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W.Va. State Wrestling Tourney Is Underway

Half of a point separates Wheeling Park from the lead

Photo by Kim North John Marshall’s Dakoyta Thatcher, right, grapples in the 138-pound weight class during Thursday’s state wrestling tournament. He earned a major decision by takedown in the closing seconds.

HUNTINGTON — Parkersburg South and Wheeling Park enjoyed very successful opening nights as the 73rd annual Class AAA West Virginia state wrestling tournament kicked off its three-day stay inside Mountain Health Arena Thursday night.

The Wood County Patriots have a half-point lead on the Ohio County Patriots, 41-40.5. Cabell Midland is third with 29.5.

Wheeling Park had 11 of its 12 qualifiers advance to today’s quarterfinals, which get underway at 11:30 a.m.

Seven Wheeling Park wrestlers won by pins, including sophomore Cody Taggart (113) and seniors Andrew Shelek (138) and Canon Welker (160) all needing less than a minute. Taggart won in 16 seconds, which was seven less than Shelek needed. Welker won in 50 seconds.

Other pins were recorded by Quinton Velas (106), Stevie Mitchell (145), Erick Brothers Jr. (182) and Charlie Tamburin (220). Defending state champion Nate Shelek (120), Billy Gooch (152) and Adam Angel (170) all won by techincal falls. Bradyn Lucas (126) earned a decision.

“We got the momentum going and we’ll try to carry it over to (today),” Wheeling Park coach Brian Leggett said. “There will be some tougher matchups (today) There weren’t really any surprises (Thursday).

“Erick Brothers had a tough match, so for him to come back and get a pin was real big.

“We’re going to try and get as many bonus points as we can because I think that will be the difference.”

John Marshall had four winners in Ethan Cook (106), Carl Cochran (113), Gabe Carman (132) and Dakoyta Thatcher (138). Cochran and Carman picked up pins, while Cook and Thatcher recorded major decisions.

“It went about as expected. I’m pretty pleased,” John Marshall coach Ryan Asbury said. “In all of our wins we were able to pick up bonus points. (Dakoyta) Thatcher did a great job in getting a takedown right before the buzzer to get a major decision. I’m pleased to see the guys getting the extra points for us.”

The Monarchs sit in a 12th-place tie with 14 points.

Brooke had a winner in Max Camilletti (170). The senior pinned his opponent in 2:23.

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