After Friday night, Point Pleasant had a 12 point lead over second place Braxton and a 50 point lead over third place Ripley who was currently in eighth place in their division. Spencer and Milton was in third and fourth place respectively, one and a half point apart and 35 points off the leader. After Saturday’s first round of competition, Point had almost double their lead against Braxton with 133 to 67.5 advantage. The real battle was occurring for third place where Ripley made a surge and jumped four spots to fourth place and trailed Milton by three points. Spencer failed to score a point on Saturday’s opening round and trailed off to fifth place. After Saturday’s semi-final action, Point had extended their lead over Braxton by 85 points and Ripley trailed Milton by one and a half. After the consolation finals, the difference between first and second stayed the same while Milton built a small lead over Ripley by four and a half points. Milton had no championship finalists but Ripley had two opportunists at 80 and 135 pounds with undefeated and top seeded wrestlers Seth Phalen and Mitch Smith. Phalen lost his bout which meant Smith would have to have a major decision or better to overcome the four and a half points. First place was worth four additional team points and Smith needed the one bonus point from a major to provide the winning margin for third. Smith did one better by pinning his championship opponent and giving Ripley a one and a half point victory for third. Smith’s victory not only clinched third for Ripley but also clinched the Jr. High Title for Blennerhassett with his defeat of Edison’s Codi Norman.
Coaches Bill Archer of Huntington High and Bob Pickens from Williamstown won their respective divisions on the High School level but not without repercussions on the Jr. Circuit. Both coaches had to rob from Peter to pay Paul for their victories on the Sr. Circuit with freshmen wrestling varsity, which depleted the line-ups and any chances of their feeder schools of victories. Huntington High has at least three freshmen starters while Williamstown sports five freshmen starters. Williamstown is a 7th through 12th grade institution.
Even with a full line-up, Huntington would have been hard pressed to overcome Cabell Midland who looked very impressive on their march to victory. Cabell Midland had extended a 12 point lead on Friday night to 25 points on Saturday morning, to nearly 50 points when all was said and done. Riverside finished third with 88.5 points, 20 behind Huntington.
Edison and Blennerhassett were in a battle from start to finish and clearly out-distance themselves from the rest of field. Edison came to wrestle and gave it their all by providing some early round upsets and had the lead going into the championship semi-finals. Blennerhassett’s top six seeds never said die and provided the difference as all six qualified for the finals and built a small two point lead going into the championship. Five of six won titles which extended the winning margin. Edison had a 12 point lead after Friday night. A ten point lead after Saturday morning and then fell behind by two points in the semi-finals but with a lot of hope in five finalists and one head-to-head matchup. Blennerhassett won the head-to-head after five Champions, Edison still had a shot of tying the Bobcats with three finalists still alive. Ripley’s Mitch Smith then sealed the victory for Blennerhassett with his championship.
The battle for third place was quite interesting with first time entry Charles Town from the eastern panhandle proving their salt by taking the early lead for third after Friday night’s action. Similar to Ripley from the Middle School Division, Shady Spring jumped from 7th place from night one to fourth place after Saturday morning and finally took the lead for third after the semi-finals. Beckley-Stratton held down the fifth spot through-out the tournament and it was anyone’s title to win as only five points separated the three for third place. Beckley and Shady had three finalist apiece and Charles Town had one. Shady and Charles Town claimed one champion each and the final result was Shady Spring third 137.5, Charles Town fourth 134 and Beckley-Stratton fifth 131.5.\
The Jr. High division claimed 12 of sixteen individual titles with the Middle Schools and Freshmen teams claiming two each. Overall, Jr. Highs Blennerhassett and Edison finished one-two, Middle School Point Pleasant finished third and Freshmen Team Cabell Midland was fourth. The Jr. Highs claimed six of the top ten spots; one, two, five, six, seven and eight while the Middle Schools had two spots at three and ten and the Freshmen team claimed the last two spots at four and nine.
The Championship finals were ran on twin mats. Sixteen schools were represented with Blennerhassett leading the way with six finalists and claimed five titles. Edison followed and was three for five. Shady Springs was one for thee, Ripley Middle and Cabell Midland was one for two and Charles Town, Williamstown, Independence, Barboursville and Riverside was one for one. Beckley-Stratton had three finalists, Point Pleasant had two and McKinley, Western Greenbrier, Herbert Hoover and Stonewall Jackson had one each.
Rash, Independence defeats Cullen, Point Pleasant fall 1:10 2nd
Fourth seeded Rash initiates the championship action with a double leg take down attempt but second seeded Rash fights it off and then the two work for hand control. Rash attempts a cowboy but it slips as the two go out of bounds. The first period ends with no scoring. Rash takes down to start the second period and hits a reverse for the first points of the match. Rash then works the far side cradle and turns Cullen over and gets the pin with 50 seconds left in the second period.
