Area wrestlers try to qualify for state tourney

PARKERSBURG – Wrestling regionals across the Mountain State will conclude this evening as teams and individuals try to position themselves for next week’s state tournament in Huntington.

Locally, the only area one-day mat tournaments for fans to choose from today are Class AAA, Region III, at Ripley, which gets under way at 11 a.m. and the Class AA/A, Region IV, tournament at Roane County, set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Four-time defending Class AAA state champion Parkersburg South and rival Parkersburg both will be in attendance at the Region I tournament. The one-day event is expected to begin at 10:30 a.m. today at Brooke High School.

Ritchie County, St. Marys, Tyler Consolidated and Magnolia started competing in the Class AA/A, Region I, tournament on Friday afternoon at the Woody Williams Armory in Fairmont. The championship semifinals and consolation quarterfinals begin at 10 a.m. today.

Ripley head coach Matt Smith’s Vikings will attempt to continue their dominance of Region III. Since moving into the regional in 2007, the Jackson County program has captured it six straight times. Trying to help Ripley make it seven in a row will be Viking top seeds Lucas Simpkins (126), Austin Hileman (132), Jake Martin (138), Preston Martin (152), Greg Medina (195) and last year’s state heavyweight runner-up Daryl Hicks.

Parkersburg South senior Tyler Richards, the fourth seed at 138, is seeking his fourth career regional title. Top-seeded Patriot Lance Hill at 113 is going after a third regional crown while teammate Thomas Hall, the No. 1 seeded heavyweight, is vying for his second.

Jared Haught of PHS also has a shot to conclude his career as a four-time regional champion as the the No. 1 seed at 182 goes for his second triple-A, Region I title.

He won titles in Region IV of Class AA/A at Calhoun County. Big Red teammates Skyler Terrell and Trapper Hays are vying for their second regional top of the podium finish. Terrell is the No. 2 seed at 138 and Hays is the fourth seed at 132.