West Virginia
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West Virginia Wrestling -- November 1997 Forum (Part Three)

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November 27, 1997
From: Jenny Sullivan email: reklus@juno.com
comments: It was great to hear from "Mat Maid". It's always nice to hear from females wrestling fans out there. It was very frustrating for me when I attended Parkersburg South because I was one of the most loyal female wrestling fans, but because one had to be "invited" to be a mat maid back then, I wasn't allowed to take part. (At least I did get to keep the books for my second favorite sport - baseball, but it was the same situation. Two of us were serious about the sport and the rest were there to enjoy the "scenery".) Mat maids have come a long way in the past several years. The young ladies who are mat maids today for the most part are interested in wrestling and know what they're doing. As for South, I applaud Coach Tim McCartney and Mat Maid Advisor Pam Daggett, for requiring written exams for acceptance into the mat maid group. South has a great group of girls and their support of the wrestlers is unbeatable.

November 27, 1997
From: Austin Weser
email: yostburncycle@yahoo.com
comments: I would like to hear a little more about the upper weight classes. All you hear about is 189/Sharp 215/Zebuhr and 275/Kerns. Personally from what I know, Daggett has the best shot at 189. I don't think people remember that he was just a sophomore, and was very light. I heard he was around 170lbs. at the state tourney. Yes, Zebuhr is probably the most experienced wrestler at 215, but there are others that have been working real hard in the off season. Such as Ochap, Ashby, Blair, and myself. At 275, it sounds like the only person at the weight class this year is Kerns. There has to be another contender.

November 27, 1997
From: J.C. Chirgwin
comments: I do not usually get on the internet or anything, but guys on my team were telling me that my name was in a couple of the polls. I was looking at these polls and wondering how and why anyone would make a poll before the season started. I am not complaining about these polls, since I am picked to win the state in most of them but I question the point of them. I also don't see why wrestlers from CM and HHS get on here and talk about beating each other. I am sure we will find out who is better soon enough. That is all. Thank You.

November 23, 1997
From: Vicent Longshanks fan
comments: I would like to strongly agree with Mr. Longshanks predictions, even though his name my throw you off he seems like he really knows what he is talking about. I hope that we have alot of fans at the State this year! I know I will be there cheering on my team. And it is not the Knights!! (thank god) Well I hope to see some more predictions. Later.

November 21, 1997
From: Buffalo Bill Cody
comments: In response to the matmaid's comment, that is great to hear about your love for wrestling. It is true a lot of them are just interested in getting dates, but I think there are a lot who want to be there that give up their free time, and yes I like your ending - GO HIGHLANDERS.
I too will say that and I hope Huntington High's wrestling team has the same kind of sucess as their football team against Midland's football team. So good luck to the matmaids that are not there just to pick up dates. And response to fan down south, Thorpe can compete with the big boys. I think he could do well in the states at even 135 lbs but will probably not wrestle there. I would pay just to see Thorpe vs Gorby. Well good luck highlanders!!!!!!!!!
till next time this is buffalo bill cocy riding off

November 21, 1997
From: Ken Chertow
email: kchertow@vicon.net
comments: Camp of Champs at my Olympian Wrestling School in Huntington is filled for this weekend. However, I am welcoming all comers of all ages who just want to come for a live wrestling scrimmage at 1 pm Sunday. There is no fee. Your parents must be present to fill out a waiver of liabiltiy form. You must call 304-522-9623 to preregister on Saturday if you plan to attend and get mat time on Sunday. Also, I only have a couple home wrestling mats left for sale in my gym. Last chace to save $100 shipping fee that you will owe if you order direct from manufacturer. A brand new 30x30 is also available. The Olympian Wrestling School is located 2 miles off the I-64 exit #15 (29th street exit).

November 21, 1997
From: AA FAN
comments: I heard yesterday that Jason Hayhurst from Ritchie Co. transfered to Parkersburg High. If anyone knows if this is true give some information please.

November 20, 1997
From: Jason Ward
comments: ......In response to the question about my weight, I just did a lot of weight lifting over the summer. As soon as season was over, I took the incentive to lift weights hardcore. I didn't worry too much about my weight over the summer, wrestling anywhere from 165 to 180. I never imagined that I would put on so much weight, and actually I kind of enjoy wrestling at a heavier weight!

