PHS second after Day 1

HUNTINGTON – After day one of the 66th annual West Virginia State wrestling tournament, host Huntington is tied for first in Class AAA with Parkersburg at 34 while Wirt County took an early team lead in the Class AA/A division here Thursday night inside the Big Sandy Super Store Arena.

Four-time defending triple-A state champion Parkersburg South won nine of its 12 matches and that included a battle where Patriot 120-pounder Braidon Knotts scored a 12-0 victory against Ripley’s Antonio Jones. However, the Patriots rested in third place with 33 points as first-year head coach Donna Dixon’s team was ahead of Washington (31), Point Pleasant (27) and the Vikings (22.5) from Jackson County.

The Big Reds of head man Chris Way also secured nine triumphs Thursday evening in 11 chances. PHS received pins from Austin Spears (106), Sam Phillips (126), Trapper Hays (132), Skyler Terrell (138), Dylan Richards (160), Jared Haught (182) and 220-pounder Tyler Riddle.

“It went pretty much as we thought it was going to go,” Way said. “We were able to pick up seven pins and two major decisions. It’s nice to get a lot of those bonus points.

“They are fighting through for all the points that are out there and pretty much doing everything that’s been asked of them so far.”

Parkersburg South received mat slappers from Lance Hill (113), Kyle Knotts (126), Jordan Quiocho (132), Jake Alexander (152), Briar Shively (160), Drake Mills (170) and heavyweight Thomas Hall.

Ripley, which got a narrow 4-3 victory from 195-pounder Greg Medina versus Patriot Matt Dixon, went 8-2 overall. Coach Matt Smith’s team had pins by 170-pounder Nate Starkey and heavyweight Daryl Hicks.

Little Kanawha Conference champion Wirt County, thanks to an 8-3 effort on day one, amassed 28 team points. That total put the orange and black in the early lead as Clay County and Independence are tied for second at 24.5. Top-ranked Greenbrier West struggled a little on Thursday and won seven of its 12 matches. The Cavaliers are tied for fourth with North Marion at 24 points. Second ranked East Fairmont checked in at sixth with 22 points.

The Tigers were aided by Wahama junior Randall Robie as the fourth place Region IV finisher upset Region III champion Jordan Grimmet of Greenbrier West, 6-5.

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” said Wirt County head coach Kenny Dye. “We wrestled all right today. Out of 11 matches, winning eight, that’s not real bad.

“We just have to have those boys wrestle back through. It’s an important round in the morning. We’ve got some good matches in the morning.”

Wahama actually went 5-0 as the White Falcons also got a win from Colton Neal at 182 and three pins thanks to Kane Roush (160), Crandale Neal (170) and Demetrius Serevicz at 195.

Wirt County was led by pins from Jon Cain (120), Tyler Cheuvront (126), Hagan Root (132), Jake Linville (138), Cody Ferguson (145) and heavyweight Skylar Snyder.

LKC runner-up Clay County, which defeated the Tigers by 3.5 points for the Region IV championship last Saturday at Roane County, went 8-2. Jack Cummings received a forfeit at 106 while Panthers Justin Triplett (113), Alex Suite (132) and Tyler Stewart (160) each registered mat slappers.

The three Mid-Ohio Valley teams with only one entrant apiece in the state tournament were unable to pick up a victory. Root pinned Tyler Consolidated’s Joe Henthorn in 3:10, Mike Houser of St. Marys lost via a second period pin to Petersburg 170-pounder Tyler Rohrbaugh and Ravenswood 170-pounder Patrick Berry suffered a 15-0 technical fall setback to Jake Tyler of Nicholas County.

Magnolia’s only win came thanks to 195-pounder Jared Wright, who major decisioned Bluefield’s Shawn Pennington 15-4.

Other area squads who had winners via pin came from Braxton County – A.J. Adkins (120), James Accord (132), Bryson Dennison (138), Thomas Simon (152) and Lee Helmick (160); Williamstown – Dalton George (126), Jake Tracewell (145), David Hastings (170) and Alex Rauch (285); Ritchie County – Jacob Monn (106), Brad Riddle (182) and Josh Hart (220) along with Calhoun County’s Casey Ritchie at 126 and Red Devil teammate Andrew Satterfield, who pinned Ritchie County heavyweight Seth Smith in 2:39.

Action will resume at 11:30 a.m. today.