HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — And they’ll be gunning for a similar fate the next time they are in the building.
The Point Pleasant wrestling team simply dominated the field while repeating as team champions this weekend at the 2020 WSAZ Invitational held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Cabell County.
The Big Blacks were more than 64 points better than the other 77 scoring teams at the annual event, as the defending Class AA state champions came away with three divisional champions, eight weight class finalists and nine top-4 finishes en route to a final tally of 320.5 points.
In fact, PPHS closed the 2-day event with a 71-19 overall record in head-to-head bouts, which included 30 pinfall wins, five technical falls and a trio of major decisions. Point Pleasant also had top-8 finishes in every weight class except 220 pounds.
Parkersburg South — with a tournament-best four weight class championships — was the overall runner-up with 256 points, with Skyline (195) and Christiansburg (184.5) rounding out the top four spots.
Gallia Academy (34) edged out Wahama (33) by a single point for the 37th and 38th positions in the field. Neither program ended the weekend with a top-8 placer.
Junior Christopher Smith, as well as sophomores Derek Raike and Justin Bartee, landed the three divisional title on behalf of Point Pleasant. Raike was Point’s lone repeating WSAZ champion, this time at 132 pounds, by going 6-0 overall with four pinfalls.
Smith recorded a 6-0 mark that included two pinfalls and a technical fall at 126 pounds, while Bartee was 6-0 with a pinfall, a technical fall and two major decision en route to the 138-pound crown.
Parker Henderson (106), Mackandle Freeman (113), Isaac Short (120), Mitchell Freeman (145) and Zac Samson (160) all ended up placing second after losses in the championship finals.
Henderson and Mackandle Freeman each went 4-1 overall with two and three pinfalls, respectively. Short had a 5-1 mark with two pinfalls and a major decision, while Mitchell Freeman went 5-1 with three pinfalls. Samson was also 5-1 with two pinfalls and a technical fall.
Logan Southall ended the weekend with a 6-2 record and three pinfalls while finishing fourth at 170 pounds. Wyatt Wilson was fifth at 152 pounds with a 6-2 mark that included two technical falls.
Juan Marquez (195) and Jacob Muncy (285) both placed sixth in their respective weight classes, with each recording a single pinfall. Marquez went 4-3 overall and Muncy ended the weekend with a 5-3 mark.
Tyler Hinzman finished seventh at 182 pounds with a 5-2 record and four pinfall victories. Wyatt Stanley also went 4-2 with two pinfalls in the 220-pound division.
Point Pleasant had five more weight class finalists and over 80 more points in this year’s charge to another WSAZ championship, and head coach John Bonecutter was pretty pleased with the way things turned out.
It was also the first time that the Big Blacks had returned to Big Sandy Superstore Arena since capturing the 2019 Class AA team title … a crown that they appear ready to defend roughly a month from now.
“Honestly, it was just a great weekend for the whole program,” Bonecutter said. “I think the kids wrestled very well against some really great competition. It’s just a really good day for the program.”
The Blue Devils had five grapplers finish the weekend with .500-or-better records, led by Garytt Schwall with a 5-2 mark and three pinfalls at 120 pounds.
Todd Elliott (113) and Corbin Walker (220) both posted identical records of 3-2. Walker posted three pinfall wins, while Elliott had a pinfall and a major decision.
Bronson Carter (152) and Chris Moore (182) both went 2-2 overall, with Carter recording the lone pinfall victory.
The White Falcons had eight grapplers end the weekend with .500-or-better marks, with Kase Stewart (132) and Trevor Hunt (145) leading the way with identical 3-2 records. Stewart has two pinfall wins and Hunt also notched a pinfall.
Ryker Humphreys (120), Logan Roach (138), Trevor McGuire (152), Gavin Stiltner (170), Trey Ohlinger (182) and Aaron Beard (195) all posted matching 2-2 records in their respective weight classes. Beard recorded the lone pinfall win amongst the half-dozen grapplers.
Christiansburg joined Parkersburg South and Point Pleasant with multiple divisional title after coming away with a pair. East Fairmont, Herbert Hoover, Jackson (OH), North Marion and Riverside also earned a weight class champion apiece.
Point Pleasant’s junior high program also captured the WSAZ Middle School crown over the weekend.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2020 WSAZ Invitational held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.