POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Now that’s a grand finale.
The Point Pleasant wrestling team captured its third straight team title while making school history Saturday at the 2012 Class AA-A Region 4 wrestling tournament held at Point Pleasant Junior-Senior High School in Mason County.
The Big Blacks — the two-time defending Class AA-A state champions — set a program record by advancing grapplers to all 14 weight classes at next weekend’s big event in Huntington while also earning its fifth regional crown in the last six years. The previous record for state qualifiers was 13, accomplished both last year and in 2009.
Point Pleasant had seven divisional champions in the 14 weight classes and posted a winning team score of 288.5 points in its final Class AA-A regional tournament. PPHS, which becomes a member of the Class AAA field next fall, defeated runner-up Clay County (198.0) and the rest of the 11-team field by at least 90.5 points.
The Big Blacks have seven repeat qualifiers for state, while seven more will be making their first appearance at Big Sandy Superstore Arena this weekend. And of the seven regional champions, six were first-time winners.
The lone regional champion to repeat was junior Micah Powell, who won the 120-pound division. The six first-time regional champs were Guy Fisher (113), Steven Porter (126), Noah Searls (132), Gabe Loggins (138), Josh Hereford (170) and Brycen Reymond (182). Only Loggins and Reymond are first-time state qualifiers in West Virginia.
The Big Blacks also had four more wrestlers in championship finals, as the quartet of John Raike (106), Josh Hudson (145), Zach Nibert (160) and Jacob Gleason (220) each finished second in their respective weight classes.
Trevor Hill was third overall in the 152-pound division, while Jacob Duncan (195) and Scott Duncan (285) both placed fourth in their respective weight classes. Hudson and Nibert are the lone state returnees from that non-championship group.
Point Pleasant — which had only three individual regional champs last year — won’t be the only Mason County program represented in Huntington next weekend, as Wahama had two grapplers advance to the state meet.
The White Falcons — who finished fifth overall with 87 points — are sending Kane Roush (152) and Randle Robie (120) to Huntington this weekend after respective placements of second and third in their divisions. Roush was a podium finisher a year ago, while Robie will be making his first appearance at the state competition.
Wahama also had four grapplers just miss the cutoff point, as Colten McKinney (160), Timmy Gibbs (145), Demetrieus Servicez (170) and Josh Haddox (182) also finished fifth in their respective divisions. Zach Killingsworth was also sixth overall in the 285 weight class.
Complete results of the 2012 Class AA-A Region 4 Wrestling Tournament are available on the web at wvmat.com