Greenbrier West wrestling coach Jeremy Tincher saw something from his team last weekend that sent up a red flag.
“We have really been after these guys this past week in practice, with some of our young guys filling in in spots, just about effort and fight and get after it,” Tincher said. “Because there were times last week at Braxton County I didn’t think I saw that.”
They got the message.
Tincher was pleased with what he saw in the Cavaliers’ 42-33 dual win over Woodrow Wilson Saturday morning in Beckley. They benefitted from five Woodrow Wilson forfeits, but Tincher was encouraged by the performances given in the seven matches that were wrestled.
“I think sometimes kids lose sight of why we’re here,” Tincher said. “We’re here to get your best. We don’t practice every day and do all that just to come out here and go through the motions. We’re here to compete. You have to bring something to the table. And it’s expected. I want all of our kids, regardless if they’re first-year of 15 years, to represent the standard that I feel we have set. I felt like we did a pretty good job of that today.”
Greenbrier West is the reigning Class A state champion and has had to fight through injuries all season to stay on course in its quest to repeat. Many of the wrestlers who faced Woodrow are the ones Tincher has talked about stepping up.
Sophomore Joey Terry dropped a 5-2 decision to Woodrow’s Devaw Gauldin at 195 pounds, but Tincher said he has done well stepping in for injured senior Chase Patterson.
“He’s wrestling up. He’s not a traditional big 195-pound kid, but he goes out and really fights,” Tincher said.
Greenbrier West junior Ferrin Moul and the Flying Eagles’ Kenneth Farmer had the day’s most intriguing match at 182.
Moul scored a takedown in the first period before Farmer reversed. Moul was able to go ahead 4-3 in the second, but another reversal gave Farmer a 5-4 lead going into the third.
Farmer controlled most of the third period and had a 7-4 lead, but Moul got an escape and takedown to force overtime.
Moul then got a takedown for the sudden victory.
“Ferrin has just made leaps and bounds,” Tincher said. “He is so much better than he was last year.”
Sophomore Brad Blevins defeated Woodrow’s Jay Jones 5-0 at 138 pounds to avenge an earlier loss.
“That shows me that we have gotten better and learned from our mistakes,” Tincher said. “I think Eli White’s wrestling really well right now (at 145). Just young guys that need to come out and fight and get after it, and bring the same kind of intensity that seniors typically bring. We don’t have a lot of seniors right now, so the young guys have got have a more mature mentality.”
Woodrow forfeited 113, 120, 126, 145 and 170, while the Cavaliers did not fill the 106 and 132 weights.
The Flying Eagles were without senior Caleb Click because of injury. Click has been wrestling at 152 but plans are for him to move to 145. He hopes to be back for regionals.
Joining Gauldin as winners were 160-pounder Hezekiyiah Creasy, who pinned Jayden Robinson 1:24 into the first period, Jackson Evans at 220 (via pin over Tucker Gibson) and Ian Pomeroy at 285 (via pin over Chase Franklin with 1.2 left in the first period).
“I thought we did good,” first-year Woodrow coach Matt Osborne said. “Our takedowns are coming along. We’ve just got a lot more wrestling to do.”
Greenbrier West’s Justin Wilhelm pinned James Mitchell in the first period at 152. Noah Brown, the state’s top-ranked 220-pounder, missed with an injury.
Both teams will wrestle in the WSAZ Invitational Friday and Saturday in Huntington.
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