Notes from the Parkersburg South - Cabell Midland dual:
Jason Ward looks like he's more than ready to reclaim a state title. I heard that he may move up to 160.
Defending two-time state champion Jason Johnson of South looked primed for another state title as well, cruising to an easy first-period pin.
All of Cabell Midland's returning starters delivered Thursday night. Returning state placers Jared Walters and Eric Frazier were dominating in their matches. David LeMaster and Dallas Nibert had big wins for the Knights, scoring pins against Justin Cox and Ty Emrick respectively.
While all of their wins were satisfying for the fans, perhaps the biggest victory of the night for Cabell Midland came when Simon Copley mangaed to decision Todd Daggett 4-3. Aided by technical violation points, Copley had built up a 4-1 lead and, after a last-minute takedown by Daggett, held on for the narrow victory. The Cabell Midland fans erupted in celebration, but the celebration was short-lived, as South registered the final two wins of the night.
South had a little eruption if its own when Erik Spriggs, wrestling the first wrestling match of his life, quickly put away Jared Childers in the heavyweight match to seal the victory for the Patriots.
South got good efforts from first-year starters Clint Radcliff, Mike Bosley, Wes Pickens, and Josh Dearth. Although eventually losing by second-period pin to Jason Ward, Dearth didn't give up without a fight. He fought off a near-pin in the first period that would have done most wrestlers in.
The officiating was very good.
As is usually the case, the eventual winner of almost every match was also the wrestler who scored the first takedown. Cabell Midland was the definite aggressor throughout the night.
What a difference a little weight can make. Justin Coffey didn't make weight at 135, but chose to wrestle an exhibition match anyway. He really took it to Donnie Crawford, ending the match with a second-period pin. Had that match counted, it would have given Cabell Midland the victory, and would have ended an in-state dual match win streak for South that dates back to the 1993-94 season.
I wouldn't place money on this, but it looked like South had just as many (if not more) fans at the match than did Cabell Midland. South's particular convoy got caught in traffic twice (wrecks) and almost didn't make it for the first match. The ticket taker asked how many more South fans were coming and if fans were being "bussed" in for the match!
I know this is only one match and that there are many more to follow, but if this is any preview of the season ahead, hold on to your seats, 'cause we're in for an exciting ride!
Have a good weekend everyone. Good luck to all wrestlers from Parkersburg, North Marion, Grafton, and Big Creek who will be participating in this weekend's state football championships in Wheeling.
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Updated December 5, 1997