By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
This one was pretty easy to figure out.
As expected, Independence broke free from its tie with Greenbrier West atop the Class AA/A state wrestling ranks in the latest coaches poll released Wednesday at wvmat.com. The Patriots were a unanimous selection after their duals win over the Cavaliers at last Saturday’s Lumberjack Classic.
Indy was first on all nine coaches ballots, and West was second on every ballot.
“Being ranked No. 1 makes our wrestlers feel accomplished that the hard work is paying off,” said Independence coach Cliff Warden. A No. 1 ranking was not our goal, and everyone's focus is on the finish at Huntington. The next month and a half is just preparation and our foot will stay on the gas. Its simple, the others goal is to close the gap and our goal is to win by more.”
Independence has not won a state championship since 1996.
The Patriots finished as runners-up to West at last year’s state tournament, and were also second in 2012. Warden was awarded the Dix Manning Coach of the Year award that season.
Independence and Greenbrier West will both be at the Braxton County Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The Cavs are the tournament’s defending champions.