Prep wrestling: GW, Winfield have individual state title winners
Two Class AAA wrestlers from the Kanawha Valley were crowned state champions on Saturday, the final day of the 66th annual State Tournament at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington.
Winfield sophomore Bryce Humphreys claimed the title at 126 pounds, earning an 11-5 decision over Ripley freshman Lucas Simpkins to become the first Generals wrestler to win a state title since 2000.
Humphreys ends the season with a 46-2 record and has an 82-11 career record, which includes a sixth-place finish at 120 pounds in 2012.
"Bryce was very calm," said Winfield Coach Mike Cochran, who just completed his fifth season guiding the Generals. "It was one of his best matches. He's worked hard for this and it's been his goal.
"I don't want to sound cocky, but I was never nervous and he wasn't either. He entered the match calm and took control early."
At 160 pounds, George Washington senior Jake Smith secured a 6-4 decision over Washington senior Dylan Ceravalo to win the title.
A state champion at 145 pounds last season, Smith joined Dave Bock as the only Patriots wrestlers to win multiple titles. Bock won his at 145 pounds in 1966 and 138 pounds in 1965, when the event was just one division.
Smith also became just the 12th wrestler in Kanawha Valley history to win at least two titles.
Smith ended his senior season with a 41-0 record and a 172-21 record during his high school career. Smith was a runner-up at 135 pounds in 2011 and placed third at 112 pounds in 2010. He will continue his wrestling career at Division I Cleveland State next year.
Huntington won the Class AAA team championship with 200 points. In second was Parkersburg with 160.50, followed by four-time defending champion Parkersburg South with 138, Ripley with 128.50 and Washington with 105.50.
In Class AA/A, Herbert Hoover junior Zane Weese was pinned 4:52 into the match by Berkeley Springs senior Matt Parkinson in the championship at 220 pounds. Weese ends the season with a 48-1 record. He improved on his fifth-place finish at 195 pounds in 2012 and was a qualifier at 171 pounds in 2011.
Greenbrier West captured the Class AA/A title with 131.50 points, followed by Independence with 119.50, East Fairmont with 106.50, North Marion with 91 and Clay County with 89.
In Class AAA, five wrestlers advanced through the consolation bracket to place.
George Washington freshman Sam Moore placed sixth at 106 pounds and junior Jensen Lorea was third at 126 pounds. For Winfield, senior Isaac Reed finished third at 145 pounds, while senior Zach Richardson placed fifth at 182 pounds. Nitro sophomore David Smith claimed third at 285 pounds.
"We might start getting a little bit of recognition of having a decent wrestling team," Cochran said. "It's good to be recognized. It's huge."
Earning medals through the consolation bracket in Class AA/A were Buffalo senior Ryan White with a fourth-place finish at 220 pounds and Herbert Hoover senior Richard Woods with a fourth-place finish at 285 pounds.