Oak Glen off to strong start

AT STATES — Weir’s Caleb Rea takes part in Thursday’s state wrestling action in Huntington. (Kim North)

AT STATES — Weir’s Caleb Rea takes part in Thursday’s state wrestling action in Huntington. (Kim North)

HUNTINGTON — Northern Panhandle wrestlers won 12 of 16 matches Thursday night during the 70th-annual W.Va. state Class A/AA tournament inside Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Oak Glen won five of its six matches to make a strong statement as it sits in sixth place with 16 points.

“It was a good night for us,” Oak Glen head coach Patrick McGillian said. “Any time you can get five of six in the quarterfinals you’ve got to be happy with that.

“We came down and did what we had hoped to do.”

The Golden Bears got off to a quick start as senior Ty Logston (106), sophomore Shawn Moore (113) and freshman Peyton Hall (120) all won. Logston and Hall had pins, while Moore pulled out a victory in overtime.

“Those guys have started us off all year like that,” McGillian said.

Other Oak Glen winners were defending state champion Robert Bozek (138) by pin and Stevie Cool (170) by decision.

Weir’s Caleb Rea is hoping the third time to Huntington is a charm. The Red Riders’ junior has placed third the past two seasons and showed he is ready to take that next step. Improving to 40-1, Rea posted a 16-0 technical fall of Williamstown’s Josh Frye.

“Caleb works harder than any kid I’ve been around. He works out three separate times a day,” Weir head coach Tom Taylor said. “He puts in the effort and it shows when he goes out on the mat.”

Madonna sent two individuals to the quarterfinals in Alec Cook (132) and Philip Good (152). Cook won by technical fall. Good, who won by major decision, was a state runnerup a year ago.

“Those are the two guys that we thought could win,” veteran Madonna head coach Ray Pernell said. “The guys that lost, however, have a good shot at coming back and placing.”

Cameron’s Michael Starcher (160) also advanced, as did Magnolia’s Riley Nice (126) and Caleb Nice (195). Starcher won 3-2, while Riley Nice won by major decision and Caleb Nice by pin.

Tyler Consolidated’s Cory Chipps (285) rounded out the local winners with a decision.

Action begins at 11:30 a.m. today with quarterfinal action.

NOTES

≤ The Ohio Valley has had 34 teams win state wrestling championships. Oak Glen leads the way with 12, including a stretch of nine straight from 2000-09. Wheeling Park has nine which includes half-a-dozen in Class AAA, two at Wheeling High (1953, 1969 all class) and one at Warwood (1976 A/AA).

≤ Twenty-two Ohio Valley coaches have been Coach of the Year. Oak Glen’s Larry Shaw leads the way with seven selections, while Cameron’s Jim Potts had five.

≤ There have been 11 individuals selected as Wrestlers of the Year. Wheeling Park’s Kyle Bauer was the last in 2011. Oak Glen’s John Crain won back-to-back Dutton Awards (1987, 1988). Weir has had four different winners.

≤ Eric Hupp, a Bridgeport graduate and former OVAC Champion, is in his third year as head coach at Ravenswood High School. Hupp graduated from Bridgeport in 1990 and West Liberty four years later.

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