West Virginia Wrestling

Junior High Report

by Brent Sams

March 30, 2001

Middle School Nationals

Congratulations are in order for the eight West Virginia students who earned All-American status at the AAU Middle School Nationals in Virginia Beach. Two Mountain State grapplers won national titles during the two-day competition. Ripley Middle School's Mitch Smith defended his #1 seed by winning his sixteenth national championship. North Parkersburg's Nic Munday won his second national championship in the 130-pound class competing in the 5th and 6th grade division.

Blennerhassett's Shaun Smith made it to the championship match where he took runner-up honors in the 119-pound class, losing a one point decision on a reversal late in the match. Other West Virginia competitors earning All-American status were Edison's Aaron Kelley, 3rd place 90 pounds; Barboursville's Jacob Stanley, 5th at 80 pounds; and Blennerhassett's Chad Porter, 6th place 95 pounds. In the 5th-6th grade division, Mark Politz took 4th at 130 pounds and Kevin Miller was 6th at 140.

Most every state in the country was represented at the AAU Middle School Nationals coming from as far west as California and New Mexico, and as far south as Florida and Georgia. Virginia Beach's proximately to West Virginia makes this an excellent tournament for state wrestlers to gain national exposure.

Rules Committee

Coach Don Reeves of Jackson Jr. High has been appointed as the first Jr. High/Middle School representative on the State's Rules Committee. Prior to his tenure with Jackson Jr. High, Coach Reeves served as an assistant under Coach Roy Michaels of North Marion. I first meet Coach Reeves at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting when we were both in High School. He has 100% backing from me in his new post and is an excellent addition to the rules committee.

Dutton Award

A couple of years ago, I was in the WVMAT Chat Room (alias name Slug, given to me by my cross-country coach, definitely not because of my hunting abilities.) and asked the chatters who they thought would win the Dutton Award. The overwhelming response was, "The what?" I then realized how little people know about the Dutton Award. The Dutton Award is wrestling's equivalent to West Virginia football's Kennedy Award. It has been given annually to the state's outstanding wrestler since 1985. The Dutton Award is named after Bob Dutton, a former coach with Weston and Parkersburg High Schools. Coach Dutton wrestled for Weston High School from 1938 to 1940. He wrestled to a draw in his bout at the state championship match in 1938 against Harrisville High School. Before the State Tournament, the State Championship was awarded to the regular season champion. After graduation, Dutton went on to college and earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree from West Virginia University. His first coaching job was in East Liverpool, Ohio in 1948. He then returned to his alma mater, Weston, and coached three individuals to State Championships from 1949-1952. In 1952, he relocated to Parkersburg and served as an assistant coach to Jim Scott until 1956 when he took full control of the team after Scott stepped aside. As head coach at Parkersburg, he won seven state team titles and mentored 32 individual state titles. When he retired in 1976, he finished his illustrious career ranked as the state's top coach with 7 team titles and 35 individual crowns.

A panel representing the different aspects of the sport votes upon the Dutton Award. Voters come from a combination of coaches from the AA/A division and the AAA division, the Wrestling Officials Association and the media. Though, associated as a Parkersburg award, there are no voters from the Parkersburg area this year. In the sixteen-year history, there has been one tie for the award, 1993 between North Marion's Doug Moore and Williamstown's Mike Mason. No school has won more two awards with North Marion, Parkersburg, Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park each having two representatives. The award winner is announced around the first of April and presented at the State's Victory Award Dinner. A list of Dutton Award winners can be found under the Outstanding Contributor's link from WVMAT's front page. I don't know what the award looks like. (sources: "The Emergence of High School Wrestling in West Virginia" by George Nedeff, Dave Poe of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, WVMAT)


Corrections from my last report:

The Central West Virginia Athletic Conference has been in existence for eight years.

Kanawha County did have a separate tournament from the Middle Schools for the Jr. Highs and Freshmen Teams but was late in reporting to make the last article.

Top Eight per Weight in State

Long overdue is my list of top wrestlers per weight class. This list is based on results posted to WVMAT and does not include open tournament results but only school sponsored matches. As most people, I am probably biased towards individuals I have seen. This year I attended the Trojan Invitational, the Point Pleasant Olympic Pool Tournament, the Ripley Duals, the Clash of Champions, a Moundsville tri, the WSAZ Tournament and the Wood County Championship. At the Trojan Invitational, I sat between Huntington Freshmen and Milton's teams. I like to commend those schools for their exemplary behavior in the stands. The same can be said when I sat amongst the Cammack team at Point Pleasant and the Beckley-Stratton team at Ripley. I apologize for any oversights to this list.

75 pounds
Relegated to exhibition status this year, the 75-pound class was one of the easiest for me to pick with the lack of tournaments hosting this class. Those tournaments including this class in competition were the Scott Brown Memorial, the Braxton County Invitational, the WSAZ, the Jr. OVAC and the Harpers Ferry Invitational. These tournaments are to be commended for their inclusion of the lightweights. Rash of Independence and Green of Wheeling head up the list of competitors at this weight. Rash won the WSAZ 75 pound title and claimed crowns at 80 pounds in the Independence Super Duals and the Raleigh County Championship. His only defeats came when wrestling up at 80 pounds. Green was the Outstanding Wrestler at the Jr. OVAC Championship. Other top grapplers at 75 are Cullen of Point Pleasant, Cumpston of Cameron, Diehl of Warm Springs, Hall of DuPont, Mazeska of Oak Glen and Wolfe of Blennerhassett.

80 pounds
Ripley Middle's Phalen and Edison' Dunn headline the list of 80-pounders. Their only losses on the season came at the expense of Barboursville's Stanley when he wrestled down a weight at the WSAZ. Phalen won titles at the Trojan Invitational, the Raleigh General Hospital, the Point Pleasant Duals and the Spencer Invitational. Dunn's titles came at the Clash of Champions and the Wood County Championship. Phalen and Dunn finished 2-3 at the WSAZ. Other grapplers to watch at 80 pounds are Boggs of Spencer, Dorbert of Warm Springs, Leifhead of Sissonville, Patton of Blennerhassett, Smith of Buffalo and Stilgenbauer of Hamilton.

85 pounds
Stanley of Barboursville, McCray of Williamstown and Shaw of Follansbee were the top 85-pounders during the season. Stanley won the Cammack-Huntington Hospital Tournament, the Trojan Invitational, the Ohio-West Virginia Super Duals, the Cabell County Championship and the 80-pound crown at the WSAZ. McCray won the crowns at the WSAZ and Wood County Championship. Shaw claimed titles at the Jr. OVAC and Buckeye-Mountaineer Championship. A very competitive weight class with other top wrestlers including Hayes of Jackson, Lester of Shady Spring, Meade of Beckley-Stratton, Miller of Oak Glen and Pumphrey of Point Pleasant.

90 pounds
Porter of Blennerhassett, Rush of Triadelphia and Ward of Buckhannon-Upshur were the elite of 90-pounders. Porter claimed claim championships at the Clash of Champions, WSAZ and Wood County. Rush won the Jr. OVAC and Ward won the Cameron tournament and was undefeated at the Buckhannon Duals. Rounding out the top eight are Ellis of Wahama, Hereford of Point Pleasant, Neal of Shady Spring, Painter of Western Greenbrier and Spencer of Jackson.

95 pounds
Greynolds of East Fairmont and Osuna-Cotto of Blennerhassett were the top 95-pounders. Greynolds lone reported victory was at the Cameron Tournament. Osuna-Cotto finished his Jr. High career with victories at the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Other top 95-pounders includes Cummings of Calhoun, Kelley of Edison, Kelley of Huntington, Lodge of Mannington and Warner of Point Pleasant.

102 pounds
The state's best 102-pounders were Bailey of Jackson and Chapman of Shady Spring. Bailey went undefeated at the Clash and won the Wood County Championship. Chapman won every tournament he entered with championships at the Scott Brown Memorial, Raleigh General Hospital, the Independence Super Duals, the Andrew Jackson Ironman, the WSAZ and the Raleigh County Championship. Other top wrestlers include Gillespie of Point Pleasant, Hetzer of Huntington, Hughes of Cameron, Lee of Moundsville, Setliff of Cabell Midland and Stewart of Independence.

110 pounds
Kins of Follansbee and Porter of Blennerhassett stand atop the 110-pound class. Kins won the Jr. OVAC Championship and the Buckeye-Mountaineer Conference. Porter went undefeated on his way to winning the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Allen of Nitro, Digman of Braxton County, Koontz of Moundsville, Russell of Point Pleasant, Stevens of Oak Glen and Wilson of Beckley-Stratton were other top wrestlers at 110 pounds.

116 pounds
Chambers of Oak Glen, Eaton of Edison and Smallridge of Buckhannon were the best of the 116-pounders. Chambers won the Warwood Duals, the Indian Creek Tournament, the Jr. OVAC and the Buckeye-Mountaineer Conference. Eaton was the WSAZ and Wood County Champion. Smallridge won the Cameron Tournament. Another tough weight class with outstanding performances also coming from Dudley of Huntington, Goodrich of Calhoun, Gustiness of Charles Town, Munson of Blennerhassett and Scarbro of Shady Spring.

123 pounds
Mahan of Oak Glen and Smith of Blennerhassett controlled the 123-pound class. Mahan won the Warwood Duals, the Indian Creek Tournament, the Jr. OVAC and the Buckeye-Mountaineer Conference. Smith won the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Other notable wrestlers were Kearns of Clay, Kuhn of Moundsville, Jackson of Hamilton, McQuillen of Beckley-Stratton, Sampson of McKinley and Tucker of Riverside.

