Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP WRESTLING NOTEBOOK ; WV Duals Offers Strong Field after WSAZ Cancellation

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP WRESTLING NOTEBOOK ; WV Duals Offers Strong Field after WSAZ Cancellation

Article excerpt

Last weekend's blizzard wiped out the WSAZ Invitational, arguably the premier prep wrestling event in the state during the regular season. The aftermath left coaches around the state scrambling for matches and, perhaps more important, denied coaches and athletes the chance to stack up against perhaps the most competitive field of the year, including the state tournament.

This weekend's West Virginia Duals at Parkersburg may not boast the amount of teams that the WSAZ Invitational would have, but the quality of competition will offer quite the challenge.

Four of the top five Class AAA schools in the latest poll will compete at the 13-school event (No. 1 Parkersburg South, No. 2 St. Albans, No. 4 Ripley and No. 5 Parkersburg) as well as two- time defending Class AA-A champion and current No. 1 Independence. Class AA-A No. 3 Roane County is also slated to compete.

Parkersburg South and Parkersburg will divide into two squads and teams have been placed in pools of eight with matches being held both today and Saturday.

The Red Dragons inched past Huntington for the No. 2 spot in last week's poll but are now left with two holes on its roster after an injury. St. Albans does not have a wrestler at the 195- and 220- pound divisions.

Still, SA has been making plenty of noise this season and will be tested this weekend.

"In our pool alone you've got Ripley and Parkersburg, so that's pretty big right there, SA coach Daren Gilfilen said. "And next weekend [is the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament] which we are hosting at St. Albans and we will get to see them all again.

Gilfilen admitted the cancellation of the WSAZ Invitational cost him some valuable scouting time and, more than that, hurt quite a class of three seniors. Those three are all ranked in the top three of their weight classes, with Micah Crewdson listed No. 1 at 132 pounds, Anthony Atkins No. 2 at 138 and Trey Harmon No. 3 at 145.

"It was the hardest blow to the seniors because that was going to be their last time and a lot of them have wrestled there since they were in sixth grade, Gilfilen said. …

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