Monarchs, Bears Solid at Cameron
CAMERON–Bracketology started early in the Cameron gymnasium Saturday.
One-hundred and sixty-nine wrestlers packed into the gym for the Cameron Tournament and three local grapplers made it through their weight bracket to be crowned champions.
John Marshall’s Chas McCool (182) and Anthony Carman (160), along with Oak Glen’s Peyton Hall (132) all stood atop the podium after earning top honors in their class.
East Fairmont finished first with 240 points, ahead of the runner-up Monarchs with 194.50 points and third-place finisher Oak Glen with 154.
The Dragons were represented well in their home tournament by a secondplace finish by Colton Dobbs, who fell to Carman in the 160 title match by fall.
“I wanted to wrestle as hard as I could,” Carman said. “That way I would know where I stood with the other wrestlers and I could build some confidence. It’s really cool.”
The junior has been a key member of Coach Ted Zervos’ squad all season and coming out on top could be just a preview of what’s to come.
“Anthony Carman has been looking very dominant all year long,” Zervos said. “He’s had a few losses against quality opponents but he was right there in those matches. I see his confidence building as the season progresses.
“He’s very physical on top and I think he’s got a good plan put together.”
His classmate completed his long day by taking home a medal after an 8-5 decision over Petersburg’s Alec Burgess.
“I just like to take it one match at a time,” McCool said. “You have to win first to move on to the next. If you focus on the first one and then once that one is over, focus on the next.”
Nobody in the gym enjoys watching McCool show off his skills more than Zervos, who has witnessed him grow into a talented athlete.
“McCool is just getting slicker all the time on his feet,” Zervos said. “I love to watch him on his feet. He’s got several different setups into his favorite takedowns. I think he’s keeping guys off balance.
“He is strong but he has the technique to back it up and good speed along with that. He also has a good plan in place.”
John Marshall’s Brandon Durrah (195) and Jacob Berisford (170) picked up second-place finishes.
“We had high expectations coming in,” Zervos said. “I felt overall that we had some good matchups and this is another stepping stone. OVACs are coming up and we are just gearing up for that. Hopefully, the kids learned some lessons out there.
“I’m really proud of the whole team. They are not backing down from anybody and that’s what I want to see.”
The Golden Bears turned in a stellar afternoon as a team, led by Hall’s championship victory.
The sophomore earned a medal against a familiar opponent in Weir’s Caleb Rea, in a narrow 2-1 decision.
“I wrestled him last week,” Hall said. “It helped me out confidence-wise. I knew what he was going to do and I had more of a gameplan going into this.
“It feels really good to represent our school.”
There was plenty of local representatives in the final rounds with Oak Glen’s Shawn Moore (113), Weir’s Greg Hawkins (220) and Tyler Consolidated’s Cory Chipps (285).
East Fairmont was the day’s best team as it received championship victories in seven of the 14 weight classes.