HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A banner season, just without the banner.
The Wahama wrestling program capped a stellar 2012-13 campaign with a school-best finish at the state level, as the White Falcons placed 10th overall as a team in the Class AA-A standings this past weekend at the 66th annual WVSSAC State Wrestling Tournament held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
The White Falcons finished the three-day event with 67 points, which set a new scoring mark for WHS at the state level. The previous record of 23 points was set in 2005 by third-place finisher Perry Ellis.
Wahama failed to land its first state champion individually, but the Red and White did have four of its five grapplers finish the weekend on the podium — another record for WHS. The White Falcons, in all, came away with a third-, a fourth-, a fifth- and a sixth-place effort en route to a combined 17-10 record.
The top finish came from junior Kane Roush, who earned third-place in the 160-pound weight class. Roush — a state runner-up one year ago — finished the weekend with a 5-1 overall mark.
Senior Crandale Neal placed fourth overall in the 170 division after posting a 4-2 record over the weekend, while junior Randall Robie was fifth with a 4-2 mark in the 126-pound weight class.
Junior Colton Neal finished sixth with a 2-3 record in the 182-pound weight class, while sophomore Demetrius Serevicz finished 2-2 overall and did not place in the 195 division.
Wahama coach Ryan Russell wanted a record-setting weekend for his troops, which is exactly what he received. He admitted that he was hoping someone would win the school’s first individual state crown, but he also noted that the collective experience gained this weekend was going to pay big dividends down the road.
“We actually came in with some higher expectations, but the boys didn’t quit and they kept battling to get where they ended up,” Russell said. “We’re currently rewriting the history books, and we only lose one senior … so we still think our best wrestling is ahead of us.
“The program is definitely headed in the right direction, now we just need to keep building on our successes. We have learned a lot from this weekend, and now we know what we need to do between now and next year to make ourselves even more of a threat at this level.”
Greenbrier West won the Class AA-A championship with 131.5 points, followed by runner-up Independence with 119.5 points. East Fairmont (106.5), North Marion (91) and Clay (89) rounded out the top-five team spots.
Complete results of the 2013 WVSSAC State Wrestling Tournament are available on the web at wvmat.com