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College wrestling hopes to contend for workforce title at state match

Morgantown, Preston aiming for particular person success

MORGANTOWN — The 2024 WVSSAC state wrestling match is about to be held this weekend at Marshall Well being Community Area in Huntington from Thursday, Feb. 29 by means of Saturday, March 2. 

Each Monongalia County colleges in College and Morgantown, together with neighboring Preston Excessive, have certified a number of wrestlers for the three-day occasion. Thursday night will host the opening spherical matches earlier than making method for 2 separate periods on each Friday and Saturday.

For the primary time, the ladies’ state wrestling match might be held together with the boys’ match. The women will compete and end your complete bracket on Saturday.

The College Hawks and head coach Ken Maisel have excessive hopes for this weekend from each a workforce and particular person standpoint with 12 males and two females coming into the state match.

UHS qualifiers are junior Pepper Martin (106, 37-3), sophomore Kaden Nieman (113, 36-9), sophomore Timmy Husk (120, 19-7), sophomore Colton Gillespie (126, 37-10), junior Carter Pauley (132, 44-5), junior Rider Ludrosky (150, 34-12), senior Jay McKenzie (157, 30-13), senior Luca Felix (165, 38-2), sophomore Emerson Murphy (175, 42-12), junior Jackson Pate (190, 34-17), sophomore Ryder Hastings (215, 35-9) and undefeated junior Brock Kehler (285, 48-0).

Kehler is the defending state champion from a yr in the past however gained within the 215 weight class and moved up this season. Felix fell within the state championship bout final season and the NC State signee is seeking to avenge himself this time round, whereas they each purpose to assist the Hawks earn the varsity’s first workforce state title since 1956.

Freshmen Shane Pal and Gabby Tennant will compete within the ladies’ match.

“We now have been speaking about specializing in what you’re doing individually and having intense effort,” Maisel stated. “It seems like coach speak, however management what you’ll be able to management and overlook about the remainder. You may’t change the place you’re on the bracket, simply go wrestle. Be thankful for the chance to compete.”

UHS has loved a profitable season as a workforce, capturing the WV state twin meet title, the WSAZ invitational workforce title and the Area I championship most not too long ago.

“At OVAC’s, we didn’t carry out that properly within the comfort brackets, and within the state match that can make the distinction for our workforce rating,” Maisel stated. “Guys that lose within the winners (bracket) must come proper again and be prepared to show round and win to maneuver on and place. If we exit and compete with intense effort, I believe we might be nice.”

For the Knights and coach Brad Reed, six wrestlers will head to Huntington to battle for a state title.

Freshmen Levi Jennings (120, 37-16) and Hayden Lantz (132, 19-27) every certified for the state match of their first yr of highschool wrestling. Junior Cole Turner (165, 40-7) enters the bracket with a formidable document up to now and can face sophomore Chayden Johnson from Riverside within the opening bout.

The remaining three are all seniors and the leaders for the workforce in Gavin Garlits, Owen Kilmas and Greyson Kuhn. 

Garlits (138) enters the match with a document of 39-12 on the season. Greyson Kuhn (285), a Glenville State soccer signee, is available in with a document of 41-9 on the yr within the heavyweight division. Lastly, Owen Kilmas (190, 49-1) enters the weekend with a single loss on the yr, which got here to his potential second-round opponent, Brycon Arthur from Parkersburg South, in extra time. The 2 might meet once more to start the day on Friday.

“My message to the fellows is easy: Don’t go away Huntington with any regrets,” Reed stated. “And don’t go away wishing you possibly can have finished extra. Wrestle with just a little chip in your shoulder and be unfastened on the mat.”

The Mohigans will ship 5 student-athletes to Huntington, with 4 boys and one lady making the journey. 

Sophomore DeShawn Walcott (132, 10-14), junior Carter Jones (144, 18-13) and seniors Troy Andis (150, 18-17) and Michael Burkhart (215, 6-3) will compete for the boys. Freshman Layla Keener would be the lone feminine for MHS.

“All 5 of our wrestlers haven’t been to states earlier than and naturally there might be some nerves,” MHS coach Joseph Abu-Ghannam stated. “However they should know that they’ve put within the work simply to get this far and earned this second and alternative. Our feminine (Keener) can even want to appreciate she isn’t alone on this expertise as that is the primary time they’ve had the ladies’ match in Huntington.”

The 2024 WVSSAC state highschool wrestling match will start Thursday night and proceed by means of Saturday evening’s championship rounds from Marshall Well being Community Area in Huntington.

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