The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 14, 2013

Tigers impress at Winner’s Choice

Shady Spring finishes 5th in biggest test of the season

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

— Not that Larry Ransom wouldn’t have liked for his team to win the Winner’s Choice Tournament, but he got exactly what he had hoped for.

Shady Spring finished a more-than-respectable fifth at the annual tournament in Fairmont. The tournament was the Tigers’ toughest test  of the season among a predominantly Class AAA field.

“I was really pleased,” Ransom said. “On the way up there I was hoping to break the top 10. We actually led the tournament most of the first day, but we closed it out losing a couple of matches that we probably should not have lost and dropped to third. We battled good the second day but lost some more that we should have won.

“All in all, as coaches, we were pleased with how they wrestled.”

This was no cakewalk. The four teams that finished ahead of the Tigers are all in the state’s top 10 rankings — champion Point Pleasant (ranked eighth), Washington (sixth), Parkersburg (fourth) and Ripley (second).

Also in the top 10 and finishing below Shady were University (seventh) and Cabell Midland (ninth).

The Tigers scored 130 points and had five placewinners. Freshman Logan Robertson was fourth at 106 pounds, Johnny Forren third at 120, John Duncan fourth at 132, Nick Farley third at 138 and Cody Richmond sixth at 152.

Brandon Stump finished seventh at 145.

By the time the tournament was complete, several teams had taken notice of Shady Spring.

“A lot of people came up to us, other coaches from other teams, and said they were surprised by how good we looked,” Ransom said. “It was good for the boys. They recognized how good they looked up there.”

The Tigers will compete in the WSAZ Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

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Something about Virginia is agreeing with Greenbrier East.

For the second straight weekend, the Spartans won a Virginia tournament for the first time. They beat 11 other teams to win at Covington, Va.

Three East wrestlers won championships: Jasiel Kinder (106 pounds), Dylan Bullock (138) and Davis Solak (170). Runners-up were Jared Morgan (113), Josiah Solak (160), Joe Sampson (195) and Levi Nelson (220).

Heavyweight Chris Delaney took third, and 120-pounder Michael Blevins was fourth.

The Spartans scored 218 points to outdistance Patrick Henry (197.5) and Turner Ashby (196).

Last Saturday, East won the Alleghany Duals for the first time.

The Spartans will wrestle in the Big Blue Tournament in Christiansburg, Va., on Friday and Saturday.

— E-mail: gfauber@