Wirt County grappler Hunter Moore chooses Ohio Valley University

Tiger won a state title this year

Wirt County’s Hunter Moore, pictured here after winning the Class AA/A 170-pound state wrestling title earlier this year in Huntington, signed his national letter of intent on Friday afternoon to compete for Ohio Valley University head mat coach Pat Sole and the Division II Fighting Scots. Photo by Jay W. Bennett

ELIZABETH — Ohio Valley University head wrestling coach Pat Sole landed his latest recruit on Friday afternoon when Wirt County state champion Hunter Moore inked his national letter of intent to compete for the Fighting Scots, who are an NCAA Division II member.

Moore capped a 36-5 senior campaign in style by securing Wirt County head coach Danny Life his first state champion. Competing in Class AA/A at 170, Moore’s last match for the orange and black was an exhilarating 3-2 triple-overtime decision versus Nitro’s Vinny Devaney.

Now, the soon-to-be ex-Tiger will work under the tutelage of coach Sole.

“He’s going to be in great hands,” Life said of Moore heading off to OVU.

“He’s a well-deserving wrestler. His intelligence in wrestling is far beyond his age. He’ll do well. Hunter Moore hasn’t peaked yet, too.

“That’s the greatest thing. I’d say between his freshman and sophomore year it will be big jumps. He’s not peaked yet. He’s got what it’s going to take. He just needs to master his skills.”

More than solid in the classroom, the 17-year-old Moore has a near 3.9 cumulative GPA and plans to major in criminal justice. He also wants to pursue a masters degree following his undergraduate work.

“I was kind of wanting to do private investigation. That sort of thing,” Moore said of his major and what he might do after his wrestling career ends.

A member of the 2017 Class A state champions, Moore helped the orange and black to a state runner-up finish this past winter.

“I’ve always known Pat,” added Moore, who most likely will compete at either 165, 174 or 184 in college. “He’s been my coach since I was little, basically.

“He used to be one of the coaches over at the Junior Patriots. I wrestled there for a long time.”

While Moore also received some interest from Bluefield State College, he elected to take the package OVU offered him, which should allow him to pretty much be debt free upon graduation.

Obviously still excited to have his name etched in Wirt County lore — Moore is the Tigers’ 29th all-time individual state champion — he said he’s “been lifting a lot and I’ve been running and stuff, but mostly I’ve been lifting.”

Moore said he expects to receive a summer workout plan from coach Sole.

“I know they have a bunch of kids coming back,” added Moore, who was unsure how things would play out as far as getting mat time as a freshman.

When asked how he got together with OVU and coach Sole the Tiger replied “it was kind of mutual. He kind of contacted me and wanted to know if I’d be interested to come to OVU and wrestle.”

Aside from being a four-year member of the wrestling team, Moore also lettered as a senior in football and competed in cross country as a sophomore.

“It feels pretty good,” Moore admitted of having his future plans figured out while adding of becoming a student-athlete at the Division II level, “it will make me a little nervous.”

Set to graduate from WCHS on May 20, Moore was appreciative of everyone who helped him along the way from family and coaches to his teammates.

“This past year it’s really kind of hit me,” Moore said of having his prep career come to an end. “I’m really going to miss my teammates. I wish we would’ve won a team title this year, too.”