Locals eye success at Fargo

Area grapplers headed to nationals

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South's Samantha Miller, pictured here working over River Valley's Levi Roberts, will be competing in the 100-pound freestyle division this weekend in North Dakota.

PARKERSBURG — Robert Dutton Award winner Braxton Amos won’t be the only local competing at the Fargodome in North Dakota.

The best of the best in the country will clash during the next week at the United States Marine Corps Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo with hopes of attaining All-American honors in either freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestling.

Patriot Samantha Miller is competing for Team Ohio and will wrestle in the 100-pound freestyle weight class.

“Girls only do freestyle,” said PSHS head mat coach Shaun Smith. “Technically, there is not a girls team for freestyle for West Virginia.”

The third Patriot going to Fargo is Brayden Roberts, who will compete at 145 while Amos is going at 220.

“Brayden and Braxton, they always represent our school and our state,” Smith added.

“They do so in the highest regard. They are always looking to improve and that’s something that’s extremely special about those two and Samantha as well.

“From the moment she kind of got in our program, she’s done the same thing and she continues to wrestle freestyle. She’s gotten extremely good at it. I think they have a really good opportunity to not only place, but to win their weight class.”

Amos was a national champion in both freestyle and Greco in 2016 and 2017. Roberts was a champ a year ago in Greco.

“Last year, Braxton was trying to make the world team and when he didn’t he decided to take a much needed break,” Smith said of Amos’ absence from Fargo last summer.

“I don’t blame him at all. He’s pretty much always hard at it so you can’t fault him for that.”

Parkersburg Big Reds John Martin Best (152) and Ty Boyd (160) are also competing in Fargo.

The other area grappler is Edison’s Gage Wright, who will compete at 132.

“He was initially going to wrestle at 126. He just keeps growing,” Smith stated.

Best was a national runner-up in freestyle last summer and placed third is Greco.

“We’ve been working pretty hard,” said Big Red mat boss Matt Littleton of the recently concluded three-week period. “John Martin was getting ready for the Pan-Am games (where he won gold) and these guys wanting to go to Fargo have been in the room getting themselves ready to go.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com