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Last Man Standing wrestling tournament in Shadyside Saturday

The annual Last Man Standing Tournament at Shadyside High School is scheduled for all day Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. The pool-style tournament will be held in the Tigers Den.

In addition to the host Tigers, 14 other schools will be competing. They include Barnesville, Caldwell, Steubenville Catholic, Toronto, Southern Local, Bridgeport, Wheeling Central, Beallsville, Brooke, Harrison Central, Linsly, Sandy Valley, Malvern, Toronto and Wheeling Park B.

The Shamrocks already own titles at the Union Local Rick Link and America’s Best Value Inn tournaments.

The championship finals are slated for approximately 3:30 p.m. The top 4 finishers in each weight class will receive awards, as will the top 2 teams.

Prep Action Heating Up

In addition to the aforementioned event, many OVAC squads are prepping this weekend for the annual OVAC Ron Mauck Tournament on Jan. 16-18 inside downtown Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena.

The Cameron Tournament has 20 teams headed to Marshall County. They are St. Mary’s, Hurricane, Lincoln, Weir, R. C. Byrd, Fairmont Sr., Oak Glen, Petersburg, Doddridge, Madonna, Notre Dame, Grafton, John Marshall, East Fairmont, Tyler Consolidated, Williamstown, Morgantown, East Hardy and Berkley Springs.

The South Classic at Parkersburg South includes the host Patriots, Paden City, Firelands, Herbert Hoover, Indian Valley, Keyser, Riverside, Spring Mills and Woodrow Wilson of Beckley.

In dual meet action, River and Hundred travel to Magnolia, while Steubenville hits the road to face OVAC newcomer New Philadelphia.

PowerAde Roundup

Perennial W.Va. Class AAA powerhouse Parkersburg South finished fifth at the recent national tournament held at Canon-MacMillan High School in southwestern Pennsylvania. It amassed 131 points, which was two behind the host Big Macs. Wyoming Seminary (272), Malvern Prep (178) and Waynesburg (146.5) were the top 3.

The Patriots’ Braxton Amos claimed his third straight PowerAde title, becoming the first West Virginian to do so. The nationally ranked Amos is a University of Wisconsin signee and a two-time West Virginia state titlist. He will be seeking his third OVAC Tournament crown in a couple of weeks. He didn’t compete as a freshman due to a knee injury.

The tournament was ranked the fourth toughest in the nation this year.

St. Clairsville had a pair of wrestlers come within one win of placing in the top 8. They were Reese Skaggs (195) and Derek Witsberger (220).

McComas Wins 150th

Congratulations are in order for Beaver Local senior Cole McComas who recently recorded his 150th victory as a Beaver. The three-time Ohio Division II state runnerup was a third-place finisher at the prestigious Brecksville Holiday Invitational.

West Virginia Team Rankings

In Class AAA, Parkersburg South is first with 100 points, followed by Wheeling Park (86), Parkersburg High (76), Huntington (75), Cabell Midland (58) and John Marshall (53).

In Class AA, Point Pleasant (90) which won the recent Wheeling Park Duals, is No. 1, followed by Braxton County (76), Independence (74), East Fairmont (64) and Oak Glen (55).

In Class A, Greenbrier West (90) tops the field. Wirt County (81) is a close second, followed by Moorefield (68), Ravenswood (67) and Magnolia (47).

Hilltoppers Ranked 12th

The West Liberty University wrestling team welcomed in the New Year with a 12th-place showing when the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) released its second set of NCAA Division II team and individual regular season rankings.

A trio of Hilltoppers were ranked among the top wrestlers at their weights, including seniors Darius Bunch and Logan Kemp, along with sophomore Cole Laya.

Bunch (10-2), who earned a fourth-place finisher at 133 pounds in the 2018 nationals – took over the No. 2 spot at 141 pounds in the latest rankings.

He follows Newberry sophomore Isaiah Royal (10-2) is No. 1 in this week’s NWCA rankings.

Kemp (8-1), a two-time NCAA Division II Tournament qualifier who has been slowed by injury in recent weeks, stayed put at No. 3 in the 197-pound rankings. Fellow senior Nick Baumler (17-1) of Upper Iowa is No. 1 with McKendree (Ill.) junior Ryan Vasbinder (14-1) at No. 2.

Laya (11-1) moved to No. 9 in a quality-filled 125-pound class. The East Fairmont was the highest freshman placer in any weight class at last year’s NCAA Division II national championships, wrestling his way to a third-place finish on the Cleveland mats.

Defending national champion St. Cloud State (Minn.) remained atop the pack in the team standings. The Huskies have nationally-ranked wrestlers in nine of the 10 weight classes and amassed 110 quality points to lead the rankings. Pitt-Johnstown (70) and Notre Dame (67), were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, with 6 ranked wrestlers each. Neb.-Kearney (57) and McKendree (56) rounded out the top five.

Head Coach Danny Irwin and his team returns to action on Saturday when they head to North Manchester, Ind., to compete in the Spartan Mat Classic.

Southern Scuffle News

Steubenville graduate and N.C. State All-American Tariq Wilson was upset in the Round of 16 at 141 pounds in Chattanooga, Tn. The No. 2 seed dropped a 6-4 decision in sudden-victory to unseeded Dusty Hone of Oklahoma State. He finished eighth.

Weir graduate Caleb Rea, a WVU product, also lost in the same round at the same weight. He was pinned by Stanford’s Real Woods and then lost his first consolation round bout.

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