South’s Lambiotte to wrestle at OVU

Parkersburg South senior T.J. Lambiotte, left, capped his senior year with the Patriots by winning the Class AAA 170-pound state championship. He’ll continue his mat career for the Fighting Scots of Ohio Valley University. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

PARKERSBURG — Senior T.J. Lambiotte, Parkersburg South’s 170-pound state champion, has decided to continue his wrestling career for the Fighting Scots of Ohio Valley University head coach Pat Sole.

The four-time state qualifier and three-time state placer capped off a 35-5 senior campaign by topping the field for his first state mat title. The soon-to-be ex-Patriot, who has 13 days of school left, had to settle for runner-up honors at 170 as a junior and placed third as a 145-pound sophomore.

“Dalton George (from Williamstown) is there, obviously he was an All-American this year and I’ll have good practice partners there. I have just as much opportunity to be as good as I want to be there as anywhere else,” said Lambiotte, who carries a 3.5-plus GPA, but hasn’t settled on a major, although he plans to take some business classes.

“I feel like there are good kids there and good kids in the area that need to be going there. I toured Mount Union and West Virginia Tech. We had looked at Kent State and all kinds of different colleges.”

Getting another local grappler is something coach Sole is more than pleased with.

“We are excited to have T.J. become a Fighting Scott,” Sole stated. “His potential has only begun to be tapped. We’re sure T.J. can be competitive from the get-go with the experience he’s gained from growing up in such a competitive local scene.”

Of course, the Patriot was part of three consecutive Class AAA state mat crowns for South.

“He most likely will be at 165 his freshman year of college,” added the coach. “These guys tend to grow, so I doubt he stays there. As far as starting as a freshman, I can see that as long as he stays healthy and we can keep some of the others in separate weights.

“It sure is nice to see local wrestling talent progress at the college level. It’s a huge opportunity for young men like T.J. to have a chance to find success in life, both academically and athletically.”

Known for taking it to his opponent and being the aggressor throughout his prep career, Lambiotte doesn’t plan on changing anything at the NCAA Division II level.

“A lot of wrestling is just on yourself,” he said. “I think it’s like anything else, you have to make sacrifices for whatever you want to get. Before I won a state title, I didn’t really want to wake up at six in the morning to go lift and then go to practice after school.

“But I didn’t want to be a loser at the end of the day for my senior year. I’m just going into it not even looking at it as being a freshman, but just having the same goal as the rest of the upperclassmen.”

Lambiotte said he plans to stay on the Vienna-based campus and has his eye on achieving All-American status at OVU.

“That’s my goal,” Lambiotte continued. “Hopefully, Dalton can do it again and hopefully I’m able to step up and do what he did last year. If we can have a few guys do it, it will bring more people to the team.”

As far as what he needs to work on in order to reach the level of success he wants, the Patriot said “getting stronger and with becoming stronger that also comes with being more physical. That’s just the way I wrestle.

“There’s really nothing to be proud about when you are losing. There is absolutely nothing I like about losing. Losing sucks a whole lot more than winning.”