HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Wahama’s season has come to an end, while Point Pleasant is still going strong through the opening two sessions of the 70th annual West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Association wrestling championships being held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
Both Mason County programs had a combined 15 grapplers at the three-day event, but only six of those 15 competitors were still in contention for an individual state title after the opening round of Class AA-A competition on Thursday night.
All half-dozen of those opening day winners came from PPHS, and the Big Blacks had that number cut in half by the end of afternoon session held Friday.
Headed into Friday night’s third round of competition, only senior Grant Safford (182), Andrew Roach (195) and sophomore George Smith (113) remained in the championship winner’s bracket. If any of the three win their semifinal bouts from Friday night, they will advance to Saturday’s state final in that respective weight class.
At the end of the second session, Point Pleasant still had five grapplers in the Class AA-A tournament. Freshman Justin Cornell (106) and junior Jacob Bryant (138) were both scheduled for third-round consolation matches in their respective divisions.
Through two of the five rounds of state meet, the Big Blacks currently sit fourth in the Class AA-A standings with 45 points. Independence has a vast lead in the Class AA-A field with 111 points, while East Fairmont (56.5) and Petersburg (51.5) stand between the Patriots and PPHS.
Wahama finishes the Class AA-A state tournament with four points and was tied with Robert C. Byrd and Pikeview for 41st place through two rounds of action. There are a total of 54 programs competing in the Class AA-A tournament.
Safford, Roach, Smith, Cornell, Bryant and senior Austin Wamsley (152) started Thursday’s action with opening round wins, but only Safford, Roach and Smith came away victorious in their quarterfinal bouts on Friday afternoon.
Cornell and Bryant did muster a 14-3 major decision and pinfall win in their respective second round consolation bouts, and each needed a win on Friday night to secure a top-six podium finish.
Wamsley — who picked up his 100th career win at the Region IV tournament a week ago — had heartbreaking losses of 4-3 and 6-5 in his final two prep bouts.
Junior Jacob Roub (145) and freshman Juan Marquez (220) picked up their first career state wins in the first consolation round, but both were eliminated from the tournament in their following matches.
Junior Caleb Lane (120), freshman Logan Southall (126) and junior Brian Gillispie (285) each went 0-2 in their respective weight classes while being eliminated from the tournament.
The White Falcons went .500 in the first consolation round on Friday afternoon as freshman Trevor Hunt (120) and junior Ethan Herdman (145) picked up a pinfall win and a 5-4 decision, respectively, in those bouts.
Hunt and Herdman both suffered losses in the second consolation round, which ended their weekends with matching 1-2 records.
Senior Brady Powell (152) and sophomore Antonio Serevicz (195) both suffered pinfall setbacks in the first consolation round, ending their weekends with identical 0-2 marks.
With Hunt and Herdman each recording their first state tournament victories, both accumulated two points apiece for WHS. Those four points allowed Wahama to score at the state tournament for the 10th time in the last 11 postseasons.
Due to an early press time, the third round of Friday night’s competition could not be included in this story. An update of Friday night’s event will be added to the Point Pleasant Register website later Friday night.
Complete results of the three-day Class AA-A state tournament will be available in the Tuesday sports edition of the Point Pleasant Register.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.