Edison nips Blennerhassett for county title

Prather’s pin seals championship

Ripley’s Luke Miller, who was seeking a second Wood County Middle School wrestling championship, lifts Blennerhassett’s Devin Easton high into the air during their 102-pound championship match on Thursday inside Parkersburg’s Memorial Fieldhouse. Miller recorded the first takedown, but Easton won via a third period pin. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

PARKERSBURG — Ethan Prather of Edison didn’t need a pin in the final match of Thursday’s 56th Wood County Middle School wrestling championships to seal the Eagles’ five-peat, but he got one anyway.

The Eagles of head coach Tammy Koreski trailed 204-199 entering the heavyweight match and Prather, who needed at least a technical fall to give his team the county title, used just 89 seconds to pin Jackson’s Kam Lockhart and set off a wild celebration following a 205-204 win against the Bobcats.

“Every point counts and we had six first-year kids in our starting lineup, six kids who had never wrestled before,” said Koreski, who watched 84-pounder Cam Irizarry and Wood County Wrestler of the Year Gavin Quiocho (155) capture their second career middle school individual titles.

“We were the underdogs all year long. We went down and got second at WSAZ, which was unbelievable for a team as young as we are. We lost to Blennerhassett in the dual and we lost to them at the clash. I know the record is seven in a row, so we’re going for it.”

Edison entered the finals trailing the Bobcats 186-176, but after winning the first three matches the Eagles went ahead 193-186. Brady Roberts won his 78-pound title for the Eagles by forfeit against Ripley’s Wyatt Simons. Irizarry, last year’s 78-pound champ, allowed the first takedown in the 84-pound finals to Wirt County’s Kolton Parsons, but finished with a 16-3 major decision. In the 90-pound finals, Edison’s Gage Wright led 4-0 against Ravenswood’s Ethan Tanner following the one-minute long opening period. In the second, he flattened his Red Devil opponent 52 ticks into the period.

Wirt County, which was the only program aside from EMS and BMS to have multiple individual champions, got its first when No. 2 seed Logan Powell nipped top-seeded Trenton Jones of Edison, 4-3, in the 95-pound finals.

Powell scored the first takedown, but then allowed a reversal. Trailing 3-2 entering the third, Powell took neutral and got his winning takedown with 40 seconds left on the clock.

In the 102 finals, Bobcat Devin Easton trailed 3-2 after one, but went ahead for good with a reversal early in the second and finally got a pin on Ripley’s Luke Miller in 3:42.

The Tigers’ other champ came at 110 where AJ Garrett scored a 15-3 major decision against Bobcat Colton Patterson.

Ritchie County’s Brady Layman, who was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, led 4-0 after the first period against Bobcat Wade Smith. Smith, who was the only No. 4 seed to reach the finals was eventually pinned by his Rebel opponent in 1:19.

Blennerhassett went ahead 196-193 in the team race after the 123-pound finals. That’s where Bobcat Brayden Kimes scored a 10-4 decision against Caleb Stansberry of Williamstown.

Spencer’s lone finals entrant was 128-pounder Gavin Black. The No. 2 seed didn’t disappoint as he handed No. 1 seed Cade Murray of Edison a 14-3 major decision setback.

Williamstown’s lone champ came thanks to 135-pounder Julian Stoneman, who had the first takedown of the match and never trailed during his 6-2 win versus Oscar Lemus of Blennerhassett.

Jackson got a championship at 145 from top-seeded Michael Owen, who pinned Ravenswood’s Caleb Lane in 4:46.

Quiocho, who won it all at 128 last winter and pinned his way through this year’s tournament, finally got a takedown with nine seconds left in the first on Hamilton’s Justin Waybright, who lost via fall in 2:22.

Back-to-back wins at 171 and 190 for BMS set the final stages for Prather’s heroic.

The Bobcats of head man Bill Smith led 200-199 after 171-pounder Noah Buckalew decisioned Hamilton’s Jeffrey Jones, 8-5. The margin increased to five at 204-199 when 190-pound Bobcat Myson Anderson got a takedown with five seconds left in his match with Ripley’s Matt Moore for a 3-1 win.

Ripley’s Ronnie Mullins was honored as the Buddy James Coach of the Year and Dale Ray was named the Dr. Jim Mendenhall Official of the Year.