This week in MOV Athletics

Happy New Year to all my readers!

2018 surely will be a blast. And we have some great sporting events to help ring in the New Year this week as well.

Some of you may be wondering where this column was last week with expectations dashed when it didn’t appear. Jay W. Bennett and I had so much to say on other topics we didn’t get around to putting last week’s matchups in the paper.

Never fear though because I am back this week. Before we get started however, there were a few of our athletes who are the recipients of national honors.

Congratulations go out to Parkersburg High’s Brenton Strange and Doddridge County’s William Howell. Both young men were named to the USA Today All-West Virginia Football team last week.

Strange, a Class AAA All-State first team selection at defensive back, was a first-team selection. Howell, a Class A first-team selection at defensive end, was named to the second team.

Having seen both in action at different points this year, it is safe to say neither one wasn’t deserving of the honor.

On the mats, South wrestling once again made headlines. This time it was at the POWERade Tournament in Canonsburg, Pa. where the Patriots finished third as a team along with two individual champions.

Braxton Amos claimed a 4-0 decision over Lake Highland Prep’s Ben Goldin in the 220-lbs. finals. This was a rematch of the Walsh Jesuit Ironman championship match from a few months ago. The blue and white matman put on a dominating display on his way to the last match. He scored falls in his other five contests.

Josh Humphreys nearly matched his teammate in falls recorded on the day. Three of his matches ended in falls, while two others were ruled technical falls. The senior then scored a 10-2 major decision over Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy in the 152 lbs. final.

Wrestling is an interesting sport to me. I used to watch World Wrestling Entertainment, but find myself gravitating more and more to the amateur version of the sport. FloWrestling has proved a good follow on Twitter to help me get more acquainted with scoring too.

Speaking of wrestling, fans of the mat sport certainly can get their fill this week. South and PHS are both in action at home.

Matt Littleton’s Big Red grapplers host Ripley, University, and Riverside at a home quad at 6 p.m. Monday. Wheeling Park faces PHS at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Memorial Fieldhouse too.

Rod Oldham Athletic Center proves the place to be Saturday as Shaun Smith’s team hosts the South Duals. Festivities are scheduled to get underway at 8 a.m. sharp.

Having already hosted one participant from the final of last year’s Class AAA state tournament (Huntington), Jeff Mennillo’s PHS boys basketball team welcomes in the other half when Capital makes a visit for a 7:30 p.m. start Tuesday.

To say last year’s contest between the two schools at PHS was an epic would definitely be an understatement. The Cougars walked in as the No. 1 team in the state, but didn’t walk out as such.

A back-and-forth game came down to two Karson Snyder free throws with 0.7 seconds left in the contest. The Big Red senior proved the hero with two makes as the roar of the crowd was the loudest I heard at a boys’ game all season.

PHS sits at 3-3 on the season, fresh off an impressive win over an always tough Warren squad.

On the girls’ hardwood Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown get together for the first of potentially three matchups this season. Both the Crusaderettes (8-0) and Yellowjackets, currently 4-2 with a matchup against Ravenswood on Wednesday, are in the same section.

Those in attendance should expect to see a track meet break out early in the matchup. Fred Sauro’s and Marty Vierheller’s squads enjoy an up-tempo style of play. Running the floor is easy when you have athletic guards like Madeline Huffman, Aaliyah Brunny, and Olivia Ullman (Catholic) and Mara Rinehard, Jenna Pridemore, and Bethany Wager (Williamstown) at your disposal.

I have already seen the Catholic girls play once this year. Let me tell you, it was an early-season treat. The machine flows smoothly across the court, with multiple parts interchangeable throughout a matchup.

Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

In the pool at the Parkersburg Boys and Girls Club is where we end our week. Steve Lutz’ Parkersburg South swim team plays host to the Patriot Invite at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Teams from all over the state pour into the cramped but always rowdy setup for a day full of competition. Fans also get to see a bit of the Parkersburg/Parkersburg South rivalry in a few of the events as Terry Nicewarner’s Big Reds will be in attendance.

Spectators should pay extra attention to when the boys 50 and 100 meter events will be held. Keep your eyes on the Patriots’ Dominic Collins for a treat.

Enjoy the week in MOV sports and I will see you again next week.

Contact Joe Albright at