By Wayne Bennett
For The Register-Herald
After the first day of wrestling at the West Virginia Army National Guard Duals in Summersville on Friday, Independence High School had a record of 4-1.
One of the the most successful wrestlers so far this season for the Patriots has been 106-pounder Teddy Stover. After the first round, Stover was still undefeated for the first month of the season. Last year, as a freshman, he placed third in the state tournament, wrestling in the same weight class.
He was recently ranked first in his weight class in the latest Class AA-A coaches poll. I am sure Stover and his coach, Cliff Warden, will tell you that early rankings don’t mean that much. It’s the state tournament ranking that counts. However, it’s still nice for a young man to be recognized by the people closest to the sport.
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Stover was also recently recognized by DownUnder Sports and was invited to represent Team USA/West Virginia in some international competition during the month of July. The trip would include seven days in New Zealand and Australia. Not only would there be international competition in freestyle wrestling, but also numerous cultural experiences included.
Sponsorships and fundraising venues will be announced at a later date.
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The Middle School Coalfield Conference wrestling tournament will be held Saturday at Independence Middle School. Wrestling will begin at 10 a.m.
Teams participating are Beckley-Stratton, Trap Hill, Eastern Greenbrier, Western Greenbrier, Independence, Park, Shady Spring, Fayetteville and Collins. Shady Spring is the defending champion.
There are three returning individual champions. Conner Gibson of Collins won the 84-pound title last year and has moved up to 102 pounds. Western Greenbrier’s Trevor Edenfield won at 78 pounds last year and now is wrestling at 84 pounds. Noah Adams won at 102 pounds and returns in the 128-pound class.
Go out and support your favorite wrestler!
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Most area high schools will travel to the Braxton County Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Independence won the team championship last year. Other local teams expected are Liberty, Shady Spring, Fayetteville, Richwood, Midland Trail and Greenbrier West.
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This week a squeeze of the water bottle goes to Ted Spadaro, who coached football for 45 years. He is also an avid reader of this column.