Stanley, Barboursville defeats Phalen, Ripley Middle 15-3
With the twin championship mats going, I missed some of the action on this one but will report on what I know. Stanley shoots for a single leg and Phalen attempts to counter with a cross-face. The cross-face slips off and Stanley gets the two-point takedown. Phalen is injured and somewhere receives one point and the first period ends two to one. Stanley elects down in the second period and sits out and turns-in, spins and gets the reversal. Phalen attempts an inside switch and Stanley counters with a half as the two go out-of–bounds. I’m not sure what the second period coring ends up with. Phalen stands on a restart, peels the hands and turns in for an escape point. Stanly gets the takedown and back points. Stanley then resets his hold by sinking in the half and getting additional back points. Phalen bridges out and Stanley next works a two on one and finishes the scoring with three more back points. I do not know where Phalen’s third point came from.
McCray, Williamstown defeats Meade, Beckley-Stratton 10-2
Fourth seeded McCray and second seeded Meade lock up to start the action at 85 pounds. McCray schucks the head and circles and gets the opening takedown. He then grapevines the leg and works a two on one as the first period ends. Meade takes down in the second period and again McCray grapevines the leg and attempts a lot of pretzel looking holds that I have no idea what to call and the second period ends with no additional scoring. McCray takes down to start the third period, stands and turns in to garner an escape. Meade gets the takedown for his first points but again McCray stand and turns out to get another escape. This time McCray gets the takedown, grapevines the inside leg, works a two on one and gets some weird looking back points. McCray then works a near side cradle for additional back points to close out the scoring.
Porter, Blennerhassett defeats Neel, Shady Springs fall 2:10
Top seeded Porter meets third seeded Neel in this championship match-up. The two lock up and Porter hits a duck under and gets the takedown. Neel gets an escape to close out the first period scoring at two to one. Porter starts the second period down and Nell breaks him down with a tight waist. Porter regains his base and hits a reverse and a far side cradle and gets a the pin as Neel attempts to kick out.
Osuna-Cotto, Blennerhassett defeats Kelly, Edison 2-0
Top seeded Osuna-Cotto locks up with third seeded Kelly as the two fight for head control in the first period as it ends with no scoring. Kelly takes down in the second period and Osuna-Cotto works the far side cradle to no avail. Osuna-Cotto then works a near side cradle and Kelly takes the opportunity to grab a leg but the two travel out of bounds as the second period ends with the score knotted at zeroes. Osuna-Cotto is down to start the third period and hits a reversal for two points. Osuna-Cotto tries to break down by working the far arm and then attempts a far side cradle. Kelly sits out and Osuna-Cotto counters with a double under hook and the two go out-of –bounds and the match ends two to nothing.
Chapman, Shady Springs defeats Setliff, Cabell Midland pin 1:52
Top seeded Champman initiates the action with a single leg takedown for two and third seeded Setliff finishes the first period scoring with and escape. Setliff elects down in the second period and Chapman controls early with a tightwaist. Chapman then works an arm bar and then is working a double arm bar as the two travel out of bounds. On the restart, Chapman again controls with a tight waist and then turns Setliff with a half nelson for back points. Chapman then grabs the leg and locks in the hands for a near side cradle pin.
Porter, Blennerhassett defeats Russell, Point Pleasant 11-6
Third seeded Russell gets the first scoring against top seeded Porter with a single leg takedown. Porter sits out and then rolls in to post an escape as the first period ends two to one. Porter is down to start the second period and Russell works a two on one. Porter reverses and works a far side cradle and Russell grab a leg and finally gets the switch for two points. Porter hits his own reverse and works a guillotine and receives four back points. Russell starts the third period down and Porter slips off a far side cradle as Russell gains the reverse. Russell then works a near side cradle but Porter slips out the back door to finish the scoring.
Eaton, Edison defeats Scarbro, Shady Springs pin :50
Third seeded Eaton circles top seeded Scarbro and grapevines the leg and hits a spladle takedown to get the pin in 50 seconds. Very impressive.
Smith, Blennerhassett defeats McQuillen, Beckley-Stratton major 13-2
Second seeded McQuillen shoots against top seeded Smith who spins and gets the opening takedown. Smith works a far side cradle and McQuillen counters by grabbing a leg as the first period ends. McQuillen is down to start the second period and again Smith works the far side cradle and again McQuillen counters by grabbing the outside leg and then slips out and gets the reversal. Smith stands and peels the hands, turning in and getting the escape. Smith shoots for a single leg and gets the back heel trip for the takedown to end the second period scoring. Smith starts the second period down and stands and turns in to hit a standing switch for the reversal. Smith works two near side cradle to gather six back points.
