Calhoun County Invitational is set for today

MT. ZION – Even though more snow is predicted for the Mid-Ohio Valley early today, the annual Calhoun County Invitational will take place with wrestling action slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.

CCHS head coach Mike Stump, whose Red Devils won their own tournament a year ago by besting Clay County 170-159, said this has been one of the worst years he can recall when it comes to Mother Nature being a pest.

“For the most part, we’ve had the majority (of our kids) in practice,” said the coach, whose squad is ranked sixth in Class AA/A. “We’ve had some good practices this week.

“The weather is just playing havoc on everybody’s schedule, not just on our tournament. It’s been a crazy winter so far and it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up.”

The Red Devils are coming off a third place showing at last weekend’s Braxton County Invitational, finishing behind champion Independence and runner-up Greenbrier West, which are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the state.

Allen Metheney, the Red Devils’ 106-pounder, won his weight class at the BCI while teammates Houstin McCune (126), Johnny Taylor (132) and Cole Ritchie (145) had runner-up efforts. Red Devil 138-pounder Casey Ritchie will be back in action today after missing last week.

“We wrestled pretty well there,” Stump noted of last weekend. “Independence and Greenbrier West, they are that good. I don’t know if anybody can unseed them finishing first and second (at state).”

If all of the teams can make it to Mt. Zion today, the field will consist of 11 squads. Aside from the host Red Devils, 2012 champion Clay County is expected to be on hand along with Morgantown, Braxton County, Buffalo, Doddridge County, Fayetteville, Poca, St. Marys, Wirt County and the ‘B’ team from Greenbrier West.

“The only one who contacted me was Webster County and they couldn’t come,” added the coach. “It’s going to be hit and miss with some of them whether they can get there or not.”

Coach Stump said his squad is still at less than 100 percent and that “we’ve still got a kid or two who hasn’t made their alpha weight yet. It’s just been a long drawn out process.”

As best as Stump can recall, weather never has caused the CCI to cancel and he expects to wrestle today.

“If there’s only one team who shows up we’ll wrestle them,” he said. “We’ll have plenty to eat afterward.”