2. Parkersburg South
4. East Fairmont
9. John Marshall
10. North Marion
1. Oak Glen
3. Calhoun County
4. Point Pleasant
6. Roane County
7. Greenbrier West
8. Wirt County
9. Berkeley Springs
10. Braxton County
In the AAA division, Parkersburg High remains on top, after a strong 9th place finish at the Walsh Ironman tournament on December 14. The Big Reds finished 10.5 points and one place ahead of cross-town rival Parkersburg South. Parkersburg High had four finalists in the Ironman (Robert Shyver, 112, 3rd; Brandon Rader, 119, runner-up; Lou Thomas, 215, fourth; and Ryan Dearman,275, sixth). South had two finalists in Shane Grogg, 125, fourth; and Bryce Pickens, 171, fourth.
Brooke moves up to third place after a second place finish at the Brooke Classic, only 5 points behind always tough Canon-McMillan. The Bruins placed ten in the finals: Jarrod Shaw, second, 103; Matt Smith, second 119; Jonathan McFarland, champ 125; Mike Durbin champ 130; Braden Shaw champ 135; Dave Durbin second 140; Dana Davis, second 145; Phil Bliss, second 152; along with Nathan Loughran, third 171 and Josh Greiner, fourth, 112.
Likewise, East Fairmont moves up a notch, after a good showing at the Brooke Classic. The Bees placed seven in the finals at Brooke, including Blaine Mayle, champ 171; Ben Geary champ 189; Brandon Geary runner-up 215, along with Haddix (130), Barnes (145), Nochel (160), and Valentine (275).
Both Brooke and East Fairmont move ahead of Ripley in this poll. However, don't county the Vikings out, as they are expected to wrestle deep into the brackets at tournament time.
Hedgesville jumps into the current poll at #6. The Eagles are off to a fine start with an impressive showing at the Sherando Duals Tournament on December 7, and was the highest placing West Virginia team at the prestigious Max Horz Invitational at Berkeley Springs on December 14, capturing fourth place there and finishing 13.5 points and one place above #7 Nitro. At Berkeley Springs, Hedgesville placed six in the finals: Joe Shetler, 3rd, 103; Justin Zimmerman, 6th 112; Danny Lord, Champ 152; Derrick Young, 4th 160; Brad Ammons, 2nd, 171; and Josh Jones, 4th, 275. Nitro placed five at Berkeley Springs: Anthony Easter, 2nd, 112; Pete Allen, 5th 119; Matt Easter, Champ 130; Mitch Casto, Champ 160; and Erik Ollom, 4th 215.
Rounding out the top ten are Huntington, John Marshall, and North Marion. Huntington has sailed through their early schedule, and the Highlander's stock may rise as they get in to the meat of their schedule. John Marshall jumps into the poll on the basis of a gut feeling and a dual meet victory over Ripley. North Marion rounds out the top ten, as Husky coach Roy Michael can be counted on to have his team ready to go at tournament time.
In the AA/A division, Oak Glen remains on top and will probably stay there until there until some other AA/A team gives reason to dislodge them. Oak Glen placed ten at the Brooke Classic, including Miller 4th 103, Wright 4th 125, Mahan 2nd 130, McIntosh 3rd 135, Whittington 3rd 140, Flowers Champ 145, Railing 3rd 160, Potts 3rd 189, Whitehill 3rd 215, and McMillen 2nd 275.
Williamstown stays at #2, with their six finalists from last year, Jesse Biddle (119), Casey Biddle (125), Ryan Elder (140), Alan Tracewell (152), Shane Smith (160), and Lee Lauderman (171) seeming to pick up this year where they left off.
Calhoun County remains at #3, but hasn't been severely tested yet this year. Braxton County gave the Red Devils a run at the Webster County Hardwood Duals.
Point Pleasant moves up to #4. Fans will be looking forward to the Nitro Invitational on January 10-11 where Calhoun, Point, Shady Spring, Wirt County and a host of other AA/A and AAA powers are scheduled to go head to head in tournament format. In addition, the scheduled quad at Roane County on December 28 with Calhoun, Point Pleasant, and Clay county should well be worth the price of admission.
Cameron jumps to the fifth spot, on the basis of a good finish at the Max Horz tourney at Berkeley Springs on December 14, the highest placing AA/A WV team there, finishing ahead of Wirt County and Berkeley Springs.
Roane County comes in at number six. The Raiders are off to a good start with early season dual meet victories over Wirt County, Greenbrier West, Grafton, and others. Roane County moves to AA/A this year, along with Point Pleasant, Herbert Hoover, Lewis County, Philip Barbour, Logan, and Keyser.
The seventh through tenth spots are even more of an educated guess than they were on the last WV-Mat poll. Greenbrier West, Wirt County and Berkeley Springs have to figure in the mix. Herbert Hoover, moving to AA/A from AAA this year, has been making some early season noise and has split a pair of dual meets with Greenbrier West. We haven't heard too much from Braxton County this year, except that they gave Calhoun a run at the Hardwood Duals, dropping a close dual 38-36. Shady Spring won the Beckley Newspapers Invitational on December 7, with seven wrestlers in the championship finals. Independence went 5-5 in the Red Dragon Duals on December 14, including a win over Hoover. The WV-Mat pollsters will take the easy way out, declare a four-way tie for tenth place, and look forward to the Nitro Invitational on January 10-11 and the Braxton Pizza Hut on January 17-18 to clarify the picture.