Wrestling not getting any easier

One thing which always holds true in the sport of wrestling is there really aren’t any shortcuts to success.

Barring a rare egregious call by a referee, when the match is over the wrestler knows the effort they’ve put forth and they have to live with the result attained.

Just like in any other sport, not everyone is capable of being a state champion on the mat or becoming an all-stater.

Although perhaps not as notable in some of the larger area schools, when it comes to wrestling the numbers for teams throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley are nowhere close to where they’ve been in the past.

Maybe it’s a sign of the times or the softening of today’s youth in society, but it’s always nice to see student-athletes sticking it out on the mat.

There was no better example of that than what I witnessed on Tuesday inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center where Patriot freshman Samantha Miller was still working hard just like it was the first day of practice.

“She loves wrestling,” noted Parkersburg South head coach Shaun Smith, who was more than happy to get the news Wednesday that Patriot 145-pounder Jarritt Flinn went from a fifth-place regional finish and into the state tournament in the fourth-place spot after Huntington’s Clayton Stewart withdrew.

It’s hard to believe another wrestling season is nearly in the books and I’m looking forward to what the final weekend in Huntington has in store.

For sure, this will be the last time mat fans will get a chance to watch Patriot Justin Allman, who is going after his fourth state crown, compete.

Allman, who is ready to head to Fairmont after graduation to attend Pierpont’s lineman training program, told me his knees just can’t take the pounding anymore.

“I think it’s looking good. I got a good pill and I think I can beat anyone in my weight class,” he said. “It’s hard having people know you are a three-time state champ because it makes them not want to wrestle you and makes them go out there and be as defensive as they can.

“They just try to keep the matches close, which really sucks. I just have to keep my cool. It’s (being a four-timer) a big accomplishment as long as I get it done this weekend. I think that’s what a bunch of kids dream for.”

Allman added that it felt “like forever” for his senior year to get here, but that “it did come quick.”

Patriot teammate T.J. Lambiotte added “I’ve waited on it since the day I walked in here. I knew it was going to come eventually so I didn’t really worry about it. It happens to everybody. I’ve had fun with all the teams that have been through here since freshman year.”

South’s Hunter DeLong replied after a pause when asked if he was going to miss the matroom, “I probably won’t say that now, but I will sometime down the line.”