Bob Zide Rumble full of talented wrestlers

PARKERSBURG – Independence, the top-ranked wrestling program in Class AA/A, will be out to regain its status as champion of Williamstown’s Bob Zide Rumble when action gets underway at 10 a.m. Saturday.

A year ago, currently seventh-ranked East Fairmont topped the field with 163.5 points while runner-up and 2012 champion Independence finished with 135 points.

Aside from the host and ninth-ranked Yellowjackets, the Bees and the Patriots, other teams in the field include No. 6 Calhoun County, No. 10 Herbert Hoover, Wirt County, Preston, Ravenswood, Bridgeport, Sissonville, St. Marys, Madonna, Doddridge County, Spring Mills and South Harrison.

“We’ve got five of the top 10 teams in the state here Saturday,” said Williamstown head mat coach Ryan Scott. “You are going to see several state champions wrestle this weekend.

“Last year we had nine kids (at the Rumble) who wrestled in the state finals. There were four state champions and five runners-up. It’s going to be one heck of a Rumble. There are eight top-seeded kids expected to wrestle, seven in double-A and one in triple-A.”

Preston’s Terrance Fanning is the current No. 1 ranked 220-pounder in Class AAA.

In Class AA/A, expected to be competing as top-ranked in their respective weight classes are Calhoun County’s Houstin McCune (120), Williamstown teammates Dalton George (132) and David Hastings (195), Herbert Hoover’s Zane Weese (220), East Fairmont’s Hayden Stewart (152) and Independence teammates Colton Ward at 138 and Cody Clifton at 145.

“We will have 12 weight classes filled,” said Scott, whose team is holding out 152-pounder Jake Tracewell until next week’s Little Kanawha Conference tournament.

Even though the team race easily should go to Independence, there are plenty of potential battles which are well worth the price of admission.

One of those coach Scott is expecting to see should come in the finals at 195 with Hastings and Trey Williams of Independence. Hastings, who was ranked seventh last week, decisioned current No. 2 Williams at the WSAZ.

“We wrestled fairly well last week at the WSAZ and had two in the finals at one of the biggest tournaments in the state. That’s pretty good,” added the coach.

Five other grapplers expected to compete Saturday currently hold down No. 2 rankings. That includes the Patriot Williams and fellow teammates Will Cox (120), Jacob Hart (126) and 152-pounder Noah Adams along with Calhoun County 106-pounder Allen Metheney.

As usual, wrestling fans are welcome to come hungry as the annual $5 pancake breakfast will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. in the high school cafeteria.