West Virginia High
School Wrestling

West Virginia Wrestling -- March 1998 Forum (Part Four)

Questions and comments welcome!

If you have some bit of West Virginia wrestling information to share, or a question or comment, here is the place.
Let's keep the discourse positive!
(Note: Flames, trash talk, and other items deemed inappropriate will not be posted).

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March 31, 1998
From: EB
email: Berry@citynet.net comments: Read an article a couple months ago in a magazine entitled Mountaineer Illustrated. The article was entitled "Joy in the Journey", and pertained to Mike Mason's physical, mental, and spiritual preparation for wrestling and life in general. The article is a well written piece done by Brian Crane, who is a grad assistant in the WVU Sports Communications Office. I will get permission from the source, submit it to Mr. Miller, and if he deems it appropriate, maybe he'll post it somewhere on this website. The article hangs on my sons wall in his bedroom. Jeremy has always been fortunate enough to have great coaches that also instilled other qualities besides wrestling moves. Mike Litton of the Cougars, Ken Chertow, and Rick Hendrickson of Mercersburg Academy are a few of those men. Though he hasn't had as much contact with Mike Mason as he has with the aforementioned individuals, Mike has influenced him at his camp in Williamstown, and during his freestyle training in Parkersburg in the summer. Mike has been a tribute to his folks, his coaches, his hometown, and wrestling in the Mountain State. I'll bet he'll be successful in just about everything he pursues. Good luck and Thanks Mike!! For more contact with great clinicians and role models, send your kids to Ken Chertows and Mike Masons camps this summer...EB
Editor's note: Sure, If you can email me the article we will put it up somewhere ....

March 30, 1998
comments: Congrats to fellow West Virginians Mike Mason and Sam Kline of WVU and Mark Samples of Edinboro for qualifing for the 1998 NCAA Wrestling Touney. JOB WELL DONE

March 30, 1998
From: Chris Basford
email: UffiziCat2@aol.com
comments: I just got back from the finals of the 1998 High School National Championships, and it was something else. But I have to say that it was a big disappointment to not see some of West Virginia's finest wrestlers, not even show up to wrestle. Out of the ten of us there, we didn't fair as well as we expected. I give all the credit to Besedich on his performance. He lost a 10-1 decision to the 152 pound national champ, but I honestly believe that he was better than a few of the eight All Americans that finished in our weight. But brackets can help, or hurt in any tournament. Other participants, held their own. Gorby of North Marion, went 1-2, Cinalli of West Fairmont, went 0-2, Perdue of Independence, went 0-2, Lebec of Oak Glenn went 0-2, I went 1-2, Kirby of Jefferson, went 1-2, Sharp of Elkins, went 0-2, Henessey of Nicholas County, went 0-2, and Zack Kerns went 1-2. All and all, we really didn't do as bad as it looks, but our state finish was way out of it. We finished 42 of 47 states that were there. Last year we finished 17th. So in the future, if you ever qualified for the state finals, give it a shot. You never know what might happen if you give it a chance. Help the state keep a name for itself.

March 29, 1998
From: Nick Busick
email: bu118@ovnet.com
comments: On Sat. June 13, 1998, the 2nd Annual River Heritage & Regatta Bench Press/Deadlift Meet will be held in New Martinsville, WV. Several wrestlers competed last year. For more information contact Luke Iams @ 304-455-4384 or drop me a line. STAY STRONG!

March 28, 1998
From: WV Wrestling enthusiast
comments: I would like to wish the best of luck to the 10 WV state finalists who have elected to compete in the National High School tournament this weekend in Pittsburgh. In order to qualify for this tournament, a wrestler must be a senior, and must have made it into the state finals at least once in his (or her, because Erica Dye will be here someday) career.
These wrestlers are:
130 Adam Gorby NM
135 Mike Cinalli FS
140 Denny Lebec OG
152 Chris Basford GR
152 Ryan Besedich NM
152 J.D. Kirby JE
171 Anthony Perdue IN
189 Lonnie Sharp EL
275 Mike Hennessey NC
275 Zach Kerns EL

What a shame that more of the 35 graduating seniors who qualified for the tournament didnt elect to compete. 691 wrestlers from all over the US competing, but only 10 from the neighboring state of WV.

I would have particularly liked to have seen how Jason Johnson (PS), Ryan Zombro (JE), Jason Conaway (NM), Josh Craddock (RO), David Drennen (Wirt) and Jason Miller (Wirt) would have fared...

Those interested can follow the tournament at:

Leave a comment or forum post at the High School Nationals Comment Page at:

March 26, 1998
from: Wrestling Fan
comments: Could someone submit the results from the AAU Qualifer held at Brooke on 3/21/98 and/or any of the other qualifying tournaments that advance wrestlers to Millersville, PA on 04/4 & 04/05.

