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OV Wrestling Standout: Dylan Taylor, Wheeling Park

November 30, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

First-year Wheeling Park High School wrestling coach Jack Doyle certainly has an embarrassment of riches as he takes over the Patriots program this season from his cousin Sean Doyle.

Park returns 11 of 12 starters, including Dylan Taylor, who wowed area wrestling fans as a freshman last season.

"Not too many coaches are fortunate enough to jump into a program as a head coach and have this amount of talent returning," Jack Doyle said earlier this month.

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Taylor was one of two Patriots who reached the Class AAA finals at last winter's state championships at Huntington's Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

The other was Danny Colby.

Both wrestlers lost in the finals, with Taylor falling to a pretty good opponent in Parkersburg South's David Jeffrey. Jeffrey became a four-time state champ by pulling away for a 6-3 victory.

Taylor finished his rookie season 31-6. He was the youngest 126-pound wrestler to take the state awards stand.

It was a season of runner-up finishes in big meets for Taylor, who also took second in the 126-pound weight class at the Ron Mauck OVAC Championships at WesBanco Arena.

Again, Taylor lost to Jeffrey.

Jeffrey was also the only wrestler standing between Taylor and a Region One championship.

The Patriots finished fifth overall at OVACs and tied for fifth at the state tournament with Parkersburg. But with the bulk of its team returning, Park could rise in the standings.

The other Patriots from Parkersburg South could still be a thorn in everyone's championship aspirations, even with new coach Donna Dixon at the helm. Dixon took over for Paul Jackson, who retired. Ripley and Huntington will also likely play a role in who the state champ will be.

Wheeling Park will get its first test when it visits the Doan Ford Invitational on Saturday at Union Local High School.

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