POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission recently honored the Point Pleasant Big Blacks wrestling team for the team’s achievements at the WVSSAC (West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission) Wrestling Championships.
“This is something we do as a tradition, we honor all state champions,” said President of the Commission Rick Handley. “Fortunately, we get to honor the state championship wrestling team from Point Pleasant High School.”
A resolution signed by members of the commission including Handley, Sam Nibert, and Tracy Doolittle, declaring Friday, March 1, 2019, as “Point Pleasant Big Blacks Wrestling Championship Day” throughout Mason County was read aloud by Handley. All wrestlers and coaches received a copy to take home.
“Whereas, the 2019 Point Pleasant High School wrestling team brought pride and honor not only to Point Pleasant and the surrounding areas, but more importantly all of the citizens of Mason County,
Whereas, this team had a very successful regular season, placing first in the local Jason Eades Memorial, the Bob Kearns Invitational in Cincinnati (Ohio), the Fandetti-Richardson Tournament in Johnson City, Tenn., the WSAZ Invitational, along with a home quad meet, and then defeated Ripley in the Battle of the Shield,
Whereas, in the Region Four tournament, held in Williamstown, to determine who advances to the state meet, the Big Blacks showed their domination by winning nine championships and qualifying all 14 wrestlers, while winning first place in the region,
Whereas, 14 wrestlers won a spot in the West Virginia State Wrestling Tournament, held in the Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington and showed that hard work, sacrifice, and determination paid off as 10 of their wrestlers placed in the top six and were granted ‘All State’ status, as the Big Blacks won their fourth wrestling title, the first since 2012, by blowing out their closest competitor by a score of 203 to 120,
Whereas, the Point Pleasant Big Black Wrestlers won three individual championships, started by Sophomore Isaac Short in the 106 lb. class who defeated his opponent 1-0 in the championship round and became the sixteenth PPHS wrestler to win a state championship. He finished the year with a very impressive 42-1 record,
Whereas, Freshman Derek Raike won his championship match by pinning his opposition in the second period in the 120 lb. final, becoming the seventeenth wrestler to win a state title for PPHS, and finished his season going an amazing 46-1,
Whereas, the third and final individual title was won by Freshman Justin Bartee, who wrestled in the 126 lb. weight class, as he pinned his opponent in the second period and became the eighteenth PPHS wrestler to claim a state title. Justin (Bartee) also joining former great PPHS Wrestler Rusty Maness as the only two wrestlers to go unbeaten over the course of a season. (Justin) Bartee finished the season with a perfect 36-0 record.
Whereas, under the leadership of Head Coach John Bonecutter and his assistants Jed Ott, James Casto, Dave Bonecutter, Jon Peterson, George Smith, and Videographer Andrew Lambert, the Point Pleasant Big Blacks Wrestling team brought home the title as West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission Class AA-A State Wrestling Championship,
Whereas, to show how this team exemplifies the term student/athlete, of the 26 members of the wrestling team, 22 were named ‘Academic All State,’ with a team grade point average of 3.57,
Whereas, due to his leadership by example, Head Coach John Bonecutter was named the West Virginia Class AA-A Wrestling Coach of the year, a well deserved honor to an example of a coach who truly loves what he does.
Whereas, we the Mason County Commissioners, are extremely proud of the team and would like to extend our appreciation to a team whose attitude, desire, toughness, talents, and exemplary sportsmanship brought honor and a great sense of pride to this county by becoming state champions, and we also wish to congratulate the students, support staff, parents, and all the dedicated and wonderful wrestling fans of Mason County for a hard fought state title.”
Following the reading of the resolution, certificates were given out to Head Coach John Bonecutter and the wrestlers who attended the WVSSAC (West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission) Wrestling Championships including Nazar Abbas, Juan Marquez, Nick Ball, Wyatt Stanley, Zac Samson, Logan Southall, Jacob Muncy, Wyatt Wilson, George Smith, Christopher Smith, Mitchell Freeman, Isaac Short, Derek Raike, and Justin Bartee.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.