November 20, 1997
comments: I thank whoever said "Thanks" to all the matmaids.... and I agree that each team should be able to send thier own matmaids to the state.... as a former team statistician, and a lover of wrestling, I hated working the state tourney and WSAZ with a bunch of girls who were only interested in getting a date!!!
The entire state tournament would be improved drastically if girls who understood what was going on were working the tables. Also good luck to all those wrestlers out there as the season is getting under way!!!! I won't make any predictions, because as we all know.... no one can predict how February will turn out!!! I have seen some crazy things before!!! But, I will say, GO HIGHLANDERS!!

November 20, 1997
comments: I think it is great experience to have freshman wrestling seniors. However, having a talented freshman on your team may put schools that are only 10-12 at a disadvantage in team tournaments. So, perhaps they should be allowed to have the ninth graders come up and wrestle for them!!!! Also, if Jason ward from CM ever reads this, or if anyone knows ... how did he get so big!!!! From what I can tell he will be pressing it to get to 152. I think wrestling in heavier weights will be more challenging for him. It looks like he may be brawling it out with another Bexfield all year!!!!!

November 20, 1997
From: Jason Ward
comments: In response to the question about my performance in Fargo, ND....I had a decent one. Cutting very little weight, I wrestled 165, perhaps I should have dropped to 154, a little late for that now. Anyways, I went 2-2, losing to a 3x Texas State Champion at 160 lbs. and a 3x Minnesota State Champion at 171 pounds (an early signee at Oklahoma State). Both were close matches. In my second loss to the Texas wrestler, I was leading 5-4, and was thrown into a questionable touch fall, ending my tournament. Oh well, I shouldn't have let myself get tossed. However, I learned a lot from the experience, and I believe that I will definately be a contender for All-American status next summer, after tuning up my freestyle skills. I believe I had around 100 guys in my weight class, making this probably the toughest tournament in the world.

November 20, 1997
From: vincent longshanks
comments: Dearest unidentified
... (I noticed that) .. you left half of your poll blank. (Additionally) Bonasso will be at 112 most definately. If he were going to 119, I think you were over estimating him. There is another person who will remain nameless, that would be ranked ahead of him.

November 20, 1997
From: Parkersburg South Fan
comments: Yes I saw the fan's comment about, what I said about Cabell Midland. I never asked if Milton had any state champs which I know they have. I also know Mr. McCracken was the first champion at his high school and up until Mike Ball in 1986, all the other wrestlers you mentioned won the state while Milton was a double a school. Mike Ball was the first triple a champion for Milton, thank you. Mr. Milton fan -- yes I checked my stats. (In regards to) Midland not having a state champion, I guess you don't remeber Jason Ward winning in 1996? Did barboursville ever have a state champion that came up thru the Cabell County school system? Oh I rember that article Jenny Sullivan was talking about about hell freezing over. The last I heard it was pretty warm down there so lets go Patriots and "show us the title yet again." We are the champions my friend and we'll keep on fighting till the end!!!!!!!!!
show us the title!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Editor's note: Er, um, lest there be any more animosity stirred up here, Jenny was quoting from a newspaper article from a few years ago which asked the question "When will the AAA State title leave Parkersburg." Possible answers given a few years ago concerned climate changes in the netherword, and "When WVU plays Marshall in Football ...." So, who knows .......

November 20, 1997
From: Down South Fan
comments: I think that 125 will be a very tough weight class. In the rankings I saw in one that Frazier from CMHS was ranked first and some one brought to attention that Walters would be wrestling 125. I think that a lot of people are over looking Thorpe. If I recollect he beat Frazier twice last year, both were close matches but he did win. I agree that Gorby is a tough wrestler but just cause Thorpe missed half a season don't count him out of it. If I'm not mistaking in an earlier forum he said he beat Rhodes of Sheldon Clark and Frazier in an off-season tournament, and Buffalo Bill Cody said that he was 20-0. But I do agree very much with Mr.Longshanks predictions, it looks like he really knows his wrestling.

November 20, 1997
From: AA FAN
comments: Does anyone know what weight class Josh Cross will be in? He is a tough wrestler and I'm looking forward to watching him wrestle.

