MILLWOOD, W.Va. — Another sweet 16.
For the second year in a row, Mason County will be well-represented at the 2020 state wrestling tournament after having 16 total athletes advance out of the Class AA-A Region IV championships held Friday and Saturday at the Millwood Armory in Jackson County.
Both Point Pleasant and Wahama had at least two state qualifiers and five regional placers at the two-day event, but the weekend truly ended up being all about the Big Blacks.
PPHS — the top-ranked Class AA program in the state — earned a dozen divisional titles and had all 14 grapplers advance to Big Sandy Superstore Arena while rolling to a program-best 359 points en route to its fourth straight AA-A team crown.
Winfield was the overall runner-up with 161.5 points, while Wirt County came away as the top single-A program with a third place effort of 141.5 points. The White Falcons placed seventh overall in the 16-team field with 93.5 points, as well as third in the single-A bracket.
It will be the third time in program history that Point Pleasant will be sending competitors to state in all 14 weight classes, joining the 2012 and 2019 squads. Each of those PPHS teams went on to capture the Class AA-A state championships.
The Big Blacks also earned the program’s 10th regional championship in school history, joining the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019 squads.
The Red and Black combined for a 40-2 overall record in their collective matches, and each PPHS grappler also reached the championship final within their respective divisions.
Parker Henderson (106), Mackandle Freeman (113), Isaac Short (120), Christopher Smith (126), Derek Raike (132), Justin Bartee (138), Mitchell Freeman (145), Wyatt Wilson (152), Zac Samson (160), Logan Southall (170), Brayden Connolly (182) and Juan Marquez (195) all posted 3-0 records en route to coming away with weight class titles.
Short, Smith, Raike, Bartee, Wilson, Southall, Marquez and Mitchell Freeman were also regional champions a year ago.
Wyatt Stanley (220) and Jacob Muncy (285) also competed in regional finals, but both eventually finished second with matching 2-1 marks.
The White Falcons are again sending two grapplers to state, same as last year, and have both something old and something new headed to Huntington.
Senior Trevor Hunt qualified for his third straight state tournament after finishing as the 145-pound runner-up. Freshman Kase Stewart is also headed to state for the first time after placing fourth overall at 132 pounds.
The Red and White had two wrestlers just miss the state cut after Ryker Humphreys (120) and Wesley Peters (27-18) each placed fifth in their respective weight classes. Humphreys ends his freshman year with a 19-10 overall record, while Peters finishes his senior campaign with a 27-18 mark.
Freshman Caleb Pierce also placed sixth at 220 pounds and finishes the season with a 20-25 record.
Gavin Shamblin of Sissonville won the 220-pound division and Will Frampton of Nitro also accounted for the heavyweight title.
The 2020 WVSSAC Wrestling Championships will be held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena from Thursday, Feb. 27, through Saturday, Feb. 29, in downtown Huntington.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2020 Class AA-A Region IV Wrestling Championships held at Saturday at the Millwood Armory.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.