Put a big target on somebody's chest and someone is bound to hit the bulls eye. That "somebody" was WVMAT #1 ranked Blennerhassett Jr. High and that "someone" is WVMAT #5 Edison Jr. High. Edison revenge their early season lost to Blennerhassett in the Wood County Southside Duals (BJHS 50, EJHS 30) and salvaged victory in their regular season showdown, 40-35.
The matchup went back and forth during the first four matchups, then Blennerhassett slowly started pulling away and seemed to have a comfortable lead when BJHS Scott Wilkenson reversed an early season lost to EJHS Robert Beatty with a pin in the third period. Blennerhassett had a three match, 14 point lead with 4 matches remaining. EJHS Kyle Walters cut the lead to 10 points with a major decision and teammate Curt Radcliff reduced it to 4 points with a third period pin. Blennerhassett's Clash Champion Mark Freed then went to battle Edison's 1998 County Champion Danny Carpenter. Carpenter built an early lead but Freed's "never say die" spirit kept fighting back, keeping the spectators' tension at a high level. Carpenter finally emerged victorious with a 12-8 decision, narrowing the team score to 1 with the heavyweights left. Edison's Wes Young then put Edison over top with a second period pin. A key win for Edison was when Andy Eaton dropped down to 95 pounds and defeated previous unbeaten Drew Munson. Congratulations to Edison on their victory and to Blennerhassett for being a worthy opponent.
With the victory, Edison is in command of winning the Wood County League with a 6-0 record and has regular season matchups left with Hamilton Jr. High and Belpre Middle. They will matchup with Blennerhassett at the County Tournament, January 25-26 and will be favored with Blennerhassett and Beckley-Stratton at the WSAZ January 21-22.
Also, in Wood County League action, Williamstown Jr. High showed they should not be forgotten as they tied WVMAT #8 Jackson Jr. High, 39-39. Williamstown will try to overcome the four forfeits they give up, and show their strength as a tournament team at the WSAZ.
WVMAT #2 Harpers Ferry continued their roadshow dominance by winning the Spencer Duals and raising their season record to 30-0. Their winning scores were 77-12, 72-9, 67-12 and 78-6. They sent twelve wrestlers to the champion round and crowned six champions. Wirt County Middle placed second at the Spencer Duals.
Also from the Eastern Panhandle, their is another team that needs recognition and that is Charles Town Jr. High. Charles Town overcame three forfeits before succumbing to Harpers Ferry 40-33. Charles Town would be a welcome addition to any tournament and I am looking forward to seeing more results and individuals accomplishments from this team.
WVMAT #3 Moundsville Jr. High flexed their muscles and won their rubber match with WVMAT #6 Sherrard Jr. High with a 53-15 victory. Moundsville also claimed dual meet victories over Bridge Street and Triadelphia.
From the South/South Central, WVMAT #4 Beckley-Stratton ran away with the Andrew Jackson Tournament, winning by 61 points over Runner-up Ripley Freshmen. Beckley-Stratton claimed four individual titles in their victory and several of their top wrestlers have moved down in weight which should help them at the WSAZ. Over 20 teams competed at the Andrew Jackson tournament.
WVMAT #7 Cammack appears to have taken the weekend off, I assumed for weigh-in purposes, but should be fresh and hungry for the WSAZ and will be tough to knock off their perch as the top Middle School. Also from the southwest section of the state, Milton primed up for the WSAZ by crossing the river to Gallipolis to win the Gallia Academy Duals over mostly Ohio teams. Congratulations Milton.
I've had no report from the North Central Teams as they participated in the Cheat Lakes Duals this past weekend. I believe that WVMAT #9 Cameron and WVMAT #10 East Fairmont may have participated in these duals.
Finally, we would like to welcome our newest members to the WVMAT Jr. High/Middle Schools Page and that is our readers from the Northern Panhandle. Results have come in from their area and we learn that they compete in the Buckeye-Mountaineer Athletic Conference (BMAC). A league of 14 teams form Ohio and West Virginia and possibly a team or two from Pennsylvania. Congratulations goes out to Oak Glen, which I believe is a Middle School, for winning the 1999-2000 Buckeye-Mountaineer Conference Championship back in December. They won their crown 198.5 to 168 over Runner-up Steubenville. Oak Glen is worthy of being mention on top ten rankings within the State. Hopefully we will see the results of the recent Steubenville Invitational soon.
As our readership continues to grow, the "Top 8 per Weight" on the Who's Who List has expanded to include all tournament winners and their other accomplishments. Forgive me if I overlooked anyone and don't hesitate to contact me for corrections.
This weeks top events are the WSAZ Tournament, the South Morgantown Duals and Wood County concludes their regular season. Favorites at WSAZ is Edison, Beckley-Stratton and Blennerhassett in the Jr. High Division; Cammack, Barboursville and Milton in the Middle School Division and Ripley and Herbert Hoover in the Freshmen Division.