March 25, 1998
From: Tom Haislop
email: tatertots@usa.net
comments: I would be happy to help coach the bridgeport team ...if somebody would contact me...! I coached Clarksburg Notre Dame's small program one year and we wrestled 41 times! It is easy to get small groups scheduled for tournaments!

March 25, 1998
From: Chris Craddock
email: dcrad@accessmountain.net
comments: To Bob Wilson: I don't think anyone is ripping Chaplin. All they are saying is the two best wrestlers should meet in the finals.

March 25, 1998
If there is six minutes or 1 second left you should believe that you can win. If not, then you don't deserve to! A match is over only by tech. fall, pin, or out of time. If you are not teched but losing , I don't care how much time is left you can still win by PIN. Try anything, WIN AT ALL COSTS, but don't cheat yourself or wrestling as a sport .. That's what makes wrestling great, one needs to be in tip-top physical shape and MENTAL shape. Quitting is easy to do.........don't.

March 24, 1998
From: Bob Wilson
email: monarch@ovnet.com
comments: Why is everyone ripping on Chaplin? He made it to the finals and wrestled hard. He didn't think he could win with SIX seconds left. That doessn't mean that he shouldn't have been in the finals. I do think that there should be a way to seed the wrestlers but until there is just lay off the wrestlers.

March 24, 1998
From: Robert Hickman
email: SHickman@aol.com
comments: Thank you Jenny Sullivan for providing a website for information on the NCAA tournament. It was a great site and allowed me to stay current with the most recent information. Once again, thanks.

March 24, 1998
comments: It will be a long time before the State of West Virginia will ever see another wrestler as good Mike Mason.

March 23, 1998
From: Pakersburg Fan
comments: I think that the comments on the top four wrestling matches are correct besides one. Hedrick vs Chaplin, It should be Hedrick vs Craddock 3-2 decision in the semi-finals. It was the toughest match that these boys had all week, they both wanted to win which made it intense. Hedrick earned it and should be congratulated but I think you all are leaving out a very good kid on your forum. Craddock wrestled to the end and did not quit with 10 seconds to go. It was a good match

March 22, 1998
From: Midland fan
comments: I would like to recognize Midland's Super Six (Frazier, Nibert, Olson, Pearson, Copley, and Coffey) who endured the long four years of intense training. It's all paid off for you guys, and us younger guys will miss you all next season. You guys have showed us good attitudes, and showed what it takes to become a sucessful team. Knocking off HHS was something we have all worked towards through high school, but those returning are looking towards bigger and better goals. Once again, congratulations you guys, we will miss you dearly.

March 21, 1998
From: Steven R. Payne
email: pmpayne@inetone.net
comments: Reply to N.Marion wrestler
I would have e-mailed you back but you didn't leave address. If I made it sound like all the wrestler's from N.Marion were partying I apologize. But you know yourself there was partying going on and it didn't look good for the school. Maybe there was a bed check but how easy is that to get around. The coaches have to sleep also. Anyway Congratulations to N.Marion for a fine season and to Gorby. Good Luck next year.

March 21, 1998
From: N.Marion Wrestler
comments: TO the person who said that North Marion wrestlers were partying:
North marion took 12 wrestlers to the state tournament this year. On both Thursday and Friday each wrestler was checked before bedtime. On friday night 5 wrestlers needed a good night's sleep to perform in the morning. AS for the other 7 they were too disappointed to even think of partying. Some of the fans may have been very exuberant, but please do not give the North Marion wrestlers a bad name unless you know what really went on. Thank You!

March 20, 1998
From: David Hearst
email: DaveHearst@aol.com
comments: One of the 4 top matches of the tournament should be AAA 135 pounds Cinalli of Fairmont Senior and Wilson of Preston.... The match went into double-overtime and in the second over time it all came down to the flip of the coin, Wilson won flip and picked bottom and ended up getting up.

March 20, 1998
From: Jenny Sullivan E-mail: sullivj2@oak.cats.ohiou.edu
Information on three more 100-match winners has come my way. Bo Burgess and Josh Craddock, both of Roane County, reached the 100-win mark this year. Craddock did so in the first match of the season, and he finished his career with 145 wins, setting a record at Roane County High School. Garrett O'Neil is another wrestler who missed half of a season due to an injury, but it didn't stop him from reaching the 100-win milestone. Not only did he have an outstanding state tournament, he claimed his 100th victory in the same match that made him the state champion.

