POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant Middle School wrestling team had a successful 2015-16 season. The group of wrestlers led by head coach George Smith, assistant coach Stevie Porter and athletic assistant Chris Freeman competed in several dual and individual tournaments throughout the season.
The team claimed first-place honors at the Charleston Duals, Huntington Pools, McKinley Invitational, Hayes Invitational and the Mid-Valley Athletic Conference. They placed second at the Charleston Duals, Big Ben Classic Duals, Mountain State Clash and the WSAZ Wrestling Tournament. As a team, the PPMS wrestlers are currently ranked second overall in the most recent WVMAT coaches’ poll for the 2015-16 season.
Season records for wrestlers include (listed by weight class): 78 pound, Mackandle Freeman (41-2); 78 pound, Parker Henderson (29-9); 84 pound, Christopher Smith (36-6); 90 pound, Derek Raike (45-0); 90 pound, Mitchell Freeman (35-4); 95 pound, Justin White (42-1); 95 pound, Ethan Marcum (25-11); 102 pound, Justin Cornell (42-5); 110 pound, Logan Southall (36-6); 110 pound, Colby Price (25-14); 116 pound, Riley Oliver (26-12); 116 pound, Wyatt Wilson (22-11); 116 pound, Zander Watson (12-22); 123 pound, Trevor Smith (33-8); 135 pound, Steven Trent (18-15); 145 pound, Nazar Abbas (34-3); 155 pound, Jared Ichenhower (23-8); 155 pound, Kameron Weaver (20-11); 171 pound, Wyatt Stanley (27-10); 171 pound, Tanner Mitchell (11-8); 171 pound, Conner Jeffers (8-18); 190 pound, Dakota Moses (24-12); HWT, Juan Marquez (38-4) and HWT, Caleb Higginbotham (35-7).
The 2016 WSAZ Wrestling Tournament was the final competition of the season and recently took place in Huntington, where more than 60 teams competed. The PPMS wrestling team had 11 young men place in the tournament. Mackandle Freeman and Mitchell Freeman took second-place honors; Justin Cornell, Logan Southall and Nazar Abbas placed fourth; Caleb Higginbotham and Christopher Smith took seventh place; and Juan Marquez and Steven Trent placed eighth.
Taking top honors were Derek Raike, a sixth-grader at Roosevelt Elementary School, and Justin White, a seventh-grader at Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School. Raike and White were designated as WSAZ champions. Raike is the first sixth-grader from the Point Pleasant wrestling program to ever claim the WSAZ title.
Wrestlers named to the Academic Honor Roll were Mackandle Freeman, Caleb Higginbotham, Juan Marquez, Cierra Smith, Zander Watson, Kameron Weaver and Wyatt Wilson.
The wrestlers selected for All-State include, Nazar Abbas, Justin Cornell, Mitchell Freeman, Parker Henderson, Kierra Henderson (Mat Maid), Jared Icenhower, Ethan Marcum, Tanner Mitchell, Riley Oliver, Colby Price, Derek Raike, Christopher Smith, Wyatt Stanley and Justin White.
Several of these young men will be competing in the upcoming West Virginia Middle School State Tournament and the Junior State Tournament.
Submitted by Tonya D. Shobe.