WSAZ wrestling tourney to begin
HUNTINGTON — A lineup of 100 high school and middle school wrestling teams, including several from the Tri-State, are bringing 1,000 athletes to the annual WSAZ Invitational in Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Friday’s session begins at 1 p.m. for high school wrestlers and 5:45 p.m. for the middle schools. Saturday sessions at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. set the stage for the championship finals at 8:15 p.m.
High school teams include Huntington High, Cabell Midland, Spring Valley, Hurricane, Point Pleasant, Winfield, Fairland, South Point, Johnson Central, Mingo Central, Poca, Buffalo, Wahama and River Valley. The middle school lineup includes Huntington, Huntington East, Barboursville, Milton, Hurricane, Point Pleasant, Winfield, Buffalo and River Valley.
St. Joseph Academy, from Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, makes its second WSAZ Invitational appearance and has the most top-seeded wrestlers in the high school tournament. No. 1 seeds for the Wolves are Amonn Ohl at 106 pounds, Jacob Powers (132) and Caleb Dowling (138).
Huntington High’s Zane Lanham (182) and Spring Valley’s Owen Porter (285) are top-seeded in their weight classes. Lanham and Porter were 2018
Class AAA state champions at 182 and 220 respectively.
Parkersburg South, ranked No. 1 in the Class AAA state poll, is competing this weekend at the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference championships. Huntington High is ranked No. 2. Class AA No. 1 Independence and Class A No. 1 Wirt County are part of the WSAZ Invitational.
Many of the high school athletes will return to town Feb. 22-24 for the state tournament at the same location.
Top-seeded wrestlers in the middle school tournament include Elijah Byrd from Huntington East (190) and Matthew Bartley from Barboursville (95) along with Point Pleasant’s Mackandle Freeman (90) and Derek Raike (110).
DuPont, Point Pleasant and Edison from Parkersburg are ranked 1-2-3 in the state middle school coaches poll and have wrestlers coming this week for what is considered an unofficial middle school state tournament.