Jackson-Milton's Nick Dierkes was a state runner-up last season.
COLUMBUS -- Twenty-nine area athletes will compete in 13 of the 14 weight classes at this week's state wrestling tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at Ohio State University's Schottenstein Center.
Nick Bodnar (33-4) of Austintown Fitch High School returns for the third consecutive year, along with three other Falcon wrestlers making their first trip for the Division I competition.
Bodnar placed second at 135 pounds last Saturday in the district meet at Massillon Perry.
At the 2004 state meet, Bodnar lost an opening round match at 130 pounds, then climbed up out of consolation with two victories before bowing out with a 38-6 record. He lost twice at 119 pounds in 2003.
Going to the big meet for the first time will be the Falcons' freshman Tony Jameson, 103, (34-3) junior R.J. Donadee, 140, (32-8), and senior Anthony Gigliotti, 145, (33-4), who won consolation finals.
West Branch, Howland and Beaver Local each have three of the area's 13 athletes entered in Div. II.
Junior Andy Lamancusa, 140, of the Warriors takes the area's only unbeaten record (36-0) into the meet.
Two heavyweights returning to state are West Branch sophomore Nathan Sharp (32-2) and Howland senior Rob Holbert (36-1). Holbert placed sixth last year and Sharp was eliminated in consolation.
Max Pearce, 125, (23-9) who practices with the Boardman High wrestling team, is the first athlete at Poland to earn a state wrestling berth. He finished as runner-up at district.
Nick Dierkes, 145, (38-1) of Jackson-Milton has built a 112-3 record since his sophomore season. He lost the 140 championship match last year, snapping a string of 40 wins.
One of five Bluejays entered in the Div. III meet, Dierkes earned this year's state berth with a district title at 145 pounds.
Brookfield sophomore Tristan Thompson, 112, (38-5) is making his second trip to state. He finished fourth at district, losing a 10-5 decision to Bryce Freeman of Burton Berkshire.
Freeman eliminated Thompson (35-4) in a 2004 second-round consolation match 4-2 at 103 pounds.