By Wayne Bennett
For The Register-Herald
The 37th annual Coalfield Conference Invitational will be held Friday and Saturday at Eastern Greenbrier Middle School. Wrestling will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. The championship finals and consolation finals will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday evening.
Fifteen teams are expected, including Independence and Greenbrier West, the top two Class AA-A ranked teams in the state. Greenbrier West won the Coalfield championship last year, but only six teams participated in the tournament because of a huge snowstorm.
The Coalfield Conference tournament began in 1978 and Shady Spring won the first team championship. Since the tournament’s inception Independence has won the most team titles with 14, followed by Shady Spring with 9. In 2004, all the AAA schools moved out of the Coalfield Conference, but Greenbrier East, Shady Spring and Oak Hill were readmitted in 2013 for wrestling only.
Individually, this tournament is stacked, with over 35 state ranked wrestlers. Indy’s Colton Ward, West’s Malik Boatwright and Oak Hill’s Marc Williams will be seeking a third Coalfield title. Indy’s Will Cox, Ted Stover and Thomas Williams, along with West’s Cody Loudermilk and East’s Jasiel Kinder, are all looking for a second championship. Here’s a few names to look for at the top:
106 pounds: Shane Scarbro (SS), Nathan McClaugherty (I);
113: Jasiel Kinder (GE), Zach McCarthy (OH), Ted Stover (I), Logan Robertson (GW);
120: Will Cox (I), Caleb Currence (GW);
126: Jacob Hart (I), Ben Alderson (GW);
132: Dustin Yoakum (GW), Jakob Cooper (I);
138: John Duncan (SS), Colton Ward (I), Jordan Grimmett (GW);
14: Cody Clifton (I), Cameron Underwood(F);
152: Noah Adams (I), Jordan Tincher (GW);
160: Malik Boatwright (GW), Dustin Justice (I);
170: Keeton Asbury(SS), Marquis Frazier (GW), Alex Daniels (I), Wade Leggett (NC);
182: Charles Withrow (GE), Jacob Summe (WE), Thomas Williams (I), Tristan Kessler (GW);
195: Trey Williams (I, Dave Murphy (GW);
220: Cody Loudermilk (GW), Christian McGuire (MT), Drew Hicks (I);
285: Evan Roberts (GE), Jacob Smith (GW).
The wrestling will be good and I am sure very exciting.
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Chris Nelson, a graduate of Independence High School, is a heavyweight for the WVU wrestling team. Chris is a sophomore and recently finished fifth in the West Virginia Collegiate Invitational, as a “B” team wrestler. Chris is an honor roll student majoring in political science.
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This week a squeeze of the water bottle goes to Mike Isom, a big wrestling fan and an avid reader of this column.