2. Parkersburg South
5. East Fairmont
7. North Marion
10. Woodrow Wilson
1. Oak Glen
3. Calhoun County
4. Wirt County
5. Berkeley Springs
6. Braxton County
7. Greenbrier West
8. Point Pleasant
9. Shady Spring
10. St. Marys
In the AAA division, Parkersburg High would seem to be the early favorite as the team to beat, as the Big Reds had no fewer than 7 State Finalists last year who were underclassmen: Robert Shyver Champ 103; Brandon Rader Champ 112; Chance Litton 3rd 119; Derrick Knapp 5th 130; Brian Williamson 2nd 135; Billy Cornecelli 6th 140;and Lou Thomas Champ 215.
Cross-town rival Parkersburg South should provide plenty of competition, as the Patriots potentially return five state finalists: Felix Osuna-Cotto, 4th 103; Shane Grogg 2nd 119; Seth Young, 4th 135; Bryce Pickens 2nd 145; and Kyle Walters, Champ 152.
Ripley should put some pressure on the Parkersburg teams, as the Vikings may return as many as eight qualifiers from last year including Mitch Smith, Champion 135; Josh Casto 3rd 125; Ty Phalen 4th 189; and Steve Sayre 6th 152.
Brooke seems to be climbing its way back to the top. Four Bruin underclassmen made it to the finals last year including Jonathan McFarland, 6th 119; Braden Shaw, 4th 125; David Durbin 3rd 135; and Phil Bliss 3rd 140.
Nitro always scores points at tournament time, and will be counting on the services of potential returnees Anthony Easter, 3rd 103; Matt Easter, Champ 119; and John Evans, 4th 130.
East Fairmont and North Marion look to be the teams to beat in the NCAC. East Fairmont welcomes back Joey Mayle, 5th 140, and the Geary brothers, Ben 4th 160 and Brandon 2nd 171. North Marion welcomes back a couple of state finalists in Daran Hays, 3rd 152, and Andrew Starsick, 2nd 215.
Rounding out the WV-Mat pre-season top 10 are Huntington, Jefferson, and Woodrow Wilson. Huntington may return 3 state finalists in Steve Riner, 5th 112; Jeremy Ray, 6th 125; and James Nelson, 5th 189. Jefferson could be the dark-horse, potentially returning 3 finalists: Steve Reynolds 5th 125; Darrel Dorsey 6th 130; and Codie Gustines 2nd 140. Woodrow Wilson may return a pair of finalists in Justin Boyden 4th 145; and Josh Evans, 5th 152.
It seems odd to make a poll which omits always tough Fairmont Senior. The Polar Bears have a pair of returning state finalists in Allen Ford, 6th 112 and Anthony Delligatti, 6th 160. The return of Matt Delligatti to the roster after injury last year should put the Bears back in to the thick of things.
In the AA/A division, Oak Glen remains the team to beat. The Golden Bears potentially return 7 state finalists including Justin Goneau 3rd 103; Ian Whittington 4th 125; Sean McIntosh 6th 130; Steve Flowers Champ 140; Matt Wharton 5th 145; Tim Cashdollar 2nd 152; and Ben Whitehill 5th 215.
Williamstown appears to be loaded with talent this year, and actually would seem to have more returning state points than Oak Glen. The yellow-jackets may return Jesse Biddle, 5th 112; Casey Biddle Champ 119; Ryan Elder, 2nd 130; Alan Tracewell 3rd 140; Shane Smith, champ 145; and Lee Lauderman 5th 160.
Calhoun County gave Oak Glen a run for their money at last year's state tournament, and it remains to be seen if the Red Devils can duplicate that feat in 2003. Coach Mike Stump looks to build his team around Justin Ashley champ 112; Jared Brewer 4th 119; Jeff Morris, 2nd 140; Eric Metz, 4th 145; and Ray Burge 3rd 171.
Always tough Wirt County also appears to have some depth this year. The Tigers hope to return Daniel Allen, 2nd 112; Timmy McCoy, 2nd 119; Matt Dye, 5th 130; Dustin Miller 6th 145; and Chris Miller 5th 152.
Berkeley Springs looks set to make its rise back to the top. The Indians look for leadership from Brandon Clark, 3rd 119; Matt Mason 6th 152; Jamie Moore 4th 160; and Josh Clark 3rd 189.
The sixth through tenth spots are even more of an educated guess than the first five spots. Braxton County may return Matt Morris, 3rd 112, and usually fields a full roster with some depth. Greenbrier West is always tough, and may return two finalists in Mark Smith, 3rd 160; and Chad Tincher 5th 189. Point Pleasant is the real dark horse in the AA/A ranks this year as the Black Knights make their move from AAA to AA/A. Shady Spring should figure in somewhere as the Tigers look for strong performances from Josh Neal, 5th 103 and Derek Scarbro, 4th 130. St Marys rounds out the pre-season Top 10 on a hunch and on the shoulders of Pete Hashman, runner-up at 215 last year.
We fully expect Cameron to make us look foolish for being left off the pre-season poll. The Dragons return two state finalists in Noah O'Neil, 4th 112; and Casey Hughes, 6th 135. Cameron looks to have a full roster again this year, and if they all stay healthy their stock will rise. Also, Independence with two potential returning state finalists, Bryan Snuffer, 4th 103, and Brian Mills, 6th 125, and Grafton can never be left out of consideration.