By Wayne Bennett
For The Register-Herald
Regional wrestling tournaments will be held Friday and Saturday throughout the state of West Virginia. These tournaments will determine what wrestlers will qualify for the state championships on the following weekend.
Local Region 3 AA-A schools will begin regional wrestling at Independence High School on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Wrestling will resume at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
The fourth-ranked Independence Patriots are the defending regional champions and finished second in the state tournament last season. Greenbrier West has been hot of late and has beaten the Patriots in at least three different competitions. They are currently ranked second in the state coaches poll.
If you look at the individual rankings of the coaches poll here’s how the results will transpire. Championship matches will be:
106 — Teddy Stover (Indy) vs. Caleb Currence (West) in the finals.
113 — Will Cox (Indy) vs. Ben Alderson (West)
120 — Chris Patton (West) will win!
126 — Jordan Grimmett (West) will win!
132 — Colton Ward ( Indy) vs. Dustin Yoakum (West)
138 — Dakota Clifton (Liberty) vs. Chris Clark (Indy)
145 — Dustin Justice (Indy) vs. Jordan Tincher (West)
152 — Malik Boatright vs. RJ Elam (Liberty)
160 — Brandon Eldridge (Bluefield) vs. Austin Stewart (Richwood)
170 — Tyler Parker (West) vs. Jacob Tyler (Nicholas)
182 — Charles Ayers (Liberty) vs. Thomas Williams (Indy)
195 — Shawn Pennington (Bluefield) vs. Dylan McBride (Indy)
220 — Cody Loudermilk (West) vs. Julius Thomas (Bluefield)
285 — Donovan Vance (Liberty) vs. Zach Fleshman (Indy)
Now, I am not much of a numbers guy but I do agree with most of the rankings. However, look for surprises in the 160-pound and 195-pound class. Also, if you follow the coaches rankings, Greenbrier West will win the team title by a narrow margin and qualify 11 or 12 wrestlers for the states. Anyway you put it, the tournament will be interesting.
Beckley, Oak Hill, Princeton, Shady Spring and Greenbrier East will travel to Ripley to participate in the Region 3 AAA regional. Ripley should be the team to beat but Shady Spring may prove to be a formidable foe. Here's how the coaches poll will see the regional finals:
106 — Logan Robertson (SS) vs. Jasiel Kinder (GE)
113 — Leland Swafford (WW) vs. Levi Smith (GW)
120 — John Forren (SS) vs. David Pancake (GW)
126 — Tyler Kosut (SS) vs. Jensen Lorea (GW)
132 — Autin Hileman (Rip) vs. Marc Williams (OH)
138 — Jake Martin (Rip) vs. Nick Farley (SS)
145 — Brandon Stump of Shady will win!
152 — Preston Martin (Rip) vs. Cole Williams (WW)
160 — Jake Smith (GW) vs. Josiah Solak (GE)
170 — Davis Solak (GE) vs. Nate Starkey (RIP)
182 — Pat Vance of Capital will win!
195 — Greg Medina of Ripley will win!
220 — No preference!
285 — Daryl Hicks (Rip) vs. Daniel Pettrey (WW)
Looks like some good matches. Go out and support your favorite wrestler.
This week a squeeze of the water bottle goes to Randall Harrah, a big wrestling fan and an avid reader of this column.