bracket features a pair of defending RVC tournament champs along with the top-ranked wrestler in Class 1A.
West Liberty senior Joey Kelly (37-2) and Camanche junior Baylor Crigger (37-2) both won RVC crowns a year ago but Wilton senior Trey Brisker (39-1) enters top-ranked and with wins over both wrestlers this season.
Crigger edged Brisker 6-3 in the 145-pound title match a year ago but Brisker won the most recent meeting between the two 8-5 last weekend at the Bob Lueders Invitational.
Kelley is the defending 152-pound champ and enters riding an 11-match winning streak that includes a 5-0 win over Crigger.
106: 1A No. 10 Aidan Noonan (Cascade) Fr.
113: 2A No. 3 Kain Luensman (Monticello) Fr.
126: 1A No. 7 Nolan Noonan (Cascade) Jr.
132: *2A No. 1 Will Esmoil (West Liberty) Soph.
2A No. 9 Chase Luensman (Monticello) Jr.
138: *2A No. 6 Coy Ruess (West Liberty) Jr.
1A No. 8 Cory Anderson (Wilton) Jr.
152: 1A No. 1 Trey Brisker (Wilton) Sr.
*2A No. 4 Joe Kelly (West Liberty) Sr.
*2A No. 6 Baylor Crigger (Camanche) Jr.
160: *1A No. 3 Ryan Schott (Regina) Sr.
170: *1A No. 7 Nick Milder (Regina) Jr.
195: *2A No. 1 Bryce Esmoil (West Liberty) Sr.
1A No. 10 Cameron Reddick (Wilton) Sr.
220: 2A No. 9 Kolby Snodgrass (Camanche) Sr.
*-Denotes returning RVC Champ