128 pounds
Ray of East Fairmont and Young of Blennerhassett ruled the 128-pound class. Ray won the Cameron Tournament and Young ran the gauntlet winning the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Another balance weight class with Eads of McKinley, Moore of Point Pleasant, Nelson of Beverly Hills, Northcraft of Oak Glen, Smith of Edison and Thomas of Beckley-Stratton also turning in outstanding performances.

135 pounds
Smith of Ripley Middle stands head and shoulders above all others, not only in the 135 pound weight class, but is an easy pick for Outstanding Wrestler in the State. Smith won the Trojan Invitational, the Raleigh General Hospital, the Point Pleasant Duals, the Spencer Invitational and the WSAZ tournament. After Smith, the weight class gets competitive with Efaw of Taylor County and Norman of Edison leading the rest of the pack. Efaw went undefeated while winning the Mason-Dixon Conference. Norman won the Clash of Champions, the Wood County Championship and finished as runner-up to Smith at the WSAZ. Also competing with the best at 135 are Cremeans of Milton, Gustiness of Charles Town, Nibert of Cabell Midland, Pauley of McKinley and Whipkey of Cameron.

145 pounds
Davis of Harpers Ferry and Walters of Edison were the front runners of the 145-pound class. Davis won the Scott Brown Memorial, the Braxton County Invitational and the Harpers Ferry Duals. Walters won the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Another tough weight class with top competition coming from Adkins of Moundsville, Lowery of Riverside, Merritt of Cabell Midland, Taylor of Huntington, Weese of McKinley and Wolfe of Blennerhassett.

155 pounds
One of the best balance weight classes made the 155-pound weight class the toughest to figure out. Mauck of Miller had a great season winning the Mason-Dixon Conference and having lost to only Simmons of Moundsville. Simmons was undefeated but had a short season and missed several key match-ups, one against Blennerhassett's Wilkenson. Wilkenson finished third at the WSAZ having lost 4-3 to WSAZ Champion Perry of Charles Town. Perry had a high scoring dual loss against Warner of Harpers Ferry. Warner had won the Harpers Ferry Duals and the Braxton County Invitational but finished third at the Scott Brown Memorial behind runner-up Sturgill of Park and champion Smith of Western Greenbrier. Sturgill had won the Raleigh General Hospital and the Raleigh County Championship but lost a one-point decision to Perry and overtime criteria to Beatty of Edison, both at the WSAZ. Beatty had lost twice to Wilkenson, who lost two matches to Wilson of Jackson, who was defeated by Beatty at the Wood County Championship. Western Greenbrier's Smith won the Scott Brown Memorial and the Independence Super Duals but finished as WSAZ Runner-up to Perry of Charles Town. Perry won etc... but lost to etc...etc... Foltz of Oak Glen and Blackham of Taylor County also turned in good seasons. A great weight class with no front runners but was a wrestling junkie's delight to follow.

165 pounds
The two wrestlers that head the list of 165-pounders are Radcliff of Edison and "Psycho" Sillex of Harpers Ferry. Radcliff won the Clash of Champions, the WSAZ and the Wood County Championship. Psycho had some bad luck last year where he defeated several top wrestlers in his weight class, but injuries and letting his guard down caused some hard losses. Psycho stayed injury free this year and has earned respect and is now known as MR. Psycho. Mr. Psycho won the Scott Brown Memorial, the Braxton County Invitational and Harpers Ferry Duals. Other wrestlers to watch at 165 are Barker of Cabell Midland, Bird of Horace Mann, Johnson of Milton, McCoy of Stonewall, O'Malley of Braxton County and Potts of Oak Glen.

190 pounds
Broce of Ritchie Middle and Cremeans of Cabell Midland were the stars of the 190-pound class. Broce won the Spencer Invitational and the Wood County Championship. Cremeans won the McKinley Duals, the Andrew Jackson Ironman and the WSAZ. Others making a name for themselves at 190 are Ferguson of Beverly Hills, Hamrick of Eastern Greenbrier, Province of Edison, Richardson of Cabell Midland, Riese of Harpers Ferry, Sharpe of Herbert Hoover, Stephan of Follansbee.

Dearman of Hamilton, McCourt of Buckhannon and Richards of Riverside were the top dogs of the big dogs. Dearman claimed titles at the Clash of Champions and the Wood County Championship. McCourt won the Cameron Tournament and Richards walked through the Trojan Invitational, the McKinley Duals, the Independence Super Duals, the Spencer Invitational and the WSAZ. Other big dogs of the mat include Cox of Charles Town, Elson of Cameron, Hammack of Sissonville, McCormick of Point Pleasant and Williams of Blennerhassett.

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