Waterford senior Austin Lang and Caldwell senior Kameron Rayner each is a veteran of the state tournament wrestling wars in Columbus.
Last year in Ohio Division III, the Wildcat standout did not place in the 126-pound weight division, but the Redskins' star did, earning All-Ohio status with a seventh-place finish in the 138-pound weight class.
This winter, Lang and Rayner are both competing at 132.
Photo courtesy of Jessica Zimmer
Waterford’s Austin Lang, top, makes a move against an opponent during Division III sectional action at Alexander last weekend. Lang finished as a sectional champ.
This begs the question, have the Washington Countian and Noble Countian ever gone head to head on the mat before?
"Nope," said Waterford head wrestling coach Scott Zimmer. "I really hope it's in the (2014) district finals."
Both Lang and Rayner were a sectional champion in last weekend's two-day tournaments at Alexander High and Barnesville High, respectively. And, the only way they'll ever face each other would be if each advances in the D3 Heath district wrestling championships, which are scheduled to start at 4 p.m. Friday and continue at 9 a.m. Saturday.
With each local wrestler in different brackets, Lang (39-2) will be paired up against Catholic Central senior Blake Kiedrowski (32-10) in his opening bout, while Rayner (42-3) will be pitted against Centerburg senior Willam Thatcher (28-13).
Lang and Rayner each would have to win three matches to reach the showdown tilt.
If Lang and Rayner do happen to meet, the nice thing about it would that both would be state qualifiers, no matter who won or lost in the district final as the top 4 in each weight class gets to wrestle at the Value City Arena, Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University Feb. 27-28 and March 1.
But, needless to say, it's a tough district road to hoe - and nothing of course is guaranteed..
"We are young as a team, so I think this will be a good experience for them," said Caldwell coach Tom Brown. "With having seven district qualifiers, I think we can win some matches and make some noise team-wise.
"Overall we have some decent matchups. I told them that you don't want to finish fourth at sectionals because you do not want to match up with a sectional champ, and winning the first match at districts is huge on the road to state."
On Caldwell's first day at district, 106-pound freshman and sectional fourth-place finisher Adam Schocking (22-15) will open up against Northridge junior and sectional champion Jake Adkins (42-4); 120-pound senior Tyler Wiley (39-7) and sectional third-placer will face Pleasant freshman and sectional runner-up Preston Smith (31-9); 126-pound sophomore and sectional runner-up Kolby Rayner (33-7) will square off against Wellston sophomore and sectional third placer Mitch Foughty (13-11); 182-pound freshman and sectional third-placer Sheldon Archer (14-8) will take on Madison senior and sectional runner-up Robert Miller (30-17); 195-pound sophomore and sectional third-placer Clay Poling (31-12) goes against Southeastern senior and sectional second-place Dezmond Perkins (28-3); and 220-pound junior and sectional fourth-placer Tyson Cartell (21-9) matches up with Garaway junior and sectional champion Austin Yackey (21-6).
Waterford's other district qualifier was Blake Heiss (27-13), and the junior Wildcat will be paired up against Coshoction sectional champion Dom Johns (39-3).
Scott Adams-coached Belpre qualified eight to the Heath district, and three were sectional champs - junior Manney Tullius (138 pounds, 36-5)), sophomore Jake Hall (5-5, 170), and senior Jamie Barrett (182, 31-10), who all will be pitted against sectional fourth-place finishers.
Tullius will be facing Cardington junior Lane Waddell (24-13); Hall takes on Liberty Union senior Gabe Delaney (29-16); and Barrett is paired against Newcomerstown senior Mitchell Meeks (37-5).
As for the other Golden Eagles, it's sophomore 113-pounder runner-up Gavin Stalnaker (27-9) vs. sophomore third-placer Alex Anderson (24-12) of Toronto; senior 120-pounder and No. 4 Zachary Davis (21-21) vs. junior No. 1 Carson Mills (36-3) of Fredericktown; senior 145-pound runner-up Ethan Wiggers (32-11) vs. No. 3 senior third-placer Austin Glasscock (36-10) of Centerburg; sophomore 160-pounder and No. 3 Matthew Colvin (23-12) vs. senior runner-up William Sturm (34-7) of Utica; and senior 220-pound runner-up Hayden Lowe (18-13) vs. sophomore third-placer Mike Mollohan (30-10) of Mount Gilead.
Of Belpre's wrestlers, Stalnaker was a state qualifier at 106 last year.
Monroe Central's Rodney Richter (30-6) also advanced to Columbus at 113.
At the Heath district, the junior Seminole sectional champ will be weighing in at 120 and facing No. 4 Josh Heinmiller (24-16) of Hartley.
Also, for Monroe Central, it's senior 195-pound runner-up Hunter Conner (20-9) vs. No. 3 senior Brandon Foughty (35-3) of Wellston; sophomore 220-pound second-placer Tanner Potts (32-5) vs. No. 3 senior Josh Ackley (15-9) of Coshocton; and sophomore third-placer Justin Kilburn (13-4) vs. senior runner-up Justin Coon (23-11) of Nelsonville-York.
Junior David Freeman (16-11), Shenandoah's lone district representative at 170, will be wrestling sectional sophomore champion Matt McFarland (35-10) of Union Local.