WHEELING - The pain may be gone, but for Brooke's Preston Wise, the memory still lingers.
At the 2013 West Virginia state wrestling meet in Charleston, Wise was going against Parkersburg South's Thomas Hall for fifth place overall.
During that match, the final match of his junior season, Wise suffered a fractured femur.
"It was really, really tough," Wise said after Day 1 of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference wrestling tournament. "It was tough to handle losing and getting hurt made things even worse."
After months of rehab and plenty of ice, Wise was back in action for the fall season as the starting center for the Bruins football team.
"The trainers at the high school really helped me to get healthy again," Wise said. "It drove me to come back and wrestle even harder this year."
So far, he's 20-2 on the mat after defeating Shadyside's Donnie Meadows by technical fall at WesBanco Arena on Thursday.
"He's done very well since the injury," said Brooke coach Rod Pattison. "One of his losses this year is to a kid from Pennsylvania who is ranked the No. 9 heavyweight in the nation. He's come a long way and is looking pretty good."
Hall is off to a good start, too. The Parkersburg South junior defeated Wyatt Arie of Shenandoah by a technical fall in 1:34.
Hall is the No. 1 heavyweight seed, while Wise is No. 2.
"He's ready to get revenge if the chance comes in the championship," Pattison said.
The next competitor on that path is Hunter Six of Clay-Battelle.
"Especially at heavyweight, you can get stuck if something goes wrong," Wise said. "You want to save some energy for the later rounds but keep attacking all the way through.
"I'm just trying my best each and every time."
South is leading the team standings after posting 44 points in the first day of the tournament. Oak Glen isn't far behind with 41.5 points. Steubenville is third with 41 points.
"Oak Glen is wrestling tough," said Big Red coach Mike Blackburn. "They'll be a team to watch for the next two days. They're up there, we're up there, Parkersburg South is up there. It'll be a fun weekend."
Thirteen Golden Bears earned first round wins on Thursday.
Noah Mills defeated Gary Tidwell of Meadowbrook by technical fall in 1:59 at heavyweight, Dakota Price earned a 3-1 decision over Beaver Local's Cody Riddle at 195 pounds, Noah Flowers earned a 6-2 decision over Sheldon Archer of Caldwell at 182 pounds, Devon Chadwick earned a technical fall in 4:53 over University's Stephen Webster at 170 pounds, Will Hogan earned a 2-0 decision over Linsly's Gage Giovengo at 160 pounds and Alex Shuman earned an 8-0 major decision over Austin McConville of Bellsville.
The lower weight classes fared well, also.
At 145 pounds, Patrick Arneault defeated Toronto's Max Tice with a 12-3 major decision, Nick Tice beat Linsly's Jameson Mascara with a technical fall in 1:26, Avery Flowers earned a 16-0 technical fall over Beaver Local's Nick Addy in 5:30, Josh Cornell beat Indian Creek's Tyler Gaydosh with an 11-2 major decision, Robert Bozek earned a technical fall in 3:17 over Zach Ray of Morgantown, Danny Wyke won in just 39 seconds with a technical fall over Morgantown's Matt Gorby and Ryan Debee earned an 8-0 major decision over Edison's Josh Kleiner in 106 pounds.
With 12 points, Brooke is tied for 21st place with Barnesville, John Marshall, Magnolia, Meadowbrook and Toronto.
At 195 pounds, Casey Munger earned a 6-5 decision over Beallsville's Preston Bier, who came in as the No. 8 seed.
"It's his first year even coming out for wrestling," Pattison said of Munger. "I'm really happy with his effort.
Matthew Doll won at 182 pounds, Joey Eaton won at 132 pounds and Maury Gamble won at 126 pounds.
Nathan Martin of Madonna defeated Union Local's Cody King by a 7-2 decision.