Successful transition leads Livada to Huntington

HUNTINGTON – Shain Livada set a lofty goal heading into the 65th-annual West Virginia State Wrestling Championships at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

“My goal this year is to win at least three matches down here and place,” he said.

That goal got a bit tougher after dropping a 4-1 decision to Trey Williams of Independence.

Livada must now come through the Class AA-A consolation bracket and that is never easy.

He was here two years ago as a sophomore at Weir High and won a match, but did not qualify a year ago.

“I was really disappointed I didn’t make it down here last year,” he admitted. “I really wanted to make it back here.”

He is now wrestling for Weirton Madonna after transferring at the end of his junior year.

“At first when the possibility of transferring was brought up, I was against it,” he said. “But, the more I thought about it during the final months of school, the more I weighed the pros and cons and I decided to transfer.”

That meant a lot of things one being on a football team that would contend for a Class A state title.

Livada was a part of two wins in three years for the Red Riders.

“It was tough,” he said.

Livada admitted the transition was easier than he had imagined.

“I had to learn to play with new players,” he said. “I knew the guys at Weir and now I had to learn how to play with the guys at Madonna. It was a bit of a change during two-a-days, but I got used to it. It was actually easier than I thought it would be.

“They were able to pick up on how I played and visa versa and that made it a quicker transition.”

Livada also admitted it took him a bit to get used to winning.

“We won 63-8 in the first game and I wasn’t used to that,” he said. “About the third or fourth game of the year I got used to winning games.”

What made the transition easier was playing the same position on the offensive line center.

“For me, football was really no different because it was the same position I played at Weir,” he said. “Sure, it was different having to get used to playing with new guys and Charlie (Kotten, the 2013 center) and I are different people and played the position a little bit differently.”

Livada admitted leaving his friends at Weir was not easy.

“I was really happy for them that they won some games,” he said. “I know what it’s like not winning a game and it’s not fun at all. It was nice to see them win games.

“When we would see each other, I would congratulate them and they would congratulate me.”

No hard feelings?

“None,” he said.

“I didn’t think it was going to be like this at Madonna when I thought about transferring, but I’m glad I did.

“It (winning the Class A state championship at 14-0) honestly didn’t sink in for about another week-and-a-half, two weeks later. I knew that we won a state championship and I was really happy about it, but it never really sunk in until two weeks later.”