HUNTINGTON - After three years of failing to make the finals at the West Virginia Prep Wrestling Championships, David Schlieper finally got his opportunity Saturday night.
And he made the most of it.
Schlieper started strong and never looked back en route to a 12-3 major decision against Oak Glen's John McGill in an all-Ohio Valley 145-pound final at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Cameron’s David Schlieper gains control of Oak Glen’s John McGill during the 145-pound championship. Schlieper won his first state championship with a 12-3 major decision.
''This is pretty much the way I wanted to go out,'' the Cameron senior said.
In three previous trips to the state tournament, Schlieper reached the award's stand three times, the highest finish, third, coming last year.
''David deserves everything he gets,'' Cameron coach Ron Trowbridge said.
''It's nice when good things happen to kids who work hard.
''I'm really happy for him.''
It was a perfect ending to a perfect season for Schlieper, who finished the campaign, which also included an OVAC crown, 35-0.
Schlieper said McGill wasn't the same wrestler he faced at regionals last week.
''I started out pretty hot, but after that I got a little tired,'' Schlieper said. ''(McGill) worked hard. I beat him 17-2 last week he was ready.''
Schlieper's teammate, Tanner Whyte, came up short in his bid for a second state championship, falling to Calhoun County's Jared Haught in a heartbreaker.
Whyte, a state champ two years ago, jumped in front 3-2 with 10 seconds left in the match, but Haught garnered two points as the clock wound down to get the victory.
Berkeley Springs' Ryan Diehl capped a 50-0 campaign by defeating Oak Glen's Zach Brown, 12-2, in a rematch of last year's 103-pound final.
Brown was never in the match, trailing 10-0 in the third period.
The Golden Bears junior did reach the award's stand for the third straight year as he ended the season 37-2.
Madonna's Christian Roe fell short in his attempt to give the Blue Dons a state champ for the second straight season. St. Marys' C.D. Cox downed Roe 3-1.
Earlier Saturday, the Golden Bears had a number of participants place in the consolation round.
Luke Goodlin captured fourth at 135 pounds after being pinned in 4:02 by Liberty Harrison's Tommy Dodd.
Cody Churchill ended his season with a fifth-place finish at 160 pounds, defeating Roane County's Luke Hottle 7-2.
Kole Koper ended up sixth at 130 pounds after being pinned by Grafton's Matt Griffin in 1:27.
Also finishing fourth was Bishop Donahue senior Bobby Richmond. He lost to Point Pleasant's Josh Hereford in the third-place match 7-6.
Weir's Jess Bennett earned a fifth-place showing at 145 pounds by pinning Berkeley Springs' Zac Risinger in 4:13. His teammate, Hunter McLaughlin placed sixth at 125 pounds after dropping a 4-0 decision to Shady Springs' John Forren.
Cameron's Taylor Neely ended up fifth at 189 pounds by pinning Keyser's Cody Lambka in 1:41.
Point Pleasant repeated as team champions, running away from second-place Berkeley Springs 181-132.5