PHS matmen claim MSAC championship

PARKERSBURG -Parkersburg High School is known for putting on a good show when it conducts the Mountain State Athletic Conference Tournament.

On Saturday, the Big Reds once again put on a good show and added to that a dominating performance.

Coach Chris Way’s team won the team championship by 40 points over runnerup George Washington, 211 to 171. In doing so, it crowned five champions.

One of those champions, 152-pounder Trapper Hays, was awarded the meet’s most outstanding wrestler for his 3-1 overtime victory over Ripley’s Jake Martin, a two-time state champion, in the title bout.

That gave PHS a sweep of the individual awards as Way was named the league’s Coach of the Year in balloting by his peers.

Although the meet was minus defending MSAC and state champion Huntington, whose wrestlers are under a quarantine, those who came to Memorial Fieldhouse witnessed many great matches, highlighted by the Hays-Martin showdown.

Joining Hays at the top of the podium were teammates Jared Donahue, who scored an 8-2 decision over Phillip Sharp of George Washington in the 106-pound title match; 145-pounder Dylan Richards, who like Hays needed overtime to secure the title, registering a 6-4 decision over Zach Gwinn of Spring Valley; Codie Barrows, who waltzed through the 170-pound division, including a 10-3 decision over GW’s Hunter Jones in the championship match; and Max Chefren, who held off the challenge of St. Albans’ Akeem Brown to score a 5-3 verdict in the 195-pound championship final.

PHS also got runner-up performances from Austin Spears at 113, who lost a 7-5 decision to Sam Moore of GW in the title match; Nick Johnson, who was the victim of a major decision in the 132-pound championship match won 17-8 by Winfield’s Bryce Humphreys; and Drew Murphy, who lost to Ripley’s Preston Martin, 11-3, in the 160-pound final. Martin was one of two champions for the Vikings, who also saw Lucas Simpkins win the 126-pound crown with a 12-4 major decision over Cabell Midland’s Adam Whittmore.

The Big Reds will wrestle their final regular season match on Wednesday night when John Marshall invades Memorial Fieldhouse.

The Region 1 meet will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22, at John Marshall.