November 20, 1997
From: vincent longshanks
comments: It seems that people are already predicting individual state champions, so I will do the same! This is how it will really go!! LOOK CLOSELY!!!!

Team champ: Parkersburg South by a hair.
Runner-up: John Marshall,North Marion, Huntington, Cabell Midland, and Fairmont Senior will all be up there but I am not going to pick anyone yet.(especially in fear of HHS or CM getting angry with me!!!!)

November 20, 1997
From: Buffalo Bill Cody
comments: regarding all the previous polls why did someone leave Jason Ward off of some of the earlier ones? Jason Ward is a two time state finalist and 1996 135 pound state champ, nationally ranked, he will be back in the finals again! Another wrestler I was wondering about - NATHAN BEXFIELD-HHS, defending regional champion. BEX had a good year should have placed at the states, but he did have 2 wins over state runner up William Steele Roane County, and also wrestled up in weight a few times and beat Olson from Cabell Midland, the 152lb regional champion. Even though Nathan may not have the reputation as Jason Ward he will make noise this year and I would not be supised to see him in the state finals!!!!
buffalo bill cody riding off!!!!!!!

November 19, 1997
comments: I was just wondering how Jason Ward did out at Fargo, ND.

November 19, 1997
From: Scron
comments: In regard to freshman wrestling seniors, as a freshman who moved to the varsity level after the WSAZ tourney, I can say that it is tough; but if you can't hack it don't wrestle varsity! The whole point of of moving to the varsity level is to get some good wrestling experience, and that includes wins and loses.

November 19, 1997
comments: Here are my predictions on the AAA state championships.
103 Regalbutto HHS
112 Bonasso FSHS
119 Open
125 Frazier CMHS
130 Gorby NMHS
135 Hedrick FSHS
140 Cinalli FSHS
145 Craddock RC
152 Besedich NMHS
160 Ward CMHS
171 Nibert CMHS
189 Conaway NMHS
215 Zebur BU
275 Kerns Elkins

Team Champions
1 Cabell Midland
North Marion
2 Fairmont Senior
3 Parkersburg South
4 Huntington
5 Roane County
6 Wheeling Park
7 Parkersburg
8 Jefferson
Remember Just predictions so write back and tell me what you think. Thanks.

November 19, 1997
From: Joe Cool comments: Angelo and Matman were close on their AAA individual rankings, but this is how it is going to go:
103 Reed PP
112 Bonasso FS
119 Chirgwin HHS
125 Gorby NM
130 Newberry PHS
135 Chaplin JM
140 Craddock RC
145 Johnson PSHS
152 Ward CM
160 Wilson JM
171 Rickard PP
189 Sharp EHS
215 Zebuhr BU
275 Kerns EHS

Team Champion: Parkersburg South (But not by much)
look for teams like John Marshall, Huntington, and North Marion to give stiff competition.
Also, Matman, Frazier is going to 130 for sure. Walters will be at 125. Also, who is Kotzen of JM? At 152, Ward may not be there, he is a little heavy!!!

November 19, 1997
From: Homer Southwood
comments: I noticed PHS is trying to see how committed the loyal South fans are by scheduling the PHS-South duel on Thursday, Dec 19th where South's schedule has it on Wed. Dec 17th. My calander shows Dec 19th to be on a Friday...
Don't forget Roane County's Steele and Craddock when predicting state title contenders.
South's title chances goes with performances of their upper weight classes. If their upper weights can't produce at states, don't expect the lower weights to carry them.
Another suggestion for the State Tourny: Honor the Mat Maids. The Mat Maids around the State do a great job in supporting the sport. They dedicate a lot of free time and are very knowledgable. Each School should be allowed to submit their outstanding Mat Maid to be a volunteer worker at the State Tournament. Being able to work the State Tournament would be like making the All-State team for the Mat Maids. The State Tournament should be represented by the whole State, not just the Huntington area.
Editor's note: Hmmmm, some sort of typo on the schedules, no doubt. I'm sure someone out there can help us sort this out.

November 19, 1997
From: AA FAN
comments: Thanks for the AA indiv. poll but I think Johnson will move up to 112 and Prather will stay at 103 to win the 103 Championship that he lost last year. But they have problems. Ashley Gandee 103 and Adam Schindler 112.

