West Virginia Wrestling

Winners Choice/Rotary Invitational

January 13-14, 2006
Fairmont Woody Williams Armory

Commentary on the Finals

103 - Danny Armstrong, Hedgesville fall Jared Searls, Point Pleasant 3:43
Point Pleasant's Jared Searls improved on his 4th place finish last week at the Jackson County Invitational (losses to Sexton of Independence and Grose of Clay County), advancing to the finals this week to face Hedgesville's Danny Armstrong who placed 5th at 103 at the AAA State Tournament last year. Armstrong scored first on a spin behind after a long-distance shot by Searls. The second period started with Armstrong leading 2-0 and starting on bottom. Armstrong escaped, and scored another takedown with a sprawl and go behind. Armstrong then turned Searls with a crossface with a deep elbow, scoring the pin with 17 seconds left in the second.

112 - Drew Jenkins, East Fairmont M-Dec Chuck Richards, Ritchie County, 15-1
Freshman Drew Jenkins of East Fairmont looked mighty tough against Ritchie County's Chuck Richards (4th at AA/A 112 '05). This first period was tight, with Jenkins scoring the first takedown with a shuck and leg attack at the edge of the mat. The second period started with Jenkins on top leading 2-0. Richards scored with a sit out turn in and escape to make the score 2-1. From that point on, Jenkins took control of the match. Jenkins scored another takedown, and then worked a leg ride most of the match. He scored 3 backs with a guillotine, with Richards doing an amazing job fighting out of it. However, Jenkins scored another 2 backs with a cross face in his leg ride, and the second period ended 9-1. The third period started with Jenkins on bottom. After an escape, Jenkins countered an unsuccessful shot by Richards by throwing in legs and scoring 2 takedown and 3 backs. Final score 15-1.

119 - Logan Sheldon, Hyndman Fall Eric Morris, East Fairmont, 2.53
Freshman Logan Sheldon of Hyndman made good of his top seed at 119 with a second period pin of another freshman - East Fairmont's Eric Morris. No score in the first round. The second round started with Sheldon on top. Sheldon locked in a quick cradle (which seems to be a patented move by the Hyndman wrestlers) and scored the fall with 1:07 left in the second.

125 - Josh Snyder, Hyndman Dec Dustin Haislip, Musselman, 7-5
This was the battle of the titans. Hyndman's Josh Snyder made his 4th Winner's Choice appearance, ending with 3 WC championships and one runner-up. Snyder was runner-up at the WPIAL AA as a freshman. His opponent was Junior Dustin Haislip of Musselman, AAA State Champ last year at 112 and 3rd at 103 as a freshman. No score in the first, as both champions sized each other up. The second started with Snyder on top. Snyder locked in a quick cradle (there's that move again) and Haislip fought it off by locking in a cradle of his own - the result being a double cradle. Snyder, being on top, scored the 3 backs, but Haislip scored a reversal as this pretzel knot was undone. Snyder scored another reversal, and an escape by Haislip ended the round with Snyder leading 5-3. The third started with Haslip on top. Haslip worked a near-cradle but Snyder got loose and scored an escape. With the score 6-3 time running out, Haislip scored a takedown on a missed shot by Snyder and then turned him loose with 30 sec to go. No further scoring, and the match ended 7-5.

130 - Mason Bailey, East Fairmont Dec Billy Barrett, Musselman, 3-2
Yes, there is a youth movement at East Fairmont as freshman Mason Bailey won a hard championship match against Junior Billy Barrett, Musselman, who was 4th at the AAA State Tournament at 125 last year. There was no score in the first, with Baily appearing to have taken most of the shots. The second period started with Bailey on top. Bailey rode Barrett the entire period with leg rides, double leg, and a couple of stalemates in the process. Barrett was "almost" out at the end of the second, but the period ended - still no score. The third started with Barrett on top. With 45 seconds to go Bailey hit a hard switch and Barrett couldn't hold him - despite his locked hands. Bailey scored two for the reversal + one for the locked hands. Barrett scored a reversal at the end of the match at mat's edge, but it wasn't enough as Bailey took the 3-2 decision.