March 20, 1998
From: Jenny Sullivan
email: sullivj2@oak.cats.ohiou.edu
comments: Congratulations to Mike Mason of WVU for winning his first two rounds in the NCAA tournament! For those of you who haven't seen it, there's a wonderful website for the tournament. The address is http://www.csuohio.edu/athletics/ncaa/1998wr.html.

March 20, 1998
comments: Just wondering if anyone has an opinion on the top 4 matches of the AAA state Tournament. I know there were some outstanding ones but, just wanted to know what you thought. here are mine.
1. Ward VS Steele
2. Johnson VS Reed
3. Besedich VS Kirby
4. Hedrick VS Chaplin
Remember these are just opinions and hope I did not offend anyone. THANKS

March 19, 1998
From: Chris Basford
email: UffiziCat2@aol.com
comments: Whoever said that competition is dying down, they are wrong. This stuff about Johnson and Schindler will make you think. What is built around the 103,112, and 119 pound classes, are the future of high school wrestling. Names like Johnson, Schindler, Hughes, Wenmoth, Prather, Gandee, Hayhurst, Miller, Noel, Westbrook, Blankenship, ans Simmons. They will build the future of the sport. Think about five years ago. Names might ring a bell when you mention Buddy McKeen, Bryan Jones, or Ronnie Lamasters. They will never be forgotten, because they once were underclassman. This is the future wrestlers, and with age, comes experience. Competition never die's, it is only rebuilt. These are the ones who will do it.

March 19, 1998
From: A Loyal Fan
comments: In regards to Mr. Paynes surprises
I am a Parkersburg South fan and have been to every state wrestling tournament since 1975. I was never a wrestler but have always liked to to watch all levels of the sport. South fans do have a passion for the sport of wrestling but they can get carried away with it at times. There are a lot of the fans that leave after all the south kids get finished with a round in the state tournament. It can be disturbing at times when other kids are still wrestling and you are trying to watch the matches. I personally stay for every match in each round no matter who is wrestling and there is many more south fans who stay also. I will agree with you that the ones who did leave missed some very good matches.

I know it looks strange when the majority of our fans get up at the same time to leave when our kids are done, but this observation was made by a Wheeling Park fan sitting behind me this year. It was after Jason Johnson was finished and everyone you refered to was leaving they said it was great to see that many people stayed to watch one boy wrestle, when the team could not win. South fans are loyal to their kids without a doubt. Please do not judge all by the actions of some.

I would also like to congratulate North Marion on its team title this year.

March 18, 1998
From: Brian
email: BEREED1@aol.com
comments: Yes, it might be true that the AA-A champ happened to beat Alex this year. However, Alex was not wrestling well at the begining of the season. Towards the end of the season, he stepped up his intensity level and rose to the top. He won the AAA state championship. What more can you ask? It angers me when people try to compare wrestlers who are both good in their own right. It further angers me when people try to verbally cut someone down for their achievements. Wrestlers should be praised for such an accomplishment, not rebuked. In summary, I would like to say that Alex didn't win his championship for you to criticize him, he won it for himself and his family. You should just leave it at that and desist the onslaught of vicious remarks. How soon do the people forget that Alex beat Ash twice last year, once by technical fall and another by major decision? Maybe before you are too quick to come to falsely based presumptions of talent, you need to do some research to strengthen your arguments.
Editor's note: I try to edit the posts that come in, particularly from anonymous people. I take responsibilty for what goes on this page. I would not put up what I would consider a vicious remark. I presume this post is in response to the post from one "NATURE BOY" who made the following observation: ASH WENMOTH THE AA CHAMPION BEAT THE AAA CHAMP TWICE THIS YEAR THE FIRST TIME HE BEAT HIM WAS IN OVER TIME THE SECOND TIME WENMOTH WON BY A LARGER MARGIN!!!!!! Well, this is simply a statement of fact. I could not find a reason not to post this comment.

March 18, 1998
From: Ravenswood wrestler
comments: The Ravenswood fan should quit writing those submissions about Schindler and Johnson. It is embarrassing to our team. That was last season this is a new season now. There is no need -- words don't win a state championship, hard work does.

March 18, 1998
From: Steven Payne
email: pmpayne@inetone
comments: I was surprised at the state tournament this year at a couple of things
1.That all the P. South fans left after their wrestler finished, they missed some good matches.
2. That Thompson from S. Spring beat Zombro (50 and 0 going into the finals) so easy before he pinned him .
3.That North Marion fans and wrestler's partied all night before the finals at the motel, I'm glad we left after the finals. I think the party may have got out of hand Sat. night. Congratulations to all the wrestlers that were there this year. I enjoyed the tournament.

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Updated March 13, 1998