2. Parkersburg South
4. East Fairmont
8. Wheeling Park
10. North Marion
1. Oak Glen
2. Calhoun County
6. Greenbrier West
7. Braxton County
8. Shady Spring
9. Point Pleasant
10. Berkeley Springs
In the AAA division, Parkersburg High remains on top. The Big Reds have sailed through January dual meets, and ran away with the Winners Choice/Rotary Invitational on January 18, placing all 14 wrestlers in the finals. PHS claimed five champs, three runners up, one third, two fourth, and three sixth place individual finishes.
Parkersburg South remains at #2. All eyes will turn to the dual between Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South on January 22 at South.
Brooke remains at third. Brooke won the Steubenville Kiwanis Tournament by over 100 points on January 3, and otherwise has been busy with duals and quads in January, preparing for the OVAC tourney January 23-25.
East Fairmont remains in the fourth spot. The Bees finished second at the Winners Choice/Rotary Invitational on January 18, albeit over 100 points behind champ Parkersburg High. On January 11, East won the Nitro Invitational with 203.5, followed by Huntington with 192 and Nitro with 144.5.
Ripley remains at the five spot, on the basis of their third place finish at the Winners Choice/Rotary Invitational on January 18. The Vikings placed nine in the finals,
Huntington High moves up to the #6 spot, on the basis of a strong runner-up finish at Nitro on January 11.
Nitro remains at #7.
Wheeling Park stays in the poll at #8. The Patriots won the Indiana PA Invitational on Jan. 4, 2003, and will have a chance to show their stuff this week at the OVAC.
Jefferson jumps in to this poll at #9. The Cougars have been somewhat of a mystery team so far this year, but turned in a solid performance for fourth place at the Winners Choice/Rotary, behind Ripley and ahead of North Marion and Hedgesville. Jefferson placed six in the finals, including Steve Reynolds, Champ 135; Darrell Dorsey, runner-up 130; Codie Gustines, runner-up 140; Justin Hawes third 145; Jon Smith, 4th 119; and Corie Gustines, 5th at 152.
North Marion rounds out the top ten with a solid 5th place finish at the Winners Choice/Rotary, finishing ahead of Hedgesville, and sixth place at Nitro, finishing one point ahead of Buckhannon. (Buckhannon was unable to attend Winners Choice due to weather).
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. This month the Golden Bears conducted their annual dual with Parkersburg South and is readying for the OVAC tourney January 23-25.
Calhoun County moves up to #2. The Red Devils turned some heads at the Nitro Invitational on January 11, finishing a strong third with 159 points, ahead of AAA powers Nitro, North Marion, and Buckhannon Upshur. The next highest placing AA/A teams at Nitro were Shady Spring (100.5), Point Pleasant (96), and Wirt County (58.5). To add an exclamation point to their January run, Calhoun took the Braxton Pizza Hut Big 16 on January 18, finishing a comfortable 42 points ahead of runner-up Independence. At Nitro, Calhoun had six in the place-four finals; Cummings 3rd 119, Ashley Champ 125, Goodrich fourth 140, Metz runner-up 145, Morris Champ 152, and Burge runner-up 171. At Braxton, the same six placed in the place-six finals, along with Gungle 103, Price 135, Merola 160, and Roberts 215.
Independence moves up to #3, on the basis of their third place finish at Braxton. The Patriots showed that they have some heavy hitters of their own, placing 8 in the place-six finals; Rash Champ 103, Bragg fifth 112, Snuffer Champ 119, Mills runner-up 130, Hodges sixth 140, Abner sixth 145, Ward Champ 189, and Whitlock third 275.
Cameron moves up to #4. The Dragons won their own Tri-State Invitational on January 11, and have claimed dual meet victories over Wheeling Park 48-35 on January 17, and Williamstown 42-33 on January 15. Are they really #5? Fans may have to wait until the end of February to find out.
Williamstown fans are probably scratching their heads wondering how they can drop three spots after a top-ten finish at the always tough Winners Choice/Rotary on January 18. The WV-Mat pollsters look at it this way: At Nitro, Calhoun finished 30 points ahead of North Marion, while at Winners Choice Williamstown finished 27 points behind North Marion. Throw in a dual meet loss to Cameron, and somebody has to move somewhere. The LKC tournament on February 8 should determine who is the real beast of the LKC.
Greenbrier West moves up to number six. The Cavaliers placed eight in the finals at Braxton; Painter 4th 119, Miller 4th 145, Boone 5th 152, Osborne 3rd 160, Smith runner-up 171, Tincher 4th 189, Chad Crookshanks 5th 215, and Maynor Crookshanks runner-up 275.
Braxton County stays at #7 on the basis of their fourth place finish at the Braxton Big 16. Braxton placed seven in the finals including Morris runner-up 112, Adams 5th 119, Digman 6th 125, Burks 4th 130, Flynt 4th 135, O'Malley 3rd 171, and Blankenship 3rd 215.
Shady Spring comes in at the eight spot. Shady finished fifth at Braxton, ahead of Roane County, Herbert Hoover, Frankfort, and a host of others. At Nitro, Shady finished in eighth place, 4.5 points ahead of Point Pleasant (9th at Nitro) and 42 points ahead of Wirt (13th at Nitro).
Point Pleasant missed the Winners Choice because of bad weather, but hangs in the current poll at #9. The Black Knights can look to improve their stock at the WSAZ on January 25.
Wirt County and Berkeley Springs round out the current poll, tied for #10. Williamstown, Wirt, and Berkeley Springs finished 8th, 9th, and 10th at Winners Choice/Rotary, separated by only 11.5 points. That has to count for something.