The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

March 29, 2014

Frazier’s dominance on mat was never in doubt for Cavs

Greenbrier West junior named Register-Herald’s Wrestler of the Year

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

— Hard as it may be to believe, Marquis Frazier’s record was below .500 at one point this past wrestling season.

OK, so it was after the first match of the year. He rebounded nicely, winning his next 38 matches en route to a state championship.

One of those 38 wins was a victory over George Washington’s Hunter Jones — the same one who narrowly defeated Frazier in mid-December. And it wasn’t even close.

“I knew I could beat the kid,” Frazier said of his 17-1 technical fall over Jones in the WSAZ Tournament semifinals. “I was out of shape the first time he got me. I knew I was better than the kid. I got myself in better shape and took care of business.”

That was a familiar theme for Frazier, who went on to beat Alex Daniels of state champion Independence in the 170-pound state title match.

In recognition of his dominant season, Frazier has been selected as the first-ever recipient of The Register-Herald Wrestler of the Year Award. The Greenbrier West junior beat out three other state champions — his  brother and teammate Malik Boatwright, and Independence freshmen Noah Adams and Jacob Hart — and 182-pound state runner-up Jake Tyler of Nicholas County.

Frazier’s dominance came as no surprise to Cavaliers coach Jeremy Tincher, who witnessed Frazier’s athletic ability every week as the offensive coordinator for West’s state runner-up football team.

“I saw how kids could not match up with him. He completely took over football games,” Tincher said of the defensive end, who in December was also voted The Register-Herald Defensive Player of the Year. “I kind of experienced that before with (former state champion) Tyler Parker and other kids, who had such great football seasons because it was hard for kids to match up with them.

“If they can’t match up with you on the football field, they can’t match up with you in a 10-foot circle.”

Tincher’s belief in Frazier was never in doubt after the loss to Jones, who went on to a runner-up finish in the Class AAA 170 division. That faith was validated at the WSAZ, where Frazier not only dominated Jones, but also pinned previously-unbeaten Kane Roush in overtime in the title match.

“Marquis really came into his own at WSAZ,” Tincher said. “I told a lot of people I felt like the state championship was his to lose.”

Frazier was bent on proving to Jones that the better wrestler did not win their first match.

“I told him that he needed to show this kid that he did not get a good look and his coach did not get a good look at who Marquis Frazier really is,” Tincher said. “He told me I didn’t need to worry about it because he was going to take care of it, and he did.”

Frazier went into the season determined to win a state championship. He lost to Bluefield’s Brandon Eldridge in the 160-pound final as a sophomore.

“I came up short in the finals, so I set my expectations higher than usual,” Frazier said. “It was an awkward season because of the drag at the beginning from football (going long). I worked harder to get where I am because I came up short.”

His run to the state title included another rematch — with Roush. Frazier again came out on top with a 4-3 win the semifinals, providing the only two blemishes on Roush’s record all season.

A true illustration of just how good Frazier is came in the Coalfield Conference Invitational. Because of an injury to 182-pounder Tristen Kessler, Frazier was approached about going up one weight class. He readily agreed, and eventually found himself in the title match against Tyler, who was unbeaten and ranked first in  the state.

It was the first time all season Frazier faced someone who could match up with him physically.

“It was like wrestling myself,” Frazier said. “He was just like me. He was long and a pretty good wrestler, but I took care of business.”

Frazier won the match 8-1 and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Tincher said there is still room for Frazier to improve. He said he wants to see Frazier become more aggressive on his feet.

“For Marquis to go out and put on a match like that (against Tyler) speaks volumes about his ability,” Tincher said. “We’ve had him down at Virginia Beach (for the NHSCA High School Wrestling Championships)  a couple of times, and I have seen what he can do on the national level. Last year his only loss was to a three-time state champion from New Jersey. He can wrestle with anybody.”

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