135 - Jake Snyder, Hyndman Dec Kory Bissett, West Greene, 5-4
Another battle of the titans. Senior Jake Snyder, (brother of Josh Snyder) owns 100+ wins and was 7th at the WPIAL tournament last year. West Greene's Kory Bissett was WPIAL AA State Champ last year at 119, and won the Powerade this year at 135. West Greene, located near Waynesburg PA in the south west corner of Pennsylvania, made their first visit to the Winner's Choice this year. No score in the first period. The second started with Snyder on top. Snyder tried that cradle with Bissett coming up, fell off, and Bissett scored a reversal. The remainder of the period was pretty much a dogfight, with Snyder scoring an escape, getting neutral as both wrestlers were on their feet going off the mat. The third period started with Snyder on bottom, Bissett leading 2-1. Snyder scored a reversal at the edge after a flurry of multiple rolls, a cowboy from the bottom, and a few other moves I missed. Snyder was holding on to a 3-2 lead on top. Snyder was hit with a penalty point for too many false starts/incorrect starting positions, to tie the match. Bissett went ahead with an escape, but Snyder regained the lead with a strong takedown with 16 seconds left. The match ended with Snyder hanging on to a 5-4 lead, on top with double legs in, and Bissett coming out the back door. A close call at the end, some fans were annoyed, but the score stood.

140 - Seth Easter, Nitro Dec Brent Willison, Hyndman, 6-3
Nitro's Seth Easter, '05 State AAA Champ at 130, met Brent Willison who was 4th at the Winners Choice at 130 last year. Easter went about the match in his usual business-like fashion, scoring the first takedown in the first, releasing, and another takedown to end the period ahead 4-1. Easter started the second on bottom, reversed on a roll. Willison escaped, and the round ended 6-2. Willison wrestled tough, starting the third on bottom. Easter tried for the pin but Willison could not be turned. A power half turned into a roll and a dogfight, and Willison escaped with 10 seconds left. Final score 6-3

145 - Tucker Conklin, West Greene Dec George Lavis, Buckhannon, OT 6-5
West Greene's Tucker Conklin, a sophomore, already sports 50+ High School wins, and was 3rd at the WPIAL tournament last year as a freshman. Lavis, also a sophomore, was Region III runner-up last year. Conklin scored first with a deep double leg shot and a back-door finish. Lavis escaped with a Granby, and the first period ended 2-1. The second period started with Lavis on bottom. Lavis sat out and escaped, then took the lead with a quick leg shot. The third period began with Lavis leading 4-2 and Conklin on bottom. Conklin was out in a hurry, and went ahead with an ankle pick. Lavis got out and the match was tied at 5 with 1:20 left. Regulation ended in a tie, with Conklin on the verge of (but not quite) scoring coming around on a sprawl. In the first overtime period there was no score, ending with Lavis on the verge of (but not quite) finishing a deep double leg shot with Conklin locked in the crotch. The second overtime period had Conklin on bottom. He was out quickly, and took the win.

152 - Henry Miller, University Dec James Casto, Point Pleasant, 9-3
University's Henry Miller, Junior, 4th at AAA 152 last year and third at 140 as a freshman, squared off against Point's James Casto, Junior, State Champ at AA/A 145 last year and fifth at 140 as a freshman. Henry's only loss in the state tournament his freshman year was to one Mitch Smith, while last year he lost twice in Huntington to Huntington's Chad Nelson. Miller scored first in the first period with a low ankle pick, finishing with a tree-top and trip to end the first period ahead 2-0. Miller started the second period on bottom, escaped, and moved out to a 5-0 lead on a spin behind after a missed shot by Casto. In the third, Casto started on bottom and was out quickly to make it 5-1. Miller is strong on his feet - well, actually on his foot and knee, as his style is a low crouch much of the time. He scored on another ankle pick, then gave up a reversal when he got crossed up in legs. Some additional furious action, and the match ended 9-3 Miller.

160 - Wesley Byard, North Marion Dec Ryan Ewing, Parkersburg, 4-0
Both wrestlers are a couple of hard luck cases. Ewing was runner-up at Winners Choice last year at 145, was ranked at that weight class, then disappeared from the radar screen. Byard was 4th at Winners Choice last year at 152 and was picking up steam at that weight class but made an unfortunate early exit from the State Tournament. The first period was scoreless with Byard taking several good shots but not scoring. The second began with Byard on bottom. Byard hit a switch, getting a leg in and finished the period on top working his leg ride but unable to mount a serious threat. The third started with wrestlers on their feet. Ewing got in deep on a good leg shot, but Byard pulled off one of those Gorbyesque "so what if I'm on by butt with my opponent in deep on my legs - I can still throw in a leg ride, win this dogfight and come out on top" moves -- to get the takedown end the match with a 4-0 winner.

