South mat not going anywhere

I suppose one could use a plethora of words to describe Parkersburg South’s state mat performance this past weekend in Huntington, but pure utter dominance comes to my mind first.

Of course, in order to achieve goals and break school and state records, a lot of work has to take place behind the scenes in the matroom.

The beauty of covering the sport is in watching the athletes try to realize their dreams.

Parkersburg South senior 152-pounder Josh Humphreys had a new home this winter, but things couldn’t have turned out any better.

Not only did Humphreys’ final win in the state finals to secure his fourth career title, but it also pushed South to a new state scoring record.

Ask any of the Patriot wrestlers about Humphreys and one of the first things they will tell you is how glad they were to have the opportunity to have him as a member of the team.

That includes Humphreys himself.

When I asked him if he had made some lifelong friends at PSHS he replied “no doubt about it. This group of guys are the best group of guys I’ve been with, without a doubt.

“I love these guys. They are the hardest workers. I love seeing all these guys get state championships.”

State champion Patriot Zane Hinzman is definitely going to miss his main practice partner next year.

“I mean, he’s such a good kid,” Hinzman said of Humphreys. “We used to wrestle all the time in peewee and all of our matches were close. We were like 9 or 10 and he beat me like six times throughout the year and when I was at the state finals I finally beat him in overtime in the last seconds.

“I always hold that against him, even though he beats me now. I still hold that against him. Him and his family are great people.”

Brayden Roberts, who also won his first state mat title, gave props to Humphreys and others for making PSHS wrestling what it is.

“This team is great,” he said. “The atmosphere is wonderful and it definitely helps that I got teammates like Josh Humphreys, Braxton (Amos), Luke Martin, Gavin (Quiocho). Everybody puts in some type of work and makes everybody better.

“The next couple of years, I went over to the junior states and I can definitely see us doing great things the next couple years because we’ve got some middle schoolers coming up and some prospects. We want to keep the winning tradition up for as long as we can.”

The sophomore Amos, who finally got his first state mat title after missing last year due to injury, also was appreciative of being able to experience a matroom with Humphreys in it.

“It was a lot of fun. Coming in I didn’t know Josh a whole lot,” Amos stated. “We knew each other from just passing in tournaments and stuff.

“Getting to know him has been an honor of mine. He’s a great guy and a great role model for anyone to look up to. I wish him the best of luck at Lehigh.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com