HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The 2018 high school wrestling state tournament is set for Thursday through Saturday, February 22-24 from the Huntington Civic Center.
Parkersburg South has won seven of the last nine Class AAA state championships and three titles in a row.
The Patriots, who have been nationally ranked throughout the year, are the heavy favorites again this week to add another state title.
“We have a lot of kids that are just phenomenal wrestlers,” said Parkersburg South coach Shaun Smith. “From top to bottom we’re really solid and in a couple of weight classes, we’re extremely solid.
“We do have a rich history and for me, that means a whole lot,” he continued. “I want to make this wrestling program reach higher levels than just state championships. Hopefully we can continue to stay nationally ranked year after year.”
Braxton Amos has been one of those standouts for Parkersburg South, nationally ranked himself in the 220 weight class. The sophomore enters this week 44-0 overall this year.
“He’s a unique kid and is one of the best wrestlers in the nation, especially in his weight class,” Smith said. “He’s a great student and a down-to-earth kid. He has great parents and he works hard in every little thing that he does. Even though he’s a sophomore, he helps the upperclassmen a lot too with how he approaches wrestling.”
University, Huntington, Wheeling Park and Parkersburg round out the top five rated teams out of Class AAA heading into the state tournament.
“Parkersburg South is just kind of head and shoulders above of everyone else,” said University coach Ken Maisel. “But there are probably four or five teams who could legitimately get second place. We’re all kind of fighting for second place right now.”
University qualified 10 wrestlers for the state tournament, including four regional champions. Parkersburg South qualified 14 wrestlers, with six of them coming in as regional champs. Greenbrier East qualified the second most wrestlers in AAA, with five of them as regional champions.
In the Class AA/A bracket, Independence is going for a fifth straight championship. The Patriots qualified 14 wrestlers with 12 of them coming in as regional champions.
Wrestling State Tournament Pairings
(*edit, in the AA/A bracket, 120 class, No. 2 out of Region 4, Mike Daly of Winfield, is out, with the 3 and 4 seeds from the region moving up and Williamstown freshman Colton Slagle taking the No. 4 spot)
Wrestling State Tournament Schedule
Thursday, February 22
6:30 p.m. – 1st Session: AA/A and AAA first round (224 matches)
Friday, February 23
11:30 a.m. – 2nd Session: AA/A and AAA quarterfinals (112 matches); 1st and 2nd round consolation bracket (224 matches)
7:30 p.m. – 3rd Session: AA/A and AAA championship semifinals (56 matches); 3rd round consolation (4 mats, 56 matches)
Saturday, February 24
10:30 a.m. – 4th Session: AA/A and AAA consolation semifinals (56 matches); AA/A and AAA consolation finals for third and fifth place (56 matches)
6 p.m. – 5th Session: AA/A and AAA championship finals (28 matches)