By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
If the final weekend of 2013 is any indication, area wrestling fans have an exciting February awaiting them.
Reigning Class AA/A state champion Greenbrier West and two-time runner-up Independence both went unbeaten, and neither was threatened. The Cavaliers continued to shake off their early-season rust in dominating the Lindsey Raines Memorial Duals in their home gym.
Top-ranked West ran over Wyoming East, Midland Trail, Richwood and Princeton, and beat No. 8 Roane County 45-18 in pool play to advance to the championship match.
There, the Cavs dominated Braxton County, beating the Eagles 63-0 to defend their championship.
Up next for West is a tri-match at Class AAA No. 4 Ripley on Saturday against the Vikings and Bridgeport.
The Patriots, meanwhile, were unchallenged in an undefeated run to the East Fairmont Duals championship. No. 2 Indy went 10-0, beating, among others, No. 3 North Marion 55-16, No. 4 Fairmont 57-9 and No. 7 Calhoun County 60-15.
There were several big individual performances for the Patriots, including Cody Clifton’s pin of 145-pound state champion Anthony Alvaro. Clifton, who transferred back to Independence after spending a year at Liberty, was 9-1 and was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Teddy Stover (113), Jakob Cooper (132) and Colton Ward (138) were all 10-0.
Trey Williams defeated North Marion’s Tyler Arnett, a 2012 state runner-up at 182, and Noah Adams beat Calhoun’s Casey Ritchie, last year’s runner-up at 126.
The Patriots are off this weekend before competing in the Lumberjack Classic Jan. 10-11 in Summersville.
On the Class AAA level, Greenbrier East continued its gradual ascent with a third-place finish at the Parry McCleur tournament in Buena Vista, Va. It was the Spartans’ best-ever finish at the event.
East also had four finalists — twice as many as last year — and two champions (one more) in Jasiel Kinder and Charles Withrow.
Placewinners were Keegan Mickey and Joe Sampson (runner-up), as well as Josiah Solak, Levi Nelson and Evan Roberts (third).
The Spartans will compete this weekend at Allegheny, Va., where they are defending champions.
Woodrow Wilson also wrestled at Parry McCleur and placed eight wrestlers, including heavyweight winner Khalil Anderson.
Leland Swafford (126) was second, Tyler Gilger (138) and Cody Van Dyke (152) third, Josh Gilger (138) fourth, Chris Worley (182) and Hunter Davis (195) fifth and John Lilley (106) sixth.
Woodrow will join Shady Spring at the West Virginia Duals in Parkersburg this weekend. The Tigers were off last week.
— E-mail: gfauber@
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