Edison repeats as Wood mat champs

PARKERSBURG – Numerous wrestlers had a plethora of chances to make a difference during the 53rd annual Wood County Middle School wrestling championships, which concluded Tuesday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse.

However, when the final match of the two-day event came about to end the evening with top-seeded Avery Eddy of Edison facing No. 2 seed Michael Macke of Blennerhassett the county championship was on the line. The winner of the match would give their respective school a team title and Eddy ended up coming through when he scored a 3-2 triple-overtime rideout win against his Bobcat opponent to give the Eagles a 232-229.5 victory and a repeat of the Wood County crown.

“We placed 12 of our 14 wrestlers with six champions and we’re young. We only have three eighth-graders,” said Edison head coach Tammy Koreski.

“When (Mikey) Shamblin lost (8-2) at 78 (to Ritchie County’s Austin Dalton) I knew it would come down to heavyweight. Avery is a 4.0 student and he’s president of the student council.”

Edison 90-pounder Tucker Windland was the lowest seed, a three, to win a title. He scored a takedown late in the first and decisioned No. 1 seed Jake Martin of Blennerhassett, 6-2. Prior to that, Eagle 84-pounder Braden Roberts pinned Ravenswood’s Jamie Cambron in 2:22.

Jarritt Flinn, Edison’s 123-pounder became a two-time county champion when he pinned Blennerhassett’s Logan Nay in 2:15. Eagle Braxton Amos pinned his 145-pound opponent Reed Tuttle of Willamstown in 1:46 and coach Koreski’s other title came at 171 when Dalton Fullerton pinned Bobcat Tony Haddix in 1:46.

Although Ripley’s Jacob Starkey joined Flinn in becoming a two-time champ when he scored a 9-1 major decision versus Blennerhassett 102-pounder T.J. Huffman, two grapplers actually won a Wood County individual title for a third successive year. The first to do it was Blennerhassett 95-pounder Luke Martin, who nearly had a takedown late in the first against Ravenswood’s Jacob Tanner, but didn’t end up needing it after notching an 11-3 major decision. Bobcat Zach Collins led 5-0 just 23 seconds into his 116-pound battle versus Stephen Carder of Jackson and pinned the General in 2:03 to become a three-time winner.

Martin and Dalton ended up being honored as co-Most Outstanding Wrestlers. Dalton’s teammate Josh Mason, a 155-pounder, also won a title when he registered a second period mat slapper against Edison’s Ryan Wilson. Rebel 128-pounder Zane Hinzman also was victorious with a 14-5 major decision triumph against Wirt County’s Matt Murray. During the Rebels’ previous 15 years in the league, the squad’s only individual champion came in 2001 from Willie Boice.

Blennerhassett also received titles from Landon Flinn at 110 and Drew Dunbar at 135. Flinn pinned Wirt County’s Hunter Moore in the second period and Dunbar did the same to Edison’s Austin Braniff, who was the only other three-seed to reach the finals. Ripley’s B.J. Haynes stopped Eagle Louden Haga via pin in 2:39 at 190.

Ritchie County (95), Ravenswood (79.5), Hamilton (71), Wirt County (69), Ripley (63), Williamstown (50), Jackson (42.5) and VanDevender (31) rounded out the team scoring.

Ravenswood head coach John Heath was honored as the Buddy James coach of the year. The Dr. Jim Mendenhall official of the year award went to Greg Church.