Hall, Rea V Looking To Defend Titles
HUNTINGTON — Peyton Hall and Caleb Rea V took their first step towards realization Thursday night as the 71st annual West Virginia Class A-AA state wrestling tournament got underway inside Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
The pair of Hancock County defending state titlists each earned decisive victories in their 132-pound first-round matches.
Hall, who won at 120 last season, pinned Oak Hill’s Seth Martin in three minutes, 15 seconds to raise his record to 42-5, while Rea, who prevailed at 126 a season ago, needed less time in falling Greenbrier West’s Dan Nutter in 1:37 in improving to 40-4.
The two have met four times this season with each wrestler winning twice. However, Rea has grabbed the two biggest wins in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Ron Mauck and the Region I tournaments.
“Caleb knows that match with Peyton is a possibility, but this is the state tournament and he cannot afford to overlook anyone,” Weir coach Tom Taylor said. “Caleb is a very focused wrestler and he will take care of his business one match at a time.”
Oak Glen coach Ptrick McGillian echoed Taylor’s thoughts.
“Peyton is a good wrestler who will not look ahead. He knows what is at stake,” McGillian said. “There are three state champions in this weight class, so it’s a tough one.
“Everyone would like to see Peyton and Caleb wrestle again, but they’ve got to get their first.”
Taylor was also pleased with senior Blaze Cain who won by 17-0 technical fall over Sissonville’s Casey Burgette at 126 pounds. He is now 30-17.
“Blaze has all the potential in the world,” Taylor noted. “He’s had some highs and lows in his career, but he looked really good tonight.”
The Red Riders head coach was also pleased with the effort of heavyweight Jordan Brueck, who was an alternate in the regional. He won 1-0.
“What a great opportunity for him,” Taylor said of Brueck, who replaced Tyler Consolidated’s Cory Chipps, who had to withdraw due to skin issues. “I feel sorry for the Chipps kid because he earned a right to be here, but this is a great opportunity for Jordan to come here as a freshman.”
Oak Glen also saw Shawn Moore (113) win by a 10-1 major decision over Herbert Hoover’s Tyler Teel. Moore is now 35-8.
Madonna had winners in Alec Cook (138), Hunter Baird (160), Garret Cook (182) and Donavan Kirby (195).
“We did alright,” Madonna head coach jamie Lesho offered. “We’re in a pretty good position for (today).”
Independence continued to dominate the Class AA portion of the tournament. It has 40.5 points to 28 for second-place East Fairmont, which is coached by Brooke grad John Geary.
Wirt County leads Greenbrier West, 15.5-14, in Class A. Madonna is fifth.
Action resumes today at 11:30 a.m. with second round matches in the championship bracket.