The New Martinsville School Blue Eagle wrestling team ended its state tour and invited some top teams to the NMS gym on Saturday, Jan. 12. First up for the Eagle grapplers was Union Local, whom the home team dismantled by a 51 to 30 score. Winning were Jack Booth, Riley Nice, Kaleb Simpkins, Clay Adams, Hunter Partridge, Caleb Nice, Joel Hatfield, and John Albertson.
The second dual of the day saw the 20th ranked Blue Eagles defeat the fifth ranked Point Pleasant Black Hawks by a 56 to 24 score. The home team gained wins by Kyler Cecil, Jack Booth, Riley Nice, Kaleb Simpkins, Clay Adams, Hunter Partridge, Caleb Nice, Joel Hatfield, Drew White, and John Albertson. This dual featured the two top-ranked 155 pound wrestlers with the black and gold team's Caleb Nice getting the win by a six to five score for the victory over Grant Safford from the black and red team.
The third match was against Wheeling area power Warwood, but the result was the same with another win for NMS by 52 to 30. Winning were Kyler Cecil, Jack Booth, Riley Nice, Kaleb Simpkins, Clay Adams, Hunter Partridge, Caleb Nice, Joel Hatfield, and John Albertson.
The Blue Eagles couldn't keep the winning streak going when they entered the afternoon competition with state ranked Buckhannon Upshur, losing by a 42 to 36 score. Keeping it close by winning their matches were Jack Booth, Riley Nice, Kaleb Simpkins, Clay Adams, Caleb Nice, and John Albertson.
"Overall, it was a satisfying day with some outstanding middle-school competition," according to Head Coach John Holliday. "But, I really didn't like the way we lost that last dual. Maybe we were just tired at the end, but for whatever reason, it looked like we had a mental let-down. Three matches in that dual we should have won, and not only did we lose each, but we lost it by a fall, giving Buckhannon the maximum number of points possible. If we win any of those three we win the dual. We have to be tougher than that; we will be tougher than that!"
The team's final dual competition will be today, Jan. 16, when the Eagles travel to Moundsville for a triangular match with always-strong teams from Moundsville and Follansbee.
The match will be at 5 p.m. in the Moundsville Middle School gymnasium.
Following the tri are the two season-ending conference tournaments, the first on Jan. 25-26 at Union Local High School for the Ohio Valley Championships. The second will be on Feb. 1-2 at Fairmont State University for the Mason Dixon Championships.