2 Monarchs, Patriot Can Win State Titles

Shelek has battled back from injuries

Photo by Kim North Wheeling Park freshman Andrew Shelek, left, has his eyes set on a state wrestling championship today in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — Wheeling Park’s Andrew Shelek and John Marshall’s Anthony Carman have reached the finals in the 71st annual West Virginia state Class AAA wrestling tournament. Both have overcome adversity in doing so.

Shelek, a promising sophomore for the Patriots, advanced with a 10-5 decision over Hurricane’s Daniel Long in the 145-pound semifinals inside Big Sandy Superstore Arena. He improved to 5-1 in a season shortened because of a pair of knee surgeries.

“It feels great,” Shelek said moments after his semifinal victory. “Having come back from a torn meniscus two weeks ago and being in the state finals is a great feeling.”

Wheeling Park coach Clay Tucker couldn’t be more proud of Shelek.

“Two torn meniscuses and only about two weeks of solid practice,” Tucker said. “For him to come in here and make it to the finals is an amazing accomplishment. We knew he had the skill set.”

Carman has used desire and anger as his motivation for his success.

He defeated Huntington’s Clayton Stewart, 9-3, to setup a rematch of the OVAC championship match with Parkersburg South’s Zane Hinzman. He won that bout in overtime.

“Last year was really disappointing, but I’ve got my mind right and I’m ready to win a state title,” Carman said.

Also earning all-state honors for Wheeling Park were Billy Gooch (132), Stevie Mitchell (138), Austin Loew (195) and Dylan Wood (220).

The Patriots are in seventh place.

John Marshall also had Jacob Berisford (170) make the finals. He decisioned Huntington’s Drew Parde, 4-2.

Other Monarchs reaching the all-state level were Ethan Gray (113) and Brady Williams (285).

JM is one notch above Wheeling Park with 76.5.

Parkersburg South continued its dominance in the ‘Big School’ Division. The Patriots finished Friday night with a whopping 240 points and placed nine individuals in the finals. The championship is the Wood Countians fourth straight and eighth in 10 years, Huntington won in 2013 and 2014. South has won 22 state crowns.

Action begins today at 10:30 a.m. with consolation semifinals and consolation finals (matches for 5th-6th place). The championship finals are set for 6 p.m. on two mats.