This week in MOV athletics

Two teams and one motivated individual have chances at history when the W.Va. State Wrestling Championships kick off Thursday inside Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.

Parkersburg South’s grappling team can complete a four-peat as the team title winner.

I say “can” but it is more likely “will” at this point.

The Patriots bring their entire starting roster to states, including the top- or second-ranked wrestler in more than half the weight classes.

One of Shaun Smith’s wrestlers, Josh Humphreys, is aiming to join state legends by winning his fourth straight state title. The senior 160-lbs. competitor is one of those already mentioned top-ranked wrestlers.

If Humphreys completes his “Tour for Four,” then the Robert Dutton Award voting probably stands as just a formality. His dominance this season has gone unmatched by anyone but teammate Braxton Amos.

In Class A, Danny Life’s Wirt County matters have their eye on the first repeat state championship.

I won’t steal Jay W. Bennett’s thunder on the Tigers as he wrote a column for Sunday’s paper.

Make sure to check it out.

Also from Bennett this week will be a Class AAA and Class AA/A state preview.

On the male hardwood, Little Kanawha Conference boys basketball is taking another stab at crowning a champion today after canceling their Night of Champions Saturday night. The championship game between Ravenswood and Braxton County begins with warm-ups as soon as the consolation game of Parkersburg Catholic and Webster County concludes at Roane County High School.

The third-place game is slated to begin at 6 p.m.

Speaking of Catholic, Rob Strcula’s Crusaders celebrate Senior Night against Charleston Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The game was originally scheduled for today, but moved due to the complications from the LKC Night of Champions.

In Class AAA, Parkersburg and Parkersburg South have one final contest before sectional action begins next week. Jeff Mennillo’s Big Reds look to push their record against South Charleston to 3-0 this year when they face the Black Eagles at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Charleston.

Meanwhile, Mike Fallon’s Patriots try to snap a two-game losing streak when they play Woodrow Wilson sometime this week. The game is planned for Thursday in Beckley, but the West Virginia teachers walkout is scheduled to begin the same day.

The “March to Charleston” officially begins for the state girls’ basketball teams with sectional action today.

Ravenswood and Calhoun County clash at 7 p.m. with the winner earning a date at Williamstown at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Class A Region IV, Section 1 semifinal. Fred Sauro’s Yellowjackets are our out to make it two straight sectional titles.

Parkersburg Catholic and Wahama battle at the same time to determine who faces the Yellowjackets in the final Thursday.

Gilmer, St. Marys, Paden City, Doddridge County and Roane County also are in action this week. In fact, you can see the full local sectional schedule on the next page.

In Class AAA, PHS and South appear on a collision course for a sectional final in Region IV, Section 1 inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center Friday night. However, Scott Cozzens’ team needs to take care of Ripley at home at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

PHS beat the Vikings by 18 earlier this season.


Congratulations to the Parkersburg High girls swim team on their state championship. The title was a long time coming and well deserved. Making the annual trek to Morgantown for the state meet is quickly becoming one of my favorite road trips of the year. Out of the three years I have gone two state champions have been crowned (South boys three years ago and PHS girls this year), and I have seen two runner-up finishes (PHS boys this year and last).

Contact Joe Albright at