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West Virginia Mat Lines

by Jenny Sullivan
2009 State Tournament Statistics

With all the talk and speculation as to what teams are the teams to beat and who’s who in each weight class for the upcoming season, I thought I’d list a few statistics from last year’s state tournament and give a preview of what's in store for 2009-2010.

First, we’ll take a look back at the 2009 state tournament.

Parkersburg South won the AAA team title by a margin of 105 points over runner-up Wheeling Park. Someone had asked at the tournament if that was a record, but I told them it wasn’t. South does in fact hold the record, though, and they’ve set it twice. They won by a margin of 115 points over Huntington in 2001, and again by the same margin over Parkersburg in 2005. Oak Glen, not surprisingly, holds the AA/A record by winning the 2000 state tournament by a margin of 207.5 over Williamstown.

And speaking of points scored, I always enjoy the “quality, not quantity” aspect of the state tournament. Weirton Madonna and Philip Barbour qualified one wrestler each (Max Nogay and John King, respectively), but both wrestlers won state titles and scored 26 and 25 points, respectively. That was good enough to place each of their one-man teams in the top 25, ahead of 17 other teams.

King was joined by eight other senior wrestlers who held the distinction of having placed in the state tournament all four years in high school: Mason Bailey, Drew Jenkins, and Eric Morris (all of East Fairmont), Cameron Gallaher (Grafton), Ronnie Luther (Huntington), Jake Justice (Independence), Ryan Asbury (Oak Glen), and Andy Church (Parkersburg South).

Five seniors who appeared in the championship finals found themselves among the top six for the very first time: state champins Gabe Hardiman (Cabell Midland) and Adam Metz (Parkersburg South), and runners-up A. J. Rhodes (Oak Glen), Danny Fordyce (Parkersburg South), and Jesse Sigman (Winfield). Of the five, only Fordyce and Rhodes were predicted to make the championship finals. Sigman wasn’t even predicted to place, as he was ranked eighth!

As for rankings, the coaches did a pretty good job predicting the top ten teams. In AA/A, the entire group of top ten teams was correctly predicted; only the order got thrown off a little when Williamstown lost regional champion Josh Radabaugh, causing them to finish 10th, much lower than expected. And in AAA, some of the coaches knew what they were talking about when they voted for Lewis County to crack the top ten. Though they didn’t garner the necessary votes to merit a top-ten ranking coming into the state tournament, the Minutemen finished 10th - their best-ever in school history.

Now that another wrestling season is history, we can take a look at what to expect for the 2009-2010 season.

Individually, nine underclassmen will be back next year to defend their AA/A titles as will seven in AAA. In addition, 47 placewinners in AA/A and 43 in AAA will be back to see if they can stand on the podium again next year.

Here’s a look at some team statistics:

Top Ten Teams According to Returning Points:


Teams Returning Seven or More of Their State Qualifiers

AA/A AAA Teams Returning 100% of Their 2005 Qualifiers
AA/A AAA * Kyle Bauer has transferred to Wheeling Park, thus reducing the number of Wheeling Central's returning wrestlers to 2.

Congratulations to all the wrestlers who stuck it out and finished the 2009 season, regardless of how they may have finished. Some came home from the state tournament as state champions, some came home as placewinners, and some came home as qualifiers. Some placed in the regional tournament, yet not quite high enough to qualify for the state tournament. And some didn’t make the varsity team to get to the regional tournament, yet they continued practicing with the team until the very last day of practice. It takes more than state champions to make a team, and I commend EVERY wrestler who stepped on the mat in the practice room from the first day of practice until the last day of the season. Thank you for your dedication.

To all returning wrestlers and incoming freshmen, I wish you the very best of luck. Wrestle hard, play fair, and be safe, but most of all, enjoy it. It will all go by so quickly.

Have a great season everyone!

Contact Jenny Sullivan at sullivj2@ohio.edu

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Updated March 22, 2005