Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP WRESTLING ; St. Albans Wrestlers Making Presence Felt throughout State

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP WRESTLING ; St. Albans Wrestlers Making Presence Felt throughout State

Article excerpt

St. Albans has been a wrestling program on the rise over the past couple of seasons, and on Thursday it continued its rapid rise up the wvmat.com Class AAA team rankings. The Red Dragons were No. 7 in the first poll released on Dec. 2, moved up to No. 5 on Dec. 16 and have shot all the way to No. 3 in the state behind No. 1 Parkersburg South and No. 2 Cabell Midland.

The team has announced its presence on a couple of big stages, having gone a perfect 7-0 at the Jason Eades Memorial Tournament in Point Pleasant early in the season and winning the Pat Vance Invitational at Nitro on Saturday.

"[The ranking] is nice, it's kind of what we were aiming for, coach Daren Gilfilen said. "We were fifth and the boys looked at me and said, We should be better than five.' And I told them, No one knows you all yet.'

Well, people are finding out both on a state and national level.

St. Albans' Josh Humpreys won his weight class at the Powerade Christmas Tournament at Canon-McMillian High School in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on Dec. 30, making him the first West Virginia wrestler since 2006 to win a weight class at the event, according to Gilfilen.

Teams from nine states competed in the event, which is widely regarded as one of the toughest prep wrestling tournaments in the country. St. Albans finished 29th in the team standings with Cabell Midland 30th and Huntington 41st. The three were the only West Virginia schools to compete, and Humphreys was the only wrestler from any of the three teams to make the podium.

Humphreys wrestled at Hayes Middle School before transferring to Huntington for his freshman year last year. He won the state meet at 103 pounds but is now back at home and competing in the 120-pound class for a Red Dragons squad that already returned three seniors, two of which placed at last year's state meet.

"It's helped us tremendously, Gilfilen said of Humphreys' return. …

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