Young, Blennerhassett defeats Thomas, Beckley-Stratton 2-1
Second seeded Thomas moves to his left against top seeded Young before the two lock up. Young attempts a single leg but they travel out of bounds. They lock up on the restart, fighting for head control a s the first period ends. Thomas elects down in the second period and gets an escape. Again the two lock up and Young attempts another single leg but Thomas fights him off with a cross face as the second period ends with Thomas leading one to nothing. Young startst the third period down and stands and tries to break away with a running escape but Thomas forces the action out of bounds and is penalized one point. Thomas grapevines the leg on the restart and is controlling the match but Young is able to stand with 10 seconds left and get an escape to win the match.
Smith, Ripley Middle defeats Norman, Edison pin 2:16
Top seeded Smith shoots against seconded Norman but is countered with an underhook as Norman turns Smith and spins to get the takedown. Smith hits a switch to tie the score at two all as the first period ends. Norman starts the second period down and Smith grapevines the outside leg and then sinks a half to get the turn and pin with 44 seconds left in the second period.
Walters, Edison defeats Weese, McKinley 6-3
Top seeded Weese locks up with second seeded Walters when Walters shoots and gets a single leg takedown. Walters then works an arm lever then to an arm bar as the first period ends. Walters is down to start the second period and stand s and turns away to get an escape. The two lock up throughout the second period as it ends three to nothing. Weese elects neutral in the third period and hits a double underhook throw to get his first two points of the match. Walters then escapes and appears to hold holding Weese off with stiff arms but then hits his own takedown to go up six to two. Weese gets an escape in the waning seconds to finish the scoring.
Perry, Charles Town defeats Smith, Western Greenbrier 6-5
Top seeded Smith locks up with seventh seeded Perry and then shoots and Perry counters by spinning and getting the opening takedown. Smith escapes to close out the first period scoring. Smith is down to start the second period and gets his escape and then shoots for a single leg to get the takedown but Perry escapes to close out the second period scoring and being down 4-3. Perry starts the third period by sitting out and turning in to get an escape and knot the score at four all. I miss the end of this match trying to figure out what is happening in the 165 pound finals. I assume Perry gets the takedown with Smith escaping to finish out the scoring. Sorry guys for not knowing the great finish.
Radcliff, Edison defeats McCoy, Stonewall Jackson fall 2:38
Fifth seeded Radcliff circles behind seventh seeded McCoy and gets the spinning takedown to initiate the action. McCoy gets a reverse and Radcliff gets an escape. McCoy closes out the first period scoring with his own takedown and being up 4-3. Radcliff is down to start the second period and McCoy works a two on one. Radcliff stand and hits a switch to go up 5-4 but the table score is displaying 6-3 and I’m all confused looking over my notes to make sure I got the right colored leg bans with the right wrestlers. Radcliff works an arm bar and gets three back points but my totals are still not matching the flip chart display as the table workers are having fun displaying all sorts of ridicules scores. Radcliff sinks a half with me being frustrated and about to throw my notebook away. Radcliff gets the pin with 22 seconds left in the second thus saving my notebook as the match score doesn’t really matter and the table workers quickly setting the flip chart to 0-0.
Cremeans, Cabell Midland defeats Sharp, Herbert Hoover pin 1:55 Top seeded Cremeans hits a cowboy against seventh seeded Sharp to get the opening takedown and two back points. Sharp escapes to close out the first period scoring. Cremeans starts the second period down and stands and escapes and then hits another cowboy, this time with success to get the pin with 1:05 left in the second period.
Richards, Riverside defeats Williams, Blennerhassett 5-4 official (6-2, Brent’s notebook)
Top seeded Williams and second seeded Richards circle and size up each other in the opening period. They eventual lock up with each other with no scoring occurring in the first period. Richards starts the second period down and stands and turns in to get the escape. Richards locks up several times but Williams attempts to back out and is warned for stalling. Williams then shoots for a double leg and works up and tries a cowboy that slips off as time expires. Richards starts the third period and tries to break down by grabbing an ankle. Williams stands and peels the hands to get an escape. Williams then tries an underhook throw that slips and Richards getting the takedown. In desparation, Williams reaches back and Richards apply a headlock to get three back points. Williams bridges and turns back to his base. With little time left on the clock, Richards releases Williams to close out the scoring at 6-2. How the table workers came up with 5-4, I’ m not even going to ask. It was long day for everybody.