November 18, 1997
From: Jenny Sullivan
E-mail: reklus@juno.com
I've had limited access to the Internet lately, and boy have I had a lot of catching up to do with you guys!! Let me just say that it's so good to have Mexicano back in top form. Your comments always make me laugh! I wanted to make a few comments of my own on some topics I've seen appear in the last few weeks.

First of all, Scott Moore coached a freestyle wrestling team this summer, and for their first year I think everything went well. One of the champions, Josh Dearth, is a junior at South this year and, barring unforseen circumstances, should easily make first string. Speaking of South, all you non-South fans out there will enjoy this tidbit. I found an old article from 1994 that asked the question, "When will the state wrestling title be taken from the city of Parkersburg?" Among a couple of answers that were the literary equivalent to "When Hell freezes over" was this answer: "When Marshall and WVU meet in football." Hmmm.....

And while we're on the subject of the city of Parkersburg, I don't like to make predictions, but I just want to say that I think the Parkersburg Big Reds will shock a lot of people this year. They've got some good kids returning and some great sophomores coming in. Now if they could just grab some of those football players and field a complete team...

As for individual predictions, I know none of us can really make serious predictions until the season starts, but it is interesting to see whom everyone's come up with. I think enough has been said already on the subject of AAA, so I'm not going to rehash that, but I will give my opinions on top returning wrestlers in A/AA.
103 Jimmy Johnson (Calhoun County)
112 Nick Prather (Winfield)
119 Jason Hayhurst (Ritchie County)
125 Mike Miller (Wirt County)
130 David Drennen (Wirt County)
135 Jason Miller (Wirt County)
140 Denny Lebec (Oak Glen)
145 Jerry Crow (Oak Glen)
152 Justin Underwood (Braxton County)
160 Adam Blevins (Iaeger)
171 Mike Toothman (Ritchie County) or Kris Villers (Wirt County)
189 Whitney Vanater (Winfield)
215 John Clyburn (Liberty Raleigh)
275 Luke Salmons (Ravenswood), Alex McClung (Oak Glen), or Jeremy Boatright (Calhoun County)
Other names to watch for: Michael Davisson (South Harrison), Eric McCartney (Calhoun), Morgan Sisk (Petersburg), Chad Purpura (Bishop Donahue), Joey Haynes (Ritchie), Josh Kuykendall (Frankfort), Keithen Branch (St. Marys), Brandon Kupfer and Garrett O'Neil (both from Cameron).

For those of you who don't follow A/AA, you've been missing some great wrestling lately. (I'm lucky that I live in an area where I can see some of the best of both divisions.) Jimmy Johnson proved to everyone last year that a freshman 103-pounder can beat up on the best of them, regardless of age. He only lost one match last year and is well on his way to a four-time state championship. Mike Miller of Wirt County is just two years away from the same feat. David Drennen of Wirt could have easily been in the same position. He was DQ'd his freshman year on a very questionable illegal slam call. He later pinned the same oponent and placed third in the tournament. Instead, if all goes well, he'll "settle" for a three-time state championship this year. The heavyweights should be interesting to follow this year. Luke Salmons defeated Alex McClung in overtime for third place last year. Jeremy Boatright registered three pins in under 60 seconds, only to be beaten by both McClung and Salmons, so we'll see how things go this year.

Well, the season is fast approaching, and I can't wait to make the trip to Ona to see South and Cabell Midland battle it out. Until then, good luck (and good grades) to all of this year's wrestlers!

November 18, 1997
From: unidentified
comments: Hears my predictions for the individuals
103-Regulbuto Hedgesville high
112-Ford FSHS
119-Bonasso FSHS
125 don't know yet
130 don'know yet
135 Cinalli
140 Hedrick
145 johnson
The rest I don't know yet but for the team title it will be between Midland and FSHS

November 18, 1997
From: Ken Chertow email: kchertow@vicon.net
comments: I will be conducting a Camp of Champs this weekend at my Olympian Wrestling School in Huntington. Lots of out of state studs will be there. Some of the mats I used for Olympian Summer Camp are still available at low prices. I have them stored in Huntington. I also have 10x10 home mats available as well. Contact me if you are interested in learning more details about this weekend's camp or buying mats. 814-466-3466.

