"There's a lot of people who come and watch when we have home events. People travel with us. It seems to be the one that people push the most."
Cameron won four consecutive Class AA/A state championships from 1991-94 under Coach Jim Potts. The Dragons were the last Class A program to win a state title as a team, and that legacy remains a part of many families' interests in the town of 946 nestled in the Southeast corner of Marshall County.
The movement of former big-school wrestling powers such as East Fairmont, Fairmont Senior and North Marion into Class AA this year decreased the number of state tournament qualifiers from Class A schools significantly. Currently, 24 Class A schools have wrestling programs, making the likelihood of a third classification in West Virginia unlikely. The sport was a one-class affair until 1976.
Without the ability to see the sport displayed at its highest level, Blake said he is concerned for its long-term viability in smaller areas. After all, successful programs typically see participation numbers increase with that success.
"It's like if you took away the NFL. Kids all over the country look up to NFL players and they see them and want to be like them, and they play football," Blake said. "Without Olympic wrestling there's nothing higher than college. I mean, you can't make a living out of wrestling, but I think not having it in the Olympics will take away some motivation to get involved with it, definitely."
Blake said that he does not intend to wrestle in college, but intends to double major in mathematics education and electrical engineering. He said that once he finishes his own education, he would like to return to the sport if there is a sport to return to.
"That's one of the oldest sports in the Olympics. That started back before we even had clothes," Blake said. "I'd like to help keep it going if the opportunity arises."
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at derek.tay...@dailymail.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsreallyDT.