We were treated to a great weekend of sports, from the success of local high school teams to two highly-entertaining and interesting NFL conference championship games.
Start with the wrestling teams from the city of Parkersburg. There were two major tournaments conducted in the Mountain State last weekend -the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships in Wheeling and the Winners Choice in Fairmont.
Parkersburg South had failed to win the OVAC title just once since joining the nation's biggest high school sports league. Heading into the three-day tournament, the Patriots chances didn't look all that good. They were wrestling without one of their top performers and were facing a field that included defending champion Steubenville.
But this tournament wasn't even close. South dominated the competition, and had a pair of freshmen, Hunter DeLong and Justin Allman, win individual titles.
Not to be outdone, Parkersburg High won the Winner's Choice by a 61-point margin over runnerup Point Pleasant. The Big Reds also crowned a pair of champions -freshman Jared Donahue and junior Trapper Hays -with Hays being named the tournament's most outstanding wrestler.
The deeper into the wrestling season we get, the more convinced we become that Class AAA is a three-team race between defending champion Huntington and the two Parkersburg teams. Local fans will get two looks at Huntington when the Highlanders participate in the MSAC at Memorial Fieldhouse on Feb. 8 and five days later when coach Rob Archer's team battles South at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
On to swimming, where Parkersburg High swept the titles at its 16-team PHS Penguin Invitational on Saturday at the Parkersburg YMCA. Both of coach Linda Alt's teams are state title contenders, especially the undefeated Big Red girls. PHS -which bills itself as the School of Champions -hasn't won a state title in any sport for three years. Between wrestling and the two swimming teams, the Big Reds have three chances to end that drought.
Speaking of undefeated teams, both of Parkersburg South's basketball teams still can make that claim. The 11-0 start of the Patriot boys is the best in school history. While there's still lots of basketball left to be played, if any Class AAA team stops the South girls from winning back-to-back state titles, it will be a major upset.
Nobody will go undefeated in the National Football League this year, meaning the 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the only team in league history to go through the regular season and playoffs without a loss.
We were treated to two good games on Sunday. The Brady Bunch found out that Denver is indeed Peyton's Place as Manning led the Broncos to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Seattle's crowd lived up to its hype, playing a key role in the Seahawks win over San Francisco.
Within minutes after Seattle's win, Las Vegas sports books opened the Seahawks as 2-point favorites over the Broncos.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org