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PARKERSBURG — Five-time defending Class AAA state wrestling champion Parkersburg South opened its season with a bang Wednesday evening inside Rod Oldham Athletic Center by sweeping a quad against Ritchie County (69-12), Hurricane (73-6) and Ripley (69-9).
A trio of Patriot ninth-graders made their debuts and didn’t disappoint. At 106, Brady Roberts finished 3-0 with a pair of pins, Nathan Ford was 3-0 at 113 with two mat slappers and 126-pounder Trent Jones also went 3-0 with two pins. Roberts’ third triumph was via forfeit, Ford nipped Ripley’s Nate Cox 6-5 and Jones also notched an 11-2 major decision versus Redskin Nicholas Cruickshank.
“I think it’s a good start,” said two-time Ironman champ Braxton Amos, who started the year off 3-0 thanks to two pins and a forfeit. “We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. It was a good home opener.”
Despite not having head coach Shaun Smith on the sideline — he was with the junior varsity in Lost Creek — the Patriots also got 3-0 efforts with three pins from 132-pounder Brayden Johnson, 145-pounder Gavin Quiocho, 152-pounder Brayden Roberts, 170-pounder Casch Somerville and heavyweight Gabe Hendershot. Johnson had the quickest pin of the night, needing seven seconds to take out Ripley’s Hunter Davis. Quiocho was on the mat for a total of 50 seconds in his three victories.
“He (coach Smith) trusted us to get it done,” added Amos, who watched the Patriots forfeit 195. “It’s not a rebuilding year, but we have a lot of young guys who need a lot of work and he trusts the older guys to step up and do our job.
“They (the freshmen) scored a lot of points and got us a lot of team points. Can’t ask much more for what they did for us.”
Ian Irizarry at 138 also went 3-0 with two mat slappers for the Patriots. PSHS 160-pounder Jude Childers went 3-0 while teammates Devin Easton at 120 and Brent Parkhurst at 182 finished 2-1. Easton suffered a 4-1 setback to Ripley’s Brett Haskins and Parkhurst was pinned in 2:14 by Ritchie County’s Kaleb Kovacs.
“Awesome. Ready to get this season started and get everything going again. This is my favorite time of the year,” expressed the senior Patriot Roberts, who isn’t related to the freshman Roberts. “I think they (the freshmen) did well. They’ve got a good attitude in our practice room and you really can’t beat that.
“They are just doing well and they can only go up from here. I remember I was one of the only freshmen on the team and we got like 20. It’s good to see we have a large class of kids who care about wrestling.”
Kovacs was the only Rebel to win all three of his matches, albeit the other two were forfeits. Rebel 195-pound teammate Hunter Leggett went 2-1 with a forfeit win versus South and a pin of Hurricane’s Jared Holstein in 1:45. However, Leggett was denied a 3-0 evening after losing a tight 7-6 decision to Ripley’s Austin Boggess.
The Viking Haskins, just a sophomore, started the year 3-0 as he also had a forfeit win against Hurricane and pinned Rebel Brady Layman in 3:52. Boggess also went 3-0 for head coach Matt Smith thanks to a forfeit versus PSHS and a 19-second mat slapper of Holstein.
Only one overtime match took place during the quad and that came at 170 with Hurricane’s Jacob Ellis besting Ritchie’s Jaxson Hostuttler in double-overtime, 12-8. The Rebel led 7-6 late in regulation before a stall point forced overtime. After the opening one minute overtime, Ellis was able to get a reversal and three near fall points to take control. He allowed an escape in the other 30-second period.
Head coach Alan Davis’ Rebels, who lost 49-27 to Ripley and 40-36 to Hurricane, will head Saturday to Hurricane’s Mike Ellis duals. Ripley, which nipped HHS 38-32, also competes the same day at the John Marshall duals while the Patriots are in the Buckeye State to compete at the Marysville duals.
“It will be fun,” Amos said of going to Marysville for the first time. “We’re not overlooking it, but a lot of our older guys are looking forward for next week (Dec. 13-14) to get everything prepared and ready for the Ironman.
“It’s our last time to really make sure we got everything tightened up and ready to go. Starting next week it’s going to be a rough week, but it’s going to be fun.”
Contact Jay Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org