HUNTINGTON – University went 2-1 in the championship round and finished runner-up in Class AAA in the 75th West Virginia State High School Wrestling Tournament at Mountain Health Arena.
“Good weekend overall,” Hawks coach Ken Maisel said. “We wrestled well.”
University competed without two individuals. The Hawks heavyweight suffered a concussion prior to the state and didn’t enter. Their 106-pounder didn’t make weight, so that’s points they didn’t have a chance to get.
Luca Felix got the first title for the Hawks at 145 pounds with an 8-4 win over Chance Williams of Spring Mills. Felix finishes the year 47-1. He was runner-up at 132 a year ago.
Then at 195, Brock Kehler capped off quite a freshman campaign with a 7-0 victory over Logan Fischer of Cabell Midland, a senior. Kehler completes his season at 35-1.
The downer came at 220 where Erick Brothers of state champion Wheeling Park pinned Colin McBee at 1:47.
Felix appeared to have a finger issue in the third period, but overcame it for the win.
“I don’t think it was anything bad,” Maisel said about the turn made by Williams. “There are a lot of hard turns. He’s so good, he’s better than that if he ever opens up.”
Kehler just had an amazing season as he entered the state meet ranked No. 1 at his weight.
“Just an animal,” Maisel said. “He doesn’t wrestle like he’s a freshman.”
For McBee, it was quite a run for someone just in year two of wrestling.
“After it was over I grabbed him and said look at all this,” Maisel said. “It goes from coach can I come out to look at where you are now.
McBee is going to West Virginia to play football.
Wheeling Park, the Region I champion, won its first state title since 2006 with 207.5 points. The Patriots went 4-2 in the finals. University had 176 points for No. 2. Parkersburg South, which had won seven states in a row, settled for fifth this time.
Point Pleasant won 6 of 7 matches in the finals and rolled in Class AA with 233 points. Fairmont Senior and Cameron tied for second with 116.5. That total gave Cameron the Class A crown.
Maisel now looks forward to the 2022-2023 campaign.
“It’s still going to be good for us,” Maisel said. “The numbers are good coming up.”
In eighth grade, there are 24 wrestlers heading to Maisel.
Hawks who placed were Dom Parker, 152 third; Dakota Hagedorn, 160, fourth; Elijah Wellings-Osha, 170, third; and Hezekiah Taylor, 182, third.
Morgantown’s Dyllan Haseleu took fifth at 285.
— Story by David Walsh