HUNTINGTON - Finally!
After two straight years of taking his place in the runner-up spot on the awards' stand, Oak Glen's Zach Brown can call himself a state champion.
Brown, who won an OVAC crown for this first time last month, defeated Williamstown's Dalton George, 3-1, to win the Class AA/A 113-pound championship Saturday night at the 65th annual West Virginia High School Wrestling Championships inside Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Oak Glen’s Zach Brown grapples with Williamstown’s Dalton George during their Class AA-A championship match
Saturday in Huntington.
Brown took home the gold medal.
Dylan Davis joined Brown as a state champ for the Golden Bears, winning the 285-pound championship.
Weirton Madonna's Christian Roe also broke through, winning an all-Ohio Valley, 195-pound final against Cameron's Taylor Neely in what was his 100th career triumph.
Weir's Darren Starr fell in the heavyweight final.
In a rematch of last week's Region One title bout, Brown jumped out early and was never really threatened by George, who won the 103-pound crown last season.
''This is one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life,'' Brown said moments after the match as Golden Bears assistant coach Larry Shaw wiped blood from his face and mouth.
''I've been to the finals twice and to do this is a great accomplishment for me.''
Brown beat George 4-2 at regionals.
''I knew he'd come after me harder this time,'' Brown said.
Brown, who finished the season 43-1 and 125-20 for his career, was second last year at 112 and second two years ago at 103.
Davis held on for a 4-3 victory against Liberty Raleigh's Daniel Fultz.
The senior, who finished his career with 120 victories and a 38-4 record this season, said winning means he will part of a large legacy of success.
''It's an honor to be a state champ,'' said Davis, who has been wrestling since age 4.
''I have lots of cousins on that wall (at the school). And for me to be on that wall with them really makes me happy to be a part of something that great people are a part of.''
Roe edged Neely, 3-2, to give the school its first champ since Max Nogay won back-to-back crowns in 2009 and 2010. Two years ago, as a sophomore, Roe qualified for the tournament, but didn't place.
''I'm a great admirer of his,'' Roe said of the former three-sport Blue Dons standout. ''I'm glad I could do the same thing he did.''
Roe, the runner-up last year at 189, finished the season 38-3. He said the title match was somewhat different than last week's at regionals.
''Last week, (Neely) came out less aggressive and (Saturday) he came out ready and did a great job.
''I was ready and more prepared than last year. I was nervous last year, but this time knew what to expect.''
Roe was also more fit and trim.
''I gave up 20 pounds, but I made up for it with speed,'' he said. ''That really helped me out a lot.''
Starr, despite falling, improved his standing last season, going from fourth to second.
The senior dropped a 5-2 decision to Wirt County's Eric Young.
Oak Glen senior Tyler Brown capped his career with a third-place finish at 120, two years after placing fourth at 112.
Tyler Brown blanked Greenbrier West's Dustin Yoakum 3-0 in the consolation semis then edged Keyser's Garrett Crites 2-1.
Kyle Mack, the other Golden Bear competing in the consolation round Saturday, was fifth. He stopped Greenbrier West's Cole Hinkle 1-0 after losing to Independence's Chris Clark 9-3.
Cameron's Tyler Schwertfeger was fifth, while teammates Austin Warsinsky and Andrew Hale were sixth.
Schwertfeger downed Greenbrier West's 6-4 for fifth place. Earlier in the day, he lost to Point Pleasant's Trevor Hill 2-0.
Warsinsky dropped a 5-1 decision to Greenbrier West's Tyler Parker, then was pinned by Clay County's Tyler Stewart.
Hale lost to Lincoln County's Tyler Jones 7-2 before being blanked 12-0 by Clay County's Anthony Holton.
Weir's Reno Castelli finished fifth, defeating Liberty Raleigh's 10-3. Earlier in the day, he lost to Greenbrier West's Malik Boatwright.