Tournament Crowns Josh Bartrug Champion
Josh Bartrug of the River High Pilots became only the sixth River wrestler to win an OVAC title when he beat Frank Williams of East Liverpool Jan. 23 in the 103 weight class in the Ron Mauck Tournament at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena.
Magnolia Blue Eagle Jason Long placed sixth while Pilot Devin Talbott claimed eighth place in the 112 pound weight class.
The Blue Eagles sent 10 wrestlers to the OVAC tournament, while the Pilots took eight. Parkersburg South won the team championship overall, with River 21st, Tyler 25th, and Magnolia 30th.
River was fourth in Class AA, with Shadyside taking first place.
In Class AAA, Tyler Consolidated was ninth, Magnolia placed 11th, and winning the whole shebang was Oak Glen.
The Pilots’ Bartrug won all five of his matches, while Talbott won three and lost three. Devin Knowlton won one and lost two in the 130 weight class, while Journey Wayts finished with a 2-2 record. James West, at 140 pounds, and Troy Haslam, at 285 pounds were both 1-2, while Nick Asturi and Joey Dotson were 0-2 in their first appearance in the OVAC.
River Head Coach Marty Winkler said “This was a great experience for our wrestlers, and Bartrug did an outstanding job. We host our invitational Saturday, Jan. 30, at 10 a.m. and we would like to invite all the Wetzel Chronicle readers to come and watch some outstanding wrestlers perform.”
The Magnolia team, which wrestles at 6 p.m. tonight, won eight matches and had three byes. Long lost his first match, but won the next three to put him in the consolation finals where he finished sixth.
It was the best finish for any Magnolia wrestler since 1999. The Eagles’ Joey Ingold, at 145 pounds, won his first match, then lost his second match and pinned his opponent, before losing his semifinal match. Devon Phillips, a state finalist the past two seasons won two matches, while Curtis Tedrow, Daniel Mateer, Trevor Long, Zack Stoneking, Evan Cross, and Sean Heslop lost both their matches for Magnolia in their first appearance at the OVAC tournament.
This coming weekend, the New Martinsville Middle School Wrestling Team will travel to Buckhannon Upshur to participate in the Mason Dixon Conference Championships to be held Friday and Saturday,Jan. 29-30.
Just off a third-place finish in their own dual tournament on Jan. 16, – where they won four duals and lost one – they take a solid core of wrestlers to challenge for the title.
The only number one seed for the Blue Eagles will be Tyler Baker at heavyweight, the conference runner-up last season in the same class and who brings a 15-1 record into the championship. Coming through with a number two seed is Kage Rhode at 155 pounds and a 17-1 record. Third seed at 128 is Jesse Long,with fifth seeds held by Joey Kelly (123), Harley Price (135), and Jacob Rabel (171). Also participating are David McIlvain (90), Paden McConaughey (102), Tyler Calvert (116), Quinton Yoho (123), and Willie Wilkinson (145). Injured and unable to participate is Tyler Kazlman.
“The conference has grown over the five years since westarted in it and is upto 21 teams,” said New Martinsville Head Wrestling Coach John Holliday. “It is very competitive and our guys will really have to be ready for this. We have missed a lot of practice and a lot of matches due to weather. I don’t think we will be at our best but, allthings considered, we will be as ready as we can be.”
The only Mason Dixon Champion NMS has ever had was Josh Bartrug at 84 pounds in 2007. Josh still holds school records for wins and winning percentage in career and season. That same year there were two other finalists in Jason Long and Adam Cross, both of whom finished in second place.
“Josh was a two-time finalist, finishing second and first. Jason and Adam were runners-up and we have only had one other person make the finals in this tournament.
“On an interesting note, all three of these young men competed in the high school OVAC Championships this past weekend for differentschools,with Josh winning the championship at 103 pounds for River High School, Jason placed sixth at 189 pounds for Magnolia High School, and Adam won a couple of matches at 189 pounds for Tyler Consolidated.”
Numbers have been a problem for the Blue Eagles this season. “We have 11 healthy wrestlers right now and there are 15 weight classes, so anyone can see the problem there. I would really like to see more participation because this is a great sport, especially for little guys. Anyone that wants to be an athlete can excel in wrestling if they really want. I was still recruiting through December and we have one guy that started practicing after Christmas. We just need the experience for next season. We are looking forward to competing this weekend.”