FAIRLEA, W.Va. — The more things change, the more they stay the same.
It wasn’t the glitz and glamour of Colonial Hall at The Greenbrier, but the Point Pleasant wrestling team had just as much fun repeating as Class AA-A champions on Friday at the 2021 West Virginia Team State Duals Championships held within the Underwood Building on the grounds of the State Fair of West Virginia in Greenbrier County.
The Region IV dual champion Big Blacks — who are also the 2-time reigning WVSSAC Class AA champions — rolled through Region II dual champion Doddridge County (67-12) in the semifinals before claiming a 64-15 victory over Region I dual champion Berkeley Springs in the finale.
PPHS finished the day with a combined 23-5 overall record in the two head-to-head matchups, including 12 pinfall wins and two major decisions. Eight of Point’s wins came via forfeit, but the Red and Black also forfeited both heavyweight matches away.
Ten different Big Blacks came away with perfect 2-0 marks in their respective divisions, including junior Derek Raike at 145 pounds. Raike posted pinfall wins that covered a total of 32 seconds — including a 10 second pinfall victory against Doddridge County — while earning a share of the AA/A State Duals Outstanding Wrestler award.
Peyton Thompson of Berkeley Springs joined Raike in those MOW honors after going unbeaten at 170 pounds.
Nathan Wood (106) and Brayden Connolly (195), like Raike, posted pinfall wins in each of their two bouts. Parker Henderson (113), Isaac Short (126), Chris Smith (132), Mackandle Freeman (138), Mitchell Freeman (152), Justin Bartee (160) and Colby Price (220) also ended the day without blemish in two matches.
Henderson, Short, Smith, Bartee, Price and Mackandle Freeman each recorded one pinfall victory. Smith and Mitchell Freeman — last year’s MOW at the AA-A State Duals — also recorded a major decision apiece while remaining unbeaten.
Conner Blessing (120), Wyatt Wilson (170) and Zander Watson (182) all finished 1-1 overall for Point Pleasant. Wilson scored a 7-1 decision against DCHS, while Blessing and Watson each won by forfeit.
Berkeley Springs defeated Region III champion Herbert Hoover 40-39 to advance to the championship round against Point Pleasant. No consolation match for third place was held between HHHS and Doddridge County.
Parkersburg South also repeated as Class AAA champions after knocking off Region III champion St. Albans 50-27 in the finale.
The Region IV champion Patriots defeated Region II champ Spring Mills 45-24 in the semifinal round, then SAHS beat Region I champion Wheeling Park 42-36 in the other semifinal. Spring Mills defeated Wheeling Park 38-30 in the third place consolation match in Class AAA.
Jude Childers of Parkersburg South and Matthew McAfee of St. Albans shared MOW honors in Class AAA.
Visit wvmat.com for complete results of the 2021 West Virginia Team State Duals Championships held at the State Fair of West Virginia.
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Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.