Wrestlers in Parkersburg for MSAC tourney
HUNTINGTON - Some of the state’s best wrestlers are at Parkersburg High School for the Mountain State Athletic Conference tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday where matches will play a role in determining seeding for the regional tournament.
Parkersburg is defending its 2018 MSAC championship the Big Reds won by one point over Huntington High. Ranked No. 2 in the latest WVmat.com coaches poll, the Big Reds are poised to repeat.
After the Big Reds, the state rankings of MSAC members have Huntington High at No. 4, St. Albans at No. 5 and Cabell Midland at No. 7.
“We had a terrible final round,” recalled Huntington High head coach Rob Archer of the 2018 conference tournament. “We lost our last five matches and Parkersburg was able to take us.”
Archer called the MSAC tournament “an important tune-up” ahead of regionals, also to be hosted Feb. 9 by Parkersburg.
This time of year is when wrestlers are either fading or surging and Archer said you definitely want them to be surging.
Huntington High is represented by two-time defending state champion Zane Lanham, who is ranked No. 1 in the 182-pound class, along with Clayton Stewart who is top-ranked in the 170-pound class.
MSAC competition in the 195-pound class will be highly competitive. Spring Valley’s Chase Stevens has held the top spot in the rankings since defeating No. 2 C.J. Wade of Parkersburg in December. In the mix, however, will be No. 3 Colton Wright of Woodrow Wilson and No. 4 Ian Sears of Capital.
“Its very intense and its a very important tournament,” said Stevens.
Several other weight classes are well represented by Cabell Midland, Huntington High and Spring Valley.
In the 138-class, Isaiah Vaughn from Cabell Midland is ranked No. 6 in the state and was a WSAZ Invitational champion.
“He’s confident right now and he’s gotten better and wrestling real good,” Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said of Vaughn.
“There’s always room for improvement, but he’s finding ways to win. He’s very determined.”
Salmons said he’s looking for the Knights to learn from mistakes made throughout the season and arrive in Parkersburg with something to prove.