WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Another jewel in the crown.
The Point Pleasant wrestling team notched another program first on Saturday after cruising through the Class AA/A field Saturday at the inaugural West Virginia Team Duals Wrestling State Championships held at Colonial Hall on the historic grounds of The Greenbrier.
The first-ever event was sponsored by the West Virginia Wrestling Coaches Association and was endorsed by the WVSSAC, but it is not yet officially recognized by the WVSSAC as an official state championship.
Nonetheless, the Region IV champion Big Blacks — the reigning Class AA champion and current top-ranked program in West Virginia — rolled through Region II champion Bridgeport (75-3) in the semifinals before claiming a 59-9 victory over Region I champion Oak Glen in the finals.
Region III champion Herbert Hoover ended up defeating Bridgeport 53-24 for third place.
Point Pleasant finished the day with a combined 25-3 overall record in the two head-to-head matchups, including 16 pinfall wins, two major decisions and a technical fall.
PPHS coach John Bonecutter noted afterward that the event itself — along with the location — was something special to be part of, especially given the final outcome.
“I’m very thankful for our group of young men, coaches, parents and fans that got to be a part of this outstanding event,” Bonecutter said. “Winning the first state duals title in West Virginia history is something very special for our program and the community. I don’t think anyone can grasp how special this really is right now.”
A dozen different Big Blacks came away with perfect 2-0 marks in their respective divisions, including junior Mitchell Freeman at 145 pounds. Mitchell earned a pinfall and a major decision while being named the AA/A State Duals Outstanding Wrestler.
Justin Bartee (138), Logan Southall (170), Juan Marquez (195) and Wyatt Stanley (220) each came away with a pair of pinfall wins this weekend, while Parker Henderson (106), Christopher Smith (126), Derek Raike (132) and Jacob Muncy (285) had a single pinfall apiece out of two victories.
Wyatt Wilson went unbeaten at 152 pounds, Mackandle Freeman (113) had a pinfall and a technical fall at 113 pounds. Isaac Short also recorded a pinfall and landed a major decision at 120 pounds.
Brayden Connolly went 1-1 overall at 182 pounds and had a pinfall win. Zac Samson suffered two losses at 160 pounds.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.