By Wayne Bennett
For The Register-Herald
Well, another high school wrestling season has concluded and there were several surprises, good and bad.
Some of the wrestlers will go immediately to a spring sport, while some will wrestle a few open tournaments before hanging up the wrestling shoes.
As for next season, Independence will return the most state qualifiers with eight. If the Patriots can keep them spread out they will definitely be back in the hunt next year.
Shady Spring and Oak Hill will move up to the AAA classification next year and both teams will return six qualifiers. Among the other local AAA teams, Woodrow Wilson returns five, Greenbrier East returns two and Princeton returns one.
The West Virginia Junior State Tournament is being held this weekend in Parkersburg. Over 1,000 youth and middle school wrestlers entered this year’s tournament, making it the largest junior states ever. They do a great job!
The 24th annual Rainelle Open Tournament will be held Saturday, March 10, at Greenbrier West High School. For more info, call Steve Tincher at 304-667-2706 or Jeremy Tincher at 304-667-3893.
This time of the year, when the wrestling season has died down, I tend to reflect about some of the local wrestlers in the past.
Dean Black and Darrell Kincaid were two Sophia wrestlers I can remember who were quite good. Roger Danbury and Daniel Moore were two Shady Spring middle weights back in the 1970s who were tough guys to handle. I surely can’t forget three Woodrow Wilson wrestlers from the 1960s: Buddy Ellison, Doc Richmond and Jimmy White.
These guys were true competitors by all means.
One guy from the 1970s, Doug Lough, was an accomplished athlete at Beckley. Doug had an outstanding career in football and wrestling. After graduation he went on to compete at Fairmont State.
Well, it’s time to put the old water bottle back on the shelf for another offseason. A final squeeze of the water bottle goes to Teddy Stover of Independence and Dustin Yoakum of Greenbrier West, two of only four AA-A freshmen state tournament placewinners.