Local Sports, Sports, University

University wrestling upends defending state champ

PARKERSBURG — University heavyweight Brock Kehler’s first-period pin sealed the Hawks’ 38-27 dual meet victory versus Class AAA defending state champion Parkersburg South here Wednesday on senior night inside Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

The Hawks of head coach Ken Maisel led 32-9 following 165-pounder Luca Felix’s 21-6 technical fall versus Cole Middleton, which meant the Patriots of head man Shaun Smith had to pin out in order to secure victory.

Gage Wright, who was just selected to compete for Team USA at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, recorded a win by fall with 15 ticks left in the opening period against Hawk and fellow 175-pounder Emerson Murphy.

University’s Jackson Pate survived the first period against Brycen Arthur, but the Patriot quickly went ahead 6-2 on an escape in the second and then recorded a takedown before registering a mat slapper in 3:04.

PSHS 215-pounder Ayden Morris was able to win by pin in 70 seconds against Ryder Hastings to make it 32-27, but Kehler was able to take care of Patriot Logan Middleton via pin in 57 seconds.

“That’s what we try to instill in these guys that we’re going to get everyone’s best shot, regardless of what teams come in here,” admitted coach Smith. “Obviously, University is a tough team and I thought we stacked up pretty well with them.

“We lost some matches tonight we shouldn’t have and gave up too many bonus points and we didn’t get enough. That’s ultimately what it comes down to and we have to do a lot better in that regard if we are going to repeat on what we did last season.”

University took the lead for good in the opening match when 106-pounder Pepper Martin pinned Ethan Boso in 3:15. It was 12-0 after 113-pound Hawk Kaden Nieman recorded a pin at the end of the second period versus Cole Smith.

Mackiah Claudio used an escape just seven seconds into the third for the winning point in his 4-3 decision against University 120-pounder Brodie Emery.

At 126, Colton Gillespie hit a five-point move in the first en route to a 5-2 decision against South’s Aaydin King. UHS 132-pounder Carter Pauley followed with a pin of Reese Kelley in 4:24, which made it 21-3.

Parkersburg South, which heads Friday and Saturday to Fairmont for the former Winner’s Choice tournament, picked up three points after 138-pounder Coleton Hill doubled up Cameron Angus, 10-5.

Max Vitale used a takedown with 35 seconds left in the first and a reversal with 14 ticks to go in the third to help secure a 4-1 decision against Patriot 144-pounder Jake Forshey.

Even at two apiece entering the third, Parkersburg South 150-pounder Makiya Powell was able to get an escape and then a takedown on Rider Ludrosky to help forge an 8-2 decision. 

UHS moved ahead 27-9 following 157-pounder Jay McKenzie’s 5-3 victory versus Keith Doyle, who had the match squared at three entering the third but was turned and allowed two near fall points.

“There were some spots we could’ve wrestled better, but overall you come down here and beat them it’s a good night,” said coach Maisel, who noted he was without his regular 138-pounder and that Emery was competing under the weather.

Looking ahead, coach Maisel noted the Hawks have to “stay healthy and keep going forward and keep doing what we’re doing. Friday we have Northern Garrett (alumni night), which is the Maryland state runner-up.

“Next week is the OVAC and after that WSAZ and then after that state duals. This is the time right now to see if we are any good.”

Claudio, Forshey, Morris, Powell and Wright were honored on senior night along with Lauren Parsons, Byron Dearth and Jeffrey Waldron.

By JAY W. BENNETT/Parkersburg News and Sentinel