Magnolia Blue Eagle freshman Caleb Nice finished in fourth place in the 182 pound weight division at the 67th annual West Virginia State Wrestling Tournament March 1 in Huntington.
Riley Nice, a freshman 113 pounder, drew Triston Duley of Herbert Hoover and quickly scored a take down, but Duley scored an escape. However, Nice was on top of the Hoover junior who entered the tournament with a 23-13 record for a second take down and added three more points for a 7-1 decision.
In his second bout of the tournament, Riley faced Dalton Will of Keyser High School, who entered the tournament with an outstanding 47-6 record. After a few moments, Will scored a take down and worked a pin and win, sending the younger Nice to the consolation round to face sophomore Devan McKown of Calhoun County.
Nice sent his Calhoun opponent home with a quick pinfall and advanced to the next round, where he faced senior Ryan Keckley of Sissonville. Riley scored a take down, but a pair of Keckley reversals would be enough to gain a 4-2 victory, sending the talented Nice home with a 3-2 record in his first state tournament appearance.
The Eagles' freshman Clay Adams, who entered the state tournament with a 31-6 record in the 126 pound weight class, faced Petersburg sophomore Trent Borror with a 31-8 record. After feeling each other out, Borror scored a take down, but Adams escaped his hold for a point.
However, Borror once more scored a take down, but again the never-say-die Adams scored a point on another escaped. But, after his third take down, the Petersburg grappler would finish off the stubborn Adams with a pin.
Adams won his second match on a forfeit, but would have to face a very tough Fayetteville grappler in Bailey Bowles. Bowles, with a 34-8 record, would win a 10-1 decision, sending Adams home with a 1-2 record in his first state tournament appearance.
Paden McConaughey, a Magnolia sophomore with a 24-7 record in the 160 pound weight class, would face 27-10 senior Wade Leggett of Nicholas County. After a stalemate in the opening period, McConaughey roughed up the Nicholas County senior for a 5-2 victory and moved on to the next day's second bout with 30-8 senior Luke Scott of Roane County.
Scott was much stronger and would score three take-downs. McConaughey scored three escapes but lost his first match of the tournament 14-3.
McConaughey then scored a quick take down with his next opponent, Berkley Springs' Garrett Morris, in the opening period. In the second period, the Eagles' grappler scored another takedown, but Morris scored on a reversal to trim McConaughey's
advantage to 4-2. Neither grappler scored in the third frame as McConaughey held the Berkley Springs grappler the whole period to gain his second victory of the tournament.
McConaughey would face one more opponent, losing 12-5 earning one take down and three escapes to end the state tournament with a 2-2 record.
Caleb Nice started the tournament with a 35-1 record, while his opponent, Brady Thomas of Herbert Hoover, entered the opening match with a 29-16 record. Nice jumped on the Herbert Hoover grappler with a quick take down for two points. Once Nice got Thomas on the mat, he would quickly get him with a near fall that pushed his score to 5-0.
Soon afterwards, Nice put Thomas on his back and scored a pinfall for his first victory of the tournament.
In his second bout, Nice would outscore Thomas William of Independence, 8-1, scoring one take down and two near pinfalls to move on.
However, Nice would meet up with the eventual champion, senior Tyler Stewart of Clay County, to whom he lost a 3-0 heart breaker.
Nice then defeated a junior grappler 8-1 and defeated a Cameron wrestler 11-2 in the consolation semifinals. Nice would face 38-1 sophomore Will Schoonover of Moorefield for third place, losing another heart-breaker 3-2.
Magnolia finished with 25 points - good enough for 20th place overall with only four grapplers. Independence outscored Oak Glen 181-118.5 for first place in the WVSSAC Class-A/AA title.
Magnolia has had six state wrestling champions but hasn't had one since 1987 when Greg Funari won the 138 pound weight division.
With four young wrestlers earning a chance to compete in the state tournament, it looks very promising for Magnolia to earn a seventh champion in the near future.
"I was overly pleased. Each guy got a win at state and gained valuable experience," said Head Wrestling Coach Vince Monseau.