Tis the giving season but there were no freebies as the new season began. What started out with season's greetings between old aquaintences slowly turned to madness of season's beatings as the days progressed. Some people thrive in tough situations and I am lucky enough to know some one who enjoys such tortures. I'm forunate that my loving wife is not hesitant when it comes to the seasons pains and agonies and quickly volunteers for all the Christmas buying in our household. This spares me the brutalities of shopping and I can relax in the safe confines of the wrestling world for some peace and quiet. I did venture once into the chaos and was successful in obtaining the love of my life a power sander for her holiday gift. When I went to secure it in my secret hiding place, to my surprise, I found a gift with my name on it. It turned out to be a new sewing machine. I confronted her about it and she thought it was pretty funny but I don't see the humor at all in her buying me a sewing machine.
On to wrestling news:
Warwood and Cammack Middle Schools kicked off the wrestling season by hosting tournaments on December 1st and 2nd. Oak Glen dominated the Warwoods Duals, going undefeated and untested in 10 bouts. The Warwood Duals is only opened to 7th and 8th graders and left some of the Jr. High competitors short changed of 9th graders. Sources say that even with their 9th graders, Oak Glen would be hard to beat. Oak Glen finished the two day affair with six wrestlers undefeated and three with one loss in the eleven team field.
After two years of chasing Cammack, Milton Middle School regained the top spot in the Huntington area with their victory at the Cabell Huntington Hospital Tournament. Their reign was short-lived as they were knocked down to third place the following week at the Trojan Invitational hosted by McKinley Jr. High. Huntington Freshmen won the Trojan Tournament and will be a strong contender later at the WSAZ even without the three freshmen who've been promoted to varsity. Beverly Hills leap-frogged pass Milton into second place at the Trojan Invitational but finished third, two spots behind Milton the previous week at the smaller Huntington Hospital Tournament. By the end of January, the Cabell County Middle School Championship will be very interesting.
Milton won the Cabell Huntington Hospital tournament with five champions. Beverly Hills crowned three champions, Barboursville and Andrew Jackson had two each and Cammack followed with one. the other three champions went to Cheasapeake Ohio, who finished in second place.
VanDevender Jr. High hosted the Wood County Northside Duals on December 5th which resulted in the round robin nightmare of a three way tie between the host school, Hamilton Jr. High and Jackson Jr. High. VanDevender defeated Hamilton who defeated Jackson who deafeated VanDevender. Jackson tallied the most points and therefore finished first but they can't ignore the improvements made by Hamilton and VanDevender over the previous season. Another improvement made by VanDevender was replacing their old wooden bleachers in the gym with new state of the art plastic bleachers. It doesn't help their team's wrestling skills but it allows their fans watching to be more comfortable.
Blennerhassett and Edison got into a donnybrook on December 6th at the Wood County Southside Duals. Two of state's top teams from last year proved they were ready to challenged again with a nailbiter of a match that came down to the outcome of two rookie heavyweights. Blennerhassett's Ryan Williams got the pin and the winning team points but the one point differential on team scores came on 85 pounder Brandon Patton's major decision as both teams won seven bouts with four pins each. The teams are scheduled to meet at least three more times before their County Championship.
Independence Jr. High hosted the Scott Brown Memorial/Beckley Newspaper on December 8th and 9th were two other of the states outstanding programs meet in Harpers Ferry and Beckley-Stratton. Beckley-Stratton got their revenge on Harpers Ferry and ended their 47 match win streak. Both teams finished the tournament with three champions, two runner-ups and four third place wrestlers. Harpers Ferry also had two place winners in the exhibition 75 pound class. Braxton County finished atop the Middle Schools with one champion, two runner-ups and three thirds.
Up north, Cameron hosted their annual tournament on December 8th and 9th where Moundsville finally fielded a full squad and got back to their winning ways, claiming the championship by 40 points with five champions and three runner-ups. Buckhannon followed in second place with three champions and five runner-ups setting the pace for one of the top teams in North-Central West Virgina. Cameron finished third with three champions followed by Mannington and East Fairmont with two champions each.
December 9th was also the date of the Athens (Ohio) Olympic Tournament. Point Pleasant Middle School was the lone representive from West Virginia but did the Mountain State proud, running away with the championship trophy by 34 points and crowning six champions out of the nine team tournament.
As mentioned earlier, McKinley hosted the Trojan Invitational on Dec 8th and 9th and finished as the top Jr. High and fourth overall in the nineteen team field. Huntington Freshmen and Beverly Hills finished one-two and also won the Freshmen and Middle School divisions. Huntington crowned three champions. Barboursville, Ripley Middle and McKinley had two each followed by Beverly Hills, Herbert Hoover Freshmen, Milton, Nitro Freshmen, Ripley Freshmen and Riverside Freshmen with one champion each.
McKinley followed their tournament by hosting the McKinley Duals on December 14th. The Trojans won their tournament going undefeated in five matches and crowning four champions. Cabell Midland Freshmen also crowned four champions and finished Runner-up. Riverside had three champions, John Adams came away with two champions and Hayes and Nitro had one each.
Harpers Ferry streak of 47 straight dual wins may be a state record at the Jr. High level. Edison Jr. High went undefeated for five years and for another four years and Jackson Jr. High was undefeated for over four years but I don't think their dual wins would total 47. I'll double check their records and get back on that in my next report. I believe Hedgesville High School is currently on a 45 match dual win and could pass Harpers Ferry win total. I do not know what the state high school record is but I do know that Parkersburg South set a new record in the 1970s with a 68 match win streak over five years. They went six years undefeated to in-state teams. I do not know if anyone has broken that record since then. If anyone wants to scoff against Hedgesville competition, I saw their match against Independence at the St. Albans Duals that turned into a dandy. Those two teams wrestled neck and neck and turned in a classic performance that could have gone either way.
As an after thought, I wonder how many mats we can get down in the mall. Christmas shopping and wrestling all in the same building. Talk about seasons beatings. I think I'll back off the idea and let my buddy Gary work out the details for that scenerio.
Merry Christmas and have a safe Holiday Season.