171 - Brent Hereford, Point Pleasant Fall Kyle Pickens, Lewis County, 1.17
What was the difference between this week's Point team which finished third at the Winners Choice and last week's Point team which finished third at the Jackson County Invitational? A couple of things for starters. This week Brent Hereford (senior, runner-up at AA/A160 last year) was back in the lineup (along with Tre Pyles, back at 130). Hereford's opponent in the finals was sophomore Kyle Pickens of Lewis County , region 3 runner-up at 152 last year. Parkersburg's Andy Thomas, sophomore, AAA State Champ at 160 last year, wound up in the bottom bracket after an unnecessary roughness which ended up as a DQ - otherwise we could have seen Thomas and Hereford in the finals. Hereford looked strong and he spun behind a shot by Pickens early in the first, locked in a cross face cradle, and scored 3 backs. Give Pickens credit as he fought out of this cradle, but Hereford was too much this night, scoring the fall with 43 seconds left in the first. How far will Point Pleasant go in Huntington this year? They have some heavy hitters. Word has it that Justin Cullen, 6th at AA/A 130 in '04 as a sophomore, who missed last year with an injury, may be back on the mats next month. Stay tuned...

189 - Matt Lindamood, Parkersburg Dec Morgan Murphy, East Fairmont, 7-3
Both these wrestlers have stepped into the prime-time this year. Murphy, a sophomore, was 6th at 152 in the Winners Choice last year, was 4th in AAA Region 2 last year and was 1-2 at the AAA State Tournament. Lindamood was second at the Jackson County Invitational last year (not last week) wrestling as a Parkersburg JV, losing to Hereford (see above) in the 160 finals 5-2. It would appear that Lindamood spent last year behind Litton and Thomas. Lindamood had met Murphy earlier this year, winning with a pin in overtime. (The other Lindamood, Joey, AAA Champ at 215 last year, has been spotted at 215 and 275 this year, but did not make this trip to Fairmont). Lindamood opened the scoring in the first with a cross leg and trip, then turned Murphy loose, to end the first period ahead 2-1. The second period started with Murphy on bottom. After an escape the match was tied 2-2. Lindamood scored another takedown, then got out of shape going for a cradle, Murphy escaped, and the second period ended 4-3 Lindamood. The third started with Lindamood on bottom. Lindamood did a sit out turn in, escaped, and moved out to 5-3. The wrestlers were on their feet most of the third round, with Lindamood wresting a tactical match and Murphy unable to score. Lindamood was warned for stalling with 5 seconds to go, and a flurry at the buzzer resulted in a takedown for Lindamood. Final score 7-3.

215 - Daniel Hill, Bridgeport Dec Greg Lyman, Hedgesville, 7-3

Bridgeport Senior Daniel Hill (runner-up AAA Region 3 last year, 1-2 at the AAA State Tournament), met Hedgesville sophomore Greg Lyman (runner-up AAA Region 2 last year, 0-2 at the State Tournament). Hill scored first with a spin behind, and the first round ended 2-0. The second round started with Lyman on bottom. Lyman escaped to make it 2-1. With both wrestlers on their feet, Hill executed an amazing lift and took Lyman straight to his back from somewhere near the rafters. Instead of the takedown, the call was slam. Lyman wins the "gutty performance of the tournament award" -- he could have stayed down, taken the win by DQ, won the championship, and nobody in the armory would have questioned it. Give the sophomore credit though, as he gathered himself, got to his feet, and finished the match. Hill scored another takedown in the second on a spin behind after a missed shot by Lyman, and the second round ended 4-2. In the third, Hill started on bottom. An escape by Hill, a bear hug with a trip, and the match ended 7-2 Hill.

275 - Gaynon Bunner, East Fairmont Dec Matt Bosley, Fairmont Senior, 3-1
Sheesh, how many times have these two seniors wrestled each other? Five times in two years, according to the Fairmont paper, with Bunner 5-0 against Bosley, including last year's AAA State Tournament when Bunner knocked Bosley out of the tournament in the consolation second round with a 3-0 decision. Much the same tonight. No score in the first. Bosley wrestled aggressively, but Bunner was able to out maneuver Bosley and fend off his attacks. In the second, Bunner start on bottom and was out quickly. He then scored a takedown on a bad shot by Bosley, and went into the third leading 3-0. Bosley started the third round on bottom, got out, but could not score. Match ended 3-1 Bunner.

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