The motto in the Greenbrier East mat room changes every season, and the Spartans lived up to the new message in Saturday's opener.

The Spartans went undefeated in pool play at the fifth annual Raider Rumble, then beat Shady Spring and rival Woodrow Wilson in the championship round to win the tournament for the first time.

East won 41 individual matches on the day, 31 via pinfall, and had five undefeated wrestlers.

"The first one was fun. Winning is always fun, and that's our motto: Have fun," Spartans coach Brian Miluk said. "What's nice is when you compete you can see a lot of things that you gloss over in practice, but they really, really shine right now. So we've got a lot of work to do."

The Spartans defeated Oak Hill, Man and Richwood in pool play to advance to the championship pool. There they defeated Shady 45-38 and then took down Woodrow 48-33 to secure the win.

Miluk normally only sends his B team to the Raider Rumble, but a scheduling conflict prevented the Spartans from being able to get into next week's Jason Eades Memorial at Point Pleasant. So he decided to open things up at Liberty and enjoyed the day.

"We have a lot of young guys," Miluk said. "Our upperclassmen work with the younger guys, so this was perfect timing. We had a good chance, we did a good job, we won the tournament. They can see how much fun it is.

"This is a good tournament. We always have battles with Shady and I love (coach Anthony) Shrewsberry. Then Beckley, with their new coach (Matt Osborne) you can see there's a little bit of a different style that they have. Rivalries are good, man. I dig it. And Nick (Hylton of Liberty) always has a good team."

The Spartans return eight of their 10 state qualifiers from last season. Of the eight, only senior Zack Mullins (fourth, 132 pounds) was able to place.

That was a slightly misleading finish to the season for the Spartans, who in the end could not quite follow through on that year's motto.

"Our motto was 'Just one more.' We only had one kid place but we had six in the blood rounds," Miluk said. "(They just needed) to win one more match, whether it's in the semis or whether it's in the wrestle-backs. We're always real close, but to do well at the state tournament you've got to place."

Undefeated wrestlers for the Spartans on Saturday were Mullins (138), Colby Piner (160), Adam Zimmerman (160), Owen Quinn (170) and Nick Thomas (182).

The Spartans will host the Greenbrier Duals on Saturday starting at noon. PikeView, Midland Trail, Richwood and Webster County will be there, and Meadow Bridge will be resurrecting its program as well.

"We're young again, so they are all going to get matches in," Miluk said. "Then we start getting into the meat-and-potatoes part of the schedule. We want to be challenged."

Woodrow Wilson defeated Shady Spring in the last match of the championship round to finish with a 4-1 record and take second place.

Most area teams will be at Point Pleasant next weekend.

Email: gfauber@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber

React to this story:

0
0
0
0
0