November 17, 1997
From: Patrick Morrison
email: morris45@marshall.edu
comments: Response to Matman: I don't believe I was ever beaten by this Chaplin (JM) fellow. However, in the state tourney last season I was spanked by Josh Whipkey (JM). That must be who you are talking about. I agree he will be very competitive. But, with powerhouses like Thorpe (Huntington) and Hedrick (FS) in the middle-weight range, he will have a very difficult road to win the State (but he is quite capable).
As for the debate over an age limit for 103 and 112 lb. weight classes. I believe for a Freshman or Sophomore to call himself a High School State Champion, then he should defeat Junior and Senior wrestlers. If you think it is an unfair system, maybe we should re-evaluate whether or not freshmen should be allowed at the varsity level. I know my freshman season in the State tournament I was pinned in the first round and "tech-ed" in the second; and it provided valuable wrestling experience for me to go out and do just about the same thing my Senior year.

November 17, 1997
From: EB
comments: In regards to discussion on the importance of a coach:
In youth wrestling, I believe the ingredients for success are a knowledgeable coach, a dedicated wrestler, supportive parents, strength training (chin-ups and pushups), and good competition in the practice room and at tournaments. Once a student gets to high school however other factors enter the picture...girlfriends, grades, and other obvious cultural activities that adolescents encounter. If these "outside" factors affect the student athlete in any way, he will never be as effective on the mat as he could be. The individual that can transcend the traditional role of "coach" and can mentor an athlete in all aspects of his life, will send a wrestler out on the mat that is ready to grapple his opponent, not all the other troubles that teens encounter. The truly successful coaches that win year in and year out have acquired the personal skills necessary to coach technique and psychology!!

November 17, 1997
From: Homer Southwood
comments: Suggestions on Improvements to the State Tournament.
1) Reserved Seating. It is unfair to the fans who spend dollars and vacation time for three days at the state tournament to lose their seats to fair weather fans who come only to the finals.
2) Move Semifinals to the far mats. Since the hockey arena has taken out many front row seats and the mats are pushed against the walls, it is impossible to see the action that is happening near this wall from the stands.
3) Let Marshall University Student Trainers handle injuries. MU has been providing student trainers for years. If a preexisting injury is known, it can be relayed to the student trainers in the staging area so that the trainer can accompany the wrestler to the mat. Too many times I have seen wrestlers and coaches abuse the injury time and use it for a water break and catch their breath. With student trainers being provided, they should be taken advantage of and allowed to use their knowledge on injuries. Coaches should not be allowed near the athlete during injury. Leave the injuries to the professionals.

November 17, 1997
From: AA fan
comments: Can someone give an individual poll on AA-A please, and does anyone have any information on Scott Bush from Ravenswood.

November 17, 1997
From: Buffalo Bill Cody
comments: I agree to a point about Lemaster's comment about it is the kids that make the coach greater. I can take a look at the place winners board and name at least 5 wrestlers in the last 8 years that were not the greatest of athlete but they made all-state and some great wrestlers that had more talent than some of the other place winners but did not make all-state. Keeping in mind about great coaching and the kids, I mean the coaches are there to teach them moves, techniques, etc, etc -- but this applies to any wrestler or any person in sports or any walk of life -- even teachers. A very smart and talented man once said "KNOWING IS NOT ENOUGH - WE MUST APPLY. " What he ment by that is, it is great to learn knowledge, to study and everything, but if you don't do anything with it (the knowledge) it is useless. A coach is one who ultimately motivates the athlete (as long as the athlete is then willing) into applying the knowledge they have learned . And the same great man also said, and once again this applies to people in all walks of life, for the people who say they wish they would have done this our that "WILLING IS NOT ENOUGH - WE MUST DO." What this means is "that it is fine to wish for things (like a championship) to want for things to hope and to dream, but if you don't do anything about realizing your dreams they are not going to happen. So good luck to the Highlanders, and see you guys in 2 and a half weeks!!!!! as buffalo bill has 2 and a half more weeks left here, I have seen some pretty good wrestling down here, in my 2 and a half years but can't wait to see"the mountain states best" on a regular basis!!!!!
buffalo bill riding off again

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Updated November 20, 1997