Ohio National Guard News

 

Soldiers from across state do battle during
2017 Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament

Story and photos by Sgt. Christine Lorenz, 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Video by Staff Sgt. George B. Davis and Sgt. Jennifer Reynolds, Special Troops Command (Provisional)

A profile of Sgt. Jeff Fitch, who won the heavyweight division (205 lbs. and up) at the 2017 Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament, held Aug. 26, 2017, in Columbus, Ohio. Fitch is a resident of Fairborn, Ohio and a squad leader with the 811th Engineer Company (Sapper), in Amanda, Ohio.

 

The champions of all six weight divisions stand with Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr. (first row, fourth from right), Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army, and Command Sgt. Maj. Roger M. Jones (second row, second from left) after the Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament Aug. 26, 2017, at the Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler Armory in Columbus, Ohio. More than 80 Soldiers traveled from across Ohio to compete for championship belts in six weight classes.

 

Sgt. Jesse Malloy (left) of the 211th Maintenance Company, Newark, Ohio, kicks his opponent. Malloy, of West Lafayette, Ohio, placed second in the heavyweight division.

Spc. DeSean Oliver Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment, Stow, Ohio, performs an arm bar on Staff Sgt. Richard Scott of Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio during the lightweight division (140 pounds and under) championship match.

Spc. Anthony Skulina of the 296th Engineer Detachment prepares to kick his opponent, 1st Lt. Isaac Bray of Company D, 237th Support Battalion, in their welterweight division championship match

Capt. Jonas Bray (left) of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Columbus, Ohio, performs an arm bar.

Skulina chokes his opponent during a welterweight divsion match.

Bray (left) prepares to kick his opponent.

Sgt. Jeffrey Fitch (bottom) of the 811th Engineer Company holds his opponent, Maloy, in his guard during the heavyweight division championship match.

Fitch’s hand is raised following the three-panel judges' decision in the heavyweight division championship match.

 

 


COLUMBUS, Ohio (08/26/17) — More than 80 Soldiers traveled from across Ohio to fight their way to claim the championship belts in this year’s Ohio Army National Guard Combatives Tournament. The competition brought Soldiers together to one single drill floor at the Maj. Robert S. Beightler Armory to engage in hand-to-hand combat techniques learned through the Modern Army Combatives Program.

From early in the morning lasting until late in the afternoon, Soldiers battled Soldiers — kicks, throws and arm bars. Bouts packed with strength and struggle. The mats on the drill floor were full of energy the entirety of the day.

Many of the competitors have had some sort of background in combatives, whether through Modern Army Combatives training, to martial arts proficiency or high school/college wrestling experience. Some, however, came out with little to no experience.

“We encourage Soldiers to come out and compete regardless of their level of experience,” said Staff Sgt. Logan Whitaker, a master combatives instructor who served as a referee for this year’s competition. “The more the merrier.”

There were six weight divisions, with gold, silver and bronze medals awarded to the top three finishers in each. In addition to bragging rights, each division champion left the competition with a championship belt to wear until it is contested at next year’s competition.

Whitaker, who has competed in the tournament four times, said the competition is important because it builds self-confidence in Soldiers. When they step up to compete, they are demonstrating they are ready to fight to defend themselves and others.

Staff Sgt. Amanda Schoepflin, a certified combatives instructor who also served as a referee for the tournament, cited other reasons the competition is important. “It highlights the Modern Army Combatives Program. It instills esprit de corps and brings service members together to cheer for and support one another.

After all six championship bouts had ended, Maj. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio assistant adjutant general for Army, placed the coveted belts around the waists of six well-deserving champions. The same Soldiers who had battled one another were now congratulating one another on victories and well-fought fights, with an eye toward next year’s competition.

For more information, on the Ohio Army National Guard Modern Army Combatives Program and annual combatives tournament, visit (Military CAC access and Guard Knowledge Online account required):

https://states.gkoportal.ng.mil/states/OH/OHARNG/JFHQ/G3/Programs/SitePages/MACP-OH.aspx

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2017 OHARNG COMBATIVES TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Lightweight division (140 lbs. and under):

Gold
Rank/Name: Spc. DeSean Oliver
Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment, Stow
Hometown: Kent

Silver
Name: Staff Sgt. Richard Scott
Unit: Army National Guard Staff Element Joint Force Headquarters-Ohio, Columbus
Hometown: Pataskala

Bronze
Name: Sgt. Trevor Hale
Unit: 737th Support Company, Stow
Hometown: Kent


Welterweight division: (141-155 lbs.):

Gold
Rank/Name: Spc. Anthony Skulina
Unit: 296th Engineer Detachment, Mansfield
Hometown: Streetsboro

Silver
Name: 1st Lt. Isaac Bray
Unit: Company D, 237th Support Battalion, Hamilton
Hometown: Wilmington

Bronze
Name: Spc. Zachary Coleman
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment, North Canton
Hometown: Kent


Middleweight division: (156-170 lbs.):

Gold
Rank/Name: Cpl. Ray Fisher
Unit: 811th Engineer Company, Amanda
Hometown: Columbus

Silver
Name: Pfc. Michael Filiaggi
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, Bowling Green
Hometown: Elyria

Bronze
Name: Spc. Shawn Marshall
Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 837th Engineer Battalion, Springfield
Hometown: New Philadelphia


Cruiserweight division: (171-180 lbs.):

Gold
Rank/Name: Capt. Jonas Bray
Unit: Company B, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, Columbus
Hometown: Wilmington

Silver
Name: Sgt. Terry Roney
Unit: OHARNG Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Columbus
Hometown: Blacklick

Bronze
Name: Spc. Curtis Miller
Unit: Company B, 1st Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, Bowling Green
Hometown: Columbus Grove


Light heavyweight division: (181-205 lbs.):

Gold
Rank/Name: Sgt. Zachery Zehender
Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 437th Military Police Battalion, Columbus
Hometown: Crooksville

Silver
Name: Cpl. Cody Taylor
Unit: Company D, 237th Support Battalion, Hamilton
Hometown: Liberty Township

Bronze
Name: Sgt. Robert Maldonado
Unit: OHARNG Recruiting and Retention Battalion, Columbus
Hometown: Cuyahoga Falls


Heavyweight division: (205 lbs. and up):

Gold
Rank/Name: Sgt. Jeffrey Fitch
Unit: 811th Engineer Company, Amanda
Hometown: Fairborn

Silver
Name: Staff Sgt. Jesse Maloy
Unit: 211th Maintenance Company, Newark
Hometown: West Lafayette

Bronze
Name: Pfc. Sean Dinan
Unit: 323rd Military Police Company, Toledo Youngstown
Hometown: Youngstown

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