I trust that everyone had a good Christmas and that you're all gearing up for the year to come. This edition of Mat Lines isn't going to contain a lot of news because I'm preparing a weight class review for each division. (Look for the reports to come out early next week.) In order to produce the most accurate reports possible, I am sending out a plea for information. I would like updated records on some of the state's best wrestlers, along with notable wins and/or accomplishments. I can't promise that I will mention everything that's sent to me, but I will acknowledge those who help out. Please send all correspondence to the above address or (over the holiday weekend) to email@example.com. (If you send mail to my home email address, just to be safe, you should probably send a duplicate copy to the address above.) Your help is greatly appreciated!
First of all, I want to apologize for not being able to provide a personal report on the Super Quad held last week at Williamstown. I was unable to make it to the match for a number of reasons. Hopefully I can catch up with these teams later in the year.
It's been a good month for Ravenswood's Luke Salmons. Normally we don't mention too many other sports on this website, but I want to congratulate Luke on winning the Hunt Award in football. A three-sport star athlete (he's a heavy-hitter in baseball as well), Salmons is hoping to end his final year of wrestling with another heavyweight state title, a perfect record, and a number of other school records. He recently reached the 100-win mark in his wrestling career and now has his sights set on the all-time win record at Ravenswood High. (John Heath currently holds the record at 134.)
Calhoun's Eric McCartney is making and breaking some records of his own. Already owning a quick-pin record that I believe ties a national mark (5 seconds), the undefeated (18-0) Red Devil senior has just tied Calhoun County High School's record for career wins and continues to add to the record he established for career pins. In addition to all that, he is less than 50 points away from breaking the record for career team points scored.
While we're on the subject of Calhoun County, I'd like to mention that McCartney is the lone senior (varsity or otherwise) on this year's wrestling team. With two other undefeated wrestlers (juniors Travis McCartney and Jimmy Johnson), one wrestler with one loss (freshman Chris Morris), and a number of other wrestlers who are off to great starts, this team should be in great shape for the next few years.
Parkersburg High is another team having success with only one senior, and that senior isn't even wrestling yet! 1998 regional champion Rob Ball is out with an injury but will be able to rejoin the team in a few weeks, so the rest of the state had better be on the lookout for the Big Reds.
As I look back over the last year, I'm reminded of how blessed I am in so many ways. One of those blessings is a group of people I call my wrestling friends, both old and new. And now if you'll bear with me, I'd like to extend holiday greetings to several folks. This list includes old friends, new friends, family members who endure my wrestling obsession, acquaintances, new people I've met, people with whom I've gotten reacquainted, people with whom I've corresponded, and people who have sent me information. I sincerely hope I haven't left anyone off the list. Unfortunately, not everyone signs his or her correspondence, so I can't identify everyone by name. Best wishes for a wonderful 1999 to:
Dianne Akers & family; Matt Ashley & family; Cory Auvil; Mike Barnette; Chris Basford; Garry Bender; Randy Bierce; Horace Blankenship; Steve Bosley & family; The Buck family from Williamstown; Elizabeth Burton; Joe & Aaron Burton & family; Danny Burton & family; Frank, Melissa, Rachel & Lane Burton; Nick Busick & family; Paul & Jayson Byrd; Wayne Calebaugh; Cameron fans who sent information; Ken & Chad Cutright; Tony Daggett & extended family; Greg Dearth & family; Tim & Carmen Dowler; Jim Duncan & family; The Dyes from Wirt County; Randy Edrington; Elkins fans who sent information; Lance Emrick & family; Alisha Facemire; Fairmont Senior fans who sent information; Dennis Gage & family; Denzil George & family; Ashley Gilchrist; Nora Lee Gilchrist; Falina Henline & extended family; Jared Hughes; Jason Jackson; Paul & Rose Jackson; Phil & Shirley Jackson; Mike Johnson & extended family; Matt Jones; Tony Layner & family; Jim LeMaster & family; Bill Lindsey; Mark Lowe & family; Charlie Mace; Dan Mace; Bill Martin; Martinsburg fans who sent information; Tim McCartney & family; Craig & Zac McCray; Phil, Leslie, & Lauryn McHenry; "Mexicano"; Larry & Mary Miller; Tim Miller & family; Willard Miller & family; Vicki Moles & family; Dean & Debbie Moore & extended family; Emil Nardone; Parkersburg South Wrestling Family; Marvin Pickens & family; Ed Porter & extended family; John Pratt; Carl Radcliff & family; The "Rat Pack"; The Rays from Wirt County; Brian & Alex Reed & parents; Dave Reed & family; Steve Rittenhouse; Bud & Jim Ruble; St. Marys fans who sent information; Brent Sams; Chris Sargent; Jason Seville; Will "Scheny" Schenerlein; John & Adam Schindler; Jeff Schmitt & family; Craig Shibley; Bruce Short; Tom Shuman; Cindy & Angie Sleeth & family; John & Sheila Sleeth & sons; Ed Smith & family; Ernie Sparks; Larry Sullivan; Tammy Thompson & sons; Becky Tolley; George & Justin Underwood; Nolan VanGilder; Dana & Jared Walters; Randy Walters & family; Jeff, Missy & Jason Ward; Ash Wenmoth; Wheeling Park fans who sent information; Derrick White; Butch Whitecotton & family; Lynn Wiblin; Chuck, Julie, & Brandon Williams; Bob Wilson; Jeremy Wright; Jenny Wuchner; Mark Young & extended family; and John Zyla & family.
Happy holidays to all of you readers out there. Here's wishing you all a safe, happy, and prosperous 1999!
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